SportsJam with Doug Doyle: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's UCLA Collection through Goldin Auctions

Oct 9, 2019

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's UCLA collection is filled with trophies, plaques
Credit Goldin Auctions

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is probably the most decorated athlete in history, dominating during his high school days, his amazing 3-time championship career at UCLA and his 20-year, six championship NBA career.

Now Goldin Auctions is offering 48 items from Kareem Abdul Jabbar's personal collection.  Kareem and Frank Dinote, controller with Goldin Auctions, joined SportsJam host Doug Doyle to share memories and talk about the items up for auction through October 19.

One of the items expected to draw more than $200,000 is the first Naismith Award event presented (1969), and it went to college basketball's greatest player ever, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, know then as Lew Alcindor.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by most as the greatest college basketball player ever
Credit NPR for WBGO

Abdul-Jabbar says being connected with the man who invented the game was an honor for him.

"Mr. Naismith was finally being recognized for his contributions to the game.  You know starting the game is a pretty neat thing to have that on your resume.  To have that named for him and be the first recipient, that means a lot to me.  I'm proud of that and certainly proud of what I was able to achieve at UCLA.  Of course I didn't do it by myself, but they provided an incredible platform for a college athlete."

The NCAA Tournament's MVP in 1967, 1968 and 1969 says his legendary coach, the late John Wooden, was also proud that he won the first Naismith Award.

"Very few people left at that time, he (Coach Wooden) was around when the game became popular, back in the 20's and 30's.  Being connected to him and for me to win that award for him was a great sense of continuity and his connection to some of the most important aspects of the game."

Frank Dinote of Goldin Auctions joins host Doug Doyle at WBGO to talk about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's UCLA Collection
Credit Khadiyah Thomas for WBGO News

Dinote says this one of kind piece of memorabilia is obviously special.

"This is a beautiful trophy.  Additional added value is the trophy is in the name of Lew Alcindor.  As we all know Kareem changed his name in the early 70's there, so there are very few collectibles that bear the name Lew Alcindor.  The rarity of that is just going to add to the value of that."

Also up for auction are Kareem's 1968 and 1969 NCAA Championship rings.  Those rings are like new.

" You know I've never been into jewelry that much which is the reason we have these rings in such great condition. Course I just kept them, I thought they were keepsakes in that sense but not something I wanted to wear all the time.  I really took good care of them." 

Abdul-Jabbar joked during the conversation that he doesn't want his home to be a museum and many of the trophies, certificates and plaques have been nicely stored away for years.  He's excited to see others get the opportunity to own items that spark memories of his greatest accomplishments on the court.

"I hope that people who get them enjoy them.  I'm not giving them up because I want to but it just makes sense."

Dinote, a huge Philadelphia sports fan who played high school sports at St. Joseph High School in Hammonton, New Jersey, says this lot has something for everyone who loves Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, such as a 1958 photo of a young Kareem at St. Jude's Day Camp.

You can register for the auction and see all of the times by going to  Dinote says the registration process takes about three minutes.   

Click above to hear much more from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Goldin Auctions.