A 1972 Los Angeles Lakers jersey worn by Wilt Chamberlain during Game 5 of the 1972 Finals will go up for auction at Sotheby's later this month. It is believed to be the most valuable piece of Wilt Chamberlain memorabilia to ever go up for auction, with the piece expected to sell for at least $4 million. The previous record for Wilt Chamberlain memorabilia was a rookie Wilt jersey sold in June 2023 for $1.79 million. Furthermore, that sale set the record for a game-worn, vintage (pre-1980) piece of NBA memorabilia.
"This jersey holds an extraordinarily significant place in the history of Los Angeles, not only adorned by the man many consider to be the greatest player ever to step on the court but as a relic from one of the greatest franchises in sports history," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectibles. The jersey will go on public display at Sotheby's LA gallery on August 31. It is being sold alongside a collection of magazines, newspapers, and trading cards that depict the jersey in question. Online bidding will run from August 27 to September 28.
Where Does Wilt's $4M Jersey Rank In Jersey Sales?
While the jersey will set the record for Wilt Chamberlain memorabilia, where does its $4 million price tag rank among other jersey auctions? The most expensive jersey ever to sell at auction is a 1998 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey. Worn during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the jersey sold for $10.091 million in September 2022. It's the first, and to date only, jersey to exceed $10 million. Just behind the Jordan jersey is Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" jersey from the 1986 World Cup. That sold for $9.28 million in May 2022.
While not as pricey as those items, the Chamberlain jersey is by no means cheap. Furthermore, there is a dedicated group of Chamberlain-specific collectors who will be very interested in the piece. As mentioned, the jersey is available for public viewing in LA until August 31. Be sure to come to HotNewHipHop next month to find out how much the jersey actually ends up going for.