Bill Russell's 1975 Hall of Fame ring is put up for auction

Bill Russell’s 1975 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ring has gone up for auction and is expected to sell for more than $200,000 before bidding closes on Friday. 

The ring, which the late Celtics legend received in 2019, has been listed for sale by since August. Several bids have been placed with the lowest being at $30,000 and the highest at $43,923. 

The ring weighs 65 grams and is made of 14-karat gold with 1.625 carts of diamonds, according to SCP Auction’s listing. Russell barely wore the piece of jewelry and also included is a letter of provenance signed by the man famously nicknamed as ‘Mr. 11 Rings.’ 

Russell was the first Black player to have been inaugurated into the Hall of Fame in 1975 but the Celtics’ No. 6 preferred to skip his ceremonial induction because he felt other players should have been inducted before him. 

He is also a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, leading the Celtics to back-to-back championships in 1968 and 1969, and is also apart of the FIBA Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted in 2006).

Bill Russell’s Basketball Hall of Fame ring has been put into auction. Its estimated price ranges from $150,000 to $200,000, according to SCP Auctions

Russell poses for a photo with 11 of his Championship rings won with the Boston Celtics in 1996

On July 31, Russell died at 88 on Mercer Island in Washington. All 30 NBA teams decided to officially retire his No. 6 to pay tribute and honor his influence on basketball. 

He is the first and only player in the league’s history to have his jersey number retired leaguewide. 

Described as the ‘the greatest champion in all of team sports,’ Russell is the NBA’s most-decorated player, winning 11 rings — nine as a player and two as a coach, all for the Celtics.

Compared to NBA championship rings, Hall of Fame rings do not often go for sale due to their rarity.

Two of Russell’s championship rings – his first and his last in 1957 and 1969 – were put for auction in 2021. Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal and ex-Rockets Charles Barkley expressed their desires to buy the prized assets. 

‘I’d like to take some of that stuff off their hands,’ O’Neal said on TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ on in December of last year. ‘To be able to have all 11 of those rings, nobody’s outbidding me on that one.’ 

Two of Russell’s NBA rings were up for auction in 2021 as well as his final Celtics jersey in 1969

The NBA great Bill Russell died at age 88 on July 31. He won 11 titles in 13 years with the Celtics

The owner of the auction house which managed the sales of both of Russell’s rings, David Hunt, of Hunt Auctions, never fully disclosed whether O’Neal won the bidding for confidentiality reasons.   

Before his death, Russell sold several items in 2021 that were linked to his basketball accomplishments, including a ring commemorating his two NCAA titles won with the University of San Francisco, a ring for making the NBA’s 50th anniversary team, and one the league gave him for winning the most titles in professional team sports history. 

Also on the block were his 1956 Melbourne Olympic gold medal, his final 1969 NBA Finals Celtics jersey, his honorary law degree from Harvard — along with the cap and gown he wore for the ceremony — and a scrapbook page with a signed letter from Jackie Robinson thanking Russell and four Black teammates for refusing to play in a 1961 exhibition in segregated Kentucky. 

Another player who sold his Hall of Fame ring other than Russell is ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich’s in 2013 steroids for sale UK more than $88,000 at auction. 

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