Wilt Chamberlain’s 1972 NBA Finals Jersey Expected To Fetch $4M at Auction

Sotheby’s predicts that the Lakers jersey worn by Wilt Chamberlain during the 1972 season is expected to get $4 million at auction, which would be a record for a jersey worn by the basketball legend.

The current record is $1.79 million in June 2023 for the jersey Chamberlain wore when he played for the Philadelphia Warriors as a rookie phenom who revolutionized basketball

The auction house said Chamberlain wore this particular jersey in the championship-clinching Game 5 victory over the New York Knicks in the 1972 NBA Finals. That was the Lakers’ first NBA championship in Los Angeles, and it capped off a memorable season that included a 33-game winning streak.

“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, in a written statement.

According to Sotheby’s website, Chamberlain wore the jersey on May 7, 1972, when the Lakers helped Chamberlain clinch his second NBA championship. His stellar play throughout the series netted him his only NBA Finals MVP award. Despite having a broken hand, he poured in 24 points while pulling down 29 rebounds in the deciding game.

The same jersey is seen on the covers of Sports Illustrated, specifically the October 16, 1972, issue with the headline, “It All Depends on Wilt,” and the May 15, 1972, issue with the headline, “Los Angeles Champions at Last!.”

People can place a bid online from August 28, 2023, until the auction ends on September 27, 2023.

Chamberlain died in 1999 at the age of 63.