Jordan last-shot backboard in Hall of Fame Induction Auction

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The backboard and rim that received Michael Jordan's last-second winning shot in the 1998 NBA Championships leads Grey Flannel Auctions' Sept. 12 Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction.

1998 NBA Championships last shot backboard and rim

The items in this sale are so exceptional, we aren't even putting estimates on them. The fans will be aware of the reserve amount on each item, and they can decide what the values should be.

The backboard and rim that received Michael Jordan's last-second winning shot to clinch the 1998 NBA Championship for the Chicago Bulls is a headliner in Grey Flannel Auctions' Fourth Annual Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction. The Sept. 12 auction, which will take place at the Mohegan Sun casino and resort in Uncasville, Conn., is an officially sanctioned event produced in association with the 2009 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Induction.

This year, Michael Jordan is among the five individuals who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The auction includes several extraordinary items associated with the NBA superstar's fabled career, including the actual backboard and rim into which Jordan sank the winning goal in the 1998 NBA Finals Game (his last shot as a Chicago Bull); and the autographed, game-used Chicago Bulls rookie jersey experts believe was the first NBA jersey Jordan ever wore.

The backboard/rim unit, which comes from the June 14, 1998 NBA Finals Game no. 6 - an unforgettable nail-biter of an event that pitted the Chicago Bulls against the Utah Jazz - is entered in the auction with a $25,000 reserve.

Authenticators believe the iconic 1984-85 game-used and autographed Chicago Bulls rookie jersey may be the first NBA jersey ever issued to Jordan. It is accompanied by a team letter and photo match, and is offered with a $25,000 reserve.

"This will undoubtedly be the finest and most exciting basketball auction we've ever produced," said Grey Flannel Auctions' president Richard E. Russek. "The items in this sale are so exceptional, we aren't even putting estimates on them. The fans will be aware of the reserve amount on each item, and they can decide what the values should be."

Additional auction items of note include a Wilt Chamberlain Western Conference All-Star Game-used uniform with pristine provenance, a 1955 Bob Pettit Milwaukee Hawks NBA All-Star Game-used rookie jersey, autographed by Pettit and accompanied by a Pettit LOA (letter of authenticity); and a 1972-73 Dave DeBusschere game-used New York Knicks road jersey from a Knicks championship season, with DeBusschere LOA.

Other key lots include a 1967-68 Nate Thurmond Golden State Warriors game-used and autographed road jersey, with Thurmond LOA; Luke Jackson's 1970-71 Philadelphia 76ers game-used home jersey, Stew Johnson's Pittsburgh Condors 1971-72 game-used road uniform, and Don Buse's 1972-73 Indiana Pacers ABA World Championship ring.

A small but highly important selection of personal articles that belonged to the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, adds historical emphasis to the sale. Among those items are the earliest known photograph of Naismith, and his personal passport.

More than 70 returning Hall of Famers are expected to attend the three-day festivities honoring the Class of 2009, which will be inducted in an evening ceremony on Friday, Sept. 11 at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Those to be inducted are (alphabetically): Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Jerry Sloan, C. Vivian Stringer and John Stockton.

Grey Flannel Auctions will host the weekend's opening event on Sept. 10, an invitation-only pre-induction dinner for Hall of Famers, inductees and VIPs at the Hall of Fame's Center Court. The highlight of the dinner will be the presentation of a remarkable gift to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame - the jersey that hardwood legend and Hall of Famer "Pistol" Pete Maravich (1947-1988) wore when he set the all-time NCAA Division I scoring record in 1970 - a distinction that remains on the books, unchallenged, to this day. The historical jersey is the property of collector David Miller, who will present it to honored guests Jackie and Josh Maravich, the basketball star's widow and younger son. In turn, they will formally present the jersey to the Hall of Fame, where it will remain in perpetuity.

Grey Flannel's Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 auction will commence at 10:30 a.m., Eastern Time, in the Brothertown Room of Mohegan Sun casino and resort, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, CT 06382. In addition to in-person and phone bidding, Grey Flannel welcomes absentee bids by phone and through its Web site http://www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com. Internet live bidding will be available through http://www.LiveAuctioneers.com. Printed catalogs are free to all registered bidders. The fully illustrated electronic version of the catalog may be viewed online at http://www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com.

On the Web: http://www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com.

For questions or to arrange for an interview with Grey Flannel's president Rich Russek, call 631-288-7800, ext. 228 or 223.

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