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To try and narrow down a field of 50 exceptional players in any sport is not an easy task. When it comes to basketball, the pursuit seems almost impossible. But in 1996, the NBA decided to celebrate its first 50 years in existence (1946 to 1996) by selecting 50 superb players to honor. When all the factors had been accumulated, the nomination process had covered a wide array of factors: 107 NBA championship rings, more than 400 NBA All-Star Game selections, and nearly one million points scored. At the start of the 1996-97 NBA season, the 50 players had accumulated 107 NBA Championships, 49 Most Valuable Player Awards, 17 Rookie of the Year honors, 447 All-Star Game selections, 36 scoring titles, 923,791 total points and 410,327 total rebounds. So boasts the collective resume of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History as selected by a blue-ribbon panel of media, former players and coaches, current and former general managers and team executives.

On Oct. 29, 1996, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the 50 Greatest Players at a press luncheon held in New York City. Joining Stern in the unveiling of the 50 Greatest Players, which tipped off the League's season-long “NBA at 50” celebration, were four prominent members of the list – Wilt Chamberlain, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, George Mikan and Bill Russell. The announcement was made at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which occupies the site of the former Commodore Hotel, where the original NBA charter was signed on June 6, 1946. A short time after the announcement, each of the 50 players selected were awarded with a specially designed color lithograph featuring headshots of themselves alongside the other 49 players chosen. Each lithograph also holds the autographs in pencil of all 50 players except for “Pistol Pete” Maravich, who passed away suddenly in 1988 from a heart attack. The 50th signature on each of the lithographs belongs to Commissioner David Stern on the bottom right side.

This particular original of the 50 lithographs awarded to the players belonged to the NBA’s all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It is hand-numbered: “Abdul-Jabbar 1/1” and matted and framed to a 49 ½ x 35 ½ -inch dimension. Here is the comprehensive lineup of all the outstanding players, listed in alphabetical order, who were chosen for this honor: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing (who inscribed “33”), Walt Frazier, George Gervin (who inscribed “44”), Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Magic Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone (who inscribed “32), Pete Maravich (not signed as he passed away in 1988), Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal (who inscribed “34”), Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson (who inscribed “50” and “2 COR 5:7”), Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens and James Worthy. Five players have passed away since the honor was bestowed upon them: Paul Arizin, Dave DeBusschere, Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan, Moses Malone and most recently John Havlicek.

It is a rare occasion when player editions come on the market, and this, without question, is one of the most significant examples ever offered publicly, the one awarded to and previously owned by six-time NBA champion and all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Comes with COA from Field of Dreams.

Please note that this lot has a 25% Buyer’s Premium (28% if payment is made using a credit card and/or is not paid within 10 days of invoice). Goldin Auctions will be donating 5% of the winning bid price to The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbars Personal NBAs 50 Greatest Players Signed Lithograph In Framed Display (Abdul-Jabbar 1/1) (David Stern Signed LOA)
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