By now you've probably heard the news that former-Sixers great Julius Erving is planning to move some of his most prized basketball treasures in an open auction this Friday.
You may have also heard that the Doc has incurred some serious difficulties as of late, reportedly owing a Georgia Bank more than $200,000 in loans. The issue presumably stems from the recent foreclosure of his Atlanta-area golf club.
Thankfully, for those of you worried, Julius Erving is now denying reports that Julius Erving is having any kind of financial trouble.
The 61-year-old Erving said the auction was part of a long-planned celebration of his career. He said most of his cherished possessions were in storage and that he rarely looked at his collection. He said he occasionally wore his 1983 ring and never his ABA rings. Erving said he will keep his Hall of Fame ring. His induction into the Hall of Fame came in 1993.
"My family is 100 percent behind it," he said. "We decided to do it a long time ago. To claim it's a firesale or to clear up some debt, I don't think so. You don't do an auction overnight. This has been long planned. We had 4,000 catalogs that have been mailed already to people who buy this kind of stuff."
The Doc is right, auctions like this don't just pop up overnight; and neither, might we add, does a (reported in April) $5 million shortfall on a $11 million loan.
Obviously, we wish Erving all the best, and sincerely hope that Friday's auction really is for a good cause and an attempt to further share his career with his fans. The Doc will always be revered and respected in his adoptive hometown of Philadelphia. Still, with some of his history, and with only an undisclosed portion of the proceeds going to charity, it's hard not—be it fairly or unfairly—to make certain assumptions.
Head on over to CSN to check out Dan Gelston's full break down of the auction. The bidding begins tomorrow—Friday, October 28—on www.scpauctions.com and will conclude on November 19.