2nd Basketball Hall of Fame (#19)
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This lot is closed. Bidding ended on 9/8/2007.
George Mikan is lauded as the pioneer of Modern Age basketball. He was the original center, who scored 11,764 points, an average of 22.6 ppg and retired as the all-time leading scorer. Invariably playing with thick, round spectacles, he is seen as one of the pioneers of professional basketball. He won seven BAA and NBA championships, an All-Star MVP trophy, three scoring titles and was a member of the first four NBA All-Star and the first six All-BAA and All-NBA Teams. As well as being declared the greatest player of the first half of the century by The Associated Press and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1959. Mikan became so dominant that the NBA had to change its rules of play in order to reduce his influence, such as widening the lane from six to twelve feet ("The Mikan Rule"). He also played a role in the introduction of the shot clock, and in the NCAA his dominating play around the basket led to the outlawing of defensive goaltending. As an official, Mikan is also directly responsible for the ABA three-point line, which was later adapted by the NBA, and the tricolor ABA ball, which still lives on as the "money ball" in the NBA All-Star Three Point Shootout. Nicknamed "Mr. Basketball," Mikan played his college ball at DePaul. Unstoppable on offense with his hook shot, he soon established a reputation as one of the hardest and grittiest players in the league. Mikan also stunned the basketball world by his unique ability of goaltending, by jumping so high that he swatted the ball away before it could pass the hoop. In today's basketball, touching the ball after it reaches its apogee is forbidden, but in Mikan's time it was legal because people thought it was impossible anyone could reach that far up high. As a consequence, the NCAA and later the NBA outlawed goaltending. Mikan was named NCAA College Player of the Year twice in 1945 and 1946 and an All-American three times, leading DePaul to the NIT title in 1945. Mikan led the nation in scoring with 23.9 ppg in 1944-1945 and 23.1 in 1945-1946. When DePaul won the 1945 National Invitation Tournament, Mikan was named MVP. In 1946 Mikan signed with the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League, a predecessor of the modern NBA. He played with them for seven games at the end of the 1946 NBL season, scoring an impressive 16.5 points per game in his rookie games. Mikan led the Gears to the championship of the World Basketball Tournament, where he was elected MVP. Before the start of the 1947-1948 NBL season, the team was pulled out of the league and the players of were equally distributed among the 11 remaining NBL franchises. With a stroke of good luck, the Minneapolis Lakers landed Mikan. In the 1947-1948 NBL season, Mikan donned his trademark number 99 Minneapolis Lakers jersey for the first time and joined Jim "The Kangaroo Kid" Pollard and Vern Mikkelsen to form one of the first great frontlines of professional basketball. Under the tutelage of coach John Kundla, Mikan averaged an 21.3 ppg in the regular season. The Lakers Minneapolis Auditorium also favorably influenced Mikan's game, as it was several feet narrower than other courts. Powered by his strong play, the Lakers dominated the Western Division and defeated the Rochester Royals in a four-game 1948 NBL Final. After his playing career, Mikan was the Republican candidate for Congress from Minnesota. Despite the strong coat tails of incumbent President Dwight Eisenhower's reelection, the young, inexperienced Mikan lost by a close margin. In 1967, Mikan returned to professional basketball to become the first commissioner of the ABA, a rival to the NBA. In order to lure basketball fans to his league, Mikan invented the three-point line and the characteristic red-white-and-blue ABA ball, which he thought more patriotic, better suited for TV and more crowd-pleasing than the brown NBA ball. Retiring from the ABA in 1969, he headed a task force with the goal to bring professional basketball to back to Minneapolis, succeeding in 1989 with the Minnesota Timberwolves. On the bottom front tail of this jersey is the "Wilson" manufacturers tag. Attached below is an additional tag, which is illegible due to numerous washings. Across the front is "LAKERS" with the player number "99" below and on the back. All tackle twill is done in light blue. The jersey shows very good game-use and appears to have no alterations of any kind. Accompanied by a LOA from Gene D'Angelo, a cousin of former Minneapolis Laker Ed Kalafat who was a teammate of Mikan's. Letter states that Kalafat gave this jersey to D'Angelo, and that the jersey was personally given to Kalafat by Mikan himself. D'Angelo has had the jersey in his possession ever since. This relic is for a man who wants the best of the best and can afford it. There is no finer example of this very difficult jersey to obtain.
1947-1948 George Mikan Minneapolis Lakers Game-Used Home Jersey (Pristine Provenance) (Scarce And Impeccable)
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000
Price Realized: $110,400
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Saturday, September 8, 2007.
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