We’ve seen an uptick in the number of NBA championship rings available for sale in recent years. Some auction companies and dealers have gravitated toward underappreciated memorabilia for the last several years and the prices paid for some of the NBA Championship rings have been impressive.
The 2011 auction of Red Auerbach’s memorabilia collection generated wild enthusiasm among Celtics fans and basketball collectors. Auerbach’s 1960s-era title rings sold for an average of about $80,000. His 1974-75 ring brought over $41,000, all through SCP Auctions.
Yet even Hall of Famers who played for less iconic teams can sell their rings for big money. Dennis Johnson’s 1979 Seattle Sonics NBA Finals ring brought over $71,000 through Grey Flannel Auctions.
The good news is that you can often find replica championship NBA rings that look like the real deal, but are far more attainable to fans and collectors.
Authentic NBA Championship rings are among the most rare in all of sports. The number of players on a team is much smaller than those on World Series or NFL championship teams. Even counting executives, staff and other recipients, fewer than 100 are likely to exist for any one club so when they do come up for bid, interest is strong.
Dick Barnett’s 1973 Knicks championship ring sold for $39,100 in the spring of 2011. The Knicks, Celtics, Lakers and Bulls are four franchises for which collectors tend to spend more money. Wealthy NBA fans know how difficult they are to find and are willing to spend what it takes to own one.
Authentic NBA Championship rings may not be in your budget, but collectors can move toward the replica ring market for much, much less. Modern technology and interest has put this more realistic option into the forefront for fans and collectors. The replica rings may not include real diamonds, but otherwise they’re made to look just like the originals and can be purchased very reasonably on eBay.