Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Sharman won four NBA championships as a player with the Boston Celtics, he won an NBA title as head coach in 1972 with Wilt Chamberlain’s Los Angeles Lakers, and an ABA title in 1971 with the Utah Stars, one of the more unheralded great pro basketball teams of all time.
It was Sharman’s work as a consultant to the champion 2010 Los Angeles Lakers that netted him what is easily his most valuable championship ring, as the jewelry-makers for those previous championship squads weren’t really on the cutting edge of bling-bling technology back in their respective eras. The 2010 memento is made from a “custom batch of 16KT gold,” featuring two miniature NBA championship trophies created to represent the team’s back-to-back Finals wins.
Sharman, at age 87, recently suffered a mild stroke; and spying one last chance to make a difference, he’s decided to raffle off his 2010 championship ring in order to help at-risk youth.
"Bill didn't play when there was lots of money being made," Joyce Sharman says, "but we realized that, because of who he was and what he did, he is able to participate in other ways."
And so, if you go to http://www.billsringofhope.com, you can see exactly how Bill Sharman will participate in what Joyce Sharman calls "our finale."
There, you will have a chance to buy raffle tickets for Sharman's 2010 Lakers championship ring, the one he received for his consulting role. It's not his only championship ring, certainly, but when you consider that it will probably be his last, and that it represents Phil Jackson's finale, Buss' finale and, of course, a seventh-game victory over his hated and beloved Celtics, you can quickly determine the emotional and sentimental value.
The winning name will be drawn on Nov. 22, and the winner will come to Los Angeles and be presented with the ring by Sharman, at a Lakers game.
"This is who Bill is," Joyce says. "He is genuine, humble, and we want this to be part of his legacy."
The main beneficiary of the raffle’s payoff will be the Toberman Neighborhood Center in San Pedro, California, among several other charities. The Times reports that Sharman was inspired by Metta World Peace, who decided to auction off his 2010 championship ring in order to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars for mental health research.
That’s right, one of the greatest free throw shooters in NBA history, the man who invented the shootaround and yelled himself chronically hoarse while dealing with Wilt Chamberlain some 41 years ago, was inspired by Metta World Peace’s act of dignified charity. Such is life.
For the low price of just ten bucks (tickets are $2, minimum purchase of five), just look at the bounty you’ll be afforded should your number be called:
Winner will receive two time Hall of Famer Bill Sharman's original 2010 NBA Championship Ring (The ring features two Larry O’Brien trophies representing the back to back titles made from a custom batch of 16KT gold and the final score of the Lakers 83-79 game seven victory over the Boston Celtics is represented on the side of the ring in scoreboard fashion.)
Winner and a guest will meet Bill Sharman when he presents the Winner with his ring
Winner and guest will enjoy premium seats to an LA Lakers game
Winner will receive a travel allowance of $4,000 (if needed, if used) to put towards airfare, hotel and ground transportation for winner and guest
Winner will receive a cash prize in the amount of $8,146.25 to mitigate the Winner's tax liability that results from winning the raffle. This prize is withheld and paid, on behalf of the Winner, directly to the IRS ($6,860.00) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ($1,286.25)
We truly hope the raffle goes over gangbusters. Sharman is a beloved figure in NBA circles, a recent (and most welcome) addition to Basketball Twitter, and a genuinely brilliant basketball mind. For him to be focused on a charitable cause like this at such a heady time in his life speaks volumes, and we do encourage you to grab as many tickets as you see fit in the days before the drawing on November 22.
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