Bill Russell to auction off 'large portion' of personal memorabilia collection


Few athletes in history have been as honored and as decorated as Celtics legend Bill Russell. Now fans and memorabilia collectors are going to have a chance to own trophies, rings, basketballs, jerseys, photos and more from Russell's own personal collection.

Russell, 87, announced on Thursday that he is selling a "large portion" of his personal collection through Hunt Auctions, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting his Boston-based nonprofit MENTOR as well as the Boston Celtics United for Social Justice.

According to the Associated Press, among the highlights of the collection going up for sale are the first (1957) and last (1969) of Russell's 11 NBA championship rings, four of his five NBA MVP trophies, and his 1956 Olympic gold medal. The collection also includes non-basketball items relating to his work in the civil rights movement.

“There are a few pictures I’ll keep for myself, but the rest I will share with the world,” Russell said in a statement.

Among the items Russell said he is keeping is the Presidential Medal of Freedom he received in 2011 from Barack Obama.

The auction is expected to take place in Boston sometime this fall or winter. It's unclear how much some of these items will go for, but it wouldn't be surprising to see multiple pieces go for over $1 million.

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