LeBron James' High School Jersey, Used in Iconic Sports Illustrated Shoot, Up for Auction
If you’ve ever wanted a piece of LeBron James memorabilia, here’s your chance — just be ready to open your wallet.
A high school jersey worn by the eventual three-time NBA champion and current member of the Los Angeles Lakers is up for grabs at Goldin Auction with a current bid of $43,000 — a number that will likely rise with nearly 20 days left in the sale.
James wore the jersey as a senior playing for the St. Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish in Akron, Ohio, in 2002, and during an iconic Sports Illustrated cover shoot that labeled him “The Chosen One” a year before he was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
According to the description on the auction house’s website, James wore the jersey in the SI photo shoot before wearing it again just hours later when the Fighting Irish beat the Archbishop Hoban Knights 74-49. James netted 32 points and seven rebounds.
The jersey still has James’ sweat stains from the game.
“The jersey shows good toning overall,” Goldin Auctions says of the jersey on its website, “with some scuffing and perspiration stains as would be expected on the gamer of the NBA’s Number 1 draft pick.”
“Additionally, this jersey was given directly by LeBron James to our consignor and his family and was worn by LeBron for the majority of his junior season,” the auction house continues. “A detailed letter from our consignor who attended St. Vincent-St. Mary’s will accompany the jersey.”
Five percent of the bid price will go toward Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, which serves as a library to the sport of basketball.
Since the day James donned the jersey, he has become one of the most celebrated athletes of all time — but not without some controversy.
After joining the Cavaliers, James, 34, couldn’t lead the team to a championship despite coming close many times.
Then, in a contentious move now known as “the Decision,” James appeared for a televised interview on ESPN in 2010 during which he announced he was leaving Cleveland and “taking [his] talents to South Beach” to join Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.
Many criticized James’ decision and denounced the dramatic announcement. He went on to win two consecutive championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.
But James would surprise the basketball world once again in 2014 when he announced that he was rejoining the Cavaliers in a Sports Illustrated article titled “I’m Coming Home.” Two seasons later, James won the NBA championship with a thrilling Game 7 victory over the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.