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Hugh Hefner’s 1999-2000 NBA championship ring won by the Lakers goes on auction

Hugh Hefner’s 1999-2000 NBA championship ring has gone up for auction and is expected to sell before the end of the week after the emergence of a $8,250 bid.

The ring was given to the late Playboy founder by close friend and former Lakers owner Jerry Buss after the Purple and Gold had defeated the Indiana Pacers in the NBA finals, four game to two, to clinch its 12th NBA title. It was also the Lakers’ first championship since 1988 and the beginning of an impressive ‘three-peat’.

Hefner’s name is engraved on the side of the 14-karat yellow gold ring with diamonds all over it. The iconic NBA player logo and the Lakers’ season (67-15) and playoff (15-8) records are also carved by the publisher’s name.

The piece of sports memorabilia has been listed for sale by SCP Auction and has a current minimum bid of $7,500. Only two parties have shown interest. 

The ring was also made with the exact, same specifications of the players versions issued, including to NBA legends Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. 

Hugh Hefner’s 1999-2000 NBA ring, made out of 14-karat yellow gold, has been put up for sale for a minimal bid of $7,500. Its current bid is $8,250 before the auction closes on Saturday

The ring was also made with the exact, same specifications of the players versions issued

A basketball hoop and a diamond symbolic of a basketball was also designed

Each side of Hefner’s ring has specific designs to it, including the Playboy founder’s last name, the NBA logo, the Lakers’ regular and postseason season records. The words ‘bling bling’ and the year 2000 were also engraved

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died at age 91 in 2017. Pictured at a Playboy event in 2014 in LA

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died at age 91 in 2017. Pictured at a Playboy event in 2014 in LA

Its face contains a pool of diamonds juxtaposed with the ‘Lakers’ name, and five large real diamonds appearing on each side for a total of 2.05 carats. ‘World Champions’ also appears on the front in a bright gold font. 

On the other side was carved a hoop and a diamond symbolic of a basketball, as well as the words ‘bling’ and the year ‘2000’.  

Inside the ring’s band is a ’14K’ stamping. The ring also comes with the original gift box that has Hefner’s name engraved on the plaque. It was sold to SCP Auctions on October 14 by Cooper Hefner, who in 2012, was announced as his father’s successor as the public face of Playboy. 

Inside the ring's band is a '14K' stamping, which has stayed in terrific condition as the ring was light worn

Inside the ring’s band is a ’14K’ stamping, which has stayed in terrific condition as the ring was light worn

The ring comes with the original Lakers presentation box with Hefner engraved on the plaque

The ring comes with the original Lakers presentation box with Hefner engraved on the plaque

Kobe Bryant (left) and Shaquille O'Neal (right) were part of the 1999-2000 Lakers' title run

Kobe Bryant (left) and Shaquille O’Neal (right) were part of the 1999-2000 Lakers’ title run

The youngest son of Hefner’s four children, however, is believed to have not worked for the magazine after stepping down from its parent company, Playboy Enterprises, in 2019 – two years after his father died at age 91.  

Buss died four years earlier, in 2013. During his time as Lakers owner, he was widely known as a playboy and had a string of young girlfriends. His daughter, Jeannie, is now the President of the Lakers. 

In 1999-2000, the Purple and Gold finished the NBA season with 67 wins, topping the Western Conference. It was the first time in nine years since the franchise had ended in first place. 

It was also the first time in Lakers history that a roster had surpassed the record number of games won in a singular season – 69. 

Lakers Owner Jerry Buss (center) and Hefner (right) were close friends before they both died

Lakers Owner Jerry Buss (center) and Hefner (right) were close friends before they both died 

Center Shaquille O’Neal was named MVP by the end of the regular season and a 21-year-old Kobe Bryant had been chosen as part of the NBA’s Defensive First Team while also averaging 22.5 points in 38.2 minutes. 

The Lakers overcame both the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns in five games apiece in the first two playoff rounds before taking on the Portland Trailblazers in the Western Conference Finals. 

They went right to the wire with a Blazers team that featured Rasheed Wallace, Scottie Pippen and Steve Smith, as the series was settled in seven games. LA then lifted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after beating the Pacers in the NBA Finals.

The Lakers would not lift another NBA championship trophy following it’s ‘three-peat’ (2000, 2001 and 2002) until seven years later in 2009. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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