More than 48 years after his final NBA game, and two decades after his death, Wilt Chamberlain continues to set records. If a proposed deal goes through, his rookie uniform will be sold for $2 million, the second highest price ever paid for a basketball uniform. The only catch: It’s not the uniform’s owner who has to approve the transaction, it’s more like the uniform’s 1,000 owners.
Fractional shares of the 1959-60 full uniform—tank top and shorts together—have been trading on Collectable since this spring, rising from an initial value of roughly $1.25 million to more than $1.6 million this weekend. Collectable operates under the idea that sports memorabilia ought to be an asset class in addition to being wall decor. And this year has been kind to collectible investors.
The $2 million price would set a high-water mark, if not for a signed Kobe Bryant jersey that sold for $3.69 million in May. The previous record was $1.38 million, set by a Michael Jordan UNC piece. The Chamberlain uniform sold for $700,000 in 2019. Collectable said the uniform was likely worn for every home game during Chamberlain’s rookie year, when he averaged 38 points and 27 rebounds for the 49-26 Philadelphia Warriors.
Shareholders were notified of the offer Sunday and given 48 hours to decide whether to relinquish control of the uniform. If a weighted majority supports a trade, it would be the second largest exit via Collectable, behind a $3.1 million Mickey Mantle 1953 Topps card.
Collectable itself has capitalized on the surge in interest, netting a $5.5 million Series A funding round in May. The company also recently announced its foray into events, with a three-day collectibles convention to be co-hosted with IMG in Las Vegas this January.