Lenny Wilkens’ 1998 Naismith Hall of Fame Induction Ring Issued as NBA Coach (Wilkens LOA)
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They say point guards make great coaches, and Lenny Wilkens was a prime example. The New York native molded his cerebral skillset on the Brooklyn playgrounds before becoming an All-American at Providence College and an early first round draft pick by the St. Louis Hawks in 1960. The nine-time NBA All-Star finished second to Wilt Chamberlain in the 1968 MVP voting, and later became a player-coach in Seattle before transitioning full-time to the sidelines. Wilkens would guide the SuperSonics to back-to-back Finals appearances, including the franchise’s only NBA title in 1979. From 1969 to 2005, he coached an NBA-record 2,487 games (plus four All-Star games) with six teams – the Blazers, Sonics, Cavs, Hawks, Raptors and Knicks, in that order – and sits second all-time in wins with 1,332 (just three behind Don Nelson). He was voted to the NBA’s Top 10 Coaches in History list in 1996. Wilkens is the only person to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame three separate times: first as a player, second as a coach, and third as a member (assistant coach) of the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team.” Thus, he is the only Naismith Hall of Famer to be issued three different rings.
Presented here is Lenny Wilkens’ Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ring presented to him upon his 1998 induction as an NBA coach. The 10-karat gold ring, made by Jostens, boasts a CZ at the center atop a small gold wreath and red stone backdrop, encircled by the words “Basketball Hall of Fame.” On the left shank is “LENNY WILKENS” atop a figural relief of two players contesting for the ball. On the right shank is “1998” above the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame shield emblem. The inside of the band is stamped “JOSTENS 10K”. The size 10 ring shows moderate to heavy wear, especially around the perimeter of the face. Includes LOA from Wilkens.