"It's been a great honor to be out here. There's only one place I'd rather be - French Lick." -- Larry Bird addressing a sea of Celtic fans at the victory celebration in downtown Boston after the team won the 1980-81 NBA title.
The road to Boston's 1981 championship began back in 1978 when Red Auerbach had the wisdom to select a Sycamore standout named Larry Bird with the sixth pick of the NBA Draft as a junior eligible. That same season, the Celtics also acquired a soon to be rejuvenated Nate "Tiny" Archibald. Then, prior to the 1980 draft, Red worked his magic once again in a deal with Golden State which landed the Celtics both Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.
The ball presented here is the final Game winning basketball of the 1981 NBA Finals. It was game used in Game Six of the 1981 NBA Finals when Boston defeated the Rockets in Houston, 102-91. It was the Celtics' fifteenth title and Bird's first. Bird tallied twenty-seven points and thirteen rebounds in the clincher, while Houston's Moses Malone registered twenty-three points and sixteen boards.
Brown leather "Wilson Official NBA" basketball with "National Basketball Association, Lawrence F. O'Brien, Commissioner" stamping displays a "Boston Celtics 'World Champions' 1980-81" green marker inscription and fourteen Boston Celtics' autographs, including: Larry Bird, Red Auerbach, Fitch, McHale, Parish, Maxwell (Finals MVP), Ford, Carr, Henderson, Duerod, Fernsten, Kreklow, Robey, and Melchiorre (trainer). The ball remains in outstanding condition, while the black sharpie signatures are as bold and brilliant as the day they were signed.
The ball is comes from the collection by Rick Robey, who acquired the autographs personally in the jubilant Celtics locker room after Game Six, and is accompanied by his letter of provenance which states that this was the final ball used in Game Six and the one which was in M.L. Carr's hands when the time expired and the Celtics officially became the NBA World Champions. Comes with Letter of provenance from Rick Robey. Full LOA from Beckett Authentication Services and Full LOA from PSA/DNA.
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