SCP Auctions proudly presented the "George Mikan Collection" at auction November 14th, 2001.
Millions have played the game of basketball, but few have changed it. A half century ago, before stars like Shaquille O'Neil and Michael Jordan were filling the seats of plush, finely appointed arenas with gourmet concessions, video monitors for instant replays, and carpeted, sound-proof luxury boxes, games were played in buildings that were one step up from barns. It was there, in those small, smoky, aging auditoriums, with these broken-down locker rooms, that a 6'10" giant of a man laid the foundation for the worldwide stage that is today's NBA. George Mikan was born in Joliet, Illinois in 1924 and educated at DePaul University, Chicago. From the moment he first set foot on a basketball court Mikan demonstrated superior coordination and a fierce competitive spirit that would lead him to become on of the biggest drawing cards in all of sports. While playing center on the DePaul basketball team Mikan was a three-time All-American selection and led the team to the 1945 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title. Mikan once tallied 53 points against Rhode Island State, a remarkable feat considering he single-handedly outscored the entire Rhode Island State team. Voted the "Greatest Player in the First Half-Century" by the Associated Press.
Mikan enjoyed an extraordinary professional career. He won his first professional
championship with the Chicago American Gears of the NBL in 1947 and captured six more pro titles (1 NBL – 1948, 1 BAA – 1949 and 4 NBA 1950, 1952-54.) As the cornerstone of the Minneapolis Lakers, Mikan led the NBA in scoring 3 times, played in the first four NBA All-Star Games and led the league in rebounding twice. In 1959 Mikan stood at the head of the first class elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Long after his retirement as a player he continued to make contributions to the game of basketball. Mikan served as commissioner of the American Basketball Association from its formation in 1967 until 1969. In the mid-1980's he headed a task force whose goal was to bring professional basketball back to Minneapolis. Mikan successfully lobbied the NBA to add an expansion team in Minnesota for the 1989-90 season. The team became the Minnesota Timberwolves. On of the most dominant players ever to play the game, Mikan's immeasurable impact on the NBA still looms as large as his 6'10" frame. His accomplishments were further acknowledged when he was named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1996. George Mikan is the basketball equivalent to Babe Ruth, a larger than life figure whose unprecedented abilities and charisma helped revolutionize the game.