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Shaquille O’Neal’s Game-Worn Uniform Sets Auction Record

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In a recent auction, a game-worn uniform of Shaquille O’Neal from the 1996-97 NBA season, notably during Kobe Bryant’s first NBA game, fetched an impressive $262,500. This sale set a new record for the highest price ever paid for an O’Neal memorabilia at a public auction. The auctioned uniform, consisting of the Lakers' iconic gold and purple colors, included a jersey sized 56 and shorts sized 50, specifically designed for O’Neal’s large build.

Although Kobe Bryant did not play in the Lakers’ opening game of the season, he made his NBA debut in the very next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 3, 1996. That game witnessed a remarkable performance by O’Neal, who scored 35 points and secured 19 rebounds. Heritage Auctions, which facilitated the sale, confirmed that this particular uniform was also worn by O’Neal in at least five other games, each time achieving a double-double in terms of points and rebounds.

The uniform holds a deeper historical significance, representing the early stages of the successful era of the Lakers that led to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002, with O’Neal being named Finals MVP for each victory. Heritage Auctions noted that the uniform, which shows extensive signs of wear and loose threads on the numbers, was originally acquired directly from the Lakers.

In addition to O’Neal’s uniform, the auction also saw the sale of other notable items, including the uniforms worn by Kevin Costner in "Bull Durham" and Robert Redford in "The Natural," each garnering $81,250.

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