January 30, 2023

Hugh Hefner’s 1999-2000 NBA championship ring has been auctioned and is expected to sell before the end of the week following the emergence of an $8,250 bid.

The ring was given to the late Playboy founder by close friend and former Lakers owner Jerry Buss after the Purple and Gold defeated the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals, four games to two, to clinch their 12th NBA title. It was also the Lakers’ first championship since 1988 and the start of an impressive three-peat.

Hefner’s name is engraved on the side of the 14k yellow gold ring with diamonds all over. The NBA player’s iconic logo and the Lakers’ season (67-15) and playoff (15-8) records are also engraved with the publisher’s name.

The piece of sports memorabilia has been listed for sale by SCP Auction and has a current minimum bid of $7,500. Only two parties have expressed interest.

The ring is also made to the exact same specifications of the player versions that have been released, including those of NBA legends Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

Hugh Hefner's 1999-2000 NBA ring, made of 14-karat yellow gold, has been put up for sale for a minimum bid of $7,500.  The current bid is $8,250 before the auction closes Saturday

Hugh Hefner’s 1999-2000 NBA ring, made of 14-karat yellow gold, has been put up for sale for a minimum bid of $7,500. The current bid is $8,250 before the auction closes Saturday

The ring is also made with the exact same specifications of the released player versions

A basketball hoop and a diamond symbolic of a basketball were also designed

Each side of Hefner’s ring features specific designs, including the Playboy founder’s last name, the NBA logo, the Lakers’ regular and post-season records. The words ‘bling bling’ and the year 2000 were also engraved

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017 at the age of 91.  Pictured at a 2014 Playboy event in LA

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017 at the age of 91. Pictured at a 2014 Playboy event in LA

The dial features a pool of diamonds next to the “Lakers” name and five large genuine diamonds appearing on each side for a total of 2.05 carats. ‘World Champions’ is also written on the front in a bright gold font.

On the other side was engraved a hoop and a diamond, symbolic of a basketball, as well as the words ‘bling’ and the year ‘2000’.

There is a ’14K’ stamp in the band of the ring. The ring also comes with the original gift box with Hefner’s name engraved on the plaque. It was sold to SCP Auctions on October 14 by Cooper Hefner, who was announced in 2012 as his father’s successor as the public face of Playboy.

There is a '14K' stamp in the band of the ring, which has remained in great condition as the ring was lightly worn

There is a ’14K’ stamp in the band of the ring, which has remained in great condition as the ring was lightly worn

The ring comes with the original Lakers presentation box with Hefner engraved on the plaque

The ring comes with the original Lakers presentation box with Hefner engraved on the plaque

Kobe Bryant (left) and Shaquille O'Neal (right) were part of the 1999–2000 Lakers title run

Kobe Bryant (left) and Shaquille O’Neal (right) were part of the 1999–2000 Lakers title run

The youngest son of Hefner’s four children, however, would not have worked for the magazine after he stepped down from parent company, Playboy Enterprises, in 2019 – two years after his father died at age 91.

Buss died four years earlier, in 2013. During his time as a Lakers owner, he was widely known as a playboy and had a string of young girlfriends. His daughter, Jeannie, is now the president of the Lakers.

In 1999–2000, the Purple and Gold finished the NBA season with 67 wins, topping the Western Conference. It was the first time in nine years that the franchise had finished in first place.

It also marked the first time in Lakers history that a roster had surpassed the record number of games won in a single season: 69.

Lakers owner Jerry Buss (center) and Hefner (right) were good friends before they both died

Lakers owner Jerry Buss (center) and Hefner (right) were good friends before they both died

Center Shaquille O’Neal was named MVP at the end of the regular season and a 21-year-old Kobe Bryant was chosen as part of the NBA’s Defensive First Team, while also averaging 22.5 points in 38.2 minutes .

The Lakers defeated both the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns in five games apiece in the first two playoff rounds before taking on the Portland Trailblazers in the Western Conference Finals.

They went straight to work with a Blazers team featuring Rasheed Wallace, Scottie Pippen and Steve Smith as the series was settled in seven games. LA then won the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after defeating the Pacers in the NBA Finals.

After their three-peat (2000, 2001 and 2002), the Lakers would not lift another NBA championship trophy until seven years later in 2009.

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