As one of the most-hyped rookies in NBA history, memorabilia from Victor Wembanyama’s first year in the league will surely be valued in the collectibles market — but his first item’s debut exceeded even the loftiest of expectations.
The game-worn white San Antonio Spurs jersey from Wembanyama’s NBA debut sold for $762,000 at a Sotheby’s auction — the most ever paid for a rookie jersey, per NBA journalist Tommy Beer. Sotheby’s item listing had anticipated it selling for $80,000 to $120,000.
Wembanyama’s auction was part of the NBA Tip-Off exhibition that ran from Nov. 14 through Nov. 21 as part of Sotheby’s recently becoming the official source of game-worn memorabilia for the NBA. Other items in the collection included game-worn jerseys from a who’s who of NBA superstars, including Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
As part of the partnership, Sotheby’s will host auctions throughout the 2023-24 season relating to marquee events, including the Paris Game, All-Star Game, and NBA Finals.
The auction house got off to a strong start with Wembanyama’s auction — which is hardly a surprise when seeing how much of an impact the French phenom has already had on the league.
Wembanyama’s debut against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 25 drew nearly three million viewers on ESPN — the second-most ever for an NBA opening week game on the channel.
The Spurs have benefited to the tune of 4,000 new season-ticket deposits and the most season-ticket accounts in franchise history.