Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Photomatched 1968-1969 UCLA Championship Warmup Jacket

$16 / SHARE

Boasting college basketball's ultimate photomatch to the cover of Sports Illustrated, this iconic warmup jacket represents an iconic artifact from one of the best big men of all time - during a historic stretch of UCLA Bruins dominance.



I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

A 7’2” center whose legendary skyhook had a softness never previously associated with a big man, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Lew Alcindor) led the UCLA Bruins to an astounding 88-2 record and three consecutive NCAA Championships, a run that features an unimaginable 72-game winning streak. As a pro, Jabbar won six combined NBA titles as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

This former NBA Rookie of the Year (1969-70) won a record six league MVPs, two NBA Finals MVPs, and was named to the All-Star team 15 times. Jabbar retired in 1989 as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer—a title he currently holds—and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.


Price Per Share


Shares Offered


Market Cap (Seller is retaining equity)


Collectable is offering shares of a 1968-1969 UCLA Bruins jacket from the famed Sports Immortals collection. The jacket is Sand Knit, eight-button, size 46, and blue colored, with the UCLA vertically arched across the front in gold and outlined in white tackle twill. Abdul-Jabbar’s number “33” is on the left sleeve in gold, outlined in white tackle twill. Both sleeves have a gold and white stripe. Sleeve ends, collar, and hem are all trimmed in four-color blue-white-gold-blue sewn-in elastic knit. Sand-Knit size 46 manufacturer tag is sewn into the inside back collar. The jacket is properly tagged, lettered, and numbered, and is consistent with known exemplars. 

The jacket shows signs of a season of extensive wear. The tackle twill has puckered from repeated washings, and there are slight stains on the front. There are no signs of any repairs or alterations to the jacket, and it is in very good condition.

Abdul-Jabbar wore this UCLA jacket throughout the 1968-1969 season, including the game on March 22, 1969 against Purdue when the Bruins clinched the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament, as verified by two of the industry’s leading photo matching companies.


The jacket boasts the collecting industry’s ultimate photo match: An image of him wearing it on the March 31,1969 cover of Sports Illustrated. Of the match, Sports Investors Authentication wrote, “We used multiple photos from different angles to conclusively match this jacket to being worn by Alcindor [sic] on this date.”

Resolution Photomatching, another leading authentication company, also matched the jacket to the December 30, 1968 ECAC Holiday Basketball Festival Tournament title game in which UCLA defeated St. John’s. Alcindor scored 30 points and was named the game’s MVP.

The jacket comes with a letter from Joel Platt, founder of Sports Immortals, Inc., who obtained it from his longtime friend and former equipment manager of the Los Angeles Rams, Don Hewitt. Mr. Hewitt was friendly with the equipment manager of the UCLA basketball team and secured it for Mr. Platt.


In 2017, SCP Auctions sold Abdul-Jabbar’s 1966-67 game worn UCLA Bruins home jersey for $137,849 without any definitive photo match.  

Abdul-Jabbar’s 1969 Topps rookie card is one of the hobby’s most popular basketball cards. In the past six years, examples in mint condition have more than quadrupled, from $9,000 to more than $38,000.

Resolution Photomatching, another leading authentication company, not only matched Alcindor’s use of the jacket to the 1969 title game, but also matched the jacket to the December 30, 1968 ECAC Holiday Basketball Festival Tournament title game in which UCLA defeated St. John’s. Alcindor scored 30 points and was named the game’s MVP.

Letter of authentication


April 16, 1947

Born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. in New York City to Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr. and Cora Alcindor.

November 27, 1965

During his first season at UCLA, Alcindor drags his freshman team to a 75-60 victory over the vaunted varsity squad, scoring 31 points and grabbing 21 rebounds.


After scoring 56 points in his varsity debut, Alcindor leads the Bruins to the first of three consecutive national championships.

January 12, 1968

Suffers a scratched cornea in a game against the University of California, and was thus forced to wear protective goggles on the court for the remainder of his career.


Earns his B.A. with a history major, and studies martial arts under the tutelage of Bruce Lee.

April 7, 1969

Chosen with the first pick of the NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, with whom he wins the Rookie of the Year.

April 30, 1971

Carries the Bucks to their first and only NBA title to date.

May 1, 1971

Announces his conversion to Islam, and his name change to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

June 16, 1975

At his request, Abdul-Jabbar is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In exchange, the Bucks receive Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers, and Junior Bridgeman. During his first season in Los Angeles, he earns his fourth MVP award.


Appears as Captain Roger Murdoch in the film Airplane!

April 5, 1984

Becomes the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.


Retires from the NBA.


Inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame


Becomes assistant coach of the Alchesay High School basketball team on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in White River, Arizona. The following year, his book about the experience, A Season on the Reservation: My Sojourn with the White Mountain Apaches, is published.

February 2000

Begins a five-month tenure as assistant coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.


As their head coach, Abdul-Jabbar leads Oklahoma Storm to the first USBL championship.


Takes a position as a scout for the New York Knicks.


Works as a special assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers.


Founds the Skyhook Enterprise, an organization that connects underprivileged youths with opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math.


Co-writes and produces the basketball documentary On the Shoulders of Giants.

January 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces Abdul-Jabbar as cultural ambassador.

April 16, 2016

Undergoes quadruple coronary bypass surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

July 28, 2016

Speaks at the Democratic National Convention.

November 22, 2016

Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

March 3, 2019

Auctions off 234 items from his collection of memorabilia, including four of his six NBA championship rings. The transactions net almost $3 million, with a portion of the proceeds going to his Skyhook Foundation.

Written By Alan Goldsher

Alan Goldsher is Collectable’s Head of Content, as well as the author of 16 books.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Love, Delayed

Way back in the day, unless you matriculated at the University of California, Los Angeles, it was tough to root for a team that won all…the…damn…time

This UCLA basketball machine won titles (10 of ‘em between 1964 and 1975), they won in the postseason (ten consecutive Final Four appearances between 1967-1976), they won in the regular season (there was that 72-game winning streak), and they won the weather (#LosAngeles).

You could compare the Bruins basketball team of the late-1960s and early-1970s to the New England Patriots dynasty of the early-21st Century: Admired and respected, but also feared and loathed.

If you were hoops fan living in, say, Illinois (such as myself), and nary a college in your state had gotten a whiff of an NCAA title during your young basketball viewing life, well, that sort of success bred envy, jealousy, and a pervasive sense of sports-hate that’s generally reserved for Bill Belichick.

But that was then. After decades of sports viewing, you pay less attention to the name on both the front and the back of the uniform and bask in the aesthetic awesomeness of athletic domination. You care less about your team’s broken dreams, and more about the brilliance of the performance.

Other than the perpetual animosity aimed at Bill Laimbeer and the Bad Boy by all Chicago Bulls fans—and I’m 100% comfortable speaking for all of us—time heals all sports wounds. Believe it or not, someday, you’ll look back on the Tom Brady-era Pats with respect (gasp!) and admiration (double gasp!).


Today, we can reflect upon those scary-good UCLA teams with wonder and astonishment, especially taking into consideration the college basketball climate of the last 20 years. What with the one-and-done paradigm not allowing the opportunity for any kind of team continuity, college basketball success today is ephemeral. A team might be wicked-good for a year, maybe two, but a decade’s worth of regularly scheduled Final Four trips? Nah. 

Never—never—will we witness the likes of that UCLA dynasty again. Hell, as of this writing, the last time we even saw a school make back-to-back Final Four trips was in 2016 and 2017, when the University of North Carolina managed the now-rare feat. Before that, the University of Louisville made it happen in 2012 and 2013. (Coincidentally enough, that last time we saw a three-in-a-row was a 2006-2008 run by—wait for it, wait for it—your UCLA Bruins.)

Point being, even though you might be cool with it years down the line, it’s hard to love a Goliath when he beats the crap out of David time and time again. And again. And again.

For many years, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the ultimate basketball goliath. And it took a long time for us to love him.

Abdul-Jabbar rolled onto the UCLA campus as a highly-touted freshman, a powerhouse joining a powerhouse. Helmed by John Wooden—who, love him or hate him, belongs on the Mount Rushmore of coaches, regardless of sport—these Bruin squads who won game after game after game were disciplined, crisp, smart, and nearly impossible to top.

The UCLA rosters of the era weren’t filled with household names—Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Jamaal Wilkes, and Gail Goodrich were the only players who ultimately made any kind of notable impact in the NBA—but they nonetheless dominated. Their average margin of victory during any given season of the era was never less than double digits, so when you and your teammates trudged into the arena for your game against Team Wooden, you knew you were heading home with at least a ten-point L. At least.

At the time, the NCAA didn’t allow freshmen to play with the varsity team, so Abdul-Jabbar had to put in time with the J.V. while the varsity team racked up a solid, unspectacular 18-8 record. The following season, with sophomore Abdul-Jabbar now in the fold, Team Wooden went 30-0. Their average margin of victory was 26 points. Kareem averaged 25 points and 15 boards.

Let the sports-hate begin.

It’s at that point that virtually all hoops-watchers outside of Cali were like, “Yeah, enough of these UCLA guys, they make college basketball boring, we’re gonna grab a beer.” But even if these fans blew off watching UCLA’s games, they couldn’t ignore what Kareem was up to off the court. 

And not all of them liked it.

Watch This

Take a deeper dive


Kareem at UCLA


Your world champion Milwaukee Bucks


Kareem breaks down jazz in America

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was and is a legitimate writer, not just some celebrity who’ll bang out a bunch of random thoughts, send it to an editor, and say, “Whip this into something.” No, the man known alternately as Cap and Big Fella has written or co-written a whopping 16 books. (As somebody who’s also written 16 books while not having to deal with the pressure of being an international celebrity, I very much salute him.) We’re talking some memoirs, some African-American history titles, some hoops deep dives, and some best-selling young adult titles for good measure.

Kareem-watchers weren’t surprised with his publishing industry success. For Abdul-Jabbar, the writing thing had been a thing for decades, as witnessed by his 1969 article for Sports Illustrated.

Some backstory: In 1968, the United States was dealing with upheaval galore, much of which was spurred on by the battle for civil rights. President Bill Clinton called ’68, “[A] terrible year. I think it was the worst year for American society since the Civil War.” You can’t say he was wrong. In April alone, Reverend Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, and Oakland police killed a 17-year-old Black Panther as he was attempting to surrender.

It was against this backdrop that a handful of young Black athletes were considering a boycott of the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. One of these athletes was Abdul-Jabbar. As he wrote in his aforementioned Sports Illustrated piece:

“The proposal to lay a black boycott on the whole Olympics first came up in November of my junior year. On Thanksgiving Day black athletes from the West Coast met with Harry Edwards, the sociology professor from San Jose State who masterminded the whole boycott idea. We agreed that a boycott might be a good idea, and we agreed that we had to do something. We didn’t want any more of that stuff where Cassius Clay walks into a restaurant with his Olympic gold medal around his neck and can’t get a glass of orange juice. If white America behaved that way, then white America could win the Olympics on its own.”

Once word of the boycott went mainstream, Abdul-Jabbar was lambasted by both the public and the media. During one particularly contentious interview in which he was asked what he personally would do to, “…solve the racial problem in the United States,” he was unable to hold back his tightly-wound emotions, and justifiably so.

“I tried to give a serious explanation, but there was so much interrupting and so much derision and negativism that I finally blew my cool. I said, “Look, man, why do you ask me these questions? Why don’t you ask a sociologist? I’m not a sociologist or an anthropologist or a politician. Go ask the right people. I’m not qualified to talk on this. These men in front of me didn’t care about racial problems. If they had cared they’d have been out talking to the presidents of AT&T, Ford, General Motors, the representatives of the power structure. Why put it all on me, a 20-year-old basketball player? Of course, they were putting it on me because they wanted to exploit my name. They weren’t interested in relieving my suffering. What they wanted was some kind of story they could pin my name on. And they were being very self-righteous about it, very pompous. When they couldn’t pin me down to anything positive, because there really wasn’t anything positive to say, they started getting annoyed and nasty and acted as though I was lying to them.”

In today’s society, we can have a rational (or semi-rational) discussion of race, but in 1968, not so much. This irked Abdul-Jabbar to no end, so much so that in the article, he declared that he didn’t consider himself a patriot, noting,

“Very few blacks are patriotic; we’re too busy just keeping the food on the table to go around hollering about the land of the free and the home of the brave. I’m not knocking my native land, either. I think in most ways it is the greatest country in the world. But not in every way. Not by a long shot.”

All of which led to his decision to take a pass on the Olympics

“I found it hard to understand why I should mess up my school year and lose my whole summer for the purpose of going all the way to Mexico City to win a gold medal for the United States in a basketball tournament. I was right on schedule at UCLA, maintaining a B-minus average, and going to the Olympics would have cost me at least a quarter, and maybe two, and I’d have had to postpone my graduation. In the second place, the United States was not going to lose the Olympic basketball gold medal, and we all knew it. There was no way. My going there would only have been redundant. How many times can you win the same games?”

The most important aspect of the article, however, was Abdul-Jabbar’s explanation of his conversion to Islam. He’s told the tale time and again, but this piece, thanks to its immediacy and youthful fire, is its most essential telling. One section that stood out in particular was when he broke down why he chose to follow the ancient religion of Islam rather than the newly-created Nation of Islam.

“I could not go the route of Muhammad Ali and join the Nation of Islam led by Elijah Muhammad. You will never hear me put the knock on another black man—black people already have enough burdens to bear—but let me just say that I found Elijah’s religion too narrow, too negative, and in my opinion not truly Muslim at all. The genuine Muslim bears witness that there is one God, that His name is Allah, and that all men—black and white—are brothers. There is no room in Islam for racial hatred of any sort, and I had come to realize that this was exactly the way I felt in my heart. I had worked past the age of rage. I could still become angered at individual acts of hostility and at the whole pattern of racial hostility. But I could no longer believe that the white man was inherently evil and cruel and black men inherently superior, as some of the other blacks are teaching [in 1968]. That is just the flip side of the old racism. I realized that black was neither best nor worst; it just was. I could no longer hate anybody. I could no longer afford to be a racist. If racism messed up a lot of people who had to take it, then it must also mess up those who had to dish it out. I did not want to be that kind of narrow man.”

Muhammad Ali had converted in 1964, so the public—having already sort of accepted that a professional athlete’s personal religious choice was, y’know, their personal religious choice—handled Abdul-Jabbar’s high-profile conversion with a tad more tolerance. This didn’t mean Kareem became a beloved figure amongst the public, and the public became a beloved entity by Kareem. For that matter, the big man was hyper-aware of the sad state of race relations in America, which understandably soured his attitude towards a percentage of the general populous.

While he was scoring points and winning championships with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar never achieved the cult status bestowed upon more commercially-friendly NBA stars like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan. This lack of embracement created a feedback loop that made him more closed off, which alienated fans, which made him more closed off, which alienated fans, et cetera.

But as is the case with those classic UCLA teams, we now look back on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with respect, admiration, and—yeah, I’ll go ahead and say it—love.

Here’s what we love about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

We love his skyhook. We’ve seen it a million times, but whenever we watch it—even decades later—we marvel at its grace, originality, and consistency. It’s like the Beatles of basketball shots: Somebody would’ve figured out how to do it eventually, but Kareem did it first, and if you try and duplicate it, no matter what, his will always be better.

We love his ability to lead quietly. His nickname, Cap, was short for Captain, a role he played for a segment of his Lakers tenure. Most outsiders believe that it was Magic Johnson who drove the Showtime Lakers car, but the fact of the matter is that without a low-key Kareem holding it down in both the middle of the paint and in the locker room, the Los Angeles dynasty would’ve been a whole hell of a lot less dynastic.

We love his love for jazz. Jazz is a uniquely American music and Abdul-Jabbar is a uniquely American figure, so they go together like skyhooks and baskets. When it came to the music, Cap put his money where his ears were: In 1985, he made a deal with MCA Records to run his own jazz imprint, Cranberry Records. The label didn’t make much of a mark in the music world, but the fact that he used a significant chunk of his limited personal time to give it a go speaks volumes. (As a jazz fanatic myself, it broke my heart when he lost his world-class jazz record collection in a 1983 home fire.)

We love looking back on his exploits with a better-trained eye. What he did at UCLA? Nobody can touch that. What he did in Milwaukee? In a sense, the franchise hasn’t recovered since he was dealt to L.A. What he did in Los Angeles? Dude all but single-handedly turned Lakers games into An Event. What he did to the NBA record book? Maybe LeBron James will overtake him in the points category, and maybe not, but Kareem held the title for decades—neither Michael Jordan nor Kobe Bryant could catch him—and nobody will ever be able to take that away.

And finally, we love his charitable work with his Skyhook Foundation, a think-out-of-the-box group that helps children in an outside-of-the-box manner. And this isn’t a figurehead sort of thing. Kareem is heavily involved with the organization, and explains why on their website:

“I can do more than stuff a ball through a hoop. My greatest asset is my mind.”

A noble stance, but I will respectfully disagree. Taking into account the Foundation’s work in the community—its camp, its STEM program, and its general positivity—as well as his uplifting bibliography, I’ve come to believe that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s greatest asset is his heart.

Dig Deeper

Take an even deeper dive


70 skyhooks for Kareem’s 70th birthday


The untold history of the skyhook


Ten classic career moments