The NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy, which was awarded to Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas in 1984, has been removed from a Dallas-based auction house. On Monday, Thomas tweeted at Heritage Auctions and claimed that the trophy was stolen from St. Joseph High School in Illinois.
Heritage Auctions ended up removing the item from their catalog and canceling all of the bids on the item. In addition, the outfit plans on holding an investigation regarding where the trophy was received from.
“This trophy was stolen from St. Joseph High School the night Mr. Pingatore my coach died,” Thomas tweeted. “It belongs to me. You stole my trophy please return it!”
Thomas is referring to Gene Pingatore, who is the winningest boys high school basketball coach in Illinois state history. Pingatore was profiled in the acclaimed 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams,” and died in 2019 at the age of 82.
Heritage Auctions did respond to Thomas in a quick manner.
“Heritage goes to every length to ensure the authenticity and provenance of the items that are consigned to us,” the auction house tweeted. “We take the concerns and allegations of Mr. Thomas very seriously. We will investigate them as expeditiously as possible.”
Robert Wilonsky, who is Heritage Auctions’ communication director, informed the Washington Post that the auction house expects the investigation to be finalized “very, very shortly.” Officials also added that they reached out to law enforcement for “any police report that may exist to make sure we’re headed down the right path.”
In the 1984 All-Star Game, Thomas scored 21 points (9-of-17 shooting), dished out 15 assists, grabbed five rebounds, and recorded four steals. His spectacular performance helped lead the East to a 154-145 victory over the West.