7th Annual Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction (Live From The Hall)
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The United States had revenge on its mind after the debacle at Munich in the 1972 Summer Games. The ‘76 US basketball team was coached by Dean Smith of the University of North Carolina, and he chose a team heavily laden with players from his own school – Phil Ford, Mitch Kupchak, Tommy LaGarde and Walter Davis, the standout player at UNC. The top two European teams remained the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, who had finished 1-2 at the 1970 World Championship (the USA was 5th), and the 1969 and 1971 European Championships. The United States almost lost an early round game to Puerto Rico, led by Marquette University star, Butch Lee, but eventually prevailed, 95-94. A rematch of the ‘72 USA-USSR game never occurred after Yugoslavia defeated the Soviet Union in the semi-finals and advanced to the gold medal game against the United States. In the final, the United States scored the first eight points, and was never challenged by Yugoslavia, winning 95-74. This 1976 Olympic gold medal weighs 5.45 oz. with a 60 mm. diameter and a thickness of .50 cm. The gold-plated medal contains at least six grams of pure gold. It was presented to Walter Davis as a member of the 1976 USA Men’s Basketball team after they defeated Yugoslavia in the gold medal game on July 25, 1976. The face of the medal features a design by Florentine artist Giuseppe Cassioli. Created for the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, the design was used on all Summer Olympic medals until 2004. It reads, “XXIe Olympiade Montréal 1976”. The verso shows the 1976 Olympic logo and the victor’s laurel wreath (symbol of the ancient Games), rendered in the bold, uncluttered style of the Montreal Games. The bottom edge of the medal is engraved “Basketball”. The medal is in NRMT-MT condition and is accompanied by a LOA from Walter Davis.
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