Fake NBA Championship Rings Found in LAX Customs Bust; Could Be Worth $560K

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2019

The hands of Golden State Warriors co-owners Joe Lacob, left, and Peter Guber display their NBA championship rings during a ring ceremony prior to the basketball game against the Houston Rockets Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently seized a wooden box with 28 fake NBA championship rings en route from China to Arizona at Los Angeles International Airport.

On Wednesday, TMZ Sports reported the memorabilia included phony rings from the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. The estimated worth if the items were genuine was $560,000.

"Scammers take advantage of collectors and pro basketball fans desiring to obtain a piece of sports history," Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in L.A., told TMZ. "This seizure illustrates how CBP officers and import specialists protect not only trademarks, but most importantly, the American consumer."

It's the second major bust involving championship rings this year. In April, the CBP announced it seized a 177-ring shipment from China, highlighted by New York Yankees World Series rings and Super Bowl rings for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. It was potentially worth almost $12 million, per TMZ.

The title ring market is lucrative. Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sold four of his six rings for a total of $1.23 million in a March auction.

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