Game-worn, autographed Bill Russell jersey sells for $1 million

A white, game-worn Bill Russell Boston Celtics jersey sold for $1,022,250, including buyer's premium, Hunt Auctions announced Friday.

The jersey was autographed, with letters of authenticity from Hunt Auctions and James Spence Authentication (JSA), as well as a signed letter of provenance from Russell.

Friday's online-only auction was the second of two Russell auctions with Hunt wherein Russell-related items grossed roughly $8.86 million combined. A December event, which took place inside Boston's TD Garden, brought in $7.4 million.

There were 286 Russell lots sold in Friday's auction. Other notable items of Russell's that sold included a 1960s warm-up jacket ($94,000) and the U.S. Olympic warm-up suit ($76,375) that he wore during the 1956 Summer Games in Melbourne.

For decades, Russell's signature was notoriously hard to find and game-used jerseys were "exceedingly rare," according to an industry expert. Between the December and April sales, Hunt Auctions brought more than 700 items of Russell's into the collecting space.

The jersey sold on Friday is the second game-used jersey from Russell's personal collection that has reached the million-dollar plateau not often eclipsed for game-worn uniforms in any sport. The jersey Russell wore in his final NBA contest, the clinching win of the 1969 NBA Finals, sold for $1.1 million at the December auction.

While the sum is eye-opening, the most ever paid for a game-used NBA jersey still belongs to the late Kobe Bryant. A jersey from Bryant's rookie season sold for $3.69 million with collectables marketplace Goldin in May of last year.

Diego Maradona's 1986 World Cup "Hand of God" uniform, expected to soon be the most valuable game-worn jersey ever, has already secured a $5 million-plus bid at Sotheby's.