1970 Bernie LaReau ABA Indiana Pacers Championship Ring
This size 11.5, 10k gold staff member’s ring weighs 26 grams. The top panel reads “PACERS - 1970 CHAMPIONS” surrounding a face that features a large .40-carat round-cut diamond and four .04-carat round-cut diamonds. Originally the ring was made with a synthetic stone. A real diamond was put in its place and the four surrounding smaller diamonds were also added. The left panel features a casted image of four banners that once read “MAY 28, 1970”, “PRIDE”, POISE”, “PERFECTION” but have become hard to read due to wear. The left panel also has a casted image of a basketball and a hoop engraved with final score of the Championship-clinching Game 5, “111-107”. The right panel features a banner engraved with the head trainer/business manager’s name, “LAREAU” along with a casted image of the Pacers logo that appears to have originally been enameled in blue. The inside of the ring is engraved “Bernie LaReau” and stamped “HERFF JONES - HJ 10K”. The ring is in VG overall condition due to wear. Accompanied by an unsigned LOA from Bernie LaReau's son explaining the ring's history and how it was a gift from his father.
Notes: In their third season in the ABA, the 1969-70 Indiana Pacers cruised into the playoffs with a 59-25 regular season record before going on to win the first of three ABA Championships. The Pacers swept the Carolina Cougars in the Division Semifinals and eliminated their arch-rival, the Kentucky Colonels, in five games in the Division Finals. The 1970 ABA Finals featured a matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Stars. The Pacers roster featured NBA veteran John Barnhill as well as a solid core of ABA originals like Roger Brown (MVP of the 1970 ABA Playoffs), Mel Daniels, Freddie Lewis, Bob Netolicky, and Bill Keller, a fan favorite rookie out of Indiana’s own Purdue University. The Stars were no match for the Pacers, falling to Indiana in six games and the team would relocate to Utah the following season. Bernie LaReau was head trainer and business manager for the Pacers from their inception in 1967 to shortly before the 1970-71 season.