This trophy was stolen from St. Joseph High School the night Mr. Pingatore my coach died it belongs to me. You stole my trophy please return it! Let it be known @HeritageAuction @nba @nbatv @NBAonTNT https://t.co/G1SO0drszo
— Isiah Thomas (@IsiahThomas) August 11, 2020
Heritage Auction House in Dallas announced that the NBA all-star MVP trophy awarded to Isiah Thomas in 1984 would be going up for auction. After making the announcement on Twitter, Thomas revealed that the trophy was stolen.
He wrote, “This trophy was stolen from St. Joseph High School the night Mr. Pingatore my coach died. It belongs to me. You stole my trophy please return it!”
Thomas was referring to Gene Pingatore, the winningest boys’ high school basketball coach in Illinois history, who died in 2019 at the age of 82. Thomas is the most famous player to come out of St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Ill.
The auction house responded to Thomas, writing, “Heritage goes to every length to ensure the authenticity and provenance of the items that are consigned to us. We take the concerns and allegations of Mr. Thomas very seriously. We will investigate them as expeditiously as possible.” They later revealed that they will be pulling the trophy from the auction pending a full investigation.