During its acclaimed five-season run on HBO, Ballers was the network's most-watched comedy since Sex and the City though, truth be told, the series set in the bruising world of pro football seldom played every down for laughs. For fans keeping tabs on Dwayne Johnson's football-star-turned-money-man Spencer Strasmore, John David Washington's walking off-the-field incident Ricky Jerret and an all-star supporting cast, creator Stephen Levinson's Ballers was as much a Sunday can't-miss as any NFL matchup.
Beginning this week, one year after the show's stellar run, fans have an opportunity to own a piece of Ballers, as some 500 collectibles and keepsakes from the show head to auction for the first time. And, yes, those include the very shirts and suits off Johnson's back.
HBO, Screenbid and Dallas-based Heritage Auctions
have teamed up for the exclusive Ballers auction, which opens for bidding Oct. 29 followed by a live online auction Nov. 12 at HA.com. Proceeds from the event will go toward Know Your Rights Camp, the nonprofit founded by Colin Kaepernick, the mission of which is to "advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders."
The Ballers auction is loaded with must-haves for fans of the series, including dozens of Johnson's custom-made ALBA and Robert Mata suits, Spencer's framed high-school jersey, Ricky's Nike Air Max and dozens more show-worn sneakers, one of the gold chains worn by Dallas' defensive tackle Vernon Littlefield and the Outstanding Performance Award seen in the office of ex-baller-turned-general manager Charles Greane.
There's even the $11-million check Spencer wrote to Anderson Sports Management in Season 2, along with ASB-branded binders and documents because after all, this was a series about the serious business of sports. The sale also features Ricky's steroid kit and carrying case from Season 4 and the medical report from the first episode of Season 5 that shows Rickey testing positive for banned substances.
The sale also includes two of the most coveted keepsakes from Ballers, including a framed photo of Spencer, Ricky and Charles in happier times. There's also Spencer's custom skateboard deck, made for Season Four, that features one of the most beloved (and imitated) photos ever taken of Dwayne Johnson.
Johnson's suits were as much a part of the show's look as the shimmering pool parties and skylines of Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas. And most were designed and tailored by the man who has been dressing Johnson on-screen, at least since 2015: Southern California-based designer Robert Mata, whose work on Ballers prompted numerous style pieces from the likes of GQ, Vanity Fair and New York, which, in 2016, asked readers to "imagine wearing a piece of clothing that no one else on earth can wear. That's real power."
Fans of the show can share some of that power in pieces bearing "Designed for Dwayne Johnson" labels and patches sewn into the jackets, pants and vests worn by Spencer throughout the series' five-season run.
No less stylish were the casual looks, such as the yellow SUPREME hoodie (with matching yellow-and-purple Air Jordan 1s) that Vernon wore in the episode "Municipal" as he tried his hand(s) at becoming a pro gamer. Or the fitted Moschino suit-shirt and matching pants Kate flashed poolside in that same episode. Or the silk, black-and-white rose-print Dolce & Gabbana pajamas Ricky slipped into during Season 3.
And many of the pieces come with the coveted costumers' tags, which are used to identify which actor wore the clothes and in which scene.
But a fancy top is nothing without the proper bottom, and Ballers proved time and again the importance of sneaker culture to a show about athletes on the field and in repose. A few closets' worth of fancy footwear makes its way into the sale, among them the colorful kicks worn by the Ballers themselves.
Included in the event are the Ricky Jerret's beautiful Nike Airs, worn in the episode "Crumbs" from Season 5 a series highlight. And Spencer's custom black-and-grey lace-up Magnanni high-tops, worn throughout Season 5. And the suede blue-and-orange Converse sneakers worn by the rakish Lance Klians in the Season 5 episode "Players Only."
For those wanting to display a bit of Ballers in their homes or offices, there's plenty from which to choose beginning with Spencer's framed No. 92 high-school jersey that was framed and hanging in his office. There are also the framed pictures of pro-ball greats, including Season 5 frequent guest star Odell Beckham Jr., from the office of league executive Candace Brewer. And, of course, there are all the chairbacks from the series including the ones belonging to all the characters, as well as those bearing the monikers of executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson.
It as close to being a baller as you can get without stepping on set.