The Beckett Blog

Box Busters: 2009-10 Panini Hall of Fame Basketball by Tracy Hackler

Join the Beckett Basketball tag team of Keith Hower and Tracy Hackler as they get handsy with two boxes of the legends-laced thrill ride known as 2009-10 Panini Hall of Fame Basketball.

Robert Horry finally has an NBA certified autograph by Chris Olds

Robert Horry played 16 seasons and won seven NBA championships but there was one thing he never did.

He never signed a certified autograph card showing him in a pro uniform.

Until now.

Panini America‘s new 2009-10 Season Update basketball set includes the first certified autograph card of Horry as a pro, his only second certified autograph ever as only Star Pics landed Horry on a University of Alabama draft picks card way back in 1992.

Horry has three cards in the set — cards limited to just 25, 50 and 99 copies apiece — and the first copy of the easiest card to find card that sold online went for $75. That card shows him in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.

The latest one to hit the auction block? It’s topped $100, though one can expect that those totals will come down as more cards are found.

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John Wooden leaves an immense legacy by Chris Olds

John Wooden‘s basketball legacy speaks volumes. His victories, his championships, his proteges who share a place with him in the Hall of Fame where he was inducted twice — as a player and as a coach — pale in comparison to the other ways he found success in life.

He was one of the world’s greatest coaches — if not the best — but that’s not how he saw himself.

“What am I?” he once asked. “Just a teacher — a member of one of the great professions in the world.”

The former UCLA Bruins coach died Friday evening at age 99. However, for all of his successes on the court — among them 10 NCAA championships including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973 as well as a record 88 consecutive victories — it was the life lessons that he instilled in players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton and Sidney Wicks that many say makes his legacy much, much greater.

For years after he retired, “The Wizard of Westwood” was a fixture at UCLA games. And for years he was as mighty with his pen as he was with his “Pyramid of Success,” which was included on a signed fold-out business card of his (above) with every through-the-mail autograph request he received. (Click on the image at right to read his advice on life.)

Wooden signed regularly through the mail for collectors and fans until his health and heavy volumes of requests forced him to curb the practice.

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