The Beckett Blog


Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo Primed to Soar in NBA Finals by Tracy Hackler

One of the greatest rivalries in sports resumes tonight when the Lakers battle Boston in Game 1 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

A fifth ring for Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will most certainly send his already-ascending top cards to even higher heights. A second one for Celtics scorching superstar Rajon Rondo will do the same for his best issues.

(Of course, a fifth ring for Kobe also will bring him within one of matching Michael Jordan, the hobby king himself, in that category. Oh, and it would give him exactly five more rings than LeBron James has.)

I took some time this afternoon to pick the brain of Beckett’s Senior NBA Market Analyst Keith Hower (OK, it was a short conversation) about trends to watch as the Finals begin.

Here are some of his highlights . . .

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Los Angeles Lakers & Pittsburgh Penguins championship Sports Illustrated covers available from SI Uncirculated & BGS by Chris Olds

SIKobe609The championship Sports Illustrated covers for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Pittsburgh Penguins are now available from SI Uncirculated — a joint project between Time Inc. and Beckett Grading Services.

SISid09The issues are $24.99. The Lakers issue, which has Kobe Bryant on the cover, can be purchased here, while the Penguins issue, which features Sidney Crosby, can be purchased here.

SI Uncirculated was announced last week and debuting with the June 8 national and regional issues featuring the Detroit Red Wings and star high school baseball player Bryce Harper. (The Harper issue sold out quickly, while a few of the Red Wings issues remain available.)

Under the authority of Time Inc., this is a collector’s only way to get an uncirculated copy of SI slabbed by BGS — copies that were not released to the public but instead distributed directly to BGS for the program.  Only a limited number of each issue are available. Once the initial offerings are sold out, they cannot be offered again.

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Kobe Bryant’s key Rookie Card picks up steam by Chris Olds

kobe

Final sales of Kobe Bryant‘s key Rookie Card, 1996-97 Topps Chrome, has taken off since the Los Angeles Lakers won their NBA championship Sunday night.

Dating as far back as January, the highest amount paid for a BGS 9.5 was $505 with the majority of sales falling between $350 and $400.

Since June 1, there have been sales at $510, $515, $550 and $575 — and in the 15 hours since Bryant wrapped up his fourth NBA title, copies have shown up on eBay with Buy It Now prices of $600, $650 and $1,000.

For the Refractor version of the card, only one BGS 9.5 and one PSA 10 sale have been made at $2,350 (Best Offer) and $2,360 respectively since January.

In the 15 hours since the Lakers’ championship? Copies of the card have been listed on eBay with Buy It Now prices of $10,000, $12,000 and $12,500.



Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA champions Wheaties box lacks punch by Chris Olds

wheatiesOne of the first Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship commemorative items announced isn’t one that will set any kinds of sales records because of its appearance.

celticsIn fact, it might be one of the least attractive Wheaties championship boxes ever.

That’s what happens when your star player, Kobe Bryant, is tucked in the middle of a team shot — 14 players, 15 “others” by the way. (With a WNBA ad on the side!)

Perhaps General Mills wanted something strikingly different from last year’s box. Or maybe Kobe prefers Frosted Flakes — or Froot Loops — I don’t keep up with endorsement deals.

Or maybe Phil Jackson put his foot down, saying it was a team that won the title and the team should all get a piece of the pie, err, cereal.

This is the second championship Wheaties box for the Lakers, and it will be available nationwide starting next month.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.



The Orlando Magic are done. by Chris Olds

EAhoward

Sure the Los Angeles Lakers only hold a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals this year. But it’s over. It’s done. Chalk up another one for Phil Jackson

Why?

EA Sports unveiled on Thursday the cover of NBA Live 10 and the Magic’s Dwight Howard graces it.

“Curses,” said more than a few Magic fans around the land. Well, at least the 12 real ones before the team’s Finals appearance.

Sure Howard is a three-time All-Star — and a bonafide NBA superhero. But video game curses are larger than life and this version of the game arrives in October.

Wait, does that mean the curse starts next season … ?

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.



WWE’s Lakers & Nuggets jerseys hot on the auction block by Chris Olds
All photos courtesy of WWE Auctions

WWE's Dave Bautista (All photos courtesy of WWE Auctions)

Remember all the hubbub last month when World Wrestling Entertainment was bounced out of Denver and into Los Angeles because of the Nuggets-Lakers NBA playoff game?

Well, if you don’t, then you weren’t watching ESPN — or any of the WWE’s television shows — and you certainly didn’t catch the May 25 episode of Raw where Mr. McMahon squared off with Nuggets owner “Stan Kroenke” and where five WWE stars donned Los Angeles Lakers jerseys vs. a starting five of WWE-flavored Denver Nuggets.

Which leads to the question … forget the NBA Finals, what’s a WWE-used NBA jersey worth?

The jerseys have hit the WWE auction block and Batista‘s signed No. 7 jersey (above) is sitting at $555 after 37 bids. The auction closes tonight (Tuesday evening), and I’m expecting it to push, but not top, $1,000 before it’s all said and done. And here’s a bit of WWE trivia for you — did you know Batista is a collector of rare lunch boxes?

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