The Beckett Blog


Collecting Vince Carter by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Vince Carter isn’t nearly in the news as much as he used to be. I remember way back in my teens, Carter was coming out of college and he received so much press. He was followed through North Carolina until he was drafted by the Toronto Raptors.

But once Carter got to the NBA, he never got the type of attention some of the other prolific scorers in the league received.

One of Carter’s issues is that he never played for a popular team. He spent six years with Toronto and then went to the New Jersey Nets where he spent another five years. Though a good player, the first 11 years of his career occurred in obscurity.

However, Carter was never quiet in these slow-moving areas of basketball.

On Monday, he became the eighth active player to reach 20,000 points and 37th player to ever do it.

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Rajon Rondo steps out of the cardboard shadows by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Rajon Rondo isn’t the biggest star on his team.

The Boston Celtics point guard lets the attention fall on those around him while he dishes out the ball to get the rest of his team the numbers that make people look.

Rondo is an assist machine. He averages 13.4 assists a game and had a 23-assist game on Jan. 5, but that wasn’t even his best game this season. He had a 24-assist game on Oct.29 against the New York Knicks.

With all those players around him such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and even Shaquille O’Neal, is Rondo overshadowed in the collecting world?

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If you could have one Blake Griffin rookie card, which would you pick? by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

You can’t turn on ESPN without seeing highlights of Blake Griffin’s dunks. The Los Angeles Clippers big man is giving people a reason to finally watch the Clippers.

He puts down dunks with such ferocity that it looks as though opponents just step out of the way.

Seriously, who wants to stand in the way of an upcoming freight train?

Dunks aren’t the only thing he has going for him, which is why this rookie’s cards are blowing up and they didn’t come cheaply to start.

But if you could have one Griffin Rookie Card in your collection, which card would it be?

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Panini’s forthcoming Classics basketball carries new feel by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It may celebrate the stars of yesteryear along with a mix of greats and potential of today’s NBA, but Panini America‘s latest creation does all that with a seemingly brand-new look.

The Arlington, Texas-based hobby giant unveiled its latest forthcoming basketball brand — 2010-11 Classics Basketball — on Tuesday evening, a relatively affordable mid-range product ($5.99 a pack) that will arrive in late March packing two autographs and two memorabilia cards in every hobby box.

Each hobby box also will include more than a dozen inserts along with a selection of cards from the 100-card base set that is capped by 40 Legends and 40 signed Rookie Cards.

But that’s not what caught this writer’s eye — it’s the design of the inserts, which perhaps eschew the typical trappings of a more “classical” product — and also stray from the more reserved designs found in last year’s set. (Granted, that could be this selection, but either way they seem to be more energetic — while keeping a bit of retro-flavored flair, too.)

See what we’re talking about … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Donruss Basketball by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Donruss basketball cards from Panini America in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …



Box Busters: 2010-11 Timeless Treasures Basketball by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 Timeless Treasures boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …



Rippin’ Retail: Panini Longevity Rookies & Stars vs. three Basketball Blasters by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

Collectors often bemoan he differences between hobby and retail boxes, opting for the superior hobby version over the taste-test of a retail blaster or other type of offering.

In some cases, though, that logic just might be unfounded — good cards certainly can be found in retail, but if they’re not there the prices might be better depending on how in-demand boxes might be.

It really just depends on what you’re buying. However, not all retail boxes are made alike, either.

I recently ripped some retail Panini America basketball boxes and was kind of surprised by what I found. Frankly, the cheapest of all retail versions — the Blaster box — seemed to compete well with its bigger-time counterpart, the Longevity version of 2010-11 Rookies & Stars. The $50 Longevity box was a dud, while three Blasters (two Rookies & Stars boxes and one Threads box) seemed more interesting for approximately the same price at $60.

How is that? It surprised me. At first glance, the retail-focused Longevity found only in Target stores seems like a good alternative to the typical Blaster boxes. After all, it looks more like a hobby box so it should feel more like a hobby box, right? It’s packing three autograph or memorabilia cards per 10-pack box and is otherwise an abbreviated offering of the standard Rookies & Stars set but printed on foilboard. (In the case of this design, I actually don’t mind the foilboard — a rare instance.)

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