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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Panini lands Kevin Durant autographs for Absolute by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

It’s been a year since anyone has pulled a Kevin Durant autograph card from a new product.

Fans of the Oklahoma City forward will only have to wait just a bit longer. Durant’s autographed cards will appear in Panini’s high-end 2010-11 Absolute Memorabilia Basketball, which is scheduled to release March 6.

Even though Panini already has five products out for the 2010-11 basketball season, none of them has had a Durant auto.

See highlights from Absolute Memorabilia Basketball after the jump.

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The Iceman Cometh to McFarlane Toys by Susan Lulgjuraj
January 1, 2011, 8:03 pm
Filed under: NBA | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

When you think of George Gervin, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that sweet finger roll he made famous.

The Iceman and the finger roll have been synonymous with each other since Gervin started playing basketball.

McFarlane Toys has immortalized that pose – ABA style.

Fans can’t get the special figurine that depicts Gervin in a San Antonio Spurs ABA uniform just anywhere. It’s not available at McFarlane’s website or in stores.

The only place to pick up this exclusive statue is through Babaie Promotions Inc., (www.bpifanconnect.com). Part of the proceeds will go to the George Gervin Youth Center, a K-12 charter school in San Antonio that offers a number of services for students and their families.

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Christmas means presents and basketball in New York by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Christmas means presents, family and friends. In the sports world, it means a lot of basketball.

The NBA featured five games of some of the best teams and greatest historical rivalries in this year‘s edition.

The first game began with the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, who have played each other often on Christmas, but this was the first time since the Michael Jordan era the Bulls have played on Dec. 25. New York has played on Christmas more than 40 times.

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Panini aims to help fans get collecting kicks at Kids Foot Locker by Chris Olds

Panini America has teamed up with Kids Foot Locker to produce an exclusive trading card set only available at the show retailer.

For every shopper who spends $20 on NBA-licensed items, they will receive a six-card packs of 2010-11 Rookies & Stars cards. They will include cards of Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson.

There will be more than 100 stores around the country involved with the promotion.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Kids Foot Locker to help promote, grow and strengthen the hobby of basketball-card collecting in this country,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America vice president of marketing. “This promotion represents a tremendous opportunity to turn passionate NBA fans into passionate NBA collectors.”



Stoudemire cards at all-time low while his game is at its best by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

After last night’s New York Knicks game, the home fans chanted “MVP” for Amar’e Stoudemire. While it’s definitely premature just 22 games into the season, over the last couple of weeks, Stoudemire has been the player New York hoped to get when it signed him this offseason.

The Knicks are 11-1 over their last 12 games and Stoudemire is averaging 29.8 points a game in that span. Over the last six, he’s bumped that up 34.1 points a game.

But Stoudemire was relatively forgotten about this offseason. He was a restricted free agent and signed on the first day teams were allowed to make an announcement. There was no flashy news conference or ESPN special with the entire industry hanging on his words. Stoudemire was overshadowed with Lebron James as he took his talents to South Beach.

Even as the season started, media followed everything happening in Miami through its current 14-8 record.

Now it’s Stoudemire’s time to shine and to get his card prices out of the gutter.

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This Michael Jordan jersey auction is out of this world by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

You’ve probably seen a few Michael Jordan game-used jerseys through the years, but this one’s out of this world.

Forget Jordan’s Chicago Bulls threads — or his somewhat-forgettable-anyway Washington Wizards gear — this one has to be one of the rarer Jordan jerseys around. It’s a jersey that was prepped for his use in the 1996 movie, Space Jam, where His Airness co-starred with Bugs Bunny.

Think what you want about the Warner Bros. film, but it made $90.4 million at the box office after it was released in late 1996. And for all those kids out there that undoubtedly saw the movie  — and their parents, of course — the jersey might be an interesting piece of basketball, film or MJ history for them.

After all, many of those 1996 kiddos and pre-teens are likely in their 20s now — and they have spending power, right?

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Three NBA rookies you might want to collect – soon by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The NBA season is in full swing and all eyes have been on rookies John Wall and Blake Griffin. These two will likely go to the wire when it comes to the Rookie of the Year vote, but the cardboard world doesn’t just revolve around these two guys when it comes to NBA rookies.

You may have been caught up in the dazzling moves of Wall or the strong-arm play of Griffin, but here are three rookies who also deserve your attention.

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Images from 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Earlier this week, Upper Deck announced it was moving forward with 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball with big news that every 12-box case will include autographs from one of a couple of pretty big names.

It’s a college- and high school-themed set under the Collegiate Licensing Company.

Each box will have two SP By the Letter Autographs or one By the Letter Autograph and an additional autograph OR a Michael Jordan North Carolina Supreme Court floor card.

Upper Deck released images of the set with some of the biggest stars, including the Jordon Supreme Court card. The Supreme Court card is a 1.5’’x2’’ piece of the floor that Jordan played on while at North Carolina.

See more photos after the jump.

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Upper Deck scraps 2010 Ultimate Collection Football; ups ante in 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Upper Deck released a pair of statements to distributors about two forthcoming products on Monday, with one product getting the red light and the other one getting a green light for some higher-end autograph additions.

First, the company has decided to scrap its plans for a 2010 Ultimate Collection Football set, which would have been a college release under its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company. The company cited the present state of the industry, which is crowded with many slow-moving, perhaps overproduced products at this time.

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***NOW CLOSED *** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (11-19) — Win a box of 2010-11 Panini Rookies & Stars basketball cards by Chris Olds
November 19, 2010, 5:40 pm
Filed under: NBA, Panini | Tags: , , , , ,

NOW CLOSED

We’re back with another Free Stuff Friday — our weekly ritual where we try and get some cool stuff into the hands of our readers just for answering some simple card-related trivia.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — it’s one try per person per contest and we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Panini Rookies & Stars basketball cards by Chris Olds
November 19, 2010, 5:23 pm
Filed under: NBA, Panini | Tags: , , , ,

Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Panini Rookies & Stars Basketball in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out…

Want to win a box of Rookies & Stars in our Free Stuff Friday contest? Click here to find out.