Saturday, April 14, 2012

Larry "Grandmama" Johnson In The Hoopography House: '11 Panini Notable Nicknames Auto

2011 Panini National Treasures
Notable Nicknames Larry Johnson Auto
One of my favorite new sets of the past couple years has been the Notable Nicknames cards from the 2010 and 2011 National Treasures releases. The check lists are fantastic, I love the designs and they are all on-card auto's. What more can a collector want? Well… I guess I would like it if they were a little cheaper on the secondary markets. Some of these cards sell for pretty big money (click here). Even still, I was able to snag this pretty awesome Larry "Grandmama" Johnson Notable Nickname for $30.00 shipped. That's a lot of money for me to spend on one card, but I'm really enjoying adding this treasure to my collection.
Converse TV Commercial Larry Johnson Mix

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Big Guy In The Middle: Marcell Dareus Ref Auto RC

2011 Bowman Chrome Auto/ Ref RC
I really don't know much about this card other than it features Marcell Dareus, who is a key cog in my Buffalo Bills' revamped defensive line, and that I love the look of the auto/ref. as with most refractors, the card looks better in hand. It almost looks like Mr. Dareus takes up the entire surface of the card. At 6'3'', 325 pounds, he is one big boy. I just became a Bills season ticket holder about two months ago in the Paul Maguire Club, so I can't wait to watch Mr. Dareus gobble up some quarterbacks next season.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Shawn Kemp In The House: '94 UDA BlowUp Auto

Basketball fans can’t talk 90’s NBA basketball without mentioning the “Reign Man”. Shawn Kemp was a devastating 6 foot 10 inch athlete who could catch an ally-oop from fellow running mate Gary “The Glove” Payton better than anyone in the Association. In addition to his athleticism, Kemp also had the skill-set to work down low in the post. He averaged 14.6 points/game and 10.9 rebounds/game with a .488 field goal percentage during his NBA career. Those numbers are a bit skewed because of a few seasons when his averages dipped for a number of reasons including weight issues. It was reported that Kemp showed up to Cavaliers’ training camp weighing a hefty 275 lbs. during the ’99 lockout shortened NBA season. 275 lbs. might be generous.

I like to remember the Shawn Kemp that many referred to as “Man Child”. This was the player that no team had an defensive answer for during the mid 90’s. The player in this sweet 8 x 10 Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA) Team MVP Blowup Auto'd card. For all of Kemp’s natural abilities though, it would have been fun to watch how much better he would have been if he had only put more time into the game and himself. As it is, I'm still a fan and enjoy watching old clips of Kemp Reignin’ down on Seattle.

 As far as the newest edition to my collection goes, this UDA piece is easily the biggest card I own. It's pretty impressive in the lucite screw down case. I'm a huge fan of anything UDA and this auto's card with matching COA's is really great. Especially since I paid well under $25.00 for it. It will goes nice with the Kemp RC's that I have.

The ’91 Fleer RC features a great action shot of Kemp doing what he did best, dunking. This is my favorite Kemp RC out of the three. Just checkout that awesome blue and red trim around the photo of Kemp. Coupled with the yellow surrounding Kemp's name, this card is so bad it's actually cool. The card has a book value of only $1.50 due to the over abundance of the card. In fact, that is the case for all three of these cards. Trading card manufactures mass produced their sets and thus killed the value of their own products during the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The ’91 NBAHOOPS RC has a fairly simple design. I can’t say it’s the best looking card ever made, but it’s a nice buy at around $1 on the secondary markets. Again, the card only has a book value of $1.50 like the ’91 Fleer RC.

The final Kemp RC is a ’91 SkyBox card. The ’91 SkyBox set is one of my all-time favorite sets. I actually like both the ’91 and ’92 SkyBox sets. They have some really funky early 90’s graphics and designs. The Kemp RC from the ’91 set has some of those funky graphics and is a good looking card. Nothing like some randomly colored lines going through the background of a card. Kinda like the always cool laser background used in 90’s school photos (you know the ones I'm talking about). This Kemp RC has a book value of $2.50, but typically sells for right around $.50 to $2.00.