*another warmer day is helping melt the snow away. the more snow that it melts the more I can get outside and play some sports again such as wiffle ball, football and a sport based on today's topic, basketball. takes another sip, dreams of getting outside but for now gets ready for a new #CardsOverCoffee*
I never played in a basketball league growing up, but I played plenty b-ball with friends at school and at home. There were lots of great memories made. One of those memories I mentioned on here previously when my friend Brian pushed me through his grandmothers sliding glass window as I drained a three to beat him. But, I have other ones as well.
I remember getting elbowed in the face going up for a rebound against a classmate causing me to bleed everywhere, but coming back in the game five minutes later after the school nurse checked me and said I was good to go. I remember Dustin who would always say "fake out" over and over again as he would keep spinning to avoid defenders and make the shot. I remember a kid named George who thought he was Duke material and was the best player on the playground court in 8th grade and how I showed him I wasn't too bad myself. The memory of the high school PE class where I won a 1:1 tournament against actual high school basketball players. I am not sure why I never tried out for a team or whatever held me back, but I sometimes regret not doing so.
*gets up, soaks up some more sun, takes another sip*
I really loved the game of basketball back in the 90's and early 2000's. There wasn't a moment where you didn't see a ball in my hands taking shots. I would go out in the middle of winter and even take some shots with a snow covered ball and at one point, I lived on a farm where my court was a poured concrete silo. It came in handy when I missed as the ball would bounce back from the concrete walls.
When I wasn't outside enjoying the game, you would find me inside watching the Knicks on NBC or watching Duke on ABC. I remember watching a lot of UNC/Duke games and the Knicks taking on rivals, Heat, Pacers and the Bulls.
It was like a Super Bowl win for me when my team beat any of those teams. Especially the Bulls. They had to have been one of the most hated teams in the 90's right? I know I couldn't stand them at all. There wasn't even one player on that team I liked. It didn't matter if it was MJ, Rodman, Longley, Kerr, the Coach Phil Jackson or even today's subject, Scottie Pippen. I wanted them to lose and lose bad.
*takes a sip before moving on with today's post*
For me, the 90's was the height of the NBA. Those rivalry games were so good as you could feel the hatred and respect right at home. But, as the sport got into the 2000's, my interest started to fade as my favorite players started to leave and even the ones I hated. The game was even changing itself and my love of the sport started to fade as I found myself losing interest.
I no longer found myself inside watching games, I even didn't even feel like playing it outside as much anymore as my shift was towards baseball and football more. Basketball was not in my life anymore and I even started to unload some of my basketball cards in trades.
It wasn't until I was in my 30's when I found myself coming to a realization while turning on a game for background noise that I may had watched the greatest era of the sport. Some of the all-time greats played during that time and I got to watch them. Maybe I needed a way to celebrate that and maybe not all basketball needed to be out of my life.
That's when I started a list of basketball players, I wanted autographed cards of. I wanted those players who made an impact to the game. So I made my list, checked it twice and started to hunt them down.
I have so far scored autographed cards of Allan Houston, John Starks, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Christain Laettner, Kobe Bryant and John Stockton since then. It isn't easy landing a lot of the guys on my list with the values of those guys skyrocketing daily, but I have chipped away using some good trade bait to acquire them. Totally worth it though.
One of my latest additions came in book form, even though I told myself I wanted only cards of these guys. I guess you just have to be happy to get what you can get these days.
My buddy Shane from Cheap Wax fame came across an offer for an autographed book of Scottie Pippen and asked me if I was interested in a copy since he was getting himself one, I knew I needed Pippen still from my list and told him I would absolutely take it on.
The signed copy came with a letter of authenticity along with the autograph of Pippen.
Unguarded tells the life story of Scottie Pippen and everything he had to overcome to be a part of that Bulls dynasty. I haven't decided when or if I will sit down to read it anytime soon. I prefer to protect the autograph first since I actually haven't read a book from beginning to end in probably 20 years. I prefer to write more than read.
Thanks goes out to Shane for helping me land a Scottie Pippen autograph for my collection.
Other players I am still in search of are,
- Tim Duncan
- Patrick Ewing
- Dennis Rodman
- Penny Hardaway
- Mugsy Bogues
- Charles Barkley
- David Robinson
- Reggie Miller
- Grant Hill
- Shawn Kemp
- Gary Payton
- Allen Iverson
A mighty list remains that's for sure. I add a few players I forgot about occasionally as well.
*takes a sip before finishing up today's post*
Up until the last couple of years I haven't watched an actual basketball game other than background noise. That changed when the Knicks drafted RJ Barrett, Duke connection of course, who I thought was an interesting piece for their future. He seems to be the best player they have right now, but also needs some work still.
As for myself playing basketball, I do have a basketball hoop I take shots on still. I am no longer the die hard I once was, especially since my hoop is on uneven ground and I have no ACL in my right leg, but I still take some shots. Now that my childhood friend Brian has moved back from states away this past fall, maybe he will pop over and we can at least do a game of HORSE at least. At our age, it wouldn't take much to get injured otherwise.
In comments today, let me know your thoughts on my latest addition, who your favorite players of the 90's are and if you collect any of them.
Have a great Tuesday.
*Coffee Card Blogger Out*