Saturday, December 29, 2007

2006-2007 Fleer Ultra

A few days ago I bought 3 packs of Fleer Ultra. I didn't have time to post this up earlier because I was caught up with some personal business. The base cards in this set are pretty decent. Like some other sets, the Fleer Ultra base cards have different card versions(ie. silver, gold, bronze, platinum, etc...). Fleer Ultra calls their different versions of the same card "fill in color" medallions. I pulled an Alonzo Mourning Gold Medallion base and a Chris Kaman Platinum Medallion base. Zo was injured a few games ago and that may have been the last game of his career. Gold Medallion cards are not numbered. Chris Kamans's card is numbered to 100. Kaman is playing like an all-star this year. We'll just have to wait and see if he can keep up this production throughout the year, especially when Elton Brand returns.

There is an insert card in this set called Lucky 14. In all honesty I have no clue what the point of this insert is. I don't even know where they got the name Lucky 14 from. But, the insert I pulled was Deron Williams, one of the top 5 pgs in the game today. It was a Platinum Medallion, therefore it is numbered to 100. Being that the card is Deron Williams, a Lucky 14 insert, and a Platinum Medallion numbered to 100, this wasn't a bad pull considering I only bought 3 packs.

I pulled two rookie cards from this set. The rookie cards I pulled are James Augustine and Quincy Douby. James Augustine was a Gold Medallion while Quincy Douby's card is just a regular rookie card. Fleer Ultra called their rookie cards World Premier. So far this year I have not heard James Augustine's name at all. I don't know if he is in the NBA anymore. Quincy Douby is currently still with the Sacramento Kings. He's a decent player that happens to play in a team that has plenty of guards. Thus, he has not been able to get a whole lot of playing time.

You know pulling an auto after buying just 3 packs is pretty damn sweet. That was exactly what I did with my three Fleer Ultra packs. Bowen is obviously known as one of the best defenders in the league. Players such as Kobe Bryant often call Bowen the best defender in the game today. However, many fans and some players such as Amare Stoudemire consider him to be one of the dirtiest players in the game. Whichever the case may be, the fact of the matter is that he is an alumni of my school, California State University, Fullerton. Because of that, I will more that gladly support him on the court, except when the Spurs play the Lakers.

As I said before, it is pretty damn awesome when you pull an auto when you only bought three packs. But it is even more awesome when along with that auto you also pull a jersey, let alone a dual jersey, let alone a Vince Carter/Tracy Mcgrady dual jersey, let alone having it being numbered to 100. When I pulled this card, I thought today must be my lucky day. I ran(actually I drove) to the local gas station to buy some lotto tickets. Unfortunately, my luck ran out after I ripped my packs open. So clearly, the hit of these packs is this Vince Carter/Tracy Mcgrady dual jersey numbered to 100.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2003-2004 Topps Rookie Matrix

A couple of days ago I bought a few packs of Topps Rookie Matrix. The price per pack was rather high compared to the other packs this particular vendor was selling. Therefore I decided to give this set a shot. Personally I am not a big fan of the base cards in this set. The design of the base cards gives it a weird gooey feel. These cards remind me of those Goosebumps books. Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway was one of the base cards I pulled. Man how far has this man fallen. Back when he was with the Orlando Magic many people were anointing him the next Michael Jordan. But since his knee injury, he has not been the same. He did alright with the Suns but his days with the Knicks and Heat were horrible and sad to see. One must think what his career would have been had he not had his knee injury.

I pulled a total of four rookie cards from these packs. Instead of having individual rookie cards, each card consists of three mini cards. I have never been a fan of three in one cards (I do however like those 3 in 1 autos/jerseys/patches). Having three separate mini cards where you can rip them apart is the worst imo. It demeans the value of the rookie cards or just cards in general. But nonetheless, this was probably the best draft class in recent memory. These minis I pulled consisted of some good players such as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Too bad I didn't pull any minis of Lebron James or Carmelo Anthony.

The hit of these packs would have to be the Shawn Marion Jersey. This memorabilia card is basically a mini Shawn Marion card that is encased in a frame. The mini card of course embedded a small piece of Marion's game used jersey. It is actually not a bad looking card but the emphasis this set puts on mini cards makes this set a bit unappealing for me. I must say though that the frame used to protect the Shawn Marion jersey card is pretty cool looking.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

2003-2004 Upper Deck Victory

Today I have scans of the 2003-2004 Upper Deck Victory set. I bought a few packs of it the other day. It's rather cheap, I'm rather cheap, so naturally this was a good fit. The base cards basically indicates why this set was as cheap as it was. UD Victory obviously is not exactly a high end product. Plus this was an old set so that probably influenced the price as well. Personally I like cards that maximizes its space for its action shots. The base cards design limits the space of the pictures and thus it decreases its aesthetics qualities, imho. Nice to see Reggie Miller and Scottie Pippen on the cards. Seeing their base cards kind of gives me a sense of nostalgia since I used to own many of their cards when I was young.

I pulled one insert card from these packs: a Yao Ming Highlight Reels card. I guess this card can be considered as "holographic." Back in the day I remember my friends always would brag about how their Metal Universe cards were holographic. Well guess what, I got a Yao Ming HOLOGRAPHIC!!! WOOO!!! IN YO FACE BIATCHES!!!!(jk) Too bad not many people in China collect basketball cards. The demand for Yao Ming alone would drive the price of his cards up like mad, possibly to Lebron James levels.

The hit of this set is clearly the Lebron James rookie card. I remember seeing this card on beckett a while back. I believe the beckett price at the time was around 5 bucks. That isn't much but hey, its a Lebron James rookie card. Now I can walk around and brag about how I have a Lebron James rookie card. Like I said before, you can never go wrong with a Lebron James card, let alone a rookie card. Also, like the Yao Ming insert, this card is HOLOGRAPHIC!! BOO YA!!!(sarcasm)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Development of Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum is a beast. During his first 2 years in the league, I saw flashes of his potential. But he never really showed that he had the heart and ability to fulfill the hype. That is why Bynum's improvement this year caught me off guard. I always felt that if Bynum was to become a good player, it would take him 5-6 years to be a top 10 center. But like he's shown so far this year, he could become a star within the next 1-2 years. Those of you who have been stashing up you Andrew Bynum rookie cards are probably going to cash in for the years to come. Bynum's playing style is more of a traditional low post center style. Currently, there are only three centers/power forwards in the league with a superior low post game: Al Jefferson, Chris Kaman, and Yao Ming(he plays a lot in the high post though). Bynums rebounding and defense in the paint is also approaching the elite level. Maybe all this time the Lakers front office was not crazy in refusing to use Bynum as trade bait.

Monday, December 17, 2007

2006-2007 Fleer Basketball Packs

Today's scans feature the 2006-2007 Fleer basketball set. I bought 6 packs of this particular set. According to Fleer, this set is to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1986-1987 set. That set contained many big name rookie cards, most notably the Michael Jordan rc.

The base cards of this set, like most sets, are designed with simplicity in mind. The action shots in this set are not quite as dramatic and appealing as say the Topps Fullcourt set. Personally I do not like the design of this set. I understand that Fleer/UD (UD bought Fleer a while back) is trying to emulate the Fleer brand of the 80s. But even those cards I thought were better designed that these cards. The part about this base card set I do like though are the statistics on the back. Many base card sets these days only contains stats of the current year or the previous couple years. This set emulates the old school cards by pringting the statistics of the players' entire career.

There is a set of insert cards card called Team Leaders. Obviously these insert cards contain the team leaders of various NBA teams, at least that is what I'm assuming. It would be kind of funny if they had a Team Leaders card for Smush Parker or something. The design of these insert cards are a bit better than that of the base cards.

There is another set of insert cards called Platinum Influence. This set contains rookie NBA and NFL players posing with the famous Michael Jordan Fleer rookie card. This is pretty creative as I have never personally seen a set like this. On a side note, Vernon Davis is a physical specimen if there ever is one.

I pulled four rookie cards from these packs. Their designs are the same as the base cards with the exception of the gray border as opposed to white. Leon Powe has the potential to be a decent player. His drawback is his lack of height. Ryan Hollins at best will probably be a decent defensive player. His offensive game is limited to putbacks and open dunks. PJ Tucker's card is serial numbered to 132. Unfortunately, he is currently playing in another country. LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be a beast. Him and Oden will form a formidable frontline in the years ahead.

According to Upper Deck, they purchased many cards from the original 1986-1987 set and randomly placed them into this current set. Some of these cards were sent to the players to be autographed. I received one of the original cards of Alex English. Unfortunately, my card was not one of the ones that were sent to the players to autograph. They placed this card inside a plastic sleeve protector. Man is it just me or does James Worthy actually look younger these days than he did during his Laker days.

What is a set that's without a Michael Jordan card. Yes, this is just a base card. You might be thinking who cares about this card. But hey, it's Michael Jordan. One can never go wrong with Michael Jordan haha.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Upper Deck 2007-2008 NBA Rookie Set

WOOOOOO!!!! Finals are FINALLY over. It could not have come any sooner. Well now that's over with, I dropped by the hobby store and got the UD 07-08 rookie box set. It's a "30 card set of the top 2007 NBA rookies." Doesn't look bad, I mean for 8 bucks it definetely isn't too shabby. I was really looking forward to seeing Yi Jianlian or Marco Bellelini. But low and behold they had no international players. It was the top 30 American picks. Good thing Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are both American born.

Huh????? I thought Bill Russell retired more than three decades ago. He can't come out of retirement and expect to bang with Dwight Howard. Who does he think he is, Michael Jordan? Oh wait nevermind, that's not Bill Russell. That's Greg Oden!! Too bad his season ended before it started due to him undergoing microfracture surgery. But he should be fine due to his supposedly young age. Once he gets into the league, he should at the very least be a top 10 maybe top 5 center his first year. In 2-3 years he should at least be top 3. The center position is less than mediocre in the NBA these days so Oden should have no problem being a top center. His defense is his best asset but he must stay clear of getting into foul trouble. He offense needs some refining that's for sure. During his Ohio State days I did not a whole lot of post moves in his repotoire. Whether or not he'll live up to the hype who knows. But there's no doubt in my mind he'll be a good player.

Kevin Durant. This dude is hella skinny. And his arms are freakishly long. He's got a lot of talent. His ability to create his own shots and actually hit them is definetely on the elite level. He needs to learn to take good shots though instead of throwing everything towards the basket. This season so far Durant has been rather inconsistent which is typical for most rookies. People have been jumping on and off and on the Kevin Durant bandwagon. But remember he does not have the luxury of sitting back and learn from veteran players on his team. Durant was thrown into the fire immediately since he is the first option. He should, unlike some other draft picks(cough Joakim cough Noah) do well in the NBA.

Al Horford is a rebounding machine. Everytime I check the box score for any Hawks game I see Al Horford: 13 rebs or Al Horford: 15 rebs. He can also consistently score in double digits. So I guess I should have called him a double double machine. But unfortunately for Horford, he has made a name for himself recently due to his accidentaly hit of TJ Ford. Horford got his one game suspension and that's that. People who are calling for his head are just trying to stir up controversy.

Javaris Crittenton can straight up ball. If it wasn't for Derek Fisher's arrival to the Lakers and Jordan Farmar's stellar play, the Critter would be starting. Critt is probably the most talented and athletic point guard the Lakers have had since Nick Van Exel. In fact Critt has the potential to be the best Lakers pg since Magic in my opinion. Critt is a big guard as 6-5 who can get to the hoop at will with his speed. His court vision is pretty good and most importantly he is not turnover prone. He has a bright future ahead of him.

These cards probably won't be worth much because there are tons of them available. But as a collector it's nice to have some rookie cards.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Upper Deck 2004-2005

Hey wassup guys. Sorry I have not been able to post the last few days because I've been busy cramming for finals. I probably will not be able to post during the next few days for the same reason. Well onto business. The UD 04-05 box is old I know, but they sold it at a great price, so I figured what the heck. The base cards in this set look like your stereotypical Upper Deck card, nothing special. Though it is good to have a Lebron James card due his high, albeit a bit too high, value. Both Dwyane Wade and Lebron certainly look younger in those cards. LBJ certainly has become stockier since then. Steroids anybody??? haha jkjk.

The rookie cards in this set looked nicer than I thought. They certainly look better than the base set. I only pulled one rookie insert card, which was a David Harrison Rookie Academy. Harrison as of right now does not look like a player who will make a huge impact somewhere down the road. His progress is certainly slow and disappointing when compared to the likes of Andrew Bynum. Emeka Okafor was a nice pull as he won Rookie of the Year that season. Delonte West is an average NBA player who is on a crappy team in the Sonics right now. His teamate Robert Swift has potential, but he's been hit by the injury bug too many times. Other rookie cards I pulled were Sasha Vujacic, Viktor Khryapa, and Kris Humphries.

The two hits of this box were the Nene Hilario game used jersey and the Richard Jefferson/Corey Maggette dual used jersey. I remember when Nene first came into the league many experts were raving about his future. Nene is not a bad player but he certainly has not attained the all-star status some experts projected him to be. Richard Jefferson is an all-star caliber player while Corey Maggette isn't bad as well. Maggette should see his numbers go up since Elton Brand won't be back for awhile. Overall, this box was not bad considering the low price I paid for it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

2006-2007 Topps Fullcourt

Today I purchased 9 packs of Topps Fullcourt and a box of UD 04-05 cards. I heard from a friend who gave rave reviews for Fullcourt. For some reason Frank & Sons do not sell any boxes of Topps Fullcourt so I settled for the packs. These are scans of the Topps Fullcourt basecards. The basecard set consist of a veteran players set and a retired players set. As to the design of the card, Topps seem to have gone a bit old school. The action shots were pretty damn awesome, especially in regards to the Lebron card.

The retired players set gives collectors a chance to collect old time players whose cards are hard to come upon. I am very happy with my Wilt Chaimberlain pull. Dennis Rodman, John Stockton, and Clyde Drexler are nice pulls as well but their cards are more accessible than Wilt's are.

Topps Fullcourt also contain insert cards. The only insert cards I pulled were the Photographer's Proof. Each Photographer's Proof card is numbered to 1999. These cards basically resemble the base cards with exception to its thickness and a photoslide design on its side. The Larry Bird pull was a nice hit considering I only purchased 9 packs. Scans of the 04-05 UD box will be posted shortly.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Basketball Cards on Youtube

There are a multitude of videos on Youtube dealing with basketball cards and other sports collectibles. My personal favorite are the videos posted by the user chri5874. Check out his vids as he and his buddies open various boxes of basketball, baseball, football, and hockey cards. This video shows them opening a 07-08 Bowman Draft Picks & Stars.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

First Purchase Continued

As I stated in the previous post, I purchased a box of 05-06 UD Hardcourt for 35 bucks on Saturday. Here are the scans from that set. The base cards in this set to me are above average in terms of design. The photography is very clear and the hardcourt background really appeals to me. These are scans of what the base cards look like. With Lebron James's popularity soaring and his recent play, many online shops are selling his base cards for 3-6 bucks, which is pretty crazy.

I pulled two rookie cards from this set: Gerald Green serial # to 1750 and Danny Granger serial # to 1750. These two rookie cards are probably among the best rookie cards I've seen in awhile. It's a matter of personal taste but the hardcourt background gives these cards a simple, clean, and sophisticated image. If I purchased this set two years earlier, the Gerald Green card would have been a hotter commodity. But he is still young and may have a chance to fulfill the potential many people envisioned for him. I was glad to have pulled a Danny Granger rc. He is the best player on the Pacers now since Jermaine O'neal can never seem to stay on the court.

At last, but certainly not least, is the David Lee auto. Although it is a sticker auto, an auto is an auto. This doubles as his rookie card which adds to the value. Lee is a nice player who is a double double machine. Unfortunately, I was unable to pull a memorabilia card that I was suppose to receive from this set. Oh well, better luck next time.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

First Purchase

Today I purchased a box of 05-06 UD Hardcourt and 6 packs of 05-06 UD SLAM! from Frank&Son. Frank&Son is basically a large warehouse where many vendors selling a multitude of collectible items gather up. Their pricing is awesome since they are often way below what you often find online.

The UD Hardcourt costs 35 dollars, which is great value while the UD SLAM! packs cost 5 for 3 packs. These are the "highlights" from my SLAM! packs. They consist of 4 rookie cards of Nate Robinson, Raymond Felton, Marvin Williams, and Charlie Villanueva. Right now, Raymond Felton is probably the best player of the four but Marvin Williams has the most potential. I will post the hits from the UD Hardcourt box soon.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Hello Everyone!

Hey everyone! I'd like to start off my first post my telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Jeff and I am currently an undergraduate student at California State University, Fullerton. I've been collecting basketball cards since around the age of 9. But I stopped at around age 13 for whatever reason. Recently I wanted to take a look at my old collection but realized that I lost all my favorite cards. After finding this out, I was rather disappointed. The disappointment in turn has motivated me to restart my hobby. This blog will serve its purpose as a place where I can organize my collection and for others to observe/critique/marvel at the cards I purchase. In future posts, I'll be posting up scans of the cards I buy and may offer a bit of commentary on the cards I receive. That'll be all for today. Good luck to my fellow hobbyists in your future purchases.