My childhood can effectively be summed up in the words,”‘fantasy novels, diet Woodroffe and basketball cards”.
many no regrets about the immense volume of basketball cards I purchased over the years and the likelihood that I could own a house outright by now if I hadn’t been so intent on completing the set of 1992-93 Hoops.
While cleaning up the shed today I came across my old card folders and couldn’t resist sharing a few of the gems.
The top 10 cards/categories in my possession.
10: Sweet, sweet dunks
I’m not sure which is my favourite part, Amare dunking through his legs or the Mavericks blatantly refusing to challenge LeBron.
9: Fashion faux pas
Before there was Russell Westbrook with his hipster glasses and fish lure shirts, there was Bryant Stith. Stith’s shirt is made out of old carpet samples and is aggressively unpatterned. Bryant Stith’s real middle name is ‘Lamonica’. No foolin’.
8: The Steve Nash rookie card
Do you know what’s cooler than having a Steve Nash rookie card?
When it looks like this one does.
Congratulations to Steve Nash on his 2 MVP’s, his league-leaderships in FT% and assists, and for overcoming that vicious overbite.
7: Marcus Camby’s magnificent uniforms
Sorry about the lousy quality, but on the left is one of my all-time favourite ironic-but-only-partly-ironic dribbling Raptor. It looked good on Vince Carter, too, until he horrifically mailed in the beginning of the 2004-05 season to force a trade.
But the one on the RIGHT…I’d never seen this bad boy before. Denver Nuggets throwbacks, circa 2003. Looks amazing. Here’s a better picture of it, albeit with a less attractive subject matter:
If someone can get me that exact jersey, complete with angry spittle stains on the front and “Karl” on the back, I’ll be a happy man.
6. Stockton/Olajuwon bizarre artistry
“Okay, so here’s our idea. John Stockton is a point guard, right? And what do they do? They call the plays. So we’re going to put a headset on him…wait for it…while he’s playing basketball! Oh, the fields? That’s just for contrast.”
“Here’s our next idea. Let’s put H/Akeem Olajuwon, in free throw shooting mode, back in his native Africa. I know, I know, he hasn’t lived there since 1979 but the white people are gonna LOVE it! The elephant and the sunset reminds them of Safari and the tiger? Well…as you’ll see later, we just really like putting tigers on things!”
5. Reason #4893 to hate the Lakers
4. Muggsy Bogues and Alonzo Mourning attempt a chest bump with hilarious results
“Muggsy, when you asked me about this, I said no. I am not comfortable with this. Do NOT embrace me or I swear I will eat you like a mini-Snickers.”
3. Anfernee Hardaway signs basketballs in tuxedos
Everyone had a guy they collected. Penny Hardaway was that guy for me. Two-time All-NBA First Team, the world was his oyster. Then he sprained his wrist signing too many shiny Swedish basketballs while wearing tuxedos. It’s that old, familiar story.
2. Sergei Bazaravich
He is 29 years old in this photo. Seriously.
He looks like the lead singer from the band that sings Apache.
1. The gift of Christian Laettner
There is no question in my mind that we have chronically under-rated the hilarity of college villain Christian Laettner.
Yes, he accidentally blocked Shaq from making the Dream Team perfect.
Yes, he’s probably the single biggest reason that everybody hates Duke University.
Yes, he’s universally recognised as the most hated college basketball player in history.
But comedically, the man has given us so much and asked so
much little in return.
I present to you, the urban hoops comedy of Christian Laettner!
EXHIBIT A) Christian Laettner fears basketball Itself
EXHIBIT B) Christian Laettner wears Too-high Boy-shorts
EXHIBIT C) Christian Laettner and his Duke-bag friend Defile a Statue with their Presence
EXHIBIT D) Christian Laettner is Still Afraid of basketball. Also, SWATS?
EXHIBIT E) Christian Laettner has a Bad Goatee and Wings on his Head
EXHIBIT F) Christian Laettner, Presumably posing for a Russian Dating Agency
EXHIBIT H) Christian Laettner Experiments Badly with Hair
EXHIBIT I) Christian Laettner Hearts Tigers
BONUS: Just because
*Note: he’s still alive