Insert Set Flashback: 1995-96 Fleer Total D

The Set:
1995-96 Fleer Total D

Set Odds:
1 in 5 Series 1 packs

Key Cards:
Michael Jordan $8.00
Shaquille O’Neal $3.00
Scottie Pippen $2.00

Why I Like It:
I opened more packs of 1995-96 Fleer than I’d care to admit in my early collecting days.  I was drawn to the set because of its variety of styles and patterns.  It’s also a large set so I didn’t find myself pulling the same players all the time.  The Total D set points out the defensive powerhouses of the mid-90s, such as ‘The Glove’ Gary Payton, shot-blockers Olajuwon and Mutumbo, and lockdown perimeter defenders in Jordan and Pippen.  The back description shares the player’s accolades on the defensive side of the floor.

While the uptempo, flashy offenses are often more fun to watch, getting crucial stops down the stretch wins games.  The Dirk-led Mavs finally broke through and won the championship last season after acquiring their defensive anchor in Tyson Chandler.  It’s hard to see them matching that success this season with Chandler now in New York.  Defense certainly matters, and these guys, showing their ‘Total D’, were the best at proving it.

Where Will Clippers Finish?

With the recent acquisition of Chris Paul, how will the Clippers mesh?  Can all the main pieces stay healthy?  Paul, Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, all have sustained major injuries during their career.  With a less than to be desired bench, it will be critical for those guys to stay healthy during the condensed season.

My prediction barring major injuries, 4-5 seed in the West.  Why so high (or so low if you’re really optimistic about the Paul/Griffin combo)?  Chris Paul was able to get the Hornets to the 7 seed last year with a lesser collection of talent around him.  He then pushed the Lakers 6 games in a difficult first round series.

I don’t see a ton of teams in the West that actually got better during this quick free agency period.  The Mavs lost their main defensive weapon in center Tyson Chandler to the Knicks.  The Lakers basically gave away Lamar Odom to the Dallas because he was unhappy because of almost being traded.  The Spurs are one year older and lost their 6th man to Indiana.

So, I think the Clippers can make a run.  It’ll be exciting to see the relevant Clippers either way.

Pickup of the Week: Chris Mullin Autograph

My first autograph of recent Hall of Fame Inductee, and one my all-time favorites, Chris Mullin!  This autograph from 2010-11 National Treasures is #’d 12/49.

Wednesday Wax Update: Upcoming Breaks

Several boxes on the way for the next several editions of Wednesday Wax, some of which are older breaks that should provide some interesting pulls:

1999-00 Fleer Force
One of my favorite products back in the day.  Forcefield rookie parallels are #’d to 100 and the chance at insert parallels is what prompted picking up this box.

2000-01 Topps Reserve
8×10 canvas autograph in each box.  Chance at autographs of Shaq and Magic.  A longshot, sure, but a chance nonetheless.  Some other potential autographs include Jermaine O’Neal, Antawn Jamison, Baron Davis, Shawn Marion, Elton Brand, and Andre Miller.  There’s also a PSA graded rookie card in each box.

2010-11 Panini Totally Certified 
6 ‘hits’ per box, generally two autographs and four memorabilia cards per box.  Each card is serially numbered.

Brandon Roy to Retire

After meeting with doctors Thursday, Brandon Roy has decided to retire due to degenerative knees, per ESPN.  Roy’s career, which already included three All-Star appearances and a Rookie of the Year award, will be cut well short and certainly be a blow to the Blazers, who lose their star shooting guard.  Best wishes to Roy following his great career!

NBA 2K12 Rookie Update

If you’re an NBA die-hard who can’t wait for NBA action to pick back up on Christmas day, you may be getting your NBA fix through NBA 2K12.  One of the main selling points for me is the inclusion of the new rookie class.  This year’s initial version of the game didn’t include Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, and the rest of the 2011 draft picks. Now that the new CBA has been signed, rookies have started signing with their teams. 2K will be putting out a roster update this weekend to include those rookies who have signed contracts.

EDIT: As of Monday morning, 12/12, the following rookies are in the game as part of the roster download on the 2k share- Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton. Others such as Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, Kemba Walker, and Justin Harper have signed contracts with their teams so I would think they would be included in a roster update soon.

2K also released a ‘Welcome Back’ video.  Is it Christmas yet?

Seattle Thundersonics?

Came across this video from the folks at The Basketball Jones that was too funny not to share.  They ask for reactions from local Thunder fans at the ‘news’ that the team is moving back to Seattle as part of the lockout negotiations.

TBJ Tour Video: Seattle gets back the Thunder from The Basketball Jones on Vimeo.