Pickups of the Week: Ben Hansbrough and Damjan Rudez autographs

Autographs from a couple of past Pacers came in the other day. Ben Hansbrough appeared in 28 games during the 2012-13 season for the Pacers. His best game as a Pacer came on April 17th, 2013 against the 76ers. He scored 11 points and handed out 3 assists in 17 minutes. He also appeared in six playoff games during the Pacers’ run to the conference finals, where they lost to Lebron’s Heat in seven games.

Rudez has three NBA seasons under his belt, each with a different team. He started out with the Pacers in 2014, playing in 68 games averaging just over 15 minutes per game. Primarily a three-point specialist in his time with the Pacers, he shot over 40% from long range. Originally from Croatia, Rudez scored in double-figures in nine games. He also played for Croatia in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, appearing in two games. Croatia finished 3-3, falling in the quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Spain.

The Hansbrough is from 2012-13 Panini Innovation basketball from the Innovative Ink set. It looks like the last Innovation set came out for the 2013-14 season. The 2012-13 set also included Stained Glass cards.

The Rudez autograph is from 2014-15 Panini Court Kings. While I’ve never opened a box of Court Kings, I’m a fan of the brand. I think I would bust a box if there were more packs/cards per box. This release had ten cards per box. Would have been nice for this to be an on-card autograph but I like the design on this card.

The most satisfying part of this pickup is being able to add these two on my All-Time Pacers autograph list.


Pulling a Hokie, a rare event

I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2008. Hard to believe we’re closing in on ten years. I attended nearly every Hokie home basketball game during my four years at VT, and am arguably a bigger Tech basketball fan than football (although I obviously cheer for both). Buzz Williams has the program on the rise, and I’m excited to see what the program can do coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance since I was in school.

The Hokies currently have one active NBA player who finished his career at VT (another who played for the Hokies and transferred, Dorian Finney-Smith) and generally have none, so it’s rare to see a Hokie with a basketball card for me to pickup. That one active player is Malcolm Delaney, who’s positioned himself as the backup point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, averaging just over 17 minutes per game during the 2016-17 season.

2016-17 Panini Threads Malcolm Delaney #161

When I opened a 15 card pack of 2016-17 Panini Threads after a recent trip to Target, pulling a card of Delaney wasn’t even on my radar. I had no idea he was in a current card set. Surprised and pumped are the two words to describe my mood after I found this card a little over halfway through the pack. This is the only set I’m aware of Delaney appearing in so far. I’m hopeful he’ll keep his backup point guard role and appear in more sets next season.

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Here are the highlights from the rest of the base cards. Whiteside has really blossomed in Miami into a top tier player. Rodney Hood has become a key player for the Jazz, and will be especially critical with Gordon Hayward leaving in free agency. I also had to highlight the only Pacer out of the 15 card pack, Jeff Teague. I was not a fan of swapping George Hill for Teague, but now both players have moved on to other teams. Teague recently signed a deal to go to Minnesota, and the Pacers brought back Darren Collison and traded for Cory Joseph. I’m OK with the combination of players the Pacers have at the point guard spot now. Jeff never seemed to find his groove with the Pacers. Regardless, good luck in Minnesota! That is going to be an exciting team to watch.

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Here are the non-base cards from the pack. I’m certainly a sucker for parallels like this Dazzle parallel, although all the variations can be a little much. Could do worse than Wesley Matthews as the pull.

The Hardwood Pioneers have Dazzle variations as well- this Gail Goodrich is the plain verison.

Here’s a complete list of the cards I pulled in case folks out there are tackling the set.

10 Tony Snell
26 JaMychal Green
40 Hassan Whiteside
55 Tyler Johnson
68 Marvin Williams
83 Rodney Hood
97 Luc Mbah A Moute
112 Jonas Valanciunas
119 Jeff Teague
136 J.J. Barea
161 Malcolm Delaney RC
184 Skal Lasissiere RC
190 Juan Hernandez RC
130 Wesley Matthews Dazzle Parallel
14 Gail Goodrich Hardwood Pioneers

I’m interested in trading for other Malcom Delaney cards from this set (parallels, autographs), as well as other Pacers from this set.