Gem of a Trade, Gem of a Collecting Week

A good part of my collection came through trading. I spent a lot of time in the 2000s trading for Pacers in online message boards like The Bench, HobbyInsider, etc… And before that I traded cards with friends in my younger days. At some point it seemed like the momentum in trading that I found on message boards fell off, and over time social media really emerged as more of a means for finding cards. Where I’m going is that I made my first trade social media this past week.

Ryan, a Lamar Odom and Lakers collector with the Instagram handle @green_stiller, found five Duncan cards that I didn’t already have in my collection, after reaching out asking about my current collecting interests. I’m approaching 500 cards in my Duncan collection these days and finding different inserts and parallels is becoming more difficult.

1999-00 Topps Team Topps

A ‘shimmer’ before it was called a ‘shimmer’. That’s what this Team Topps insert from 1999-00 Topps reminds me of. I opened a box of 1999-00 Topps Series 1 around a decade ago and opened up Reggie Miller and Grant Hill, which I was thrilled with. Really glad to have the Duncan now from a great looking insert set.

2003-04 Upper Deck Standing O Die-Cut

Next up is an embossed parallel from 2003-04 Upper Deck Standing O. This was a one-year product during LeBron’s rookie season that had one veteran die-cut inserted in every pack. Great design, and honestly the die-cut with a basketball in the background just makes sense.

2003-04 Upper Deck Standing O Die-Cut

The back looks sharp as well and you can really see the layered effect on the player by looking at the back. It’s hard to tell from the photo of the front. I had the base set Duncan before but these die-cuts are really the standouts from this brand, in my opinion.

2004-05 Topps Chrome

I was surprised to see that I needed this 2004-05 Topps Chrome, but I appreciated getting it in this trade. Great image of Duncan throwing one down. The refractor is definitely on my want list.

2000-01 Finest #171 GEM

Here’s where the literal Gem comes into play. Duncan has 3 cards in the base set of 2000-01 Finest. Two of those are subsets, including this one, Gems. This was the last I needed of the 3. The non-refractor Chrome cards are tough to photograph or scan, but this is a nice looking card that could definitely be mistaken for an insert.

2021-22 Recon Holo

Ryan added this 2021-22 Recon Holo as a bonus, and these Holos look great. This had to be one of the better cards from the packs he opened, I would expect, and I really appreciate the surprise when I opened the bubble mailer.

2002-03 Topps Chrome

The true gem of the package was the card I initially wanted to trade for, this Manu Ginobili Topps Chrome rookie. Perfect timing with him going into the Basketball Hall of Fame next weekend. I’ve wanted to pick up a copy for awhile, and there’s no rookie card from 2002-03 I’d rather have than his Topps Chrome.

The version I picked up in this trade is a variation where the back of the card is in Spanish.

I’d encourage anyone with rare Lamar Odom or Lakers cards to reach out to Ryan on Instagram handle @green_stiller. He’s been great to interact with and definitely is a positive force in the hobby.

Later in the week I added a few more cards through eBay and COMC.

2021-22 Panini Prizm 75th Anniversary

I’ve started to focus more on picking up Myles Turner cards recently. He’s the longest tenured Pacer, at least for now, and I appreciate how he fits into the modern game. He protects the rim, blocks a ton of shots, and can step out and hit threes on offense. I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be on the team, but I’m excited to see him back out on the court once the season starts. The 75th Anniversary parallel from this year’s Prizm caught my eye, and I decided I wanted to grab Myles first. Great looking card.

2019-20 Donruss Optic White Sparkle

The last few cards I want to talk about came out of a goof on my part. I picked up Optic parallels of Pacers Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner a few months ago, and I decided I liked them enough to try to start picking up other Pacers from that parallel across multiple years. I also incorrectly labeled those parallels as the White Sparkle, and even went as a far as sharing one on Instagram, incorrectly labeling it. How I wish Panini would label the many parallels they produce on the back of the cards. I know I can’t be the only one who would appreciate this. But after realizing my mistake, I looked at the actual White Sparkle parallel, and turns out I like that one even more. So I added a few of the Optic White Sparkles to a recent COMC order, starting with this Justin Holiday. Optic is my favorite of the ‘Chromium’ Panini brands and I haven’t done anything like this, so I’m excited for the challenge.

2017-18 Donruss Optic Fast Break Holo

Speaking of the Fast Break Holo, if you hadn’t seen the actual White Sparkle and had this in front of you, could you mistake it for a White Sparkle? Well that’s what I did. While I was starting to grab the White Sparkle parallels, I added another Fast Break Holo, this one of Darren Collison. Lots of solid to great point guards came out of the 2009 NBA Draft, and five of them spent time with the Pacers (Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, and Darren Collison). Collison had the best tenure with the Pacers out of the group, by far. Nice parallel of a solid point guard.

2018-19 Donruss Optic White Sparkle

The second White Sparkle I picked up is limited to only 20 but is not serial numbered. That’s my understanding, anyway. Bojan stands out to me because of his solid playoff performances for the Pacers, even if they ultimately did not lead to the team advancing. Hated to see him go, and it appears with the rebuilding Jazz he is likely to be on the move again. Great card to capture his time with the Pacers.

Between a card show, trades, and COMC pickups, I feel really good about the gems I’ve picked up to add to my collection recently. The card show and trades in particular flash me back to earlier in my collecting history, and the interactions with other collectors are motivating and keeps the hobby fresh. Looking forward to more of that here in the last few months of 2022.

What percentage of the cards you pick up are a result of a deal made on social media? Made a great deal on social media recently? I want to hear about your experiences.

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