Pickup of the Week: Herb Williams Autograph

I’ve picked up where I left off, with the first pickup in my return to basketball card collecting being an addition to my Indiana Pacers autograph collection. The goal here is to get an autograph of every player to appear in a regular season game for the Pacers, preferably on a card in a Pacers uniform, if possible.

I’m going to be sharing my progress so far over a series of posts, but my most recent pickup is an autograph card from 2013-14 Panini Totally Certified Basketball of Herb Williams. This is player number 79 I’ve added to the Pacers autograph collection.

1314herbwilliams

Herb recorded his best statistical seasons as a Pacer, averaging a career best 19.9 points per game in the 1985-86 season. The team finished 26-56 that year, though. Herb got his first taste of the playoffs with the Pacers in 1987, starting four games as the Pacers lost to the Atlanta Hawks 3-1. He played 57 career playoff games, most with the Knicks, and many of those in key series against the Pacers. He played until he was 41 years old, retiring after an impressive 18 year NBA career.

He served as an assistant coach with the Knicks and served as head coach for 39 games during the 2004-05 season after Lenny Wilkins resigned.

Glad to add this auto of Herb Williams to my Pacers autograph collection. The card looks better in person than in the scan. It is a sticker auto and I may look to add an on-card auto down the line. I’m not aware of a certified autograph with Herb in a Pacers uniform that isn’t a sticker, though.


A Return, of sorts

Hello to the blogosphere. When I started this blog back in the summer of 2011, it was because I noticed a void of basketball card blogs in the hobby and wanted to show some of my collection and talk about the hobby I’ve been a part of since I was a child. Now I am thirty years old with a baby boy, hoping I can pass to him a love of basketball, and with that a way to enjoy the sport more, and something we can share.

I was excited to interact with other collectors, get their opinions and discover parts of the hobby I had missed or overlooked. A few other basketball card blogs came and went, and my site grew over the years it was active. But I noticed the baseball card portion of the blogosphere was infinitely larger and more active. And so in 2014 after a 2 year hiatus, I started a baseball card blog, Card Stacks Blog, and started to follow MLB more and pick up Atlanta Braves cards and a few other players. I certainly don’t plan to completely abandon that blog and will post there when the urge strikes me.

I found that sports card bloggers are incredibly generous and are eager to interact and exchange cards. I am hoping that there is an audience for a basketball card blog. It may not have as many box breaks as it did when I had more disposable income, but I will open the occasional loose pack and continue to share cards from my collection. I also hope to send cards that don’t fit into my collection to other collectors, and add some recent Pacers. I’m less of a ‘hit’ collector these days, but I won’t turn them away and I am still looking to add autographs of Pacer players. I have 0 cards of Myles Turner who looks to be a superstar in the making. Paul George has also become a superstar over the past several years. The NBA as a whole has changed a lot and I hope to add some league commentary as well.

I can’t make a post without showing some cards, of course. Last year I opened a blaster of 2015-16 Hoops for the purpose of giving cards to kids on a youth basketball team I coached. I kept a couple of Pacers.

1516hoopspacers

The only guy still on the team is Stuckey. Budinger and Sloan have moved on. In fact, the Sloan is actually a Nets card. For a third string point guard, Sloan was a bargain for what he brought to the team.

1516hoopsholmes

I also pulled an autograph. Holmes is a second round pick in the 2015 draft out of Bowling Green. He’s received some decent minutes with the 76ers and also spent some time in the Developmental League this season. Would like to send this to a 76ers collector. It looks like there’s some hope for fans with this team with Embiid looking like a star.

I’m excited to update this blog again. Are there any basketball card collectors out there in the blogosphere?


Shift in collection focus

Since I started collecting back in the mid-90s, my focus has always been on collecting ‘any and all Indiana Pacers cards, past or present’. The mid-to-late 90s Pacers will always hold a special place in my heart and in my basketball card collection. Guys like Mark Jackson, Rik Smits, Jalen Rose, Dale and Antonio Davis, and of course the great Reggie Miller are my favorite players of all-time, and I doubt that will ever change. After that era of Pacer basketball, players like Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Ron Artest, Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, along with lesser-knowns, have come and gone. While exciting to watch, now that these players have moved on, I can’t say I go and regularly look through my collections of these guys like I do the cards of Pacers from the 90s.

How this impacts my collecting habits today? Well instead of collecting any and all Pacers, I’ve found myself shifting my focus to other favorite players not wearing a Pacer uniform, along with the key guys on the current team (currently Danny Granger, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, etc…). And so my Tim Duncan collection has taken off, I’ve added autographs of other greats such as Tony Parker and Paul Pierce to my collection, and I’ve put together small collections of Kevin Durant and Grant Hill. I’m pleased with this shift so far, and while I’ll always collect the Pacers, I won’t have to look back in 10 years and try to remember how I ended up with so many cards of Ike Diogu or Shawne Williams. Plus, I’ll still have these guys covered in my All-Time Pacers autograph collection.

With all that said, I’ve picked up some recent Duncan inserts to add to the collection. Pretty excited about the Star Power Plus in particular.



Are the Spurs Done?

After losing in six games to the Thunder in what may have been the most entertaining series of the playoffs, the question comes up- are the Spurs, as they are currently assembled, done as a serious title-threat going forward? Tim Duncan becomes a free-agent, although both sides have basically accepted Duncan is a Spur-for-life. The core continues to age while the Thunder grow into their collective prime. Durant is amazingly only 23.

The Spurs have always been a favorite of mine to watch- they can seemingly plug in young unknowns (Gary Neal, James Anderson, Danny Green, etc…) and disposed-of veterans not producing on former teams (Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson), and these guys will step in and produce. It is the San Antonio way. It is the Greg Popovich way. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Spurs in contention. In a shortened season where the older teams were supposed to struggle, the Spurs posted the league’s best record. Who says they can’t contend again next year, using the same formula? The key pieces will be back, along with emerging young star Kawhi Leonard.

Who knows if the Spurs can stop the emerging Thunder (and potential defending champ?) in the next few years. The fan in me isn’t ready for the breakup of the Spurs, or the end of Duncan’s career. I also wouldn’t bet against Duncan or Popovich.

 


Playoff Survivor Round Two: Day Two, May 11th

Philly and Boston were able to close out, while the Nuggets forced a game seven with the Lakers.

Diane Squires – Celtics WIN
Tony Kapuschinsky – Celtics WIN
franxise01 – Celtics WIN
HoopsHobby – Celtics WIN

Greg D. – Lakers LOSS
jdlee123 – Lakers LOSS

Down to four here very quickly. Only one game tonight.

Memphis Grizzlies at L.A. Clippers, 9 pm ESPN

Hoops Hobby takes the Grizzlies with the upset on the road. Make sure to get your pick in by 9 pm eastern!


Playoff Survivor Round Two: Day One, May 10th

Back for round two of NBA Playoff Survivor. The rules are the same as round one. Each day of the contest, pick a winner of any available game that day by leaving a comment on this post, and move on to pick the next day. Simple as that. Winner gets a prize from the list of cards in my post from yesterday. Round two starts with games for Thursday, May 10th. Picks must be in by 7 eastern on Thursday. Here are the games:

Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers, 7 pm NBA TV

Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics, 8 pm TNT

L.A. Lakers at Denver Nuggets, 10:30 pm TNT

Hoops Hobby’s pick for Thursday, the Celtics to close out the Hawks at home.


Playoff Survivor: Round One Winner!

We have a winner for round one! Tony Kapuschinsky won by picking the Celtics last night who won in convincing fashion over the Hawks.

The prize list is as follows:

1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome Eyes of the Game Refractors #EG8 Allen Iverson
2005-06 Topps #224 Chris Paul RC
2006-07 Bowman Elevation Power Brokers Relics Blue #RCB Chris Bosh
2010-11 Panini Season Update Green Week Jerseys #8 Chris Andersen/699
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #1 Al Horford
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #8 Deron Williams
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #16 Kevin Garnett
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #5 Chris Bosh
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #11 Dwight Howard
2010-11 Playoff Contenders Patches #150 Omer Asik AU RC
2010-11 Playoff Contenders Patches #116 Luke Babbitt AU RC
2010-11 Playoff Contenders Patches #198 Solomon Alabi AU SP
2010-11 Totally Certified Red Materials #59 Tyreke Evans/249

Tony should select a card and send an email to HoopsHobby@gmail.com with the card picked and the address the card should be sent to.

We will be starting another round of Survivor on Thursday, May 10th so spread the word and stay tuned!