Monday , Jun , 30 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Basketball Collecting 101

As a fan of watching, following, and playing basketball, there’s one other way in which I enjoy the sport, and that’s through basketball collectibles. The most common of which is something just about any basketball fan has asked their favorite player for, an autograph. Usually associated with kids or dealers, autograph seekers travel from arena to arena to collect NBA players autographs from Tracy McGrady to Eric Piatkowski. But there are easier ways to find collectibles of your favorite NBA stars, that’s through basketball cards.

Basketball Collecting 101The basketball card market has exploded over the past decade, from just a few sets of cards released each season to 30-40 different sets this past season. Not only has the amount of product grown but so has the quality. From autographs, pieces of players jersey, to cards printed on plexi-glass, the card companies continue to try and find new ways to raise the bar of card variety. Each of the big name companies, Topps, Upper Deck, and Fleer release several different brands each season, each with a certain type of collector in mind. Topps has their original Topps brand line which is aimed at the set builders or casual collectors, giving the fans cards at $2 for 10 card packs while maintaining solid product. While at the other end is Topps Jersey Edition, a set where every card contains a players jersey, and comes in 2 card $20 packs. One of the biggest trends seen today is the numbered rookie cards. While collectors enjoy the scarcity of a Upper Deck SPx Yao Ming rookie card, of which only 999 were made, allot of other people are turned off by the $500 price tag.

The card store was always the place to buy the latest cards, but thanks to the internet and the success of on-line auctions, the stores have seen a decline over the years. But there is one place you can go to see nearly 1,000 different dealers, selling just about an sports collectible you can imagine, plus get a chance to meet some of the biggest names in sports history. The National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) or better know as just "The National" has for years been the biggest and best card show in the country. Not only does The National get nearly 1,000 different dealers from all over the country, the autograph guests are second to none. Muhammed Ali, Cal Ripken Jr. , Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, just to name a few of the legendary sports figures to sign at The National. All kinds of collectors from the serious dealer, to the first time collector, The National has it all at a wind range of prices, and with so many tables your bound to find something to your liking.

For more information on The National Sports Collectors Convention visit
Images courtesy of Sportsology.Net. Used with Permission.