One of my earliest hobbies was collecting different trading cards. My very first collection was those cards that kids call “Teks”. These small cards are usually based on popular Tagalog action movies and was printed ala comic strips. I used to buy one “banig of these cards, read the story, then tear them apart and play against other boys.
When in high school, the trend of card collecting was based on Marvel superheroes and WWE wrestlers. These cards are usually free from different candies and chicheria.
During my college days, I become a bit hard core with my hobby and jumped to the big leagues. That was the time when Magic the Gathering and NBA trading cards are becoming popular with kids and kids at heart.
Michael Jordan 3D Hologram NBA Trading Card
I love fantasy stories and characters but I did not get the drift of collecting Magic the Gathering trading cards. That was the time I tried my luck at NBA card collecting. I used to be a semi-regular fixture in some of the trading hotspots like in SM Centerpoint, Filbar’s in SM Megamall and in Greenhills in San Juan.
Michael Jordan wearing the #45 Chicago Bulls Jersey
During those days, the NBA was all about Michael Jordan. Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill are proving themselves as worthy Heir Apparent and Shaq was a freak of nature. It was a time when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were recently retired and talented rookies like Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant was on the rise. ( Lebron was still on high school then).
Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson: Who is Better?
The price of a pack of NBA trading cards then was about 60 to 120 pesos. I used to skip lunch and merienda just to buy a pack of Fleer Ultra and Upper Deck Cards. Cutting the sleeves of the pack is very exciting, and the thrill of finding a very rare Insert card is nerve wracking. Finding no special card or a superstar card is heart breaking.
My NBA Trading Card Collection
Nobody was trading their MJ cards then. Everybody thinks that Jordan is the best basketball player ever and his NBA cards are worth collecting, even if those cards are just labeled as “common cards”. Luckily for me, I got a few or these common MJ cards together with some special Inserts and some rare cards like the very first 3D Hologram NBA trading card of Michael Jordan.
I also have a lot of Penny Hardaway cards, (sadly his career went south due to injuries), a few Olympic Dream Team 2 cards, and some rookie cards of NBA superstars like Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Stephon Marburry, Steve Nash, Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Reggie Miller. I also have some cards of fan favorites like Grant Hill, Dennis Rodman, Alonzo Mourning, Charles Barkley and Shaquille o’Neil.
In my NBA card collection, my favorites are the rookie cards of Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson. These guys became big basketball stars, and are sure Hall of Famers in the future.
Allen Iverson for me was the best little guy in the league. He can go toe to toe with greats like Michael Jordan or John Stockton. He also became an all star MVP and the regular season MVP. He also led the league in scoring for a couple of years.
Allen Iverson Rookie Cards
Kobe Brant is also a favorite NBA player of mine. His Rookie cards are also hot during his rookie days. Even if he was a bench warmer for the Los Angels Lakers during his Rookie season, nobody wants to trade Kobe Brant Rookie cards. I even went out of the way and offered a little kid 2 Jordan cards plus cash for Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merrion High School rookie card to no avail. Kobe became a legit superstar when he won the Slam Dunk contest.
Kobe Bryant Upperdeck UD3 Rookie Card
Before, I just collect NBA cards because of their value. Michael Jordan common cards are priced at 5 dollars each during his playing days. Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson Rookie cards are about 5 dollars then and are now sold at around 20 dollars or more. I usually sell cards of other NBA superstars to other collectors then.
Now I just treasure these cards for history’s sake. These cards are not for sale and I hope that they would stay in great condition so that future generations can see what basketball was then during those years.
The Rest of my NBA Card Collection
Right now, my NBA card collection is placed in a safe place in my room. I did not have any Yao Ming, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade or Derick Rose Rookie cards for the price of NBA trading cards has gone off the roof the last few years. Before, you can buy a pack of cards for 60 pesos, now the cheapest pack can be bought for 200 to 300 pesos. I better leave this hobby for now to the rich kids in Greenhills, kids who are keeping the tradition of NBA card collecting alive here in the country.
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