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Basketball card

Dream Cards

Yesterday was a beast of a post and honestly I’m feeling a little drained. So to give myself a break but still keep up my goal of posting new content every day, I wanted to take a few minutes to pontificate about what a few of my dream cards might look like, all featuring some of my favorite NBA moments.

Sadly, I don’t have the skill or the software to come up with card mock-ups. However, I’d love to see what people come up with for the cards I’ve listed or what their own dream card would look like. To my knowledge, there are no current cards with these images, but if anyone reading this blog knows of instances where these images are featured, please let me know.

I couldn’t decide on a clear card for my #5 spot, so rather than force it, I’ll share my top four that I think would be nice, especially if they were rare autograph parallels or prizms. If this post gets some traction, maybe I’ll do another or maybe Panini will hire me. Anyway, lets do this!

#4: Anything Is Possible

It was just over 13 years since the Boston Celtics made the trade to get Kevin Garnett, and I happened to see a bunch of stories on Twitter about the trade, so the image of the Garnett and the Celtics winning it all back in 2008 is top of mind for me. To that end, I think a great card would feature Garnett during or just after his “Anything is possible” moment.

It is a shame that he throws his head so far back in that exact moment, because you can’t see the expression on his face (unless someone out there has an aerial shot). But how cool would a prizm (or refractor) look of this card where the confetti is designed in an atomic-refractor way to get some extra pop and sparkle, and with KG not only signing his name, but also writing “Anything is possible” on the card itself.

This would also have to be a super limited short print, maybe to 5 (Garnett’s number) or 8 (since the Celtics won in ’08). Oh, and I’d want the signature and message written in either green or gold sharpie.

#3: Absolutely Savage

This is a card that would never be made because by modern standards, it’s too violent, so no one (meaning Panini) would touch this hypothetical card. However, I still think one sick and absolutely savage card would be a photo of Reggie Miller giving the choke sign to Spike Lee after he single handedly steals a win from the Knicks IN THEIR HOUSE by scoring 8 points in roughly 9 seconds.

The way I’d design the card would be by incorporating an old school movie reel off along the left side of the card (sort of similar to the 2001-02 Upper Deck Motion Pictures design) and in each section of film I’d have a still shot of Reggie scoring each bucket.

So there would be a shot at the 18 second mark with Reggie pulling the Pacers to within three points, a shot around the 15 second mark with Reggie tying the game, and a shot around the 8 second mark with Reggie knocking down both free throws to win the game.

Along the right side of the card there would be an image of Reggie filling up the length of the card giving the choke sign. I also would want to see the word “Savage” in red foil using some sort of clawing or ripping font (think the tear marks in the Raptors logo on the basketball). I think this would also have to be a very limited short print, either with a population of 8 (in honor of the 8 points), or with a population of 31 for Reggies number.

(In case you need to refamiliarize yourself with the final moments of the savage Reggie game, or if you’ve never seen it before, please check out this 5 minute video.)

#2: Scoops Ahoy

No NBA highlight reel is complete without the Dr. J scoop where he drives baseline against the LA Lakers, palms the ball with his right hand, puts it behind the backboard, and brings it back for a reverse lay-up. This move is so insane, even Magic Johnson calls it “the greatest move I’ve ever seen in a basketball game”.

Oh yeah, and this also happened in Game 4 of the 1980 NBA Finals. Its incredible to watch and I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that game to see how fans reacted in real life.

With a move like that, it’s hard to take a still to capture what Erving is actually doing. However, when I was doing a Google image search for this move, I saw a few different black and white aerial shots with Erving’s arm fully extended and keeping the basketball way behind the backboard, and one of those might work. However, I honestly don’t believe any one or two photos of this move will do it justice.

So how do you get a card with this legendary move? Well, I think I’d want a very simple shot of Erving in color from 1980 in the foreground and the background would have some sort of grainy black, gray, and white bar-code look going on. Then, with the help of a smart phone, when the camera is over the card it picks up the background bar-code and plays a high quality gif of Erving’s reverse lay-up.

I don’t know. Does that feel like a lame use of technology, or could it work? Perhaps we hold off and keep that one in the ‘Maybe‘ pile for now.

I still think the simple design with Dr. J in color plus the black/gray/white coloring in the background (a similar look to Panini Noir or the movie Sin City) would look sick. Plus, if Dr. J penned his name in red ink somewhere on the card, it would be awesome.

#1: The Shrug

It’s not just my favorite Jordan moment, it’s my favorite moment in basketball. To me, Jordan’s simple shrug after hitting his sixth three-pointer in the first half of Game 1 in the NBA Finals is the ultimate flex. He didn’t trash talk, he didn’t cup his hands to his ears, he didn’t rip his shirt off, he just shook his head three times and shrugged. What’s more savage than that?

So this card design is easy. Just Jordan shrugging in the foreground, and either a faded background with the rest of the scene, or nothing in the background. I’d want to see the look of both. But, on second thought, maybe we keep that dejected shot of Cliff Robinson with the headband pulled down over his eyes in the background.

Either way, I’d want the card to be very simple with little to no card noise going on around the shot of Jordan. Just the picture of Jordan, his autograph at the bottom of the card, and I’d want the card to also be a short print out of 23. How nice would that be to have your your collection?

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