One of the best things about creating this basketball card blog back in July, 2020 has been the opportunity to connect with other collectors and bloggers. One of the first people to recognize this blog was fellow blogger Hoops Hobby, who has been blogging about basketball cards since 2011!
I had the opportunity to recently connect with Hoops to ask him 10 questions about topics like the origin of his blog, some of his best cards, and to get his thoughts on the future of basketball card collecting. Check out his responses below.
1. How did the HoopsHobby blog come to exist?
Back in 2011 I wanted a way to document cards in my collection, highlight things I enjoyed about the hobby, whether it be specific cards, sets, or trends, but most of all I wanted a place to engage with other collectors.
Quite honestly, I couldn’t find any active blogs dedicated to basketball cards. The baseball card blogging community was quite strong then, and remains so today, especially on the blogspot platform. I wanted to start to create something like that on the basketball side of the hobby. So I created Hoops Hobby.
And even though I still don’t know of too many basketball card dedicated blogs, Twitter, Instagram, and podcasts now allow for that community to exist, especially so for basketball cards.
2. How old were you when you got into collecting cards, and was there a particular card or set that got you into collecting?
I started collecting basketball cards in the mid-90s with my dad. I have some great memories from my childhood of opening packs, going to card shows, going to basketball games with my dad. That’s where my collecting started.
My best friend at the time who lived down the street from me also collected basketball cards. We did a lot of trading in the mid-90s.
The set that stands out to me most is 1994-95 Ultra basketball. I’ve still got a complete set of Rebound Kings in a binder that I probably won’t ever part with. Power in the Key and Defensive Gems (I had the Pippen) also stick out to me.
3. HoopsHobby has been around for roughly a decade now, which is crazy! What would you say are the most interesting insights or takeaways you’ve seen in the basketball card market since starting your blog way back when?
I do think an exclusive license for producing NBA basketball cards is not ideal. Not that Panini does a bad job by any means. I’m usually pretty pleased with the cards that are released, but I think competition would only be better for the collector. Would also lead to more products being available and maybe help on the affordability side of things.
On the market side of things, obviously we are in a period of unprecedented growth in the hobby. I certainly haven’t seen anything like this since I’ve been collecting. Rookie classes seem to be fueling the hype around new products, but the guys I grew up collecting are also surging in value too.
4. What is the most valuable basketball card you have in your personal collection?
The most valuable to me is probably a 1988-89 Fleer Reggie Miller rookie. He’s my all-time favorite player and I’ve had that particular card for quite some time.
5. What is your favorite card in your personal collection?
Outside of the Reggie Miller rookie, probably cards I’ve either had autographed in person or through the mail. At a Pacers/Hornets game I had cards signed by Jermaine O’Neal, Al Harrington and Ron Mercer. Those still have a special place in my collection. Another is a Clark Kellogg Upper Deck Generations card I received signed through the mail, along with a nice note.
6. What is the best card you ever pulled from a pack and what was that experience like?
I’ve had decent luck over the years. The best would be Lebron rookies (Avant and Genuine). Wish I had kept the Avant rookie, of course. I traded it years ago, hopefully for something good! I do still have the Genuine rookie. Has a mini card inside it and I’ve never taken it out to see what’s inside!
Best memory of pulling a card of of a player I collect is pulling a quad jersey from Fleer Authentix of Reggie Miller, Steve Nash, Nenê, and Pau Gasol. It’s a great feeling to pull a card of a player you collect.
7. If Kazaam Shaq appeared and said he would grant you a single wish to add any basketball card under $25K to your collection, what would be the top card on your wish list?
Probably any of the Reggie Miller certified autographs. There are more now released by Panini than there used to be, but the prices have gone up as well. Even though I have more Reggie cards than any other player, I don’t have a certified auto on a card.
Another would be a 1998 E-X Century Dunk ‘N Go-Nuts insert of Tim Duncan. Part of why I started collecting Duncan was the wide variety of insert sets he appears in late 90s and 2000s.
8. Where do you see the basketball card market five years from now?
I’m hoping that in five years we can walk into a card store or Target/Wal-mart at any time of day and purchase a blaster at a normal price. If that will end up being the case, it’s hard to say.
Outside of that, though, I would expect card staples from hall of famers to continue to increase in value steadily.
Longer term it looks like most new singles will be affordable, which is encouraging. Outside of hot rookies, most new cards don’t seem to be too over-inflated.
9. Do you see basketball cards and basketball related NFTs (like NBA Top Shot) coexisting, or do you think cardboard or NFTs will ultimately win out?
Personally I haven’t purchased any NFTs, but absolutely I see these co-existing with physical basketball cards.
I think there will always be a place for wanting to own a physical card. There’s also clearly a market for virtual cards or the Top Shot like products. People seem to want to get in on the excitement of purchasing these. The demand when new packs drop is high. I would think as more and more are released that things would settle down a bit, but for sure there is room for these two to co-exist.
10. And finally, my last question for you is what advice or tips would you give someone new to basketball card collecting, or card collecting in general?
I would say, figure out what brings you the most enjoyment in the hobby and focus on that space.
The current state of the hobby is frustrating in certain ways, but at the same time there’s more exposure and content being produced than ever before, which overall is a great thing.
I’m encouraged by the number of positive voices in the hobby right now, and the list seems to be growing.
And just like that, collector interview number two has come to a close. A HUGE thanks to Hoops Hobby for taking the time to answer my questions and for the support. I also want to highly recommend checking out the HoopsHobby blog for other great basketball card related content, like Pack Breaks, 90s Inserts, some great Tim Duncan cards, and more.
If you liked this interview, I recommend you checking out the first collector interview featuring the two founders of SportsCardPro.