Basketball Memorabilia

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Basketball memorabilia is snapped up the minute it hits the market, or at least so say its vendors. The last few years have witnessed an expansion not only of the number of those who sell cards and apparel, but those who produce them. Instead of generic cardboard cutouts with boring statistics printed on the back, today's cards feature player holograms and gold refraction among other bells and whistles.

While cards dominate the basketball memorabilia market in terms of supply, it's older, scarcer items that bring the biggest dollars. By their very nature, game balls and player jerseys are significantly harder to find than mass-produced collectibles. What's more, their owners feel as though they have a piece of the game, not a document that reports on it. Hence, the difference is one of degree, not just kind.

Types of Basketball Memorabilia

In addition to a booming jersey market, there is significant demand for other apparel. Player shoes, wristbands, shorts, and jackets routinely make it onto online auction sites, often accompanied by certificates of authenticity. Newbies to the world of basketball memorabilia might be surprised to find a Kobe, Shaq, or LeBron jersey with a picture of its seller shaking hands with the star in question (as if the two couldn't have met on a separate occasion). Still, this evidence is better than no evidence when it comes to ascertaining the value of your goods.

Rivaling jerseys and shorts are more prosaic items such as team photos, glossy head shots, and of course autographs (which may be found on any of these items). For young collectors in particular, these are easier to find, buy, sell, and trade than stand-alone "vintage" items that fetch thousands of dollars. Those who would decry the adult appropriation of a "child's" pastime can thus take solace that kids can still afford to partake of the hobby.

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