Based on how little he got to play the last several years, I suspected it was coming...but I still dreaded it.
As I've mentioned before, Elton is my all-time favorite player. He is a Hometown Hero, from Peekskill, NY, where my family is originally from. I began following him while he was still in high school, through his years at Duke and then into the NBA. I originally began following him because he was a local, but his character off the court and his playing ability on it locked him in as my #1 favorite player.
As a long time card collector, I naturally have tried to get as many different Elton cards as I could- and I still do. As of right now, I have 408 NBA cards of him, 7 college cards, and three jerseys that I wear. I can't show all of them here on the blog- it would take days to do that- but I will provide a link to my website where all his NBA cards can be seen together in one place at the end. That does not include cards that he shares with anyone else, including league leaders and team cards...just cards of him.
Many years ago, I had somebody create this logo for me to use in my signature line on Trader Retreat, which was the premier card forum at that time. I don't remember who made it for me, but I uploaded it to my website on December 5th, 2005. I don't even know if TR still exists. I still use that email address, although I only check once a week or so.
Now, let's take a look at Elton's career, and some of my favorite Elton cards, beginning with his time in college:
1997-98 and 1998-99 Duke University.
Elton played two years of college ball for a combined total of 60 games. I generally do not collect college cards but for him I make an exception.
|1999 Press Pass Autograph|
|1999 Press Pass Authentics Team 2000 #T1|
Elton went #1 in the 1999 NBA Draft to the Chicago Bulls. He did not expect to go #1 but he parlayed it into co-Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis of the Rockets.
|1999-00 Fleer Tradition Roundball Collection #203RB|
|1999-00 Hoops X #89|
|1999-00 EX E-Xceptional Red #14XC|
|1999-00 Hoops X New Style Parallel #4NS SN 0488/1989|
48 different cards of Elton from 1999-00 reside in my collection.
2000-01 was his second and final year with the Bulls, and with 80 different cards in my collection, the largest year for Eltons. It was the season I got my first autograph of him during, and he also got the #1 slot in several Topps sets, which is prestigious.
|2000-01 Bowman's Best Flashback Rookie Locker Room Autographs #LRCF|
|2000-01 Fleer Triple Crown #137|
|2000-01 Stadium Club #80|
|2000-01 Topps #1|
During the off-season between 2000-01 and 2001-02, Elton was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tyson Chandler and Brian Skinner. It was the only time Elton was traded during his career, and the Los Angeles Clippers became his home for the next seven seasons. Elton reached his peak during this time frame, unfortunately the Clippers' owner was a famously bad person, and also famously poor at team management. The Clippers were the butt of many jokes throughout the years, but Elton's star shined brightly and he became, I believe, the first Los Angeles Clipper player to ever receive MVP votes.
Elton had a great year in 2001-02, and made his first All-Star Game that season. My collection of him dips slightly in 2001-02, coming in at 51 cards.
|2001-02 Fleer Authentix #5|
|2001-02 Fleer Focus Trading Places jersey|
|2001-02 Fleer Marquee We're #1. This was my first Elton patch card, and it comes from the time before they treated patches specially.|
|2001-02 Stadium Club Lone Star Signatures|
|2002-03 Fleer Tradition #187|
|2002-03 MVP #72|
|2002-03 Topps Chrome White Refractor #44 SN115/249|
|2003-04 Bowman Signature #16 Red - One of One!|
|2003-04 EX Essential Credentials Now #7|
|2003-04 SP Game Used Authentic Patches. Taken from the L in Clippers.|
In 2004-05, I started to trail off a little in cards, and my Elton collection is only 34 cards from that year. Elton rebounded to play in 81 games.
|2004-05 Bazooka #42|
|2004-05 Fleer Throwbacks Hardwood Classics. My only NBA Logoman, albeit taken from the tag. Fine with me!|
|2004-05 Luxury Box Main Reserved #56 SN 22/25|
|2004-05 Upper Deck #76. San Diego Clippers throwback jersey.|
I really start to trail off this year, I only have 22 different cards of him, and most of them came much later- as in, 2015.
|2005-06 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics.|
|2004-05 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ultimate Signatures|
|2006-07 Bowman #9. Between 2006 and 2011 I believed this would be the last Elton card I would ever get. That has of course since changed.|
|2006-07 Bowman Elevation #2. This card was damaged in the flood of 2/5/15.|
|2006-07 Ultra #63|
2007-08 was Elton's last year with the Clippers, and it was not a good year at all. Injuries limited him to only 8 games. He still played great when he could, but he couldn't for most of the season.
I only have 5 cards of him from 2007-08, one of which I just got 2 days ago. (You can see it in my 2015 Elton Brand chart up above)
|2007-08 SP Game Used #118|
|2007-08 Topps #10|
|2008-09 Topps T-51 Murad #1|
|2009-10 Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Prime #TOTT9 SN 01/25. The patch is from either the B or R on the back of his jersey.|
|2009-10 Panini Crown Royale #14|
|2009-10 Absolute Memorabilia Spectrum #74|
|2010-11 Prestige Bonus Shots Black #90 SN 3/10|
|2010-11 Rookies & Stars Longevity #12- the first Elton I got in 2015|
|2011-12 Gold Standard #101|
|2012-13 Absolute Basketball Spectrum Silver #9 SN 2-10. This was the first set released to show Elton in a Mavs jersey.|
|2012-13 Panini #56|
|2012-13 Panini Brilliance Game Time Jerseys Prime #47. The entire card is mirror foil so it does not scan all that well. There are also two layers of white in the patch.|
|2013-14 Pinnacle #131. The only card issued of Elton as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.|
All in all, Elton played in 1041 NBA games, starting 867 of them. He scored 16,757 points, 8977 rebounds, 2166 assists, 931 steals and 1820 blocks.
In a league that has had over 3000 players play in an NBA game, he ranks in the top 100 of several categories: 94th all time in games played, 89th in scoring, 20th in blocks, 49th in rebounding, 70th in career minutes played, and that's not even getting into the PER stuff.
He also led the league in offensive rebounds twice.
Off the court he runs several charitable organizations. I know of at least two, but there may be more. I have no way to research them to provide more info.
If you would like to see All of my NBA cards of Elton. I have a special album for the on my website, which you can look at Here. My copy of his 2002-03 Topps base card has gone missing so it is not present in the album.
I also have three jerseys I wear, which I will show. I would have a Hawks jersey too but they don't make it big enough.
|Clippers red, from 2002-03 season. This is one where it's just painted on and it's cracking so I don't wear this one too often.|
|1971-72 Buffalo Braves throwback. I am not sure if the Clippers ever actually wore this as a throwback, but I found it for sale at retail and had to have it.|