Sunday, December 4, 2016

Linsanity strikes!

I was a little disappointed with this year's Black Friday sales...I had saved up $150 after seeing how great last year's were...and this year, it fell flat. I ended up buying one box only, and it cost me less than $30. Some of the rest of what I had saved went to COMC, most of it went to non-fun things like paying for the medicine that keeps me alive.

What I did end up getting was a hobby box of 2011-12 Hoops. It was a risk, I knew, because I had done a retail box in the past. But it was still missing a lot of cards, so I felt it was cheap enough to take the risk. I'm glad I did.

Right off the bat, I was missing 5 people who were in this set but not present in my collection, and all 5 of them now are. Only one of them is still in the NBA. Since Panini didn't bother to include rookies during the lockout, they included some people that they normally ignore so they weren't present in my collection. They began appearing in the second pack I opened.
They were:
Cole Aldrich (still in the NBA, never left it, but didn't get a card again until 2016-17)
Solomon Alabi
Hasheem Thabeet
Sundiata Gaines
Jerome Jordan

Each box included 2 autographs and my first was a big one:
In 2011-12 Jeremy Lin stepped in to the starting lineup of the New York Knicks and became a sensation. Linsanity swept NYC and the entire NBA. I remember watching those games, 2011-12 is when I was just getting into the NBA again after several years away. Lin was not included on many checklists before then, but it really is what launched his career. He has been in the NBA ever since, although never reaching the levels of success he had that 2-week span when he was carrying the Knicks. Now he is the starting Poing Guard on my favorite team, the Nets, although he has missed most of the year to injury.

This would have been just about the biggest card of the year that year- to be honest it's still a big pull. It's a big enough card that I could not afford to buy it a single, and for me that's always a good pull.
The second autograph was great in it's own way as it was a very obscure player. Derrick Caracter is so obscure that this is only my second card of him- the first being the base version of his card from this very set. Most people would be really unhappy to pull this, but not me. I always prefer to get the rarer guys.
Here are the new players for my collection.

This Hoops design is not really the greatest, Panini got better with that over the years. It was their first Hoops effort and the first time the Hoops brand had been issued since 2005-06. I've now done a hobby box of every year of the Panini era Hoops set except 2013-14, and I have too many to make it worthwhile now, I'm only about 20 cards away from the 300 card set.

Overall box breakdown is not great here- I have a huge stack of duplicates but I'm still 7 cards away from the complete set. I have one pack yet to open- I saved it to scan the pack- so I'm hoping I can complete it that way. If not, I'll see if I can trade for them, but knowing I won't find anybody to trade them to me, I will probably just break down and buy them on COMC. Panini HAS gotten better in that area as well- you usually don't get any duplicates in the Hoops box now, but you get less cards than the set includes even not counting the inserts and parallels, which keep you even farther from a complete set. But they make the sets so small that buying a second box would be a waste of money because it would be mostly duplicates.

There's a whole bunch of inserts but most of them are kind of pointless. The Action Photos insert is a good one though, I have always loved cards where the photo was taken through the backboard.

And that's it for my Black Friday box busting. I did get a large order from COMC- at 68 cards and two comics, my largest ever- and when it arrives I should be able to get 5 or more posts out if it, might even take me into next year as I am not always very quick...I never finished the post for the 2015 Black Friday boxes I did, after all!


  1. I hope you can find the last 20 missing from the 2013 set

  2. Update: I opened the last pack, and completed the set! I got all 7 base cards I needed and a Josh Smith insert.

  3. You could have retired if you had pulled that Lin a few years back. Great card!

    1. I would never part with it though...then or now! Thanks!

  4. That Lin is a great card to get especially since I don't imagine there are too many autos of him in his Knicks jersey

    1. There were 10 issued in 2011-12, but only three of them are from real sets- the rest all come from the super high end stuff. He has this one, two from Past & Present, and the rest are from Limited and Gold Standard.