Tuesday, February 21, 2017

NBA Encyclopedia #1

Some people do all-time team rosters...I do all-time league rosters! 

I've mentioned in the past that one of my main projects is to have every NBA person who has gotten a card into my collection. While the majority of the cards are of players, there are also coaches, team owners, broadcasters, and even celebrity fans of the game who have gotten cards. As of the time of this writing, 2/21/2017, I have more than 2700 people in my collection. I'm going to take a look through each of them, 10 people at a time, in (mostly) alphabetical order. There are some I have not scanned any cards of yet so they will be pushed off for later.

How I reckon my collection: It must be an individual player card. It can't be a team card, a card shared with anyone else, a League Leader card, and no college cards. Multi-sport releases are also not counted for the scope of this project. WNBA players will be included if they were included in one of the Team USA sets or an NBA flagship set.

I'm going to do 10 players at a time, because it's a nice round number and I should be able to fit all of their names into the tag list. It also means I might actually complete this project in the next century as opposed to my original plan of one post for each person (lol)

I will write a very brief biography for them which details the length of their career and who they played for. What I can't do, yet, is tell you how many cards I have of each person, because I lost that information to a floppy disk crash in 2005 or so and won't be able to recapture that information until I finish scanning my entire collection, and I did not want to put this project off until then.

We begin with the alphabetical first player in NBA History, #1 Alaa Abdelnaby.

1992-93 Upper Deck #70
Alaa Abdelnaby is the only NBA player who was born in Egypt (Cairo), although his family moved to the USA when he was 2. He played in the NBA from 1990-91 through 1994-95, playing for the Blazers, Kings, Bucks, Celtics and 76ers. He played in 256 total games with the majority of them being for the Trail Blazers. He currently is a broadcaster for the Philadelphia 76ers.

(Note: I am skipping players with multiple names, they will get a post of their own, soon!)

#2 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
2001-02 Topps Pristene Refractor #14
Marietta, Georgia native Shareef Abdur-Rahim was part of the legendary draft class of 1996, and played in the NBA from 1996-97 through 2007-08. He played for the Vancouver Grizzlies, Hawks, Kings and Trail Blazers. He played 830 games and was an All-Star in 2001-02. He has spent time in the front office for the Kings but as far as I know is no longer a member of that organization.

#3 Alex Acker
2005-06 Rookie Debut #122
Alex Acker, from Compton, California, is the first player in this project who has only one card in my collection. He appeared in only 30 NBA games, for the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers. He played two years in the NBA, 2005-06 and 2008-09. The photo on this card is from the Summer League.

#4 Mark Acres
1989-90 Hoops #73
Mark Acres played six years in the NBA, from 1987-88 through 1992-93, playing for the Celtics, Magic, Rockets and Bullets. He was one of the players taken by the Magic in their expansion draft. He hails from Inglewood California, making every player in this post so far have ties to California, either being born there or playing there. Acres played 375 games.

#5 Quincy Acy
2012-13 Panini #219
Quincy Acy is the first player who is still in the NBA, currently a member of the Brooklyn Nets. (he does not have a card with the Nets as of yet). As of this writing he has played 237 NBA games, with the Raptors, Kings, Knicks, Kings again, Mavericks and now, as noted, the Nets. He has been in the NBA since 2012-13. Acy is from Tyler, Texas.

#6 Alvan Adams
1981-82 Topps #W79
Career Sun Alvan Adams played 988 games in the NBA from 1975-76 through 1987-88, made the All-Star Game his rookie year and later took home Rookie of the Year honors that same season. The Lawrence, Kansas native is the first player to not have any ties to California.

#7 George Adams
1975-76 Topps #264
George Adams, of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, played his entire three year career with the San Diego Sails of the ABA. He played 215 games from 1972-73 through 1974-75. He is the first ABA only player to appear in this project, but the ABA players are included as the NBA absorbed the ABA.

#8 Hassan Adams
2006-07 Ultra #238
Hassan Adams played 73 games over two seasons in the NBA, one with the Nets and one with the Raptors, in 2006-07 and 2008-09. This is my only card of him and unfortunately it does not depict him in the NBA. He is also from Inglewood, California.

#9 Jordan Adams
2014-15 Panini Prizm Blue Mojo Relic #85
Jordan Adams played 32 games over two years with the Memphis Grizzlies, 30 of which during his rookie year of 2014-15, but a recurring knee injury appears to have ended his career before it even really began. He has not played ball-in the NBA or elsewhere-since a major knee surgery after two games of the 2015-16 season. He is from Atlanta, Georgia and is yet another player with a California tie-he attended UCLA.

#10 Michael Adams
1992-93 Fleer #228
Michael Adams, of Hartford, Connecticut, played 653 games over 11 NBA seasons. He played for the Kings, Bullets (twice), Nuggets and Hornets. Although I mostly associate him with the Bullets, due to being who most of his cards are with, he played the most games for the Nuggets, being their starting point guard from 1987-91. He played from 1985-86 through 1995-96, and stood only 5 foot 10. He was an All-Star in 1991-92.

And that's the first ten! Stay tuned for future posts, as I document from Abdelnaby to Zwikker.


  1. I'm going to love this series, since I know very little about basketball and seeing each player's card with a little bio is a lot more fun and convenient than any stats-only website. Definitely going to read each one, even if I dont comment - your research will not go to waste, I promise.

    It's really unfortunate that there were no mainstream b-ball cards for long periods of time (like the early 80's) because the Topps cards of Alvan Adams and George Adams are really neat. (I had never heard of the Sails - was that an early name for the Clippers?)

    Also, wasn't Michael Adams like 6 ft tall? Whose shot is he blocking? Great action shot there.

    1. I'm glad you are enjoying it already...I'm getting ready to compose post #2, which I may publish tomorrow.

      The NBA did have Star for most of the time between Topps and Fleer. Don't let Beckett's bias dissuade you from them- they are big time cards. 1982-83 has no mainstream cards but there were a few regional issues. Sadly I have none of them though. The Sails were an ABA team and did not survive the ABA. In fact, they didn't even survive the 1975-76 ABA season! Here's their Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_Sails

      Adams is 5 foot 10 and I think he's actually stealing a pass from Tim Hardaway...or possibly to Hardaway...shown on the right. It's such a great photo though from one of my favorite sets that I had to choose it for inclusion here.

    2. Did you have Michael Adams height listed right underneath his card and I completely missed it somehow? I must have been focused on the photo.

      ABA teams, like the WHA, have such a strange and fascinating history.

    3. Yes I did, LOL. It's amazing how much the ABA and WHA have in common. Founded by the same people, using the same tactics, with the same end result! Once I get more WHA cards (I have only one now) and knowledge there will probably be a post about that.

  2. That's quite an ambitious task! I've often thought of trying to do that for the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawk franchises. Regional/team giveaways are a good way of finding those obscure guys who didn't make it to a, say, Topps issue. Also... that San Diego Sails card is glorious!

    1. Thanks! Good luck if you tackle those two teams. The Sonics will be appearing here, including in one of those regional sets. I know there are a lot out there but I don't have most of them, at least not yet. Hopefully some day. I really love 1975-76 Topps...the card numbers can be hard to read but it's my favorite set from the 70s.


  3. This is fun to read!!! I am anxious to see the next one.

    1. Soon! Tomorrow probably. I really enjoyed writing it!

  4. Love this series already. Remember A.Adams playing against Celts his rookie year in finals. Michael Adams was a blast to watch at BC

    1. Thanks! I really enjoyed writing post #1 and as soon as I publish this comment I'll be writing post #2!

  5. You're gonna be one busy blogger!!

    1. Oh yeah...it's fin though! Post #2 took me about 3 hours to compose.

  6. Being a uniform nerd, I can point out that Abdelnaby's card photo came from a brief period (a month or two?) where the Blazers had switched from their lower case '80s look to a block letter black on white look that proved to be barely legible on TV screens. In the middle of that season (1991-92), they switched to a larger font (both home and road) and made the letters red at home. They would switch back to black-on-white in their early '00's redesign.

    Useful info, I know.

    1. That is useful actually! I will add that to my notes for when I eventually get to the Blazers in my Uniform History series. That will probably be a while as I am moving from right to left by division.