Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Basketball Hall of Fame, Part 1

 Sometimes, you build a place or event up in your mind, and then when you finally experience that thing, it doesn't live up to your expectations. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is NOT one of those places! My brother took me there for the first time on December 19th, and it was absolutely amazing. It was better than I could have imagined, and I loved every second of it! It was far better than I could have imagined, and the artifacts there...oh wow, it's hard to put it into words, they were incredible. Things I didn't think still existed...right there. Items I knew were important and I knew were in the Hall of Fame collection...well, you couldn't really prepare yourself for seeing the actual items, sure, you may think you are prepared, but you are not. 

Even though basketball is not the main focus of Cardboard History any longer, it's still a big part of me. it will always be a part of me, and collecting the cards will always be a part of me, too. There is way too much at this museum to cover to just do the usual museum post, with a link to the rest. Oh no, this museum is going to be a multi-part series on Cardboard History, and you're going to see pretty much every artifact...I might not get them all posted for a couple of months, but it will be worth it, because it's a totally awesome place. 

I'm going to start with outside and the lobby....the main lobby is actually one of my favorite parts of the museum/Hall of Fame. They have multiple displays for famous players, and they have it set up very nicely. Each focused player has a jersey, a couple of artifacts, and when you walk up to them, a built in TV is motion activated and starts playing a highlight reel. It's really better to see in person but I will do my best here..but I'm getting ahead of myself because we need to get inside the building first!

The Hall of Fame is itself a giant silver basketball! 
Outside there's a coaches circle which is mainly college stuff

Note that the bottom of the benches are basketballs
Just after entering the door
There are restaurants and radio stations built in. 

Here we go into the actual Hall,,,

I photodocumented all of the artifacts in each case but to make is so it doesn't take 10 hours to read each post, I'm just going to show the case pictures.

I didn't think to take any pictures of my foot compared to any player's feet, and I didn't get photos of all the feet. 

I know that ball from when the Bulls had 72 wins appears on a card...I don't remember which one though. I thought I did but I checked that one and it wasn't there.

There is a 10 minute introduction video and the theatre has basketball pattered walls...and they light up! While the video is playing the stripes and walls light up to put emphasis on certain parts, it's really cool.

The only New Jersey Nets reference in the building is a pair of shorts in the Jason Kidd case.

The lights in the cases come on when you get close as well, I wasn't close enough here.

All around the rim features famous basketball quotes, and while I did photograph them all, this is my favorite. I was disappointed with the lack of Rasheed Wallace's "Both Teams Played Hard", one of my favorite interviews ever. 

You can't go into the radio stations but they have clear walls to the hallway.
Since we were there on December 19th it was decorated.

You better believe the wristband has been added to my permanent collection!

We ate at Max's Tavern. It was good but way too expensive. For just the two of us to eat cost $110, making it the most expensive meal I've had probably ever. 

Back in the car, on the way home, you drive right by the big ball. It's awesome. 

Next time, we will look at the early history of the game, which was far better represented than I thought it would be...


  1. That was such a cool trip and I really liked the walls in movie theatre.

  2. The baseball hall of fame plaques are classics, but I've got to say that layout for each player for the NBA/WNBA is really impressive, much nicer looking.

    1. It really was cool, and I someday plan to visit the Baseball hall as well.

  3. Great post,visiting the Basketball Hall of Fame is definitely on my bucket list.

  4. Don't know when I'd be able to see it, so I will be looking forward to these posts! Why does it look like the Basketball Hall of Fame appears to be in a strip mall? :)

  5. It's interesting how the Basketball Hall of Fame is kind of the opposite of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Baseball looks like an average building from the outside, and is on the main street of Cooperstown, while the Basketball Hall of Fame is a large basketball-shaped structure.

    1. It's really neat from the outside or inside. I like the architecture in and of itself.

  6. I think I would've enjoyed going there as a kid, but probably wouldn't enjoy it all that much now. Oh, and $110 is an obscene amount of money to charge for just two meals. That place should be ashamed of itself.

    1. Yeah, wasn't happy with that...but at least the steak was great. They also have a Subway built in but it closed at 4 PM, that is where we had planned to eat.