The 2012-13 NBA regular season is right around the corner. For fans, this means it’s time to re-up on your team’s merchandise. Anyone can go to the nearest sporting goods store and pick up a brand new jersey or hat, but what about the unique collectibles that separate the dyed-in-the-wool fan from the bandwagon supporter? These can be found on eBay. In the weeks leading up to NBA tip-off, Bidding Basketball will scavenge the online auction site’s “infinite inventory of NBA junk” for rare, memorable and/or quirky basketball memorabilia from all 30 teams.
Today, we explore the Southeast Division.
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Live Auction: Atlanta Hawks Pin ~ Wings ~ NBA ~ Atlanta’s Air Force
Buy It Now: $6.00, plus shipping
“Head in the clouds, high in the sky, who ever said that men were not supposed to fly? Off and running, we came to play, we are the highest fliers in the NBA.” So begins Tom Grose and the Varsity‘s 1986 record entitled, “Nothing Can Stop Us, We’re Atlanta’s Air Force.” The song and subsequent music video (which I highly recommend re-watching if only for Doc Rivers‘ incredible dance moves) served ostensibly as promotional vehicles for the Hawks in the mid-1980s. The most prominent high-flyer on the Hawks was “The Human Highlight Film,” Dominique Wilkins, who averaged 29.3 points per game from 1985-1988 (tops in the league in 1985-86), and won two Slam Dunk Contests in 1985 and 1990 (and runner-up in 1986 and 1988). Teammate Spud Webb – at all of 5-7 – also won the dunk competition in 1986. “Atlanta’s Air Force” was not only an exciting team to watch, they were a legitimate title contender, too. The Hawks reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals for three consecutive seasons under head coach Mike Fratello, and in the year “Nothing Can Stop Us” was released, they finished first in the Central Division in the regular season. The pin listed above celebrates those Atlanta Air Force teams – no matter how hilarious/terrible/dated their theme song is today.
Live Auction: NBA Charlotte Bobcats Basketball 2 oz. Shot Glass NEW Dead Stock Pre 2007
Buy It Now: $5.99, plus shipping
Last season, the Charlotte Bobcats earned (although I use that term very lightly) the dubious distinction of being the worst team in NBA history. The Bobcats finished the lockout-shortened season with a record of 7-59, and a winning percentage of just .106. The mark was .4 percentage points worse than the previous worst record held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers. Things don’t look much better for the ‘Cats in 2012-13, either. Basketball Prospectus projects the team to win just 19 games, and to rank 29th and 27th in offense and defense respectively this season. Another horrendous season might be enough to, as the old adage goes, drive fans in Charlotte to drink. Bottoms up, Bobcats. (In all seriousness, if you do consume alcohol, please be responsible. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.)