The 2012-13 NBA regular season is finally upon us. 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 days leading up to, and after, 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 every team around the league.
We’re going up the Pacific coastline today, with a peek at listings from the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Suns, and Kings.
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GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Live Auction: HOCKEY TOP GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 100% ORIGINAL AUTHENTIC RARE NBA JERSEY L
Buy It Now: 99.99, plus shipping
Nothing says NBA basketball like a hockey sweater, am I right? Sarcasm aside, adopting a more durable, hockey-like attitude might actually be beneficial for a few injury-prone teams in today’s NBA. Near the top of this list are the Golden State Warriors, which lost 140 games to injury in 2011-12, 10th in the NBA. The Warriors were particularly afflicted by the loss of star guard Stephen Curry (right ankle), and midseason acquisition Andrew Bogut (left ankle) last year, limping to a 25-41 record. Entering this season, the prognosis is nearly as bleak: Bogut is just coming off his left ankle problems, and Curry rolled his again in the preseason. Who knows, maybe if the NHL lockout lasts long enough, Golden State might consider enlisting the help of Ryane Clowe or Douglas Murray of the San Jose Sharks to bring some toughness to the team? One of them could even wear this sweater.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Live Auction: 1989 CLIPPERS Danny Manning caricature pennant Los Angeles LA original
Buy It Now: $14.95, plus shipping
Danny Manning is one of many No. 1 picks of the Los Angeles Clippers who never fully panned out. After a prolific four-year collegiate career at the University of Kansas in which he won almost every NCAA basketball honor under the sun, Manning was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 1988. His rookie year, however, was beguiled by injury, as a torn ACL forced him to undergo surgery and miss most of the season. Unfortunately, the forward’s knees continued to betray him – even after the surgery – and largely became a bit player in the league. Manning’s best season was still with the Clippers, though, as he averaged 22.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game respectively in 1992-93, and was named to the NBA All-Star team. Manning is now head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Tulsa.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Live Auction: Pat Riley Los Angeles LA Lakers Show Time 1 book ships 4 $2.99 2+ books 4 FREE
Buy It Now: $9.99, plus shipping
Before Pat Riley was the boardroom mastermind behind the Wade-James-Bosh “Big Three” in Miami, he was strutting up and down the sidelines in Los Angeles running the Lakers’ fabled “Showtime” offense. As head coach of the Lakers from 1981 to 1990, he compiled a remarkable 533-194 (.733) record, and helped guide the franchise to seven NBA Finals appearances, of which Los Angeles won four (1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988). In 1990, he was recognized for his efforts as NBA Coach of the Year. Following the 1987 championship season, Riles wrote a memoir, entitled Showtime, in which he details the “breakthroughs” his team made after suffering defeat in ’86. The book is an insider look at both the inner-workings of the Lakers organization in the ’80s, and his personal coaching philosophies. Lakers fans will be glad to know that he even takes a few paragraphs to insult the Boston Celtics. Based on the venomous rivalry that’s developed between the Heat and Celtics in recent years, I guess some things never change.
Live Auction: The Gorilla Phoenix Suns Mascot Stuffed SGA Animal Doll
Buy It Now: $19.99, plus shipping
How many gorillas do you know that can dunk like this? Or dance like this? Or fix leaks like this?
This is one of the most versatile presents or gifts you could ever find. Use the lil’ man at your office. Give him a spot somewhere at your home desk. Sit him amongst your other memorabilia in your man cave. The possibilities are endless. Just know any Phoenix Suns fan needs to have the Gorilla somewhere in their life.
Is there any doubt this is one of the best mascots ever?
Dead Auction: Authentic JASON WILLIAMS SACRAMENTO KINGS Jersey White 52 Starter 1998-1999 NBA
Ended: $409.95, plus shipping
In 20 or 30 years, when NBA fans look back at the current era of NBA basketball, they’ll likely skip over point guard Jason Williams. Williams never made an All-Star team, he was never was scoring champ, never led the league in assists. He was never really considered a “winner” (despite winning an NBA championship, but let’s ignore that momentarily). In fact, his greatest individual accomplishment is probably being named to the 1999 All-Rookie First Team. But if they do skip over him, they’ll be missing something. In the early part of his career with the Sacramento Kings, “White Chocolate” was one of the most exciting basketball players on the planet. His elbow pass to Raef LaFrentz in the 2000 Rookie Challenge is, in my opinion, one the most memorable All-Star Weekend moments of all-time. Indeed, Williams played with such spontaneity and flair that he made the game not only entertaining, it was genuinely engaging. When you watched Jason Williams, you wanted to play basketball. There are not many players you can say that for. It’s too bad they don’t keep a statistic for it.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever bought off eBay?
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