DimeMag

How To Be A Superfan In The NBA’s Northwest Division

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 all 30 NBA teams.

RELATED:
How To Be A Superfan In The Pacific Division
How To Be A Superfan In The Southwest Division
How To Be A Superfan In The Southeast Division
How To Be A Superfan In The Atlantic Division
How To Be A Superfan In The Central Division

Our trip around the league ends today in the Northwest Division.

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DENVER NUGGETS
Live Auction: VINTAGE STARTER DENVER NUGGETS NBA BASKETBALL PULLOVER STADIUM PARKA JACKET XL
Buy It Now: $49.99, plus shipping
If you were a sports fan in the early ’90s, chances are you owned a Starter jacket. And if you didn’t, you wanted one. The jackets were hugely popular. In fact, the demand was so high that it spurred violence and robberies across the country. Created by Starter Clothing Line, the zip-ups were available for almost every professional and amateur sports team, and designs generally featured team-specific colors, patterns and emblems, along with the giant silver Starter zipper tab. They were a cold weather statement of fandom. For example, the Denver Nuggets pullover in this listing is blocked in maroon, navy and black (Nuggets colors circa 1993-2003), and included a small Denver logo sewn above the front pocket pouch, as well as a much larger Nuggets logo on the reverse – just so everyone knew where your routing interests lay. Not only were the jackets fashionable, they were also roomy and warm. This function might be especially useful for Denver fans trekking it to the Pepsi Center for hoops during the cold winter months.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
Live Auction: VINTAGE NBA MINNESOTA TIMBER WOLVES JERSEY Sz 48 #3 MARBURY BASKET BALL
Buy It Now: $45.00, plus shipping
Fifteen years ago, Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett seemed like a duo destined for greatness. As teammates in Minnesota, the two young stars complemented each other perfectly: Marbury, a hard-nosed point guard from Coney Island, and Garnett, an explosive 6-11 high school prodigy. Steph and KG led the Minnesota Timberwolves to two consecutive playoff appearances in 1997 and 1998, and yet things, as they so often do in professional sports, fell apart. As Howard Beck cogently put it, “They were divided by ego, jealousy, immaturity and money.” After the T-Wolves signed Garnett to a lucrative $126 million contract in 1998, Marbury, presumably because he wouldn’t be compensated the same, requested a trade. He was moved to New Jersey in March of 1999. Both were 22 years old. Since then, Garnett went on to win the NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, while Starbury bounced from New Jersey to Phoenix to New York to Boston (briefly) to the Chinese Basketball Association, where he now plays for the Beijing Ducks. Marbury has flourished in China, being named to multiple All-Star teams, and winning the CBA championship in 2011-12. He was also awarded with a life-sized bronze statue of himself after being named MVP of the series. Still, you have to wonder how things might have turned out if they’d stayed together.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Live Auction: NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Playoff playoffs blue T Shirt XL
Buy It Now: $13.99, plus shipping
Last week’s shocking James Harden trade might have Oklahoma City fans temporarily worried about the team’s status as a contender in the West, but rest assured, the Thunder’s best years are still ahead of them. Indeed, this tends to be the case when a team has two of the best 15 players in the world – Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook – on its roster. KD, 24, has led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons (30.1 PPG, 27.7 PPG, 28.0 PPG), and with his height and range, can score from nearly any position on the floor. On the other hand, the younger Westbrook has probably the quickest first step of any guard in the league, and when he’s up in the air, finishes more like a power forward than a point guard. GM Sam Presti has also assembled a solid supporting cast of guys like Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, Kendrick Perkins, and new addition, Kevin Martin. The Thunder will miss The Beard, no doubt, but OKC fans will still have plenty of opportunities to wear their blue t-shirts en masse come April, May, and maybe even June again in the years to come.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Live Auction: Vintage AVON NBA Portland Trail Blazers Basketball Cologne Decanter Bottle
Buy It Now: $24.99, plus shipping
We now pause for a brief commercial message:

“It’s not a journey … Every journey ends, but we go on … The world turns and we turn with it … Plans disappear… Dreams take over … But wherever I go, there you are … My look … My fate … My fortune … Portland Trailblazers No. 5.”

In all seriousness, how might a Portland Trail Blazers fragrance smell? Perhaps a rich concoction of the distinct scents of the 1977 NBA World Championship trophy, Bill Walton‘s Grateful Dead t-shirt, Sam Bowie‘s jersey, Clyde Drexler‘s mustache, Cliff Robinson‘s headband, and some, uh, organic matter that the 2003 team was holding for friends? Anything else?

UTAH JAZZ
Live Auction: 1990 JOHN STOCKTON Utah Jazz SLU Starting Lineup with rookie year card
Buy It Now: $11.89, plus shipping
While John Stockton will forever be linked to his pick-n-roll partner Karl Malone, Stockton’s individual accomplishments tend to go forgotten – or at least overlooked – by NBA fans. Perhaps because of his unassuming approach to the game (or maybe the short shorts), we neglect the fact that for 18 seasons, the 6-1 Gonzaga product was one of the best point guards the league has ever seen. He averaged a career double-double (13.1 points, 10.5 assists), plus two steals in 31.8 minutes per game; won two Olympic gold medals (1992 and 1996); led the league in assists nine times; was awarded the 1993 NBA All-Star Game MVP; named to 10 All-Star teams and two All-NBA First Teams; inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame; and holds the NBA record for most career assists (15,806) and steals (3,265). Although it might be appropriate to pick up this figure along with the Stockton one in the above auction, just remember: Stock was one of the best to ever do it.

What’s the craziest NBA-related product you’ve ever gotten off eBay?

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