05 May 2014

What eBay Hath Wrought 73: Metal Dreams

I was on a bit of a Metal kick off and on over the last couple of months, and I grabbed a couple Metal cards of my favorite basketball player, Hakeem Olajuwon. I am still recovering from the Houston Rockets' first-round exit from the playoffs thanks to a dagger 3-pointer by Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. And what better way is there to overcome my pain than to live in the past, dreaming of the days when Olajuwon led the Rockets to two straight NBA Championships?

These first two cards are true Metal cards from the late 90's. They are shiny and foil-etched and all kinds of crazy. That one there on the right has to be spun around in circles just so you can read it. 

This next card comes from Upper Deck's recent Retro brand, which takes favorite insert sets and concepts from basketball cards of the past and replicates them, all at a relatively high price point. The die-cut portion of the card is cool, but the card is severely lacking in the foil etching that makes a card truly 'Metal.' They really could have done a number on that big shiny basketball at the top, the webbing of the net, and the logo down at the bottom. And the college licensing is kind of a downer, but at least Olajuwon played college ball in the same city and wore the same number as he did in his pro career (aside from a relatively forgettable stint with the Raptors prior to his retirement).

The person who I purchased the Upper Deck Retro card form also included a few base cards from the set. I will forgive them for sending a card of the hated Karl Malone because they also included some decent cards of Hakeem and Clyde "the Glide" Drexler, a player who spent most of his career with the Trail Blazers (boo!) but reunited with Olajuwon in Houston to win a Championship. I don't necessarily love or hate Dennis Rodman, as I kind of thought he was cool during his playing career until he really went off the deep end. His post-basketball years have similarly been full of weird decisions and I can't help thinking less of him every time the news trots out his latest exploit.

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