Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One Man Wolfpack

I saw a really cool basketball autograph while working out a baseball trade late last week.  Normally people ask me about football, basketball, and hockey cards and I look the other way.  There are tons of baseball cards in my life and really no reason to expand my collection beyond my favorite sport.  I dabble in football and hockey, but I do actually follow college basketball pretty closely.  I have spent a little time on here discussing college baseball, so it's probably no secret that my favorite college hoops teams is NC State.

I went to State a few years back and picked up a Master's Degree in School Administration and studied ACC basketball in my spare time.  Seriously, I went to as many basketball games as possible.  I got to see a lot of good players up close and personal and had a great time watching the games.  Best game I saw as a student... (I am in the video wearing a red hoodie)

State is the third best program around these parts behind Duke and the dreaded Tar Heels.  Still, for a team that has not been to the Final Four since 1983 the school has accomplished plenty on the hardwood.  Two National Titles, Three Final Four Fours, 10 Sweet Sixteens, and 18 ACC Titles.  There are plenty of names basketball fans might know from the program, but one player stands out above all the other NC State players.  In fact, the school honors basketball jerseys, but only one player has a retired jersey.  David Thompson.

If you do not know the name I can probably not do him justice in one single post on a blog that specializes in baseball cards.  He was the best ever at NC State, maybe the best ever in the ACC, and always gets some serious debate when talking about the greatest college basketball players of all-time.  Take it from Michael Jordan who idolized Thompson growing up in North Carolina and had him introduce him at his Hall of Fame induction speech.  Jordan said of Thompson at his Hall of Fame speech:

"I've had a lot of questions over the last four weeks, and everybody's saying well 'why'd you pick David Thompson?' I know why, and David knows why, and maybe you guys don't know why, but as I grew up in North Carolina, I was 11 years old in 1974 I think when you guys won the championship. And uh, I was an anti-Carolina guy - I hated UNC, and here I ended up at UNC. But I was in love with David Thompson. Not just for the game of basketball, but in terms of what he represented. I was inspired by him. And when I called him and asked him to uh, stand up for me, I know that I shocked the shit outta him."

So, back to the trade.  Like always I was going to turn down the trading for a David Thompson autograph.  However, I was basically trading a $15 card away and landed a really cool autograph of a really cool basketball player.  After checking a few places selling autographs of the former Wolfpack star, I decided it was a good price to pay and here it is:

More than happy to add this great looking card to my collection and I do not plan on making basketball autographs a regular part of my collection.  If you want to see more of David Thompson I strongly suggest checking out a few old ABA clips of Thompson on the Nuggets, or check out my favorite of the 6'3 David Thompson rejecting the 7'0 Bill Walton.  Send it back big man, send it back.

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