I currently have no interest in the NBA. I'm completely indifferent about it. Should I wake up one morning and find out that the NBA has disappeared, I don't think I could care less. I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate the NBA, but I do hate what it has become.
At one time in my life I worshiped the NBA. Basketball was my favorite sport to play and I was convinced that I would one day be in the NBA, which is why I spent my pre-teen years (the late 80s and early 90s) collecting basketball cards. Growing up in rural southeastern Colorado, basketball cards were the only tactile way for me to be connected to my favorite players and teams of my favorite sport.
(Incidentally, I know the precise moment that my love for the NBA died, along with my desire to collect cards. I'll have to do a post about that at a later time.)
One of the best parts about basketball in the 1990s was the creation of the Dream Team and their utter and complete dominance during the 1992 Olympic Games. I was glued to the television during those Olympics, hoping to catch a glimpse of my favorite players from the US imposing their will upon lesser players from around the world.
Which is why this card is my favorite card from the 1990s.
The above scans are of the front and back of a 1992 Skybox USA #NNO card that I pulled from a pack back in the day.
I was so excited to have pulled this card. It was my first major "hit". I loved (and still love) everything about this card. I love it's simple design. I love that the "back" of this card has four of my favorite players of all time standing together -- Stockton, Malone, Mullins, and Robinson. I love that they are wearing their white jerseys (I never really liked the navy blue ones) and the white background. I love the gold lettering and boarder. I love how the stars-and-stripes design is so unmistakably 1990s Skybox. I love that the players names are unnecessary and, therefore, not included anywhere on the card.
This card is perfect. This card signifies everything that I loved about basketball and the NBA.
And, in all honesty, it is because of this card and my John Stockton collection that I even kept lugging my cards around from house to house and from state to state for all these years. People offered to buy it from me or asked me to trade it to them, but there are very few cards that could ever entice me enough to let go of it. To me, it has very little monetary value, which makes it even more important to my collection. It doesn't need any autographs or patches or game-used materials to make it important and valuable. Its value lies in the memories it brings back every time I see it.
So what card (or cards) is important to you not for it's monetary value but because of the memories that specific card brings to mind when you see it?