Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Card Show Finds: Blazers Edition

The Portland Trail Blazers suffered their 7th major injury of the season last night as starting center Joel Przybilla ruptured his patella tendon and dislocated his patella in the first quarter of what turned out to be an inspired victory over the Dallas Mavericks last night. I'm sick about it - about as sick as I can get about something sports-related, anyway. Przybilla is done for the season with a knee injury that actually managed to be worse than the horror show that Greg Oden starred in just a couple of weeks ago. He joins Jeff Pendergraph, Patrick Mills, Nicolas Batum, Travis Outlaw, Rudy Fernandez and Oden on the casualty list of what has been a comically awful season for the Blazers who were expected to compete for deep playoff positioning this season. Were it not for Pendergraph making his expedited league debut last night and the signing of a medical hardship rule 16th roster member out of the D-League, the Blazers may have had difficulty even fielding a working team last night. They're now left with 6'9" 36-year old Juwan Howard to play center, a guy who was not even supposed to play this season and was just brought in to be a positive veteran influence and practice player to help with the younger players.

Okay, back to breathing now. Where was I going with this post? Oh, yes, the cards. I picked up a very healthy stack of (mostly ex-)Blazers in the 5 cent boxes, which was a nice score considering Blazers cards come at a serious premium around these parts. I rarely bother to buy Blazers cards because even the worst players will usually set you back by a quarter at a minimum and often much more. This is why I always highly encourage everyone to send me Blazers cards, even if you don't collect basketball cards. I'm so demanding.

Here is the one current player I managed to find. Fitting, right? Aside from All-Star Brandon Roy, Przybilla was the player that Portland could least afford to lose, and even that is debatable. He played in all 82 games last season and has anchored the Blazers interior defense since the moment he arrived. With Oden going down and missing a significant portion of his 3rd NBA season (after missing his entire 1st season), the Blazers defense has been horrendous whenever Joel sits on the bench. Oh, and Roy "tweaked" his shoulder last night and is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow. Nice.

Kelvin Cato was a player I was really excited about when he first came around. He blocked shots like crazy and I just knew it was only a matter of time before he developed a bit of an offensive game and became a dominant center. Good thing I'm not a GM. And, unfortunately, the Blazers also had high hopes for him and gave him a pretty hefty contract at the time.

Plasticman! Every great team needs players like Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony. You wouldn't want them in your starting lineup, but you actually get excited when they come into the game. I remember when the Blazers had a talented, deep team. Now they have a lot of talent... which they get to show off nightly in their choice of suits and ties sitting behind the bench.

Pretty classic card here. I think this design really worked for basketball, but not so much for baseball. Stoudamire grew up in Portland and his whole family has ties here. He certainly had some highs and lows in a Blazers uniform.

Arvydas Sabonis still stands as my second favorite Blazer of all-time behind Clyde Drexler. Were it not for injuries (again with these centers!) and ravages of time, Sabas could have been amazing with the Blazers. He had his moments, though.

It's nice to see that Sheed still hasn't changed, even in his twilight years as a Celtic. I really enjoyed watching him play in Portland, as frustrating as it could be at times.

Finally, here's a sticker masquerading as a Collector's Choice card. By the looks of it, I think these were actually album stickers. I'd love to get a box of these and a sticker album. Otis Thorpe always gives me some discomfort as he is known to Blazers fans as the paltry return we received for Drexler. I never really saw him play much for the Blazers, as I didn't really watch TV at the time - I was living in college dorms.

Anyway, I hadn't done a Blazers post in quite some time and now you know why. I am still considering bringing back a regular Blazers feature at some point, but it's still being debated internally at Cards on Cards central.

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