Tuesday, February 8, 2022

A Sticky Situation

A look at the new set of Panini NBA Stickers and some (ex-)Blazers. 
Well, this post is certainly going to be a bit sadder than I had originally planned it on being. Since purchasing a box of brand new Panini basketball stickers over the weekend, the Trail Blazers have proceeded to go into rebuild mode, following up last week's dumping of two starters (Norman Powell and Robert Covington) with today's sell-off centered on CJ McCollum. As a fan, it's a lot to process and I'm still somewhat in shock, even though I had been an advocate of trading CJ for years (for the right price, though!) I feel that he's an excellent player, but a lot of his skills and tendencies were duplicated by Damian Lillard and I wasn't much of a fan of their smaller guard lineup.

In any case, we're here to talk stickers. After never seeing last year's set in a store anywhere, the basketball card market has come plummeting back to Earth. I could have just snagged a few packets, but I went all in on a box of 50. None of these stickers are for trade, but I do have a sizable stack of stickers and cards from this box that didn't fit my collection if anyone is looking for anything.

Players who were dealt in the offseason mostly appear in this form, which always resembles the old O-Pee-Chee "Now With..." cards from the '80s. I had to add a couple more of these ex-Blazers to my want list, including Carmelo Anthony.

I pretty much stopped watching the All-Star Game after they started the current format where the top vote getters get to draft their own teams, so I don't remember these uniforms at all. Since going back to using special All-Star uniforms in the game, instead of each player wearing their normal jersey, they've mostly looked hideous. It's cool that Dame got the nod, though.

I really hate "big head" photos for some reason. At least this is sort of a cartoon drawing, however. The "big head" variations that Topps created in their baseball set out of real photos were rage-inducing. At least there was no real chance of me ending up with one.

Because there's never any information on the backs of these stickers other than the sticker number itself and maybe an ad, I have no idea what this is supposed to be highlighting. If I owned the sticker album, I'd probably know.

It's a real shame that this season played out the way it did. Normal Powell was brought in as a legitimate third scorer with championship experience and even re-signed a long term contract in the offseason. He played well enough, but usually out of position and will now play out the peak of his career for a dumb team in southern California.

Without the breakout of Anfernee Simons this year, I wonder how differently all of these moves would have played out. If you had asked me a year ago if the Blazers were keeping the right guy from the 2018 draft (Simons vs. Gary Trent Jr.), I would have disagreed vehemently, even with Simons proving he was a legit distance shooter. Trent certainly is flourishing in Toronto, though, but Simons is due a big pay increase and for now remains in the Blazers future plans.

Of course, Simons can do a bit more than shoot the three. He is the reigning Slam Dunk champion, after all.

Zach Collins finally returned to the court last week after nearly two years off. You'll notice that there's a different team logo next to his name, however. Speaking of wishing things had played out differently...

As with the past two years, each sticker packet comes with a full-sized card exclusive to this set. This time, it's the same basic design as the stickers themselves, with a Panini logo slapped on. I pulled a number of foil parallels in the box of these cards, including a couple of numbered ones (Zach LaVine and Ja Morant.) Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to find these in perfect shape given the way they are packed into the familiar sticker packets.

I'll show off the rest of the (non-Blazers) stuff that is staying in my collection. Troy Brown is currently a bench piece on a very good Bulls team this year.

One of the low points in a season full of lows for the Blazers was having Oregon high school and college star Payton Pritchard clowning on them during garbage time in his first NBA game in Portland.

Another big head card for another Oregon Ducks alum.

Here's Regular Head Dillon going for a lay-up.

Bol Bol's weird season season has including getting traded to the worst team in the league (Pistons) only to have them reject his physical, then a trade to the Celtics and some NY Post slander. I hope his injury issues right themselves and some team figures out how to use him. If not, this could the last new Bol Bol Panini item we see for awhile.

Let me know if there's any basketball stickers or cards that you're looking for.


  1. I haven't seen a sticker pack for sale since the 2018-19 season. The basic design is nice, but I'm with you on the big head things...just no.

  2. Those two Simons stickers that pair up are awesome! Reminds me of those Topps sticker albums from the 80's. They'd typically have a few of those puzzle stickers each year.

  3. I know that I am in the minority, but I would've kept CJ, and moved Lillard (to someone other than the Lakers).


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