With the current market of cards shifting in 2020 due to COVID, increased interest from returning members, more investors looking to make a buck or the incredibly saturated market of base and rookie inserts being sent off for grading I found myself once again losing interest in the hobby after returning about 12 months ago. I had started to collect my favourite player of all time, Kobe (only for his prices to sky rocket after his death and put most items out of reach), and my Faried needs are mostly now limited to completing the flawless master set (watch out for that mailday post soon)
Back in the middle of June, I had awoken in the middle of the night and remembered that somewhere in 2016 I had purchased and put away a ticket stub to the Black Mamba's final NBA game. My mind was racing and absolutely had to find it out of fear that I had lost it. Luckily, I found it tucked inside a box from when we moved house in 2017 and had placed it inside a cupboard for another day.
Scared I was going to damage it, I arranged to send it off to PSA to be slabbed & authenticated. I wasn’t really expecting much – purely a means of protection. But the label and display it came back in was simply amazing.
This lead me to my next chase idea – a ticket stub from Vino's most memorable or iconic games. I recalled reading about a collector in the US who was trying to gain a ticket stub to every single Michael Jordan game that he played – more than 1200 of them. Such a list was purely subjective to my own opinion so there was no firm checklist available and the chase could effectively be whatever I needed it to be to satisfy my need to chase. I needed to establish – how many games do I put on the list? Do I chase 3? 5? 10? As I began making a list of all the games and career highlights and achievements, the only reasonable solution I could think was to settle at the only mystical number that made sense - 24.
So for now, I’m going to do a slow reveal on the games on my list and the order I’ve placed them in as I acquire the corresponding ticket stubs, so this will be periodically updated and bumped from time to time. I guess it's a modified episode of 20-to-1.
You could probably easily guess some of the games on the list, others you may not recall until you see it listed, and another section you may have completely forgotten about. For what it’s worth, this list could easily be made at more than 50 – and that’s a testament to the incredible legacy he left on the league and a generation of basketball fanatics around the world.
Without further ado, lets get the count started with the #2 spot on the list....
2. Mamba Out - April 13, 2016-Los Angeles Lakers 101 vs. Utah Jazz 96
The Headline: Kobe Scores 60 in unbelievable farewell victory
Kobe Bryant scored 60 incredible points. He carried a miserable Los Angeles Lakers team to an improbable comeback victory. And with sweat and confetti all over his gold uniform for the final time, he expressed humble thanks to his fans and family for their loving support over two decades.
"What else can I say?" Bryant asked. "Mamba out."
The Moment: Sliding over a Julius Randle screen and into a pull up jump shot over the outstretched Trey Lyles from the right elbow, Kobe Bryant makes a go-ahead basket with 31.6 seconds left to play to rally the Lakers from a 15 point deficit to a 97-96 lead, giving him his 58th point for the night as Staples Center erupts.
5. A New Mecca Record - February 2, 2009—Los Angeles Lakers 126, New York Knicks 117
The Headline: Kobe's 61 set MSG mark as Lakers roll Knicks
Kobe Bryant broke the current Madison Square Garden record with 61 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers looked plenty potent without Andrew Bynum in a 126-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night. The all time record was held by Bernard King (60) and opposition record by Michael Jordan (55).
The Moment: With 3:28 remaining in the 4th quarter, Kobe fakes Knicks forward Wilson Chandler, spinning to his left to shake free of his defender for an open jump shot. He receives an standing ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd as he exits the game just over a minute later.