Panini America Ships the First Autographed Trading Cards of the Legendary Phil Jackson
Perhaps no other trading cards in the staggering arsenal of possibilities dotting the 2010-11 National Treasures Basketball checklist generated more buzz last summer than three limited redemptions promising the world’s first certified autograph trading cards of legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson.
Most of the excitement generated by those redemptions stemmed from the fact that Jackson, who won 11 NBA titles while coaching the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, had never appeared on an autographed trading card. But at least part of the buzz came from a certain faction of collectors who felt that the mere thought of Jackson’s John Hancock on cardboard was simply too good to be true.
But on Friday, after months of Panini America Acquisitions department officials working directly with Jackson, the dream cards came true. The company began shipping finished cards — one limited to five and including autographs from Jackson and Kobe Bryant, another limited to five and including autographs from Dennis Rodman and Jackson, and one limited to two and featuring autographs from Jackson, Rodman, Ron Harper and Toni Kukoc — to those collectors who’ve been waiting on pins and needles.
The cards are bona fide history-makers, and you can get your first look at them in the gallery that follows.