Two of my favorite things in basketball are the crossover dribble and of course a nice looking dunk. Steve Francis... a.k.a. The Franchise could do both.
Drafted with the #2 pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies (he was traded to the Houston Rockets before the season began), he was obviously popular right from the start. The fact that he could do a little bit of everything made him the rookie to collect. I have 17 different rookie cards of The Franchise, but this one is my favorite:
Rookie Card: 1999/00 Topps Gold Label "Class 1" #87
I love the borderless design, along with the dual photo and "refractor" technology used on this card. It's not the most expensive, and the card back is only mediocre. However... the only rookie card design I like more is his 99/00 E-X rookie, but that's one of the ones I don't own.
Autographed Card: 2000/01 Topps Heritage "Autographs" #HASF
I picked up this card off of COMC last month for less than $7 and I was stoked... not about the price (autographs of Mr. Franchise sell for less on eBay)... but I love the Heritage design and the on-card autograph.
The last piece of the trifecta was obtaining a memorabilia card. There are tons to choose from, but I settled for this one:
Memorabilia Card: 2003-04 Flair Final Edition" Courtside Cuts Jerseys" #SN
I ended up grabbing this one for two reasons:
a. It pictured him as a Rocket.
b. It was the cheapest one I could find that pictured him as a Rocket. ($1.20 on COMC)
He may have been out of the league by the age of 31, but he was stellar during his first few seasons with the Rockets.
Thursday night's question of the day is...
Who do you think was the best basketball player to come out of the 1999 NBA Draft?
1999 wasn't known for being one of the better draft classes... although they beat the 1998 draft class in the Rookies vs Sophomores game. They also beat the 2001 draft class the following year.
Here are a few career stats to help you with your final decision:
Most Games Played: Andre Miller (#8 pick) - 922 games
Most Points Scored: Jason Terry (#10 pick) - 14,638 points
Points Per Game: Elton Brand (#1 pick) - 19.1 points per game
Most Rebounds: Shawn Marion (#9 pick) - 8,009 rebounds
Rebounds Per Game: Elton Brand (#1 pick) - 9.7 rebounds per game
Most Assists: Andre Miller (#8 pick) - 6,649 assists
Assists Per Game: Baron Davis (#3 pick) - 7.3 assists per game
Most All-Star Games: Shawn Marion (#9 pick) - 4 All-Star games
Well... happy Thursday everyone! Tomorrow's Friday... minimum day... staff party... then two weeks off! Couldn't be more excited. Sayonara.