NBA, Style - Kicks and Gear / Sep 29, 2009 / 5:22 pm

Kobe Bryant Only Trades With Panini

Kobe Bryant

Most of us in the Dime office were huge on collecting basketball and baseball cards as kids. Growing up in the ’90s, I would buy packs of cards by the masses trying to get one of those rare, one in a 1,000 pack cards. The chase was a lot like finding the golden ticket in the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. One person who is trying to bring that excitement back to collecting cards is Kobe Bryant.

Today, Kobe officially signed with the trading card giant Panini. Kobe himself was a card collector coming up in Italy and Philadelphia. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar will be the official spokesman for NBA trading cards and will appear on all the packaging as well as advertisements.

“I am honored to join the Panini family,” Bryant said. “Panini and I are really excited about embracing the challenge of re-igniting the collecting of basketball trading cards and sticker collections … and everyone knows I like challenges! We look forward to building off the momentum generated from last season’s NBA Championship, and taking that energy to another level. I know from my own experience growing up, how fun collecting and trading these products can be. I really believe collecting these products has the power, through the unique emotions of sports, to unify and strengthen bonds within families and across social groups, no matter what age you are. Panini and I are passionate about developing this hobby in many new and exciting ways. All I can say for now is to have fun expecting the unexpected from us!”

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  • wiz

    More money…I wish I could just say come on man help me out foward this check to my crib you wont miss it..

    …………GO WIZARDS

  • GoEasy

    that couldnt sound more scripted.

  • Steve A

    I think he’s right though. Collecting cards growing up was a fun and social thing to do. It’d be great if that came back, albeit for the kids.

  • dat dood

    i still got all my old cards. i used to love those things as a kid. probably wont start collecting them now though.

  • Big Crazy Dave

    Just had to go look at my old Upper Deck & Hoops cards from 92-94 after reading this…still got my Shaq rookie card in it’s screw-down frame! Those were the days…

  • sh!tfaced

    nice ad, er, article.

  • JordaMnnnn!

    I’m expecting solely on better cards design than the one they’re showing on the article. As a graphic designer myself, I can be frank and say the friggn card looks horrible – hope, Upperdeck can give them a few directions *sigh*

  • UpNorth

    I can’t remember the last time I picked up some cards, I think I bought a single of MJ’s first UD card when he signed with the Wizards back in ’01.

    I think Panini will be taking an L on this one; people who still collect won’t stray far from UD…

  • Nigel

    I’m 16 and I’m a huge basketball card collector. I have at least 600 of em. Saddens me that it is not as popular now as it was in the 80’s and 90’s. I am probably the only guy my age collecting them. Been collecting since like ’04 but I have cards that go back to the early 80’s. I have Chris Paul, Wade, Bosh, Rose, Howard rookie cards.

    But I’ve never heard of Panini.


    Just get the players rookie cards.

    I job Michael Jordan rookie card, waiting for Mike to sign it!

  • calvin brodus

    panini? wtf is that? upper deck blew it not signing kobe, or kobe blew it not signing with UD…probably both. i too loved the basketball cards as a lad and even still grab a pack from time to time.

    packs have gotten crazy expensive these days. when i was a pup (a very poor one at that} hoops and fleer ran about .50 cents a pack. UD got into the game and started doing $1 a pack. being a broke kid, that price doubling really hurt my tiny budget. but UD was bringing holograms! whats a kid to do?

    point being, there are many, many kids who love basketball (or any sport for that matter) but get priced out of the merchandise that accompanies it. a pack of cards is at least $5 now, some jordans will set you back a couple bills, that tight new era fitted of your favorite ball club runs $40.

    im not trying to come off cheap, because i can afford all of the above now that i got some adult money. but, ill always be a poor boy at heart. i sympathize with the kids who can only window shop because all sports merchandise is so damn expensive. the shitty part is that countless pro athletes have came from a hella broke family, but have no problem pushing $100+ kicks. i understand its all part of the game, and i cant begrudge a player for chasing that endorsement money. however, i salute al harrington and protege for trying to make some affordable kicks that kids will actually see on an NBA player, on an NBA court.

    i dont know where the fuck this rant is going. forgive my hate…ignore me.

  • http://dimemag.com Pakman

    yep still got my Jordan’s all in their hard plastic case and a bunch of other players from back then and now even though i stop collecting them, I’ll probably just sell on eBay or something…I still have my pokemon cards too

  • zcw

    right on calvin, I’m right there with you
    I went into a sports card store a couple month ago and it was nothing but old dudes, not one kid. And there were packs of cards for twenty bucks. It’s not a kids hobby anymore. I love collecting when I was a kid, and I feel sorry for any kid that would want to collect cards because if I were them I would just walk away. You’d spend your weekly allowance on one pack of cards!

  • doc

    How much they pay yall for this.Cards played out a long ass time ago.And I wish I didnt spend half of my hard earned childhood money on them.Because now I JUST GOT A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT CARDS NOBODY WANTS.Then you would get a good player once every 10 packs and get Alton Lister ass 5 packs in a row.What bullshit!

  • thomasmmm

    anyone selling alton lister cards?

  • Mink

    Panini is a cardmaker in Europe, they do all the big soccer things nationally and internationally. Champions leage , Uefa Cup etc

  • Brado

    Kobe is right “collecting these products has the power, through the unique emotions of sports, to unify and strengthen bonds within families and across social groups”.

    Obama needs to get in on this and implement trading cards into his foreign policy. Trading cards very well may be the secret to peace in the middle east.

  • David_Brandon

    hahahaha!! doc, thats so true cause i still got every one of my old cards, but i dont know how many times i got steve smith, tree rollins, eric piatowski (i spelled it the right way, didnt i?) and dana barros. LOL i’m taking it back…
    i’ve always thought about getting some cards again, just to see what i would get like the good old days, but i dunno…that might have to be one of those childhood things.
    but if i’m ever broke, i’ma sell every antoine carr card i have!!

  • Reddi Red

    @ Calvin Brodus
    right on brotha, i remember struggling to get those .50 cent card packs. Now you look up and everything that has to do with sports (legitimately) costs waaay too much for the poor kids in the hood, so they lose interest. What a shame.
    BTW, I, also, am still the poor kid at heart.

    you made very deep commments man.

  • theArsenal

    Love paninis…great sandwiches.

    BTW, LeBron is signed to Upper Deck

  • jay

    what happened to upper deck..i thought kb was aligned with them..is panini for europe and upper deck is us??

  • redstorm11

    i have an iverson rookie card, b4 the tats and the braids?