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!”