Damian Lillard signs exclusive autograph and trading card deal with Panini America
The wait for regularly finding Damian Lillard‘s signature in NBA trading card releases from Panini America is finally over as the company has just announced an exclusive agreement for autographs and trading cards with the Portland Trail Blazers superstar.
Most of Lillard’s certified autograph cards come from the 2012-13 season, when he was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. For the past three years, however, there have been just a few autographed cards of the two-time All-Star that have made it into promotional packs issued by Panini, so this announcement certainly aims to fill a void within the hobby as he comes off what was arguably his best season to date. It also appears that they are going to arrive in 2016-17 Panini National Treasures Basketball.
“I’m genuinely excited to be a part of the Panini-exclusive family with the elite players in the game,” Lillard said in a press release provided by Panini. “I look forward to working closely with Panini America to create some unique trading cards and memorabilia pieces for fans and collectors to appreciate. The partnership has been awesome so far, and it’s only going to get better.”
Lillard also joins an already-impressive stable of exclusive NBA athletes that fall under the Panini Authentic umbrella which boasts such names as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, and John Wall.
“Damian is absolutely one of the most popular and exciting players in the NBA today and his star is on the rise,” added Panini America’s CEO, Mark Warsop. “He’s a bona fide superstar and a perfect fit to join the exclusive fraternity of Panini Authentic exclusive athletes. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him blossom since entering the NBA. Now we get the opportunity to work closely with him to the benefit of his countless fans and collectors.”
In 2016-17, Lillard averaged 27 points per game and was sixth in the league in scoring as the Trail Blazers finished eighth in the Western Conference. Despite a solid effort on his part, the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors.
Stephen Laroche is the editor of Beckett Hockey, Beckett Basketball, and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Stephen_Laroche.