Jason Collins’ announcement might spark added interest in his cardboard


By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor | Commentary & Opinion

Will a historic first prompt added interest in his basketball cards?

NBA veteran Jason Collins is the first active player in a major American sport to announce that he’s gay, according to a cover story for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated, and that’s the big question.

What might this mean for his basketball cards? Well, that remains to be seen, but it should be obvious to many that it’s a significant piece of social history in sports — though it ultimately has little bearing on the court, where the 13-year veteran has averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds a game in his career.

Collins is a free agent now, last playing for the Washington Wizards, and he will be a player who will be watched — that’s one thing that’s definitely certain.


“Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively,” he wrote in the magazine’s cover story. “I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”

On cardboard, the Stanford product appears on just 227 cards (checklist and OPG) valued at little more than $1,300 and has 40 Rookie Cards and just nine certified autographs. All but one auto comes from his rookie season in 2001-02 and most have sold for $10 or far less. None typically have sold for more than $30.

His earliest cards in the Beckett database are school-issued Stanford releases, while he actually hasn’t appeared on any cards at all since 2009-10 when he appeared in SP Game Used and Exquisite Collection from Upper Deck.

Asking prices for a handful of Collins’ autographs have gone from less than $3 to around $10 or more on some online sites, while eBay sales have remained relatively dormant for cards of the NBA journeyman.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

What do you predict for Jason Collins cards?

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  1. David Johnson 29 April, 2013 at 11:14

    I have to wonder if his coming out now has anything to do with him being a free-agent and being toward the end of his career but wanting to continue playing. Now if no teams make him an offer, will he claim that it’s because he came out as being gay or because nobody needs a 34 year old player who averaged 1 point and 1 rebound last season.

  2. Nick Mikulicich 29 April, 2013 at 13:39

    Finding any buyer for Jason Collins cards means more interest in his cards. Other than set collectors who need a tough insert or parallel, has anyone bought one of his cards for years?

  3. Richard 29 April, 2013 at 14:50

    It’s possible. Certainly it might expand the interest to non collectors.
    They did a comic book with a gay wedding and it helped sell some books.
    Over the long term, I doubt it will make a real impact. As a player he is mediocre, so
    those who collect because of a players abilities won’t really be buying him

    This is not really a case of Jackie Robinson. Now if a player had come out in early 80’s
    it would have been a far braver thing and he would have been subject to real opposition.
    In these days when you have women in the locker room why should a gay man make that
    much of an impact? As long as he does not hit on any of his straight team mates, I don’t think
    most will really care that much after they get used to the concept.

  4. Bill Lloyd 29 April, 2013 at 15:25

    Enough already with the homosexual agenda. Funny that the media wants to portray these lost souls as heroes, but can’t seem to even mention the names of REAL heroes, those brave men and women who have given life or limb protecting our freedoms, within the United States, and around the world. There is coming a day when we ALL have to answer for our trespasses. The opportunity for salvation is for everyone, but it is not forever.

  5. charles 29 April, 2013 at 15:45

    Bill being a hero has nothing to do with your sexual prefence, but with that said i am not sure that this should be any suprise, so why the special SI cover, the way i see it they don’t care it just somthing else that will sell there rag. i think he did it to upstart the NFL players

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