After four months of talking about basketball cards and NBA breakout players, we finally get to see some games that count. If you’re invested in Tyler Herro, Jaylen Brown, or Steph Curry, you’re feeling great about your first week of Basketball Card players.
But if you watched the opening performances for superstars like Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, and yes, Luka Doncic… well, let’s just say it doesn’t feel great. These guys didn’t shoot well at all, and most of their teams lost. The Mavs looked horrible, and even the Bucks laid an enormous egg in their second game.
So, here’s one fan’s dose of perspective and encouragement. Are you ready? In the midst of the highs and lows of the first three days, we all need to take a deep breath.
It’s just one week.
Many players and teams start slow or have to shoot themselves out of a slump. Even superstars can get overwhelmed by the emotion of opening night. I’ll never forget sitting at the Arena in Cleveland for Lebron’s big homecoming – his first game as a return Cavalier in 2014. The atmosphere was electrifying, the sound deafening, and the adrenaline was tangible. Well, Lebron stunk that night and the Cavs got trounced by the cellar-dwelling Knicks. On that fateful October night, it felt like all of our Cleveland dreams just left the building and added to a factory of sadness.
Little did we know, that season would wind up with the injury-riddled Cavs chasing the Warriors around in the NBA Finals.
That ugly first week for your NBA guys? Well, it’s just one week. For some, it’s just one game.
In a society that over-reacts, some people spent lots of money this week on cards of Chris Duarte and Harrison Barnes. HARRISON BARNES!
With card investments and my budget, I need a healthy dose of perspective and thoughts like this when I see game highlights – your guy is not as awesome as his best night, and not as terrible as his worst night. For me, Darius Garland had a terrible first half and missed a ton of shots. The thought occurred, “Did I just waste a lot of time and money on the next Brandon Jennings?” And then, as if it was scheduled to happen this way, the NBA went ahead and let the Cavs play a second half in that game. Crazy, they just let them play another 24 minutes! During halftime, the Cavs decided NOT to throw in the towel and Darius Garland didn’t retire.
These players and teams don’t overreact to a few bad moments, a rough night, or a bad week. Neither should we.
Before you know it, Devin Booker will drop 40 on some feisty Western Conference foe. Donovan Mitchell will have Utah at the top of the standings by December 1. Jayson Tatum will start making buckets. And yes, Luka’s “dead after one-game” MVP campaign will find itself somehow resurrected by the time anyone reads this article.
In other words, players bounce back and so should Card collectors and investors.
Darius Garland finished the game with an onslaught of three-pointers, tallying 13 points and 12 assists against the other-worldly Ja Morant. Darius bounced back.
So, at the end of the day, I hope you enjoy these first few weeks of NBA games and highlights, but it feels like it’s best to be in a holding pattern when it comes to your cards. Russell Westbrook will be just fine. Trust me. I can’t promise you anything about Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, or Zion Williamson – their issues are different. But a rough shooting performance from Dame Dolla (Lillard) has always been an exception, not the norm.
Meanwhile, for those players who exploded on the first night, we can expect them to come back to earth. Montrezl and Jarrett will miss a bucket, eventually. Mo Bamba will once again start looking like Mo Bamba. Like the Bucks returned to earth in game two, Jaylen Brown will eventually look human again.
EBay will let you retract that impulsive offer on that Evan Fournier silver PSA 10 or cancel any of your Luka Doncic listings. Just like Luka, you’ll get through this week.
Hang on and enjoy the ride, but don’t react to one game, one week, or even one month!