Classic card of the week

Shawn Kemp, 1995 Upper Deck

When I think about the “Images of 95,” one of the first images that pops into my head is Shawn Kemp dressed as Santa Claus. An easier way to describe this image is: Santa Kemp.

Since I am, for the moment, rendered speechless, let’s immediately go to the back of the card:

Looking up at a six-foot ten-inch tall Santa may be hard to believe

Equally hard to believe: Looking up at any Santa. That aside, why can’t Santa Claus be 6’10”? He’s a mythical figure who rides a sleigh operated by eight reindeer -- one of which has a red nose -- and he delivers toys to every child in the world by sliding down a chimney at night, yet now we’re putting height restrictions on the guy? I think the “hard to believe” factor arises from the fact that, in this particular case, Santa plays power forward for the Seattle Supersonics. To wit:

The Seattle Supersonics All-Star forward has represented Santa proudly

This is -- for anyone familiar with the off-the-court exploits of Shawn Kemp -- arguable. Far be it from me to judge, but let’s just say that Mr. Kemp was renowned for his, well…potency. The easy joke to make here is that Santa Kemp is simply delivering presents to all of his own children. But I will not make that joke. Instead I will direct your attention to my absolute favorite part of this card: the picture of Santa Kemp on the back. For your review:

Nothing says the holidays like an exhausted Santa Kemp sitting in stunned silence on a leather couch, wondering why the heck he ever decided to become Santa Kemp in the first place. We can’t see the rest of the scene, but I imagine that Santa Kemp is surrounded by eight thousand screaming kids demanding more presents and incessantly asking him if he can still dunk in his Santa boots.

Did you know?
According to a reporter on the scene, after one precocious child asked a visibly exhausted Santa Kemp what was wrong, Kemp responded by saying, "Mrs. Claus is giving me some sh%&."