Thursday, November 18, 2010

Classic card of the week


Jeff Gryaer, 1993 Topps Stadium Club

“GET OFF ME, RON HARPER!”

This is what Jeff Grayer said, in his head, as he dribbled a basketball while wearing white tube socks. One can sense the excitement of this dribble-off as the culturally diverse crowd looks on in amazement and anticipation of what will happen next. Will he shoot it? Will Ron Harper get called for reaching? Will Jeff Grayer dribble in a different direction? Is a five-second call in order? Who knows. Anything can happen in basketball. All I can say is, that is some fiiiiiiiiine dribbling.

What else about Jeff Grayer?



Here Grayer is rocking the Warriors throwback jersey, although that trend in clothing hadn't yet peaked among NBA fans. Coincidentally, Grayer's Warriors jersey on the front of the card is now a throwback. Jeff Grayer is so old that his regular jerseys are throwbacks and his throwback jerseys are future jerseys. In fact, according to this card, Grayer was popularly referred to as “Ol’ No. 44.” I think we’re all familiar with that, no? Jeff Grayer? Ol’ No. 44? Anybody? Allow me to illustrate:

Person A: Then the Clippers cut the lead to one, but the Warriors scored on the next possession to ice the game. Bailed out by Ol’ No. 44.

Person B: I don’t even need to inquire as to whom you’re talking about, because everybody knows that Ol’ No. 44 is Jeff Grayer.

Person A: I honestly cannot tell sometimes if you’re being sarcastic, or if you’re just a really weird person.

Ha, ha! Warriors fans are hilarious. Anyway, what was the ol’ “buzz” on Ol’ No. 44 those days of 1993?

Per minute, Grayer ranked in TOP 34% of the NBA in OFFENSIVE REB…

Indeed, when they weren’t discussing with anticipation the release of Nas’ debut album, those in the streets were aflutter with talk of Jeff Grayer’s per minute offensive rebounding statistics. Top 34 percent? That’s almost top 30 percent! Crazy, yo.

I would now like to draw your attention to the Topps Skills Rating System listed on the back of this card. In an astounding maneuver, it appears as though the team of experts responsible for formulating the Skills Rating System decided to rate players on a scale of “out of ten.” Remember, please, that the Sporting News Skills Rating System that Topps had traditionally used was a complex formula that rated players “out of five.” So throw out everything you thought you knew about the Skills Rating System. They done blowed it up. Out of five? Pffft. Try out of ten.

That said, Ol’ No. 44’s modest 8.1 ball handling rating seems rather low considering the breathtaking, Globetrotter-esque maneuvers he is displaying on the front of this card.

Did you know?
When Latrell Sprewell first became a Warrior, he declined to wear his favorite number, 44, out of respect for Ol' No. 44. Then he choked P.J. Carlesimo.

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