Classic card of the week

Jermaine O’Neal, 1998 NBA Hoops

If you’re like me, you’re not missing the NBA that much at all, but you are kind of missing the 1998 set of NBA Hoops basketball cards that feature down-to-earth street talk and other helpful tidbits about various NBA players.

That said, here:

Yeah, we’re feeling you.

Was there any question we were feeling Jermaine O’Neal? OF COURSE we’re feeling you, Jermaine. If we weren’t feeling you, we probably wouldn’t have created this basketball card featuring your image and statistics. Our feelingness of you is therefore implied. Nevertheless, I would be overjoyed if, during the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, each person who speaks on behalf of his party’s elected candidate begins his speech, “Yeah, we’re feeling you.”

Sidebar: Jermaine O’Neal’s hair is blonde on this card. Remember when stuff like that happened in the late 90s? Frosted tips for white guys and blonde hair for black dudes? If anything can finally bring our two races together, I think a collective acknowledgement that stuff like that never happened is a decent start.

Youngest player in the NBA, no doubt!

See, this is where NBA Hoops cards really separated itself from your run-of-the-mill sports card. Traditionally, cards would just list a fact. Like, “Molitor led league in runs scored in ’82 with 136.” BO-ring! But when you add the “no doubt” moniker + exclamation point, you’re speaking to the kids:

"Yeah, we’re feeling you. Led league with 136 plates in eight-to-the-tiz-oo, no doubt!"

See? More:

We’re not fooled though;

Many people with no background on him who first saw the 6’11” Jermaine O’Neal on an NBA court wearing an NBA uniform were like, “Who is that child running up and down the court and WHERE ARE HIS PARENTS??!!” But NBA Hoops cards was like, “Chill out, home-slices. Don’t be fooled by the rock that he got. He’s just Jermaine; Jermaine on the block.”

we know your game is straight up MAN sized.

I remember when my own game finally finished the pubescent cycle, and all of sudden my game’s voice had deepened and it had acquired old-awkward-man-at-the-park strength and I was grabbing rebounds and throwing outlet passes and calling timeouts because someone had lost his contact lens on the court.

If the random, uninformative words on the back of this card did not fulfill your appetite for Jermaine O’Neal, please visit his Wikipedia page, which is longer than “War and Peace” and features information like, “At that same time, O’Neal’s mother met a new man, Abraham Kennedy …”

It’s a good read, no doubt!

Did you know?
Ryan Seacrest once challenged the singer Sisqo to a blonde-off. Sisqo won.