Miami Heat Basketball Card Guide – NBA Finals Edition
The NBA Finals will pit the Miami Heat against the Dallas Mavericks. The teams start their best-of-seven battle for the NBA crown on Tuesday. Although they squared off against each other for the NBA Championship five years ago, there are several new faces on each side, making this a very different match up.
Both teams looked strong on their way through the playoffs but that is where the similarities end. The Miami Heat are a team composed of three major stars who aligned for the sole purpose of winning championships. They rely on their athletic ability and strong will to win to overwhelm the competition. On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks are a team built on fundamentals and chemistry. They win games with strong shooting and by limiting mental mistakes. The Heat are currently favored to win the series but the Mavericks should give them a strong challenge.
Luckily for the Mavericks, the games aren't based on the hobby interest because Miami's stars would win, hands down. The starting rotation and wildcard players are highlighted from Miami with their top rookie cards. Check back tomorrow for the Dallas breakdown.
Miami Heat Starters:
PG – Mike Bibby
Playing on his third team this year, Bibby is well past his prime. Terrible defense and abysmal shooting in the playoffs are his main contributions. Bibby hasn't even handled a majority of possessions like a true point guard. Late in his career, it's hard to recommend him for collecting unless you're a diehard Arizona Wildcats' supporter or your last name is Bibby.
Top Mike Bibby Rookie Cards:
- 1998-99 Bowman's Best Autograph Mike Bibby
- 1998-99 Topps Chrome Mike Bibby
- 1998-99 Finest Mike Bibby
SG – Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade is a star in his own right and already has one championship with the Heat. This season, Wade has taken a backseat role to LeBron James but still draws strong attention from both fans and opposing defenses. A second championship would likely provide a substantial increase in value to Dwyane Wade basketball cards and memorabilia. Multiple championships with James (and possibly Bosh) would cement his legacy in the NBA and with collectors. However, Wade will likely never approach James' level of interest or value.
- 2003-04 Topps Finest Dwyane Wade (autograph)
- 2003-04 Bowman Dwyane Wade (autograph)
- 2003-04 SP Authentic Dwyane Wade (autograph)
SF – LeBron James
"King James" is the most collected basketball player in the hobby whose name isn't Michael Jordan. Although his popularity is down from the “I'm taking my talents to South Beach" saga of last off-season, the NBA's popularity is increasing. It doesn't matter whether people love or hate him, they're all watching James and what he does. As valuable as his cards and memorabilia already are, he has the most to gain from winning the NBA Championship. Even if it doesn't happen this time around, James should eventually get his championship ring that will boost his value to an even higher level. Comparisons to Jordan continue to persist, but he will never make that leap amongst collectors until he has a few titles under his belt.
- 2003-04 SP Authentic LeBron James (autograph)
- 2003-04 SPx LeBron James (autograph)
- 2003-04 Exquisite LeBron James (autographed patch)
PF – Chris Bosh
The third wheel of the superstar trio, Bosh had a good season and carried the team in several playoff games. His stats are down but only because there is only one ball to go around. Overall, the move to Miami has definitely helped his card and memorabilia interest because people can actually see his games on a regular basis. Bosh is also on a winning team now. In the future, the possibility of a hard salary cap in the new collective bargaining agreement could pose a problem for Bosh because he would be the first player shipped off in order to preserve the James/Wade tandem. Another downside is that he might not escape the shadow of the “Big Two." Bosh is like Scottie Pippen playing alongside two Michael Jordans.
Top Chris Bosh Rookie Cards:
- 2003-04 SP Authentic Chris Bosh (autograph)
- 2003-04 SPx Chris Bosh (autographed jersey)
- 2003-04 Bowman SE Chris Bosh (autographed jersey)
C – Joel Anthony
Outside of Heat fans, Anthony is a virtually unknown player. His stat line is non-existent. Hobby interest in him is is minimal at best. However, he does play a valuable role for the Heat and is a hustler on the court, which is why he is given a solid number of minutes each game. Not surprisingly there is no real financial incentive to collect the handful of cards he does have. Heat fans will likely still want to acquire some of his key cards because of the important supporting role he played in their Championship run this year.
Top Joel Anthony Rookie Cards:
- 2009-10 Adrenalyn XL Joel Anthony
- 2009-10 Panini Season Update Christmas Cards (Jersey)
- 2009-10 Topps Joel Anthony
Miami Hear Wildcards:
PF – Udonis Haslem
Like Anthony, Udonis Haslem has spent his entire NBA career with the Heat so any hobby interest is centered around the Miami fan base. Haslem could take on a bigger role and more hobby interest if he left the Heat but he seems to be content with his spot on the team. Based on potential, Haslem is the best bet on the Heat roster. However, as things currently stand with James ahead of him on the depth chart, he is not a worthy collecting option because he will never be a starter. Haslem went un-drafted in 2002 and ended up playing in France for the 2002-03 season.
Top Udonis Haslem Rookie Cards:
- 2003-04 Bowman Udonis Haslem (autograph)
- 2003-04 Ultimate Udonis Haslem (autograph)
- 2003-04 SP Authentic Udonis Haslem (autograph)
SG – Mike Miller
This was a tough call because James Jones has shown glimpses of brilliance this season and won the three-point contest during the All-Star Weekend. However, Jones has not gotten consistent minutes lately and Mike Miller has come on strong in the playoffs. Miller is another player with declining stats but is still a strong shooter and has found a nice role in the Heat rotation. Overall, he is a decent collecting option based on playing for a college with a strong fan base (Florida Gators) and his NBA accolades (Rookie of the Year and 6th Man of the Year).
Top Mike Miller Rookie Cards:
During the finals, the pressure to win will weigh heavily on the Heat. They have played most of the year with a chip on their shoulders and will need to maintain that desire to prove their critics wrong in order to prevail against a tough Mavericks' team. A Heat championship will likely cause a run on all 2003-04 NBA cards from collectors trying to get rookie cards of James, Wade and Bosh.