When Panini released their Basketball Hall of Fame set, it could have been the greatest basketball set of all time, but there were a few things preventing that from happening. The first was that they had no access to Michael Jordan due to his exclusive contract with Upper Deck. The second problem was that it costs a heck of a lot more to get the autographs of the big stars than it does everyone else. That resulted in poor collation with the same common autographs showing up again and again.
One good thing that did come out of this set was the very first autographed card of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt. I actually pulled two of these out of the boxes that I opened, but I sold one right away which helped to pay for another box. I think this is by far the best card that I pulled out of my boxes. Even though there are 599 copies of this card, it sells for around $50-$60 on eBay and will probably spike a little with the recent news of Summitt’s retirement.
It’s not often that you can an autograph of someone who is the greatest at what they do. I know coaches aren’t as glamorous as players, but Pat Summitt is to college basketball coaching what Michael Jordan is to NBA Basketball. They are both, inarguably, the best in what they did and that’s a huge thing. So, while the Panini Basketball Hall of Fame set did not have the greatest basketball player of all time, they did manage to succeed in a cardboard first for the best colligate coach.