Jeremy Lin > Solid Gold

This photo of Jeremy Lin is a shameless way of driving traffic to Viva La Vidro (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty)

I’m not sure that I would qualify as an NBA expert. Then again, I’m not sure Newt Gingrich would qualify as a presidential candidate, but that sure hasn’t stopped him has it? Did you know that the word “caucus” comes from a Navajo word meaning “group think”? Not even the code talkers could hide their disdain for our ridiculous process of selecting a nominee.

I forgot that this post was supposed to be about Jeremy Lin. Let’s get back to that.

A few weeks ago I tried to watch a game between the Clippers and Lakers but fell asleep during the first timeout. I tried again the next week only to be distracted by a Monk marathon. Granted Tony Shaloub was better in Wings, but who doesn’t love an O.C.D. detective (besides of course the criminals who are undone by his fastidiousness) whose boss was the serial killer in Silence of the Lambs? Long story not quite so short, I don’t pay much attention to the Association.

I do however, pay attention to surges in the sports card marketplace. I’m comfortable with who I am so I don’t mind sharing that fact.

When the aforementioned Jeremy Lin hit the scene, his cards took off like a late model Homer Hickam rocket. We’re not just talking 200-300% in ROI; we’re looking at figures that would make even Gordon Gecko blush. Take a look at the following:

January 15th: http://tinyurl.com/7kzw7pf $29.99

February 10th: http://tinyurl.com/7mejjet $849.99

A card from the same set, with the same numbering, less than one month apart…. $800 dollars difference in final price.

Linsanity indeed.

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From King of the Court to Lord of the Diamond: Lebron James Signs 5-Year Contract with Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pittsburgh fans were initially stunned by the LeBron signing, but most agreed the move was a slam dunk.

Apparently LeBron James really does want to be “like Mike“.   

In a move that sent shock waves through two sports and broke the heart of every New York Knicks’ fan, the Pittsburgh Pirates reported Thursday that they had reached a contract agreement with basketball superstar Lebron James. Though exact terms of the agreement have not yet been made available, sources close to the situation speculate the contract to be in the neighborhood of 5 years/$200 million dollars. Additional terms of the deal allow LeBron to finish the season with the Cavaliers before reporting to the Pirates Double-A affiliate at the beginning of July, with additional work scheduled in the Arizona Fall League.   

Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington released the following statement regarding LeBron to the AP:   

“Obviously we’re thrilled to have a player of LeBron’s caliber here in Pittsburgh and we really feel that he is going to be a difference maker for the Pirates. He’s got nothing left to prove on the basketball court and athletes with his skill set don’t come along often; it was a no-brainer for us as an organization. The plan is to have LeBron patrolling centerfield for us fulltime in 2011 with Andrew McCutchen shifting to left. With his size, speed and vertical leap it’s hard to imagine any homeruns leaving the yard against our pitching staff. We’ve been working him out over the past few months and he has shown the ability to hit for power to all fields and with his length it won’t take more than a few steps and a slide to steal bases. The Pittsburgh Pirates are turning over a new leaf as a franchise and it starts today with the signing of Lebron James…I just can’t wait to see him on the field.”   

Huntington has raised quite a few eyebrows as GM of the Pirates by trading away popular players like Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson, but nothing could have prepared the sports world for this stunning move. Message boards and radio shows were quick to criticize the move, calling it a publicity stunt or simply an April Fools joke. Huntington also responded to those comments:   

Michael Jordan never panned out in baseball. Does LeBron have what it takes to save the Pirates?

“LeBron is a world-class athlete and we have no doubt that he will be an All-Star outfielder as soon as next season. Obviously we realized that this move would be met with some skepticism, and that’s fine, because it won’t be long before other teams discover what they missed out on. We would not have made this move unless we were 100% convinced as an organization that LeBron would help the Pirates win a World Series. Sometimes in sports it’s necessary to think outside of the box, and with 17 straight losing seasons, it was evident that our franchise needed a radical change to reverse our fortunes. LeBron was already the next Michael Jordan and now it’s time for him to become the next Ken Griffey Jr. He’s got the chance to be a very special player for a long, long time.”  

LeBron James could not immediately be reached for comment but tweeted to his followers that: “Cavs gonna take da Finals this year n its time 4 me to rule another sport. I already own football now its on 2 baseball” and also “@BillSimmons I ain’t like Mike cause I chose to leave da league, I didn’t gamble my way out. LOL!” 

While that may be the case, Pirates’ fans had better hope that LeBron has better luck in baseball than Jordan (career .202 hitter in the minors). With $200 million dollars invested in just one player, Pittsburgh is betting the farm on LeBron leading them out of the cellar and back into the World Series. Of course it he doesn’t, what’s one more losing season for the longest suffering franchise in sports?