The United States Olympic Basketball Team is ready to compete in the Biejing 2008 Summer Olympics starting on August 8, 2008. Currently, Team USA is in preparation for the event in exhibition games and practices. The squad is ready to play some exhibition games in Macau, China before heading to Beijing. There are twelve top players on the team, and those players will lead the team in the Games. Those players include Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks, Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat, Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz, Tayshaun Prince of the Detroit Pistons, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz, Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and, last but not least, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. These players will excite the world with their talent and commitment to being the best basketball players in the world. During their professional careers in the United States, these players have proven to be some of the best players in the NBA and have each been either the best or one of the best players on their teams.
The Olympic Games also allows fans from around the world to recognize the players' collectiblity value in terms of collectibles such as basketball cards. Sports cards have grown to be a very widespread hobby over the years, with many people either collecting or having some knowledge of the hobby. Players like Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and any player for that regard, has some basketball cards and memorabilia that can be worth hundreds, thousands, or even upwards of tens of thousands of dollars in value. The Olympic Games give collectors an opportunity to participate in the games by having basketball cards of their favorite players. Some of these players even have a decent chance of rising in value if the United States wins the gold medal, which they are favored to do.
One of the most well known cards of players are what is called rookie cards. Those cards are the first year cards of the player and often times contain the most valuable cards of the player. With the invention of autographed and game worn jersey cards of the players, there are cards of each player that can be more valuable than even a rookie card, especially if the card is serial numbered one of one. In that case, the cards are similar to artwork in the fact that no other similar card exists in the world. Michael Jordan's 1984-85 Star Company Basketball rookie card is worth upwards of $1,000 and upwards of $2,000 in graded condition. Grading and authentication is available for cards through places that authenticate and place a numerical rating of 1-10 on the card for condition.
For the players in the Olympics, here is a summary of their rookie years for card collecting purposes. Kobe Bryant is 1996-97, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade are 2003-04, Jason Kidd is 1994-95, Tayshaun Prince and Carlos Boozer are 2002-03, Michael Redd is 2000-01, Dwight Howard is 2004-05 and Chris Paul and Deron Williams are in 2005-06. Look for the players to further distinguish themselves during the Olympic competition.
Kobe Bryant Rookie Cards Carmelo Anthony Michael Jordan
Jason Kidd Team U.S.A. Cards Lebron James Rookie