On a budget? That shouldn't stop you from collecting. You might not be able to get those signed game-worn jerseys, but there are other things to look for. How about ephemera? Paper stuff that isn't costly, but can take some sleuthing to find and acquire. This would include game programs, ticket stubs (I hate those printed computer tickets!), freebie premiums and advertising goodies. With time and persistence, you might even be able to get free autographs from the players. But that would mean being in a city where teams are playing and taking a chance on finding players and their willingness to sign. Locally, several of our team's players will sign autographs for a while after warm-ups and before changing into their game uniforms. That means getting into the games early and being patient.
For those with a bigger budget, you might look for team-themed merchandise, e.g. basketballs with team logos, hats and specific event themed apparel.
The next step might be autographed balls. In the various auctions, both listed below and others I've seen, they are more affordable than other autographed items. For example, a local charity auction had an autographed basketball signed by a rookie for less than $100.
The autographed game-worn jerseys are the holy grails of NBA sports memorabilia collecting, check out the prices below for examples of the high bids they garner.
Tips: When collecting autographed items, be aware of fakes! Buy from a reputable dealer or an auction house that stands behind what they sell. When buying online, often a dealer will offer a COA, but those can be worthless unless a reputable company issues it. Yes, it's a tricky slope, but with research and information, you can be confident in your purchases.
Shown below is an index of pages with basketball memorabilia pictures and prices on Collectibles.About.com.
- Naismith's Basketball Rules - Record price for sports memorabilia
- NBA World Championship Ring - Robert Parish
- NBA Lakers 2002 World Championship Ring
- NBA Miami Heat 2006 Championship Ring
- Kobe Bryant Uniform Jersey
- Michael Jordan Uniform Jersey
- Michael Jordan Rookie Jersey
- Shaquille O'Neal Uniform Jersey -
- Pete Maravich Practice Jersey
- Pete Maravich Rookie Jersey
- Dr. J's ABA Jersey
- Nate Thurmond
- Bob Pettit Jersey
- LeBron James High School Jersey
- Oscar Robertson Jersey
- Dr. J's Slam Dunk Jersey
- Wilt Chamberblain Uniform Jersey
- Chamberlain's All Star Jersey
- Walt Frazier Jersey
- Larry Bird Uniform Jersey
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Uniform Jersey
- Bob Cousy Autographed Basketball
- HOF Celtics Autographed Basketball
- 50 All Time NBA Player Cards, Framed
- NBA Finals Backboard and Rim
- Chicago Bulls Training Table