A History-Making Maravich: Panini America Documents Production of Rare Jersey Card

July 03, 2013

Panini America Pete Maravich (9)

Today’s release of 2012-13 Gold Standard Basketball is a celebrated event for any number of reasons, most of which we’ve shared right here on The Knight’s Lance in the last month or so. But it’s the ones we haven’t shown yet that might be the most exciting. Amid the myriad spectacular specimens randomly inserted into Gold Standard’s gold-brick boxes are 12 special cards representing Panini America’s history-making first Pete Maravich game-worn jersey cards.

Maravich, one of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, averaged more than 44 points per game as a college phenomenon at LSU before entering the NBA in 1970. Once there, he became one of the most innovative offensive stars of all time and an absolute ball-handling Houdini.

Known as the “Pistol,” Maravich spent 10 years in the NBA (with the Atlanta Hawks, New Orelans/Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics) before injuries forced him to retire in 1980. He finished his short-but-spectacular NBA career as a five-time All-Star who averaged more than 24 points per game. At the age of 40, just eight years after he retired, Maravich died during a pickup basketball game due to a previously undetected heart defect.

In 1996, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

Maravich was a truly transcendent talent — which explains why collectors still covet his trading cards and collectibles all these years later. And that brings us to his first Panini America memorabilia cards releasing today inside 2012-13 Gold Standard Basketball.

Panini America officials procured the jersey — worn by Maravich in 1980 during his 26-game stint with the Celtics — at last September’s Seventh Annual Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction. Twelve oversized pieces of the jersey were incorporated into Gold Standard’s Black Gold insert, including two for the rare Prime version.

In the spirit of our Ryan Kesler stick video from last September, the following video takes you behind the scenes to discover how these monumental Maravich memorabilia cards were made. After the video, stick around for a complete image gallery of the cards, too.

Enjoy.

Here’s the gallery:

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