The life of an NBA rookie isn’t as easy as it looks, and the 34 first-year players who turned out for this year’s NBA Rookie Photo Shoot learned Tuesday that the seemingly simple act of posing for card photos is more involved than they previously believed.
“Yeah its kind of fun but the crazy part is we have been here for at least eight hours so that’s the tough part,” said Eric Gordon, the seventh overall pick of the L.A. Clippers. “You just have to get used to it.”
But by the end of the day, card makers Topps and Upper Deck walked away with thousands of photos and autographs, and some of the rookies walked away with some of their first photos in an NBA uniform.
“Sometimes this is the first time they are seeing their actual jersey with their real name on it and their actual number,” said David Enslee, Topps assistant basketball brand manager.
Upper Deck changed things up a bit for this year because they know collectors are always looking for changes and upgrades to their favorite products from year to year. “Probably the thing we changed the most is we changed up how we are shooting our action this year, with some remote placement in some of our portrait stations – just a little different style,” said Gary Tolle, Upper Deck’s manager of the creative sports department.
The event ran very smoothly and at the end of the day the league was very happy with the coverage that they received.
“Once again the Rookie Photo shoot was a very successful event for our trading card partners,” said Lisa Goldberg, the NBA’s senior director of trading cards and memorabilia. “Both Topps and Upper Deck were able to get great photography of the NBA Rookies wearing their uniforms for the first time and we are looking forward to seeing them in the upcoming releases for next season.”