Bradley rookie card is currently valued at
$400 in the Sports Market Report.
Bradley rookie card is currently valued at $400 in the Sports Market Report.

See if these credentials sound good for a solid collector's investment.

  • The player in question was a former national college player of the year
  • He won an Olympic gold medal in basketball
  • he once held the NCAA record for most points scored in a post-season game
  • he played on a couple of NBA championship teams
  • He's in the NBA's Hall of Fame.

Worth collecting? How about if we throw in the fact he's running for president of the United States?

The world of entertainment and politics have synergized over the past generation to the point that hardly anyone would blink an eye if a rock or movie star became president (Ronald Reagan); thought about running for president (Warren Beatty); became a senator (John Glenn, Sonny Bono, among others); or became a governor (Jesse "The Body" Ventura).

The world of athletics, however, has been a slow stepchild to their brethren in the entertainment world. Sure, there were some talented athletes who went on to become supreme court justice (Whizzer White), vice-president and then president (Gerald Ford), cabinet member and veep candidate (Jack Kemp) or outspoken Republican congressmen from Oklahoma (Steve Largent, as well as J.C. Watts). But a true professional superstar to enter the White House? It hasn't happened yet. When it does, the impact on the collecting business could be overwhelmingly positive.

It's with that in mind, that we consider Bill Bradley, the former Princeton all-American who became an integral member of the New York Knicks' championship teams in 1969 and 1973. Like another former Rhodes scholar/basketball titan, Tom McMillen of Maryland, he established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the U.S. Senate.

However, Bradley's ambitions clearly climbed higher than that, even after he retired from the upper chamber earlier in the 90's. He laid the foundation for his current run for the presidency by vigorously campaigning over the past 18 plus months.

The odds are steep against former Knicks' forward Bradley. Beaten in Iowa and New Hampshire, a decided underdog on Super Tuesday next month, the 56-year-old 6-foot-6 inch Crystal City, Missouri native, is banking on upset wins in the two biggest primaries, New York and California, to carry him past odds-on favorite, Vice-President Al Gore.

Running against the sure favorite Gore, is like being double-teamed and banking a half-court shot with your eyes closed.

Bradley has capitalized on his athletic background to tap into campaign fundraising and team building, including former teammate Phil Jackson during the campaign's infancy. Jackson was thought to have been set to play a larger role in the Bradley campaign before he was enticed to run the Los Angeles Lakers' ship this season. With the Lakers a likely candidate to play well into June in the NBA playoffs, his ability to help his close friend will be limited.

Still, names like Jackson and Michael Jordan (who has even filmed a television campaign ad for Bradley) have contributed heavily toward his run for the top office in the land, according to campaign contribution lists published every week. It seems as if every former and current athlete in pro basketball has taken Bradley's side.

It hasn't been enough.

Bill Bradley's Sportscard Values
(with comparison of notable NBA peers)

1969-70 TOPPS

No.
Player
EXMT6
NM7
NMMT8
MT9
1
Wilt Chamberlain
75
135
275
625
20
John Havlicek (HOF)
75
135
275
575
25
Lew Alcindor (R) (HOF)
200
350
750
1600
43
Bill Bradley (R) (HOF)
55
95
185
400
60
Willis Reed (R) (HOF)
18
30
65
140
80
Earl Monroe (R) (HOF)
18
30
60
135
85
Dave DeBusschere (R) (HOF)
18
30
60
125
90
Jerry West (HOF)
40
70
135
290
98
Walt Frazier (R) (HOF)
25
40
80
175
99
Checklist 1-99
100
200
400
900

1970-71 TOPPS

No.
Player
EXMT6
NM7
NMMT8
MT9
7
Bill Bradley (HOF)
18
30
60
130
10
John Havlicek SP (HOF)
30
50
105
215
13
Pat Riley (R)
25
45
85
180
20
Earl Monroe (HOF)
8
12
20
60
24
Checklist 1-110
15
30
60
125
75
Lew Alcindor (HOF)
30
50
105
235
120
Walt Frazier (HOF)
15
25
40
100
123
Pete Maravich (R) (HOF)
125
225
410
900
135
Dave DeBusschere (HOF)
8
12
20
50
150
Willis Reed (HOF)
8
12
20
50
171
Playoff Game 4 (West)
10
15
25
65
172
Playoff Game 5 (Bradley)
8
12
20
50
173
Playoff Game 6 (Chamberlain)
10
18
30
75
175
Knicks Celebrate
10
18
30
75

1971-72 TOPPS

No.
Player
EXMT6
NM7
NMMT8
MT9
2
Bill Bradley (HOF)
12
20
40
120
35
John Havlicek (HOF)
12
20
40
135
50
Jerry West (HOF)
18
30
65
175
55
Pete Maravich SP (HOF)
18
30
60
150
70
Wilt Chamberlain (HOF)
20
35
75
180
100
Lew Alcindor (HOF)
25
40
80
170

1972-73 TOPPS

No.
Player
EXMT6
NM7
NMMT8
MT9
1
Wilt Chamberlain (HOF)
25
50
100
225
5
Pete Maravich (HOF)
15
25
55
135
32
Phil Jackson (R)
20
32
65
140
75
Jerry West (HOF)
12
25
45
115
100
Kareem Abdul Jabbar (HOF)
18
30
55
125
110
John Havlicek (HOF)
10
15
30
75
122
Bill Bradley (HOF)
12
20
45
100
144
Pat Riley
10
15
30
85
*SOURCE: February 2000 issue of theSports Market Report (SMR).


Bradley con't...
Prominent athletes who have become successful politicians --(TOP) Jesse 'The Body' Ventura as wrestler and governor of Minnesota,(RIGHT)Steve Largent, fifth all-time NFL Reception leader and Okla. representative,(LEFT) J.C. Watts, former Univ. of Okla. quarterback turned politician, and perhaps the most prominent, Sen. Jack Kemp, NFL MVP quarterback,  who has had sights set on the presidency as well.
Prominent athletes who have become successful politicians --
(TOP) Jesse 'The Body' Ventura as wrestler and governor of Minnesota,
(RIGHT)Steve Largent, fifth all-time NFL Reception leader and Okla. representative,
(LEFT) J.C. Watts, former Univ. of Okla. quarterback turned politician,
and perhaps the most prominent, Sen. Jack Kemp, NFL MVP quarterback,
who has had sights set on the presidency as well.