I love basketball, but only pay attention to the college game. It would help if Pittsburgh had a professional team, but that is likely never going to happen. My only hope is that WVU produces a player that can sustain a long career.
The Mountaineers last first round pick was Joe Alexander in 2008. Alexander was a freak of an athlete that blossomed under coach Bob Huggins during the last couple months of his Junior season. He would take that momentum into the draft where he was picked 8th overall by the Bucks.
Since you likely have never heard of Alexander you can probably guess how this story goes. I believe he became the first lottery pick in which his third year option was not picked up. As of last year he was still playing overseas.
Last year Alexander gave a scathing interview about the Bucks front office. He said that when they drafted him they were going to ease him into a more active roll instead of throwing him out there to fail. This made sense as most draft experts liked Alexander, with the caveat that a team that drafts him let him develop slowly. Alexander also said that his numbers were not much different than other rookies given similar playing time. Whatever the reason the NBA is not like the MLB where prospects are given tons of opportunity to prove their worth. If you fail early you are likely done.
2008-09 Joe Alexander/D.J. Augustin Dual patch auto /10
I was so excited when Alexander got drafted 8th overall. I knew I finally was going to have a chance to collect some modern basketball cards. Being that Alexander was a lottery pick he was in every set you could imagine. What I didn't realize was how expensive NBA rookie cards were. I basically avoided picking up any autos his first year.
Once his career was over before it really got started I began picking up all his cards. Most base autos could be had for about the price of shipping while parallels and high end sets were in the $5-10 range. I had accumulated so much that it would be months in between cards I needed would show up on eBay.
The majority of cards I'm still looking for are ones that Alexander is featured with a prominent star. The 2008 draft featured the likes of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love. All three sell very well on the secondary market.
The card featured above is out of UD Black. It is a set in which about 3 million variations exist for every good rookie. Over the years I've accumulated most of the cards featuring Alexander alone, but these low numbered dual cards are super hard finds. This one features Alexander and DJ Augustin who was drafted 9th overall in 2008 and is still active in the NBA. At release these are the type of cards that sell for well over $100, but with Alexander flaming out I picked this card up for about $15 shipped. The only reason it sold that high is likely people who collect Texas players like Augustin. It easily becomes one of my favorite Alexander cards.
Thanks for reading. I hope you can now answer obscure NBA questions about Joe Alexander!