Fake Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama rookie cards will worry NBA card collectors

Several fake Victor Wembanyama rookie cards were among $400,000 worth of counterfeit goods seized in Rochester, N.Y.

Victor Wembanyama Spurs rookie card counterfeit

Multiple fake San Antonio Spurs Victor Wembanyama rookie cards were among $400,000 worth of counterfeit goods seized in Rochester, N.Y., according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It is not known how many of the counterfeit Wembanyama Panini Prizm cards were found, but Panini is aware of the seizure, according to Darren Rovell of cllct.com:

“‘Authenticity is at the heart of what we do,’ Howarth said. ‘We are aware of fake Panini cards seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection and look forward to working with them on this matter.’

One very noticeable difference in the picture of the card provided by the federal agency is that Wembanyama’s photo is significantly blurred. One cannot see a full Nike swoosh on the jersey of the fake card, and the logo for Self Financial, the San Antonio Spurs’ jersey sponsor, is also blurry.”

The Spurs rookie’s base card sells for about $80. It is currently worth $200 with a PSA 10 grade.

The idea that there are counterfeit versions of these cards is certainly concerning for collectors. People play large amounts of money for cards of high-profile players, and need to have assurances that their purchases are legitimate.

Spurs’ Wembanyama had a rookie season for the ages

San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) reacts after a victory over the Denver Nuggets at Frost Bank Center© Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

In yet another tell that the generational talent continues to live up to that description, the 7-foot-4 rookie topped two categories as decided by fellow NBA players: “Who’s the best defender?” and “Who are you going to sign first (to build a team around)?”

The results are part of an anonymous poll of 142 NBA players conducted by The Athletic, which started the practice several years ago before the COVID pandemic and its effects caused an interruption to the questionnaire.

Though the 20-year-old center didn’t earn as high a percentage of the vote as in the “Who are you going to sign first?” category, he won by a bigger margin.

At 15.2%, Victor Wembanyama and Jrue Holiday (12.9%) were the only players to get into double figures.

The fact that the Spurs’ big man is receiving this level of acclaim from his peers already bodes well for his, and San Antonio’s future as they build around Wemby.

While the Spurs are in the market for a point guard, they’re not likely to pursue Trae Young, should the Atlanta Hawks decide to deal him. However, San Antonio is the betting favorite to land Chris Paul. It makes sense that the Warriors would move off of Paul for cost-savings reasons, and the Spurs could use his services on a short-term deal until a more long-term solution presents itself.

On the season, Wembanyama averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and a league-leading 3.6 blocks per game for the Spurs.

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