Matt Hart The NBA Scout
Updated: Feb 25
1988 is the year it all began. My interest in sports, beginning with the Oakland A’s, escalated when I began collecting baseball cards. I’m not sure if it was chasing cards from my favorite players, The Bash Brothers, or the stick of gum that hooked me, but it didn’t take long to be really hooked. It started with baseball cards, then quickly escalated to football and the search for Joe Montana and Jerry Rice cards, and then on to basketball and all of the players from “Run TMC.”
It didn’t stop at collecting cards. The card collection evolved to autographs and memorabilia. My dad would take me to card shows where some of the old greats from Raiders, like Fred Biletnikoff and Lester Hayes to active stars, like Rickey Henderson and Carney Lansford would sign autographs. One of my favorites, despite being a copy, was a speeding ticket Jose Canseco received in his Ferrari.
At some point in the early 90’s, my aunt began dating the equipment manager of the 49ers (now uncle). We’d both agree it was fate, albeit for different reasons. My memorabilia collection escalated quickly in just a few years - from buying packs of Topps cards to having access to the San Francisco 49ers. Autographed football cards, photos, helmets and hats. A personal favorite that confuses most people is the autographed Michael Jordan football. Yes, an autographed Michael Jordan football. I don’t think many of those exist.
Fun little video of Matt Hart and ZaZa shooting 1 on 1.
Perhaps the coolest and my favorite autograph I have is from Richard Jefferson on a piece of binder paper with a note from a friend of mine from high school, Kristal. Kristal was a couple of years older than me and went to college at the University of Arizona. Naturally, when she was home for break, I asked if she had classes with any basketball players and she told me some guy named Richard Jefferson. I immediately asked if she would get me his autograph telling her that I thought he was going to be a star in the NBA one day.
He isn’t as popularly known as Steph or Lebron, but if you follow basketball, you know who Richard Jefferson is. Drafted thirteenth in the first round of the NBA draft in 2002, a key player on back to back Eastern Conference final teams with the New Jersey Nets, member of the 2004 Olympic team, NBA All-Rookie Second team, and was a key player on the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship team. Over the course of a 17 year career, Richard Jefferson was one of the better role players in the game and is able to say what many bigger stars cannot - an NBA Champion.
Perhaps I should talk to the Warrior’s about openings on their scout team. Currently with the worst record in the NBA, what do they have to lose?
Hi! How are you doing? I know you asked for this like soooo long ago so here it is, Richard Jefferson’s autograph. I told him about how you said he was going to be some big star or something and he was flattered. Anyways, I hope you still wanted this and I hope to see you real soon! Come over and visit sometime! Miss you!