Heading into the 1990-91 NBA season, Mark Jackson was a young point guard on the New York Knicks, preparing to play his fourth season in what would be a 17-year career in the league. While his 1990-91 Hoops basketball card had once fetched negligible values in the NBA trading card market, a recent sighting has made this card hundreds of times more valuable, as the card appears to show two men at courtside who resemble convicted killers Lyle and Erik Menendez.
According to the New York Daily News, the sighting went viral thanks to Twitter user John Rosenberger, who shared a photo of the trading card in question, where the Menendez brothers appear to be seated in the background in the bottom left of the image. The card showcased Jackson, who had multiple NBA head coaching stints after his playing career ended, passing the ball while wearing his Knicks home court uniform.
Per Bleacher Report, Rosenberger had first seen the photo of the Jackson basketball card on Reddit, where a user with the handle Pirate_Redbeard originally shared it on Thursday.
With Rosenberger’s tweet getting shared more than 25,000 times at the time of the New York Daily News report, former ESPN reporter Darren Rovell commented on the photo in a Twitter post, where he explained that it’s highly likely the young men in the bottom left of the basketball card were Lyle and Erik Menendez.
“Menendez murder happened Aug. 20, 1989. Brothers were apprehended March 1990. Photo was taken at [Madison Square Garden] in 1989-90 season and set came out before [the] 1990-91 season.”
187 1990-91 Hoops Mark Jackson cards have sold on eBay today, including the highest priced single card that just went for $56. Market from 27-year-old card went nuts after word spread Menendez Bros are sitting courtside on card. Parents had already been murdered. pic.twitter.com/w1dmmzpyps
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 9, 2018
Separately, Rovell, who currently reports for the Action Network, tweeted that Mark Jackson’s Hoops card for the 1990-91 season was once valued at 15 to 20 cents, but has since multiplied in value, with one card selling for as much as $56 on eBay.
Lyle and Erik Menendez were only 21- and 18-years-old respectively in August 1989, when their parents, entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife Kitty, were murdered in their Beverly Hills home. As recalled last year by Town and Country, the brothers were separately arrested in March 1990 within three days of each other, and were both found guilty of murdering their parents in April 1996, almost seven years after the crime had taken place.
Meanwhile, Mark Jackson’s 1990-91 Hoops card became the latest sports card to stand out as an “oddity” in the trading card scene, according to Bleacher Report. The publication cited two other memorable examples of these oddities, including Baltimore Orioles infielder Billy Ripken posing for his 1989 Fleer card while holding a baseball bat that had the words “F**K FACE” written on the knob, and Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane being spotted watching the game in the background at 6-years-old on then-Ottawa Senators left winger Sylvain Turgeon’s 1994 Pinnacle card.