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Thursday, May 28, 2020

6. NIKE Poster Cards Type 1 290206 - 290212

Continuing our look at the early Type 1 Nike poster cards the group from 290206 through 290213 includes Darryl Griffith, Paul Westphal and Darryl Dawkins.

This grouping continues the  evidence that in some cases there were multiple printings of these posters / poster cards as evidenced by the change in the information on their backs. Variation (a) has poster number and poster title whereas variation (b) has poster number, poster name and player name.  

Why there are 5 numbers missing from the first 10 is unknown. One theory is that Nike was cutting players that weren't living up to their contracts around the time of the Darryl Dawkins lawsuit in 1982 (see below) and these posters were eliminated before they were printed and distributed.  The exact comment from the NY Times was "....Nike had also terminated contracts with about a half-dozen athletes who had used Nike's logo on another brand of shoe."


290206  Dr. Dunkenstein  1982/83  (1986)

Darryl Griffith reported that he posed for the iconic poster after he signed with Nike in 1980 after leaving Louisville. 
Utah selected Griffith with the second overall pick in the 1980 NBA draftHe posed wearing a white lab coat and a doctors head mirror creating the character Dr. Dunkenstein  which was his nickname from his Louisville days. The poster card is dated as 1986 by the 1994 Upper Deck/ Nike card set but we know he posed for the photo in the 1980/81 season so 1986 must be  the second printing. .

This was also the first indication that there were multiple early printings of some of these poster cards (so we would also think posters) As you can see on the back of the poster cards, there are two different listings the first simply stating 290206 Dr. Dunkenstein and the second including / Darrell Griffith. 

We have only identified 9 posters where we have found two similar variations [just title vs title and player name ] between numbers 2902002 and 290225, but others may exist. We do not yet know for sure which one was printed chronologically earlier, but the best bet ae the ones without added complete names since they appear much rarer.  

290207 - Unknown

290208 - Goin' Home      1982/83 

Paul Westphal depicting a player going home after practice in a school yard. Nike photographer Kuhn has noted that the first poster he shot was 290208 "Going Home" with Paul Westphal. "I think the first poster I shot was Goin’ Home with Paul Westphal. We were in LA at an urban basketball court. This was in the late 1970s" 

290211 Chocolate Thunder    1982/83

Rim destroying Darryl Dawkins signed with Nike in July 1980. In return for wearing Nike shoes Dawkins, along with 25 other N.B.A. players, was made a member of Nike's Pro Club. In May of 1982 Dawkins broke his contract terms by wearing a pair of "Pony" sneakers. The subsequent lawsuit by Nike described in an Aug 1982 NY Times article indicated that " Dawkins's shoe switch came in the middle of the National Basketball Association playoffs -when his feet would be most conspicuous - and left Nike with 20,000 useless ''Chocolate Thunder'' posters.

This has been one of the rarer poster cards probably for the aforementioned reasons. This is the only example I have ever seen of this poster card.  

290212 - Urban Runner    1982/83

Runner caught in the sunlight running across downtown Seattle 

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