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Thread: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

  1. #1
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    I found this in my room when I was packing today. I bought these shoes probably 7 years ago on ebay, and the seller claimed they were game worn (obviously since they are questionable, I got them for a very cheap price). He didn't have a COA but claimed he won them in an auction from the Pacers some time ago.

    As for the shoes themselves, they are in pretty rough shape. If the autograph is real on each shoe, they are from his earlier days because he put #24 on them (Chuck Person was still using 45 at the time). Wikipedia says he wore a size 20 shoe but these are a size 18. I can't find too many pictures of him in the 24 uniform that show his shoes, so I was wondering if I could get some of your expert opinions here. What are the chances the autograph is real, and then what are the chances the shoes were actually worn by him.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    I've got an autographed Rik Smits jersey from the Pacers online auction in Jan 2004. It's a 45 jersey. Looks like he signed it R Smits. I'll try and attach a photo.

    There was also an auction that Rik Smits himself conducted in 1999. He sold items the players donated to raise money to build a community center in NY. I was lucky(?) enough to get Jon Benders shoes in that auction.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Let's try again, maybe I should have inserted the link.

    http://img607.imageshack.us/i/smits.jpg/

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Well, I think it's pretty likely the auto is real, or someone forged it who was 100% familiar with his signature. I have a few items that I saw Rik sign in person and the signature is identical to this. We have a member here who goes by the name PristineCollector who would be familiar with tons of Pacers autos. Maybe he'll see this and chime in, or you can PM him.

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    Member boombaby_rm31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes



    these days, no COA = people stay away

    im not an expert on pacers autos but it looks authentic to me

    i think its only a treasure for a fellow pacer fan
    Last edited by boombaby_rm31; 12-19-2010 at 08:49 PM.

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    Member ChristianDudley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    I'm about 100% sure that the auto is real and I'd say the shoes are real, too. Back then, players didn't wear a different pair of shoes each game like a lot of them do today, so that's another reason for the wear and tear on yours. I'd say both the signatures and the shoes are all 100% real based on the pictures you provided.

  7. #7
    Member idioteque's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by boombaby_rm31 View Post
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    these days, no COA = people stay away

    im not an expert on pacers autos but it looks authentic to me

    i think its only a treasure for a fellow pacer fan
    Hilarious, I got Smits to autograph that exact same card for me years ago.

    As someone who is familiar with his signature, it looks real to me.

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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Rik Smits had horrible foot problems that shortened his career and productivity and cost him many millions of dollars.
    I can't imagine him having worn those out like that.
    Not even at home.

    He weighed 280ish pounds, do you know how quickly you break down the shoe running and jumping at that weight?
    I wouldn't be surprised if they had HIM wearing a new pair every game.
    I'm calling bs on this one. (the shoes not the auto, maybe Rik signed some guys shoes?)
    Should be simple to find out if he wore that brand.
    Last edited by MLB007; 12-19-2010 at 09:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Member boombaby_rm31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    sorry for being ignorant but how are size 18 shoes that common?

    edit**
    just checked ebay, i guess they are pretty common

    and this is my 69th post. lol
    Last edited by boombaby_rm31; 12-19-2010 at 09:33 PM.

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    Shooting for the Moon Day-V's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by boombaby_rm31 View Post
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    and this is my 69th post. lol

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  12. #11
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    I've always figured the autograph was real because I got him to sign a program for me when I was younger and I also have a signed card of his. Thanks for the picture of the card - at least it makes me think theres a chance the shoes could have been used by him.

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    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    The auto looks legit. I have a few Smits' autographs, and that looks darn close.

    Nice find if you got them on the cheap.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    I've written some freelance articles for hobby publications on the topic of both autographs and game worn memorabilia, and have some items of my own, so I will offer my two cents for what they are worth.

    Most items that you see up for auction at "reputable" auction houses that specialize in sports memorabilia have no more provenance than what you have. What they do have is an in-house authenticator or third party authenticator render an opinion on the item. If there is no iron-clad certificate of authenticity (these too can be forged) then their opinion is often based on photo documentation, but again, they can never be 100% sure that the item is the same as in the photo unless there is a unique identifier (sometimes spacing between lettering is used).

    In your case, someone has posted a photo that would seem to be a photo match. I have a problem with this photo though, because you'll notice that the tongue on your shoe is blue, but there is no blue showing on the tongue in your shoe. It looks like the same style, but occassionally, players got a prototype from the company to try out; my guess is that it is a prototype.

    The autograph is easier to verify, but unless you got it in person, have a letter from the person, or have a picture of him signing the item, then the best a third party can do is to offer an opinion of authenticity. And you'd have to pay for that opinion; way more than the autograph is worth.

    So in this case, I would concur that the item is going to be more valuable to a Pacers fan who does not care that the item may not be game-used, but the signature is most-likely authentic. The shoes were probably worn by him; probably just not in a game. Of course, more research may uncover a direct photo match...

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Well, I don't think there's any point in arguing the authenticity of th autograph. Even in Indy, faking a Smits auto isn't likely to be worth very much money.

  17. #15

    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Alrighty, here's my 2 cents. I'd agree with the others on the autograph. Definitely looks real to me, and honestly, who would fake a Rik Smits autograph, haha?

    Now, onto the shoes. Aside from showing that Smits was endorsed by Reebok, just disregard that card. The card shows Smits wearing the first generation of Pump that Reebok made (circa 1989-ish). Your shoes are a few generations removed from that. Can't remember what year those were released, but they appear to be the model immediately after the infamous Dee Brown Dunk Contest pair and my initial reaction was 1992-ish. I'd also like to add that while size 18's are more common today, at the time those shoes were made, anything above a 13 was impossible to find, and pretty much required a special order. I think a lot of the extra wear and tear on your shoes could just be attributed to age and not being stored properly. As was mentioned before, it wasn't as common to have new shoes every game back then. I remember what a big deal was made about Jordan having a new pair every game when it first came out. Even still today, it's not uncommon for guys to keep shoes for 2-3 games, depending on the build of the shoes. My guess is that your shoes are most likely a pair of Rik Smits gamers from around 92 or so.

    hth,
    Josh

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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by jshortt View Post
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    I'd also like to add that while size 18's are more common today, at the time those shoes were made, anything above a 13 was impossible to find, and pretty much required a special order. I think a lot of the extra wear and tear on your shoes could just be attributed to age and not being stored properly.

    hth,
    Josh
    Yep, good advice. The Mrs. who use to collect shoes many, many years ago just had to round file shoes she collected from Barkley and Herb Williams because of dry rot.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

  20. #17
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by jshortt View Post
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    Alrighty, here's my 2 cents. I'd agree with the others on the autograph. Definitely looks real to me, and honestly, who would fake a Rik Smits autograph, haha?

    Now, onto the shoes. Aside from showing that Smits was endorsed by Reebok, just disregard that card. The card shows Smits wearing the first generation of Pump that Reebok made (circa 1989-ish). Your shoes are a few generations removed from that. Can't remember what year those were released, but they appear to be the model immediately after the infamous Dee Brown Dunk Contest pair and my initial reaction was 1992-ish. I'd also like to add that while size 18's are more common today, at the time those shoes were made, anything above a 13 was impossible to find, and pretty much required a special order. I think a lot of the extra wear and tear on your shoes could just be attributed to age and not being stored properly. As was mentioned before, it wasn't as common to have new shoes every game back then. I remember what a big deal was made about Jordan having a new pair every game when it first came out. Even still today, it's not uncommon for guys to keep shoes for 2-3 games, depending on the build of the shoes. My guess is that your shoes are most likely a pair of Rik Smits gamers from around 92 or so.

    hth,
    Josh
    Thanks for the post - this was great to know. There are definitely some differences between these Pump shoes and the ones he wore in the card but this is good information to know. I'd been kind of afraid to display them because I want to have an idea that they could be real. If I remember correctly, I spent $25 for them.

  21. #18

    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Well, if you paid $25, as a Pacers fan, you got a pretty good deal IMO. The only other trick to dating them that I can think of is to check the size tag. Not sure about Reeboks, but Nike always used to have the first 2 numbers of the product code be the year the shoes were produced (i.e. 91xxx-xxx-xxx). You could try checking it that way, or sometimes if you just type the full product code number into a Google search, it will come back with the type of shoe and year released (though you might have to check through a couple of pages for it). With your pair using the small Hexalite cushioning system instead of the E.R.S. (Energy Return System - like on the card posted), I'm pretty sure that puts them in the 91-93 range.

    -Josh

  22. #19

    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    It just depends on how much research you want to do. I'm sure that a photo exists somewhere that could prove whether they were game worn, but you probably cannot prove that they were not. Either way, they were likely at least game-issued, and for $25 for an autographed pair and a nice conversation piece, you got a pretty good deal. If you want to do more research, try Getty Images.

  23. #20
    Member boombaby_rm31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    better ask rik himself if you bump into him

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    Call me Kauffie Kaufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    you know what - rik lives in town. he's a pretty easy guy to spot. he lives on the northwest side of indy.

    i bet you can find him, seek him out, easily at that, verify the autograph and have him autograph a few other things and you would be all set. he's a nice as can be guy.
    "Sometimes, when you look Andy in the eyes, you get a feeling somebody else is driving." -- David Letterman

  25. #22
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    I know my sister has seen him in the Marsh in Zionsville before. However, I live in Florida and I'm moving to Charlotte in a week. I probably won't be seeing him anytime soon

  26. #23
    Call me Kauffie Kaufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    oh then you are in luck. he and stephen jackson do a basketball camp for kids in April in Charlotte.
    "Sometimes, when you look Andy in the eyes, you get a feeling somebody else is driving." -- David Letterman

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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Is there going to be a Zionsville HS Invitational Holiday tournament this year? I know he's attended those in the past.

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need opinions on these Rik Smits shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaufman View Post
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    oh then you are in luck. he and stephen jackson do a basketball camp for kids in April in Charlotte.
    That's great. But am I the only one who went "Huh, wha?" when I read this. If there are two bigger polar opposites that used to play for the Pacers I can't think of them. I would be very interested to know how this pairing came about. I'm being serious. If anyone knows, do tell.

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