This weekend's Sports Collectibles Convention in Rosemont didn't just book some of the biggest names in sports, but also some of the most controversial.
While each has had his run-ins with the law (and rehab, in the case of Tyson and Rodman), they still remain fan favorites — especially Rose.
"Pete is definitely one of the most popular guys," said Kevin Schwartz, vice president of convention runner Mounted Memories. "We have him once a year, but (demand has) never slowed down for him. People love to talk to him."
Other athletes appearing at the convention include
The prices for autographs vary (Abdul-Jabbar will sign licensed NBA jerseys for $199 while the Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw will sign anything for $25), as do the items that convention guests bring with them to get signed. Schwartz has seen everything from McDonald's cups and Coke cans to bobbleheads and fan-made art.
"Guys will bring in dufflebags or will wheel in suitcases," Schwartz said. Still, he insists that it's not just the autographs that keep sports fans coming back. "If you want an autograph, you can buy that online. These guys want to meet the athletes, say a couple words and shake their hands."
Heads up: "Ride Wit Me" rapper Nelly will appear at Funky Buddha Lounge Thursday. …
On the record: "It's all I really want — to work in an environment with people I like and respect, and who like and respect me, and who frankly let me do whatever the hell I want to do. As long as it stays like this, I'm happy to be here. [Long pause] At least until Conan's cocaine addiction starts to really go crazy again, and then I'll probably have to get out of here." – "Conan" sidekick and Yorkville High School alum
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