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NBA pros sport nostalgia for the good ol players

If you see a Trail Blazer running around town in a throwback athletic jersey, there's a good chance it's Zach Randolph.

Randolph owns about 40 sports teams caps and nearly as many retro jerseys of football, basketball and baseball stars from eras past.

'It's a fad that a lot of rappers, entertainers, pro athletes have gotten into,' Randolph says. 'I started collecting them about a year ago. One of the reasons I like them is, they are comfortable. My first one was Julius Erving with the New Jersey Nets. My favorite is Billy 'White Shoes' Johnson of the Houston Oilers in 1977. I like the colors. It's a nice jersey.'

Randolph orders his jerseys from Distant Replay, a mail-order outlet in Atlanta.

'I got a special (account) number,' he says. 'All us NBA guys got special numbers. I'm in the process of buying some more. I've given some away to friends and family or I'd have more. I think they're going to be worth something down the line. Some day I will have 100, maybe more.'

Randolph has doubles on three athletes Ñ Harold Carmichael of the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe Montana with Kansas City and San Francisco, and Oscar Robertson with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks.

His other favorites include Tom Seaver, Lance Alworth and Jim Kelly. He also has a jersey of the late Drazen Petrovic, who began his NBA career in Portland.

'A lot of older people will stop me and say, 'I used to watch him play,' ' Randolph says. 'They think it's neat I have his jersey.'

ÑKerry Eggers