NBA Basketball

From 1996-2006 I collected NBA basketball cards like there was no tomorrow. The bulk of my collection is from the 1986-87 revival until 2005-2006.

I ran out of money then and I was not overly happy with the way the cards were going...I like large sets with all the players in the league and we were not getting that.

I prided myself on having at least one example of every major set ever issued, though that ends at 05-06 I think-maybe 04-05.

I was also printed in Beckett about 10 times as well. If you go through the issues and find a letter from Billy Kingsley...that's me. I've been out of the hobby for so long I don't recall what issues or the topics of my LOC were about, except one, which was asking if the card companies washed the jerseys and other Game used items. The answer was no, by the way.

I have gotten back into the NBA...and I think I'm enjoying it more now than I did before! (absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say). I'm back to collecting cards full time again but I can no longer afford one or more boxes of each set released- I get what I can and am thrilled to have it.

All scans are of cards in my collection, not for trade or sale.
 
1948

1948 saw the first ever professional baseketball card release, the NBA didn't exist yet, the card series documents one of the two leagues that merged to form the NBA.
I no longer remember if the set is from the 47-48, or 48-49 seasons. I know it was covered in Beckett at some point, but I just don't remember anymore.
These cards are very hard to find, or at least, they were back when I began and did most of my collecting in the days before the internet. It took me years to find any of them, and in a decade of collecting like my life depended on it, I was only able to hunt down roughly 5 cards. The George Mikan card is one of the most important basketball cards in existance, I have never seen one in person, last I knew (mid 2000s) it sold regularly for roughly $100,000. That's more than some houses cost in my area!

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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for trade or sale.
 
1957-58

The second major NBA set (the first under the NBA nameplate, in fact) was Topps' first foray into this sport. The cards are not very common but I had a dealer I knew in the mid-2000s who had quite a few of them; some of the cards in this set would cost more than the family car did, I knew I could never complete it, but I always gravitated towards the vintage issues.

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All scans are of cards in my collection, not for trade or sale.
 
1961-62

1961-62 saw only one release, from Fleer. Fleer was my favorite company for basketball cards, and this was the first issue under the Fleer banner- the next would not come until the legendary 86-87 set.
For some reason, the 61-62 Fleer set was always harder to find for me than the 57-58 Topps set, I have less of them by nearly half, even the vintage dealer I knew in the mid-2000s wasn't able to supply me with many of them. Even when going to card shows, back when they used to have them, I would see other vintage cards outside my price range far more often than I would see 61-62 Fleers outside my price range, let alone in it.

The set design was re-used by Fleer on several occasions.

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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
1969-70

1969-70 saw Topps' second release, and from this point on there would be only one year without an NBA baseketball card issue. It was the first of Topps' two tall card sets...it makes them very difficult to store and when you find them for sale they usually are not in particularly great shape. The key card from this set is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Rookie card, known then as Lew Alcindor. I don't believe I've ever even seen one in person. The checklist from this set is also one of, if not the hardest to find checklist unchecked off.

From this season until 1981-82, Topps is the only company with the NBA license.

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1970-71

The second, and luckily final year of Topps' only issue being the tall cards. The concept would come back in the 1990s and early 2000s, but luckily by that point there were lots of sets a year and it wasn't the only one.

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1971-72

For Topps' 4th set, they returned to traditional card size, and for the first year, the set included both NBA and ABA cards. This set, surprisingly, is very easy to find cards of, or at least, was when I was regularly collecting.

The set design would be reused for the first Topps Heritage set of 2000-01.

The set also included the first standard sized insert in NBA history

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1972-73

Of all the 70s Topps sets, this is the one I have the least of...I don't know why, I guess when I was collecting it just wasn't as easy to find.

While Topps never reused this set design, Press Pass did in one of it's college issues, I don't remember what year as I was not a fan of college cards.

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1973-74

I always liked 73-74's set design, although not as much as the following year's. It's simple but effective.

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All scans are of cards in my collection, not for sale or trade.
 
1974-75

This year's Topps set is one of my favorites from the time period. The design is colorful, well thought out, and the backs of the cards are now predominantly blue...it just works for me.

This is also the first year where Topps really starts using a lot of action shots- up to this point, most of the Topps issues from the time period were staged.

This design was reused in 2001-02 for the second, and unfortunatly final, Topps Heritage set.

I believe my only contemporary Wilt Chamberlain card comes from this set, all his other cards were out of my price range...although according to Wikipedia he never actually played for the ABA team the card shows.

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1975-76

This was Topps' largest 70s effort, coming in at over 300 cards...and as I've noted elsewhere, the bigger a card set is, the more I like it. Unfortunatly, Topps made a very poor choice with this set- the card numbers are small dark blue print on a dark green background. They are almost impossible to read, and I can't guarentee I have them all correct. I was able to purchase a complete set, although I suspect the Moses Malone RC may be a reproduction.

Cards from this set tend to be of a lower quality than other 70s Topps issues, I never learned why.

This was the last year that ABA cards were included, as the ABA folded (for the first time) then, and 4 teams were absorbed into the NBA.

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1976-77

In the second half the 70s, Topps was still the only brand in the hobby. The 1976-77 set is one of my least favorites- it's just too large and unweildy. (Of course it figures that I was able to get a complete set for something like $20-$25!) The later 70s designs are some of my favorites, Topps was really on a roll here.

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1977-78

This set is the first with a major variation from Topps, as the cards are available with the reverses on either bright white card stock, or standard grayish cardstock used in most all other vintage sets. I don't remember all the details but I believe all cards are available with both cardstocks, and I assume some people tried to collect both- I am happy with one version of each card. And, although were I to get both versions, I would count both as seperate cards in my files, I would only scan one, but I'm pretty sure I don't have both versions of any cards. Also, the backs of the cards were predominantly green, long my favorite color.

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1978-79

This was the first NBA set to feature two photos on one card- both on the front. Photos on the backs of the cards wouldn't actually debut until 1989-90 Hoops. Nowadays, multiple photos on one card is the norm, but I imagine this was quite an innovation when it was new...but being before I was born, I can only guess.

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All scans are of cards in my collection, not for trade or sale.
 
1979-80

The last "normal" Topps issue until 1992-93, the set is nothing remarkable, other than the fact that it features a red-themed back of the card. It was not a particularly good time from cards, from what I've read, although to me, as long as they exist is good enough...

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1980-81

80-81 Topps has to be the most frustrating set in Topps' long history. Each standard-sized card is actually three small panels, and each panel is it's own seperate card, each with it's own number. There are many variations of the cards. It's almost impossible to figure out what you need for your collection, because Beckett can't grasp the concept that they are three cards sharing one panel.

While all my cards are still in their original three card panel state, I have cropped each single card panel into it's own image. Once I get them all scanned, I will be able to put them in number order for the first and only time, because Topps couldn't even make it easy on collectors and number them in a consecutive manner.

This album also includes the only issue from TCMA- I have no idea what it stands for- issued during 1981, entirely of retired players. I don't know if it came out during the 80-81 or 81-82 seasons, but I have less cards from 80-81 than 81-82 so I put them here just simply to make scrolling through my albums easier.

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All scans from my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
1981

An album solely for the TCMA issue of 1981. (Released before I was born-let alone collecting!- I don't know if it came out during the 1980-81 season or 1981-82, so it gets it's own album, created 1/1/14.

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1981-82

The basketball card hobby fell apart in the early 1980s, and it happened here. It was the final Topps issue of it's vintage era, and it was a bizarre way they went about it. The early number cards were issued nationally, and then the later numbered cards were issued in three seperate regional formats- each sharing the same numbers other than the region marker- E, for East, W for West, and MW for Midwest. So even though the card set ends at card #110 for each region, the set is actually significantly more cards than that. I no longer remember if they were only available in each region, or if they all came packed togther...or even if I ever knew in the first place. Either way, I do have a complete set from all three regions and nationally issued early numbers.

Topps would not produce another set until 1992-93, and the vintage era, by most accounts, draws to a close, although I personally count the Star issues as vintage as well.

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1982-83
Aug 14, 2017

The 1982-83 season did not have a major set release. Topps quit after 1981-82, and Star had not started yet. For an NBA collector at the time, it must have been pretty disappointing that season (It was before I was born). However, there were some team issues released, and I've been aware of them for years. I was finally able to track some of them down on COMC and I got to add the season to my collection on August 14th, 2017. I now have every season from 1969-70 to current documented in my collection.

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1983-84

It was a bad time to be in the hobby. Luckily, I wasn't at the time- I was born weeks before the 84-85 season began- so I dodged a bullet, so to speak. There were no cards released in 1982-83, the only season from 1969-70 to current to not have a single card release. Topps had taken it's leave after 81-82.

A new company came onto the scene in 83-84, called Star. It took a different approach to cards- they were sold, not in packs of mixed cards from the entire league, as all other cards were, but instead they were sold in team set bags. The catch was that they were only sold in the team's home area. If you were, say, a Boston Celtics fan in Iowa, you were out of luck.

But it was the only game in town, as Star was the only company to produce cards for three years.

And they are rare, rarer than any of the 70s sets, rarer than anything that came after them- the only sets that are even close are 48 Bowman and 61-62 Fleer. In fact, after I discovered NBA cards in 1996, I knew early on that I wanted to get as many as I possibly could- I am, afterall, a collector- but the first task I went after was trying to get at least one card from each and every set issued. It took me several years, but I actually hunted down a card from 48 Bowman before I hunted down any 83-84 Star card.

Of course, being that it was 1996, I had no internet to do it, and I didn't join Ebay until just months before I stopped collecting in 2006, so it was a lot harder then than it is now.

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1984-85

I was born less than a month before this season started, although I didn't discover the NBA- via a pack of cards, no less- until 1996.

Of the three Star sets issued, this is the most common, easiest to find of the three...not to say it's common or easy to find, however...it's just easier to find than the 83-84 or 85-86 sets.

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1985-86

Star's final year, and the end of what I define as the vintage era, although others- like Beckett, as I recall- disagree.

Star is the only company who ever used the exact same design for every issue they produced, although being only three main sets- I don't count the many promo issues like for the all-star games or whatnot, considering them akin to inserts- is not really a lot.

This year's Star set is on par, rarity wise, with 83-84's as being one of the hardest sets to find any cards of. This set also included the first cards of all the big names who entered the league in the 84-85 draft- Star did not include rookies in their sets- and most of them are so expensive I could never hope to have any of them, even when I was collecting regularly.

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1986-87

1986-87's single set is probably the most important in the hobby's history. Fleer came back for the first time since 1961-62, and I doubt anyone at the time knew how important this set would be. It was only 132 cards long- a very small set by my standards- but they include some of the most important cards of all time. Due to Star's limited distribution, most people could not get most of the cards, so the first chance people got to get any cards of some of the biggest names of the 80s and 90s- names like Jordan, Barkley, Ewing, Drexler, Malone, Olajuwon, and more, all came in this set.

I am actually very lucky- I found a dealer who was getting out of basketball cards in the mid-2000s, and got some great prices on many vintage cards from him- he just wanted to get rid of them- and I was able to get all but 4 cards from the set. Unfortunatly, the Michael Jordan is not one of them- I was able to find real ones (It's the most faked card ever) for sale as low as $400, (not very low!) but I could not do that...it's roughly 3 times more than I ever paid for any single card...and it remains missing from my collection now and likely always. (unless I win the lottery).

I do remember clearly my mom giving me the Karl Malone card for my birthday in 1997- I didn't start keeping track of when I got cards until roughly Christmas 1998 (OCD strikes again!) but I remember getting that one card for my birthday that year, and the complete set of 1995-96 SPx for my birthday in 1996.

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1987-88

The only set was Fleer's, once again, and while it's not as iconic a set as last season's, it's still a favorite among many- and while it's not exactly cheap, the Michael Jordan card from this set is the earliest that most collectors can ever hope to have, as his two previous issues, from Star and Fleer...are astronomically expensive, not to mention, for the Star issue especially, incredibly rare. I happen to be one of those collectors, and even though my copy is pretty ratty- in lower condition than most people would accept- I'm still thrilled to have it.

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1988-89

For the final year of the modern era, Fleer was the only company to produce any card set, and it's a pretty good one. I actually found them harder to hunt down than 87-88s, and it includes two key cards- the first ever Scottie Pippen card, and considered John Stockton's Rookie card (as Star issues are discounted). For some unknown reason, Fleer chose not to include John Stockton in either it's 86-87 or 87-88 sets...I wonder, had they known he would go on to be the only player ever to be the all-time leader in two main statistical categories, if they would have made the same choice?

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1989-90

Things really start to heat up in 1989-90, leading the way for the best decade in the hobby yet to come.

Fleer's set was back, and this time it was slighly longer, although they wouldn't really hit their stride just yet. (One note about Fleer's 89-90 set- it's prone to mis-cuts. When I get around to scanning my errors, roughly half of them will be cards from this set)

For the first time in NBA history, there was more than one set issued in a year. Hoops made it's debut, and not only did it debut, it also became the first set to issue a series 2- and off the top of my head, it was also the longest set ever at the time, at a total of 353 cards. For most of the 1990s, most main sets issued a second series to include traded players and rookies, which became the fad of the 1990s. As such, Hoops includes David Robinson's first card (one of my all-time favorite players) and also the first cards of the two new expansion teams in action.

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1990-91

Beginning with the 1990s, each season will have it's own album.

The 1990s are my favorite decade in just about everything, and basketball cards are no different. The 90-91 cards are some of the weaker efforts in my opinion, but they are still three fun sets!

Fleer was back for the 5th year in a row, and instead of a Series II did an Update, with a new numbering system. Hoops was back with two series, and Skybox made it's debut. At the time they were seperate companies, but eventually they would all be one company.

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1991-92

1991-92 saw Upper Deck enter the NBA market, I am not really a fan of UD but their first set was one of the best they did. Fleer's set is my favorite of the year, with it's blue theme. 1991-92 Skybox is the largest set, a whopping 659 cards! (plus inserts). I was never able to complete it, though. I have read that after I quit UD did a set that cleared 1000 cards (all Michael Jordan, which is pretty much what UD was all about after his third retirement!) but during my decade of collecting, it was the pinnacle for set size.

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1992-93

This season is when the card hobby really started to define itself for the next decade plus.

Fleer, Hoops, Skybox and Upper Deck all issued nice large sets, and Topps came roaring back with three sets- regular Topps, Stadium Club, and Topps Archives, a one-year only set that chronicled some of the players that came into the league during Topps' off years, by using images from those seasons on card designs used for Topps' baseball sets. Sort of a what-if Topps had never left. Fleer launched it's Ultra brand, which was always one of my favorites each season.

This season is the first time foil was used on cards, with every Upper Deck, Stadium Club and Ultra base card having gold foil, and also foil paralells for Topps and Topps Archives.

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1993-94

All of last season's sets returned save Archives. Topps Finest made it's debut, the first of many all chrome sets. Fleer added Jam Session to the lineup, which was done in the "tall-boy" style of 1969-70 and 70-71 Topps. Upper Deck also issued a set called SE, essentially the SP brand with a different name.

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1994-95

94-95 was one of the best years for cards. Overall great card designs, the Fleer and Hoops issues are some of my favorites from each of those brands.

New issues of 94-95 includes the launch of Fleer/Skybox's line of E-based sets with Emotion. Fleer also launches Flair, the first "premium" set from Fleer. (Kind of like Lincoln to Fleer's Ford). Topps adds a one-year only set in Embossed, which features both sides of the card being embossed. (a great set!). Upper Deck launches Collector's Choice, UD's base, entry level set, which would last under that name before becoming UD Choice for one year and then MVP. The SE set, a standalone product in 1993-94, becomes SP, while a one-per pack insert in Upper Deck now carries the SE name, at 150 cards not counting parallels, it's the largest insert ever. SP Championship makes it's debut.

The first box I ever opened was a box of Hoops Series 1. At least, I think it was. I opened a box of that and of 1990-91 Hoops Series 1 at around the same time, both were still on the shelves at my Local K-Mart in 1996 when I began collecting!

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1995-96

It was during this season that I discovered the sport of basketball, when my mom brought home a pack of 1995-96 Fleer series 2 from our local grocery store. She had been a fan of the game, and figured I would enjoy it as well; she figured this would be a good way to get me into it. Boy, was she right!

It was the final day of the regular season, and I had no idea who anyone was...but I soon began to add more and more cards to my collection, and I would collect regularly for a decade.

Each company introduced a new brand during the season, Fleer added the Metal brand, which was always one of my favorites. Topps added Gallery, which was Topps' first real "premium" effort, and Upper Deck added a third brand to the SP line- SPx. The first true "Super Premium" set, the cards came one per pack, and every card in the set used hologram technology. My birthday present that year was a complete set- that was a big present because at the time the set cost $50 or more, I forget, but I know I only had 3 or so of the cards before then. It was the final year for Jam Session, and the only one that featured die cutting.

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1996-97

Possibly/probably the best season for cards ever. The NBA celebrated it's 50th Anniversary and Topps brought out the Topps Stars set to honor the 50 Greatest Players list that the NBA came out with.
Topps added two new chomium based sets, in addition to the long standing Finest, Bowman's Best was it's own set, and Topps Chrome was a chromium based version of the basic Topps set. Fleer/Skybox added Z-Force, and Upper Deck added UD3, a set I was not a big fan of in it's two-year run.

Autographs came into prominence this season. Fleer/Skybox introduced Autographics, a set composed entirely of autographs, inserted throughout all the products they offered. My first autograph came out of this set. (Chris Childs). Topps also put autographs in a cross-line fashion as well. Autographs were not new, but it was now when they become common.

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1997-98

Although I wouldn't realize it until several years later, this is the last truly great year for cards, it all changed with the lockout and not for the better. There were no new mainstream sets this year, the sets produced in 1996-97 returned with new designs.

Metal was broken up into two different sets, both bearing the Metal Universe name, and with totally new numbering systems. Not something I was fond of.

I was sick during most of the 1996-97 season, and don't remember much of it. Some of my best memories of the hobby are from the 1997-98 season.

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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
1998-99

The lockout...well, the first one anyway. I wouldn't figure it out until later but it's in this season when the hobby changed and became something that I didn't enjoy, a slow, evolutionary process.

98-99 saw the season shortened to 50 games, and many of the card sets cancelled planned Series 2s. After this point eventually most of them stopped having a series 2. Serially numbering became big during this season, including SPx, named SPx Finite this year, where every single card was numbered! Numbering had existed earlier- I pulled my first in the 1996-97 season- but after this point it became "the" thing to do.

Upper Deck added 4 new sets- Black Diamond, Hardcourt, Ovation and Century Legends (which is a unique set as it came out with the 98-99 cards but includes player stats from that season, the set would be retooled the following season into NBA Legends. Topps didn't add anything new, Fleer/Skybox replaced Z-Force with Thunder, and Metal Series 2 was called Molten Metal- and even included metal cards, for the first time. Fleer also introduced a 1-year only product called Brilliants, which was the first set composed entirely of plastic cards. Fleer's flagship set was renamed Fleer Tradition.

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1999-00

I have mixed feelings about this season up through 2003-04. It was when the hobby became something I didn't enjoy (eventually) but this is also when I was most active in the hobby, getting a box or more of pretty much every set. The era from late 1999-2003 or early 04 was my most active time in the hobby and I had a lot of fun, but the hobby changed and I eventually lost interest and quit in 2006.

1999-00 was the rookie year for my favorite player, Elton Brand.

After the lockout, the card hobby became more focused on gimmicks, and less on just documenting the game. A lot more sets were issued, but they were mostly all gimmick based. Some of them had great designs, but still...

99-00 saw the introduction of a bunch of new sets. From Fleer/Skybox- Force, Focus, and Mystique from the Fleer name. Hoops issued Hoops X (also known as Hoops Decade) to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Impact was a one-year only issue under it's own name. Skybox launched Apex and Dominion, Both one-year sets. This was the last year Skybox was used until 2003-04. Upper Deck issued HoloGrFx, Retro, Gold Reserve and Victory. MVP replaced Collector's Choice on the schedule and moved up to a lower-medium based set, and Victory was then the entry-level set. Topps issued Tip-Off, a stand-alone paralell of the basic set with different color borders, and Gold Label, which is the set I pulled my first 1/1 from in a single pack purchase from Diamond Jack's in Fishkill NY. Tip-Off was the first box I purchased from Champion Card Collector in Poughkeepsie NY, where almost all of my new additions would come from then to when I quit. In addition, there was also Stadium Club Chrome, a Chrome stand alone paralell of Stadium Club, it was the only year for that product.

Album was created 6 years 5 months ago and modified 15 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
2000-01

My first year of buying a box of almost every issue to come out. It's funny, though, I've been away from the hobby for 5 years now, and from this season to the end I don't remember the card designs that well- but before this season, I usually remember what cards to to what set.
More new issues this season: First off, Skybox was gone. Premium was now Fleer Premium, and Flair was dropped, now called Fleer Showcase. New from Fleer was Authority, Futures, Game Time, Genuine, Legacy, Triple Crown and Tradition Glossy.
Topps added Heritage, brought back Gallery and resurrected the Stars name although this time with current players.
Upper Deck added Pros & Prospects, UD Reserve, Ultimate Collection, Ultimate Victory and brought back Encore, which was not issued in 1999-00, replaced by Gold Reserve. A third brand was added to the SP family, SP Game Floor, joining SP Authentic and SPx.
In addition to all these new sets, Hoops was totally retooled. No longer a basic entry level set, it was now an all-holofoil short set, focusing on rookies, called Hoops Hot Prospects. The first jersey card I ever pulled from a pack was the Keyon Dooling base card, from a pack out of a box that my brother got me for Christmas in 2000.

Album was created 6 years 5 months ago and modified 15 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
2001-02

Even though I am overall critical of the cards from the post-lockout period, this was actually a good season for cards, although a horrible time for me in real life.
New additions:
From Fleer- Authentix, Exclusive, Marquee, Maximum, Shoebox, and Fleer Showcase. (Flair was it's own seperate brand again) In addition, the basic Fleer set was known as Platinum in this season, no Tradition was issued.
Topps added High Topps, Champions & Contenders, Pristene and Xpectations.
Upper Deck added Flight Team, Honor Roll, Inspirations, Playmakers LTD. and Sweet Shot.

Album was created 6 years 5 months ago and modified 15 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
2002-03

A surprisingly short year on new issues, although there were plenty of issues that had debuted in previous years.
New from Fleer: Box Score, Hot Shots, and now Platinum and Tradition were both issued. A second set was added to the Hoops brand, this one called Hoops Stars.
Topps added Topps Ten, which was an interesting set as it was a series of subsets featuring the top 10 performers in various statistical categories from the 2001-02 season. Unfortunatly, it was a one-year only issue. Bowman Signature also made it's debut.
Upper Deck added more new sets- Championship Drive, Finite, Generations and UD Glass. Finite, like the 1998-99 SPx set, the first with Finite in the name, was entirely serially numbered. UD Glass utilized thick clear plastic as cards. SP Game Used made it's debut, instead of being game floor this time, it was jersey and warm-up parts.

Album was created 6 years 5 months ago and modified 15 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
2003-04

This was the last year I really enjoyed the hobby a lot.

New from Fleer: Avant, Flair Final Edition, Patchworks and Thowbacks.
Skybox returned with sets called LE and Autographics, although not composed of autographs anymore.
Topps added two pointless reissues of the basic set- 1st Edition, which was the same set as the basic cards with a small 1st Edition logo in foil on the cards, and Factory Set, which was the same basic cards with gold foil instead of silver foil. At least the Factory Set added some new cards. Topps also added Bazooka, Contemporary Collection and Rookie Matrix. Topps Jersey Edition was made up entirely of jersey cards, but unfortunatly the set was not numbered. Bowman/Bowman's Best was restructured to be essentially three sets in one pack- several basic Bowman cards, 2 Bowman Chrome and 1 Bowman Gold card per pack.
Upper Deck added Rookie Exclusives, Standing O, Triple Dimensions and Exquisite Collection, where a single "pack" of 5 cards (actually a wooden box) cost $500. Stupid me saved up a few months and bought one. Stupid me quickly felt ripped off.

Album was created 6 years 4 months ago and modified 14 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
2004-05

I really started to lose interest this year, and my streak of having at least one card from every set ends, I believe, during this season. I simply can't recall at this point.
I'm not sure if these were all of the new additions from this season but:
Fleer added Sweet Sigs and Throwbacks, Upper Deck added Diamond Collection Pro Sigs (a stupid name for a set, in my opinion), replaces Black Diamond), ESPN and R-Class (short for Rookie, which became the "in" thing to base a set around after the lockout) Topps added Total, which was actually a reall cool set, the way that they should have been. If more sets were done like this and not the gimmick of the week, I might not have quit...or at least, at that time...I would have eventually due to lack of funds to buy new cards.

Album was created 6 years 4 months ago and modified 14 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
2005-06

I was barely hanging on at this point. Starting in 03-04 and building after that I was getting increasingly fed up with the gimmick-of-the-week, the poorly constructed sets, the "Super-Premium" sets that I couldn't afford, and the overall state of the game at that time.
I know that I missed sets, and I have no clue what was new that year. I have not scanned anything new yet and I don't recall much from this time in the hobby.

Album was created 6 years 4 months ago and modified 14 days ago
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All scans are of cards in my personal collection. Not for sale.
 
2006-07

In 2006-07 I was no longer really enjoying the hobby, and money got too tight to keep collecting something I wasn't really enjoying, just to keep my collection up to date. I made the decision fairly early in the year not to go forward and I have not actually looked at my collection since then; most of them I have not seen since I last sorted my collection in 2004, everything after that I saw only when I got it. I don't think I even know where all of my collection is, but I will be scanning as much of it as I can find over the next several years. Since that time when I quit I have only gotten 1 pack's worth of cards, a random surprise gift from my mom.

Album was created 8 years 7 months ago and modified 14 days ago
All scans from my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
2007-08

I was not collecting at this time, but I have since gotten a few after the fact. I don't know what was new or not at this point. I'm also sure I'm missing more sets than I have an example of.

Album was created 5 years 3 months ago and modified 14 days ago
All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
2008-09

Another year where I wasn't collecting.

Album was created 5 years 1 month ago and modified 14 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection, and are not for trade or sale.
 
2009-10

In September 2011, I decided that I would get some cards again- but only a very little bit, mainly what was marked down into the dollar bin at Target. This was spurred on by how much I enjoyed the playoffs of the 2010-11 season, and how much fun I've been having sorting and scanning the collection I built up from 96-06.
I don't have the funds to buy boxes all the time anymore, which, unfortunatly for me, is all that my local shop stocks, so it seems likely that it will be a rare treat for me add to the collection.

My mom brought me a random pack as a surprise in very late 2010, which was the first pack I'd done since roughly November of 2006. It was my first pack from Italian company Panini, which, stupidly in my opinion, the NBA gave exclusive rights to. After seeing how badly that has affected NASCAR cards, I know from experience that a single company doing cards in the modern era for a sport is a very bad idea, although from what little I've seen from Panini, their basic set design is of good quality.

Album was created 6 years 4 months ago and modified 14 days ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
2010-11
Jan 5, 2014

I was not collecting NBA cards during 2010-11, but it was in that year that I started watching the games again, especially the playoffs...watching the Dallas Mavericks' run to the Championship was as exciting, and the games as good, as it once was...before the first lockout.

Album was created 4 years ago and modified 14 days ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
2011-12
Jan 5, 2014

The Lockout II. Unlike the first one, this one actually had a GOOD affect on the game. After the lockout, the games were exciting again...I was getting drawn back in, and actively began watching the games on a semi-regular basis again, although not full time yet. I wasn't really collecting the cards, but it was during this season that I made my first tentative purchases again.

Album was created 4 years ago and modified 2 months ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
2012-13

The current season. It's hard to resist a 44 count pack of cards for $2, and...I didn't!
Update 1/5/14. After a year of saving up all my scans to post to Fotki in a unit, the season that ran during that time had the most cards to post by far- 1,029 cards! It has been a good year for me, and I'm back in the hobby full time- a renaissance if you will. I can't afford to get a box of every set anymore, in fact, most of the cards came from retail packs. I did two boxes during the season, and got another for Christmas 2013. (I hope to get more over time as well) I am now watching the games again full time as well, and actively thinking about my cards on a regular, daily basis.

Album was created 5 years 3 months ago and modified 2 months ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for sale or trade. Email for tradelist.
 
2013-14
Nov 8, 2013

I'm back into it full time now, maybe even more than before...definitely watching more games than ever before, thanks to my Mom buying me League Pass as an early Christmas present. I now watch multiple games a day, sometimes watching portions or all of 5 games in a single day. The season is early, only two sets released that I have access to, and most of my cards have come from the retail rack packs.

Album was created 4 years 1 month ago and modified 14 days ago
All scans from my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
2014-15
Oct 23, 2014

I got the first two sets of 2014-15 on the same day- a hobby box of Hoops and some retail packs of Prestige- which I believe is a first for my collection.

Album was created 3 years 2 months ago and modified 14 days ago
All scans from my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
2015-16
Oct 22, 2015

Looking like it's going to be a great year, as every set looks great so far.

Album was created 2 years 2 months ago and modified 2 months ago
All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
 
2016-17
Oct 18, 2016

The NBA's 70th Anniversary, I believe the first time I have gotten my first cards of a season on my birthday! My Mom gave me a box of Hoops!

Album was created 1 year 2 months ago and modified 14 days ago
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All photos © ElCaminoBilly unless otherwise noted
 
2017-18
Oct 21, 2017
Album was created 1 month ago and modified 14 days ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. NOT for trade.
 
Autographed NBA Basketball cards
Album was created 7 years 3 months ago and modified 7 months ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for sale or trade!
 
Bootlegs, knockoffs and unlicensed

The way out there stuff. I am not sure why anyone ever thought there would be a market for these, most people don't want them. They are usually of lower quality, 99% of the time the team name has been airbrushed away, and they have even been known to have spelling errors.

This album also includes the Star cards from the very late 80s and early 90s, never was able to find out much info on them.

Album was created 7 years 6 months ago and modified 2 months ago
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All scans from my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
CBA

The Continental Basketball Association was a professional league in operation from 1946-2009, and has a really interesting history. Some of the things they came up with have become staples in all of basketball, most notably the three-point line, which the CBA used in the 1960s, before the ABA was created. They also had partnerships with the NBA and even the ABA to develop players, the NBA's 10-day contract was created as a way to call up players- a role now held by the NBA's D-League. At least one CBA franchise is now part of the D-League as well. There is a good article on Wikipedia about the CBA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Basketball_Association
Sadly I never got to see any CBA games, at least I don't recall seeing any. In March of 2016, however, I finally tracked down some of their cards!

Album was created 1 year 8 months ago and modified 1 year 7 months ago
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All scans are of cards in my personal collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
Game Used NBA Basketball cards

Cards that contain pieces of game used material.

Album was created 7 years 3 months ago and modified 6 years 5 months ago
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All Scans are of cards in my collection, NOT for trade or sale!
 
Harlem Globetrotters

While the Globetrotters are not part of the NBA, they are a professional Basketball team, so good enough for me.

I've actually met several of the Trotters, and back in the mid 1990s we were passed by their tour bus on the interstate.

Album was created 7 years 3 months ago and modified 6 months ago
All scans are from items in my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
Magazine Covers

For a time in the early 2000s, I was a regular letter hack in Beckett. I will note which issues I have letters in. I had 6 printed if I recall correctly.

Album was created 4 years 5 months ago and modified 4 years 5 months ago
All scans from my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
NBA International
Mar 1, 2016

In the 1990s, there were several NBA sets issued that looked just like the American releases, but were multi-lingual. Previously I had them in the NBA Others album but decided to break them out into their own album on March 1st, 2016. There are also several Panini era sets issued solely in China that are based on the Hoops releases, if I can ever hunt them down they will also appear here. I decided on July 27th, 2017 to officially count these as part of my NBA collection, but I am going to keep them here in this album.

Album was created 1 year 9 months ago and modified 15 days ago
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All scans are of items in my collection. Not for sale.
 
NBA others

Licensed oddballs, Michael Jordan tribute sets, stickers, and other various issues that don't fit into a specific season.

Album was created 6 years 5 months ago and modified 1 month ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. NOT for trade!
 
Numbered NBA Basketball cards

Cards that were serially numbered

Album was created 7 years 3 months ago and modified 6 years 5 months ago
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All scans from my collection. Not for sale or trade.
 
Starting Lineup Cards

Starting Lineups were produced by Kenner from 1988-(roughly) 2001, though they lost the NBA License after 1998-99. Some of the figures didn't really look much like who they were supposed to look like, but I still enjoyed getting them. Many of the came with cards, if not all. I honestly don't know, as most of my earlier examples came to my collection loose, and when you get them loose they almost never come with the cards. I know one year they came with posters instead of cards, or perhaps in addition to cards, I still have two of them hanging on my wall.
My SLU collection has been photo-documented, and can be seen in the My Action Figure Collection section on my Fotki.

Album was created 5 years 3 months ago and modified 5 months ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for trade or sale.
 
USA Basketball

Card sets honoring our national team in the Olympics.

Album was created 7 years 6 months ago and modified 15 days ago
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All scans are of cards in my collection. Not for trade or sale.
 
WNBA

I never really liked the WNBA, most likely because they just copied the NBA team names. Really, if their teams had come up with their own names, I would have supported the league.

It doesn't have to make sence, it just is, lol.

Album was created 7 years 4 months ago and modified 2 years 1 month ago
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