NBA Hoops is a licensed early year drop that is a budget friendly release and has the added benefit of being the first product to have the latest batch of popular rookies in their NBA uniforms.
NBA Hoops has released a variety of ways to purchase the product. Hobby boxes lead the way in the $125 to $150 dollar range. There are also retail blaster boxes available for $25, hanger packs for $7.00 and retail packs going for around $3.00 dollars from the typical large retail outlets.
The Hobby box gets you 24 packs of 8 cards each. Each pack will contain one insert or parallel with an average of 1 autograph card per box. It's a 300 card base set, 230 Stars/Vets, 50 rookies, and 20 Hoops Tributes. Cases contain 20 boxes.
The set features 20 different insert sets, with each having a checklist form 4 to 100 cards all of which come in a variety of parallels. The sets include Arriving Now, City Edition, Class Action, Frequent Flyers, Highlights, HIPnotized, Hoopla, Hoops Throwback, JAM-tastic, Now Playing, Panini Presents, Prime Twine, Pure Players, Road to the Finals, Rookie Greetings, Rookie Special, Skyview, Spark Plugs, We Got Next, Zero Gravity.
Parallels come in 24 varieties 10 of which are not numbered.
- Hyper Blue
- Neon Green
- Purple Winter
- Red Backs
- Teal Explosion
- Silver #/199
- Green #/99
- Hyper Red #/99
- Gravity #/75
- Red #/75
- Blue Explosion #/59
- Artist Proof #/25
- Hyper Green #/25
- Orange Explosion #/25
- Red Explosion #/15
- Artist Proof Gold #/10
- Hyper Gold #/10
- Artist Proof Black 1/1
- BOX SET PARALLELS: Premium Box Set #/199.
It appears that the autograph cards in the set are sticker autos. Obviously not as desirable as the on-card, but this set does give collectors first shot at rookie autographs in their uniforms which always go over well.
Josh: The design is pretty classic hoops, it’s a very recognizable release. The base cards instead of solid white went with white to gray gradient which I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of.
Jalen: The gradient is unnecessary and doesn’t mesh well with some teams colors. The gradient also doesn’t make sense with the angle of the shadow box on the design. Putting the names in foil makes them hard to read with the font they choose.
Josh: Agreed on the foil usage and font. I think they make another font error on the back with the stats from last season being so small. The backs are very basic. When it comes to the inserts it's really a mixed bag. Getting rid of the SLAM covers from previous years was a mistake. Otherwise I like most of the inserts with colorful designs, but there are too many that I find bland. What do you think about the insert sets?
Jalen: Lots of them are generic, the throwbacks are the cleanest designs of the non-foil sets. From the foil sets I’ve seen they are alright, I’d almost like a see through type of card design as an option here if they are going to have so many inset sets.
Josh: Looking at the quality of the set with this being a budget product this isn’t a strong suit for the set. The cards are thin and easily damaged, but so far I haven’t seen much in the way of printing defects or issues with bad surfacing coming out of packs. Most of the centering on cards has been solid with a few 60/40's in the wax we have ripped so far.
Jalen: The card quality is a little weak. If you barely touch a corner it frays rapidly so you have to be very careful when handling them.
Josh: When it comes to collectability, I think that's where Hoops shines. It has something for everyone. The base set has most of the players and rookies you are going to care about, and the price makes it a reasonable goal. If you want to collect a certain team or player you will have a variety of cards to chase. The issue on the other hand is with the number of parallels and cards as a whole it can’t get expensive depending on what you want. Completing rainbows of a specific player would be a bit daunting for instance.
Jalen: If you are chasing a specific player just buy those singles. It doesn’t make sense to open the product en masse to get any specific card that isn’t part of the base set because you would have to open so much product. The hits are too rare. The reality is that there is something for everyone in this set which is why I think the collectability is really high.
Josh: Okay so let's talk about the value of the product and how it looks as an investment. The value is hard to beat, at least for the quantity of cards you get when you buy Hoops wax. The quality is the downside, but there are upsides. Hoops giving us the first rookie cards of the class in NBA uniforms on a very recognizable set is something collectors always look for. The base products are just too plentiful for any long term value. You really have to land a low numbered parallel or numbered card to have any serious value and that’s hard to do. Usually we see the prices drop off on this set as other releases come out throughout the year, so investment wise I’m not big on Hoops as a whole, but there are gems that can be nice if you find them. The cost per card is great, but the cost per hit is way more expensive.
Jalen: The price on getting the cards is cost efficient, but it also means you are unlikely to hit a big card without opening a lot of wax. You don’t get more bang for your buck, you're getting a lot of commons for your dollar. This goes back to what kind of collector you are, it’s not good value to chase specific cards. There is only long term value in the rarest of cards, but the base cards and unnumbered parallels I don’t see holding much value.
We break down each release by four separate sections, Card Designs that are included in the sets, taking into account inserts and unique cards. Quality of the cards themselves which covers how well the cards are made and takes common production issues into account. Collectability we look at how well this product fills a variety of ways to collect the set, be it individual players, teams, or chase cards. Last is the value and investment outlook of the set.
NBA Hoops gets to sit at the top of our 22-23 rankings as the only set which has released so far. Lets see how it holds up with new sets coming soon
22-23 NBA Hoops