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#15: 1996-97 SP
Why I like it: Like 1992-93 Ultra, and many of the sets yet to come, it's the design. It was basically a toss-up which would rank #15 and which would be #16, and this set got the nod over 1975-76 Topps for the sole reason that I have memories of this set being new, whereas the Topps set was issued almost a decade before I was born.
Set size/Completion: 146 cards, I have 141 of them, or 96.6% according to the Trading Card Database.
SP, as a brand, made it's debut in 1994-95 (although one could argue that the 1993-94 Special Edition set was really the birth of it) and went until 2008-09, when the NBA pulled the license from Upper Deck. SP and later, SP Authentic (the name was changed for the 1997-98 release) is not a favorite brand of mine. (it later came back as a college release but those don't count). Most of the SP Authentic sets had the photos edited down so it was just the player and a white or close to white background. Not something I enjoy. This is the only SP set that makes my Top 20...and I could probably do a top 40 without finding another SP/SP Authentic set. But this one...this one I love.
Here's what the rookie cards look like. It would have been better if they looked like the veterans.
Game film...these were the big deal when the set was new. I pulled this one.
Inside Info. Available in regular (silver) and gold foil. This one is gold...
Premium Collection Holoview made it's third and final appearance. The hologram was smaller than ever.
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