Saturday, February 13, 2016

NBA 20th Anniversary Countdown #2

The final two sets. They must be great to make it to my top 2! This one, I think, was the first box of NBA cards I ever opened!

#2: 1994-95 Hoops

Why I like it: The design is great. I can still remember opening the box I got that day in 1996. The backs give you the player's jersey number. But like most of the top 5, it's the memories.

Set size/Completion: 450 cards, I completed it on March 2nd, 2002.

Back when I first discovered the sport, the 1995-96 season was roughly halfway done. I jumped in with both feet (proverbially) and started collecting as many cards as I possibly could. But I really didn't know who anybody was at that point. It took time to learn, and the best way to do that is to look at many cards as possible. This set, I believe, was the first box I ever opened. It could be this one, 1990-91 Hoops or 1994 Action Packed Hall of Fame, but I really think it was this one. I can still remember opening it, I can still remember where I was sitting even. (Some things are so important that they just burn themselves into memory) This set, with it's high levels of text and stats on the back, and a larger checklist than any 1995-96 set, did a great deal for me to learn about the NBA. Sure, not all the players were with the same teams, or even still in the NBA. But it didn't matter. The fact that the back of the card included the player's jersey number was a great thing to me. When the guys are running at top speed, and viewed from a distance, you usually can't see their faces or can't read the names on the jersey...but you can see the numbers. I can remember literally watching games and looking at the backs of these cards trying to match the player on the card to the player on TV. Granted, I only did it a few times- back then my memory worked a lot better than it does now so I knew pretty much all the rosters of each team within a matter of a few weeks. But I doubt I would have been able to do that if I did not have this set to help me.

Look at all that information stuffed on there! You can tell that back then they really cared about the game...not something you really feel like the card companies do anymore.

There were 9 inserts, including the multi-level Magic's All-Rookie, which has regular, chrome and Jumbo versions.  I don't have any of the Draft Redemption cards, and I have not scanned any of the Rainbow foil Big Numbers parallel.
 Magic's All-Rookie regular
 Magic's All-Rookie Chrome
 Magic's All-rookie jumbo. The blogger format doesn't show it well but this is 4 times the size of a standard card.
 Hoops Power
Supreme Court, which is making it's final appearance until 2004-05. It began in 1991-92 as a subset.
 Big Numbers
Hoops Power Predator

In addition, the 2004-05 Hoops set paid tribute to the 1994-95 set in design.

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