Saturday, February 6, 2016

NBA 20th Anniversary Countdown #9: 1996-97 Upper Deck

Upper Deck is pretty rare in the countdown. This is the third- and final- set produced by Upper Deck in the countdown.

#9: 1996-97 Upper Deck

Why I like it: There are a couple of reasons- the design is a good one, with large, clear photos taking up most of the card, a bronze foil basketball textured design on the left, and a silver border and team logo as well. The other factor is that each card's photo is dated and captioned on card front. As I've noted, documenting history is big for me and this really does an excellent job of that.

Set size/Completion: 360, I have 343 of them, or 95.3% according to the Database.

As you can see, some of the photographs in the set were pretty creative too. Besides this one, there's Steve Nash playing hockey with a basketball, Elliot Perry relaxing in a laundry hopper full of socks, etc.

They do have normal photography, too.
The cards look a lot nicer in person than they scan. That is usually the case but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Card backs feature full stats, a writeup and some bulletpoint miscellaneous stats.

There were 12 inserts, but they aren't too spectacular. They do feature die cut on most of them, which is a nice bonus. This set also was the first UD set to include autographs- a 4 card insert set that is quite rare. (I've never seen one)
 Fast Break Connections
 Michael's View Points. Even by then UD was putting out multiple sets that were nothing but Jordan. They would continue to do that until they lost the NBA license. The profile is cut out on the left side.
 Rookie Exclusives '97. These cards are textured to feel like a basketball.
Rookie of the Year Commemorative Collection

Rookie Exclusives '97 is my favorite of the inserts, the base cards are what it's all about here.


  1. I like this set! And I also like the way you say right up front why it is a favorite for you.