Monday, February 15, 2016

NBA 20th Anniversary Countdown- my 6 LEAST favorite sets

I just finished an intense project where I counted down my top 20 favorite NBA sets ever, and I can't say it was easy. I put a lot more effort into those posts than I normally do...I acquired some knowledge during the process of building the posts that I never even thought to think about, and I dredged up a lot of great memories to go with a lot of great sets.

Now, after reading more than 100 posts from me, you should know that I don't really badmouth anything. I'm guessing no readers (except my mom, who reads every post!) could accurately gauge my least favorite player or team. (My least favorite player actually made his first Cardboard History appearance during the Top 20 countdown) I am of the feeling that only good things should be talked about, and bad things ignored/shunned, not worth the time and effort to whine and complain about. A lot of sports fans spend most of their time on the internet whining about everything- it's why I've left some message boards/facebook groups in fact. That's not me, and that's not enjoyable to me.

But with that said, there are some sets I dislike...there are 653 major sets that I am aware of; of those, I am missing 64 of them, (one is not out yet) meaning I have 589 of them. While there are some I don't have in my collection that I dislike the concept of- for instance Panini just came out with a six thousand dollar pack (!) - those cards are not in my collection, and probably never will be...and that would put them last on my list. But I'm not going to cover them. I'm going to cover my 6 least favorite sets in my collection and tell you exactly why I dislike them.

After I finished writing up the bottom 5, I came across a small batch of a set I had forgotten how much I disliked and had to edit it in.

#584: 2000 Topps USA
Why I dislike it: There are multiple reasons. First, the cards are made of plastic and they are sticky and greasy. They leave your hands sticky after you touch them. Then, you have the worst photoshopping EVER to appear on cards. Just look at that. Horrible...Who thought this looked good? A blind 5 year old? This was the last USA Basketball set...because this one was so bad it killed the concept.

#585: 2001-02 Fleer Genuine
Why I don't like it: The way the cards were made. Each border is mirror foil, but it's printed over the top of the holofoil, which is used for the player and team names and the stripes. They chip easily...seemingly by breathing on them. I remember the first time I got any was when I purchased a box, and I remember being taken slightly aback by the fact that every card out of the box was chipped...and not only that, they must have chipped instantly while being made because little blobs of the various colors are stuck to the back of each card. The lines across the picture are from my scanner, not on the actual card.

#586: 1976-77 Topps.
Why I don't like it: The cards were postcard sized. That's why. There's no way to store these with your other cards, which to me is the most frustrating thing of all. I like to sort my cards endlessly, by player, by set, or by other ways that I don't even remember since it's been so long. (I think I sorted them by team once). You can't do that with these cards. Naturally, I have the entire set. (the only set in the bottom five I have completed) If I had been alive when these were issued, I probably would have liked them even less, considering 1975-76 Topps was the best set of the 1970s. Because the Blogger format sizes the images all the same, here is a scan that shows it compared to a regular card and also one of the tall cards, a size that was used in 1969-70, 70-71, and again in 1993-94 through 1995-96 and one final time in 2001-02, which is the set shown in the image.

#587: 1980-81 Topps

Why I don't like it: What the heck was Topps thinking? Did it ever seem like a good idea to put three cards onto one card, and expect collectors to rip them into thirds? And if you are going to do that, why would you put them out in a way where you ended up needing to get duplicates of some cards to get them all, while short printing some at the same time? There's just so much stupid here that it is baffling...but even more baffling is why it was not only done this time in 1980-81, but also again by Upper Deck (1996-97 Collector's Choice), Topps (2003-04 Rookie Matrix) and Fleer (various years of Fleer Tradition, but only 2004-05 was perforated). I count each different panel as a separate card. Most people do not. It makes record keeping very difficult...I can only hope I didn't accidentally count any of the panels more than once. I have not separated any of the cards from 1980-81 Topps, but I did separate the cards from 1996-97 Collector's Choice. I'm not sure if I counted those at all!

#588: 2003-04 Fleer Avant
Why I don't like it: There's multiple reasons. The set is very short- there are only 60 base cards. (90 with serially numbered subsets) That's strike one. The design is terrible. You have a photo of a player edited to have various colors behind him, and it takes up roughly 2/3rds of the card, with the rest being empty white space? Strike #2. And then there's the back.
Which way is up? I rotate them to make the stats readable, but not everyone does. Which way is right? Who can say? Strike #3! And really, congratulating you for getting a card of this set... that's like congratulating somebody for catching a cold.

#589: (My least favorite set ever!) 1998-99 Fleer Brilliants
Why I dislike it: Multiple reasons! First off, it's mirror foil, which I dislike. Secondly, the cards are sticky, and they have been since new. I have to literally go and wash my hands after touching these cards because they make your hands greasy and make you leave fingerprints on other cards. They collect dust like I collect cards- and forget trying to remove it. With most cards, you can remove dust that sticks to it by brushing it with your shirt, or, failing that, a fingernail. If you do that on this set, the coating on the card chips off yet sometimes....the dust stays. You can't use your shirt because it leaves streaks in the grease of the card. Nasty. You can see some spots where this card chipped right above Kerry's left wrist. There are three chipped spots.

Surprising to see three Fleer sets on here, isn't it? Fleer has always been my favorite card company, but when they produced a stinker, it stunk to high heaven.


  1. Eww...greasy nasty cards! Gross...oh, and I WON'T be getting you the six thousand dollar pack! LOL

  2. I use the four pocket pages for the postcard size cards