by Rich Klein
After the NBA Finals and the hoopla of the LeBron James “Decision”, it was time to look back on the 2009-10 season. From a card collecting perspective, it’s hard to argue that Panini did an outstanding job in their first year as the league’s exclusive basketball card manufacturer. Monopolies are often judged on whether they still act as if they have competition. And after reviewing many of the 2009-10 Panini hoops products; there is little doubt that the company did a very good job meeting the needs of all levels of collectors.
We recently received a 2009-10 Court Kings box and this product, while obviously for the higher end collector, was issued at a price point most collectors can afford. With each box containing 12 cards (11 regular sized cards and an box topper) and a promise of four autograph or memorabilia cards per box, the company set its own bar pretty high. As an FYI; all of our cards (except the card that many collectors would consider to be the best card) were serial numbered to 450 copies or fewer.
The design of the basic Court Kings card is very impressive with paintings that look like photographs. The product may be new, but the feel of the product goes back to the days of the Donruss Diamond Kings. The artwork is superb and the backs, while simple, tell what you need to know about the player. As we wrote this review; the online price for these boxes was between $80-100 per box. Not cheap, but with at least one autograph guaranteed, you know there will be some value.
It doesn’t take long to go through a box with just 11 cards, but each card potentially packs a pretty fair punch. Here’s what we found:
5x7 Box Topper: Tracy McGrady
Base Cards (#d to 450): Paul Millsap, Antawn Jamison, John Havlicek
Bronze Card (#d to 199) Kurt Rambis
Artistry Bronze (#d to 199): Monta Ellis
Artistry Silver (#d to 99) Dahntay Jones
Gallery of Stars (#d to 249): Vince Carter
Portraits Materials (#d to 299): Chris Paul
Gallery of Stars Material:(#d to 299) Kevin Love
Base Signed Rookie Card (#d to 649): Darren Collison
The Paul card was a solid pull and even though we didn’t score a huge autograph hit, it can be argued that because of the nature of the product, every card in the box is a “hit”. Since each card is numbered to a low print run, each has some value. The jersey cards feature some of the younger up and coming players and it’s nice to see some retired guys featured. It’s the type of product serious NBA fans will appreciate.
You can see what they're bringing on eBay here.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]