There used to be a time where all sports had significant off-seasons. When we looked at basketball and hockey, the seasons ended either in May or in early June. Heck, two of the seminal moments in sports history occurred in a 48 hour stretch in 1970. Yes, on May 8, in 1970 the game which could be called Willis's Dramatic Entrance occurred at Madison Square Garden while just two days later Bobby Orr scored a Stanley Cup game-winning goal and then seemingly flew in the air to celebrate the accomplishment. Every season had its time.
Fast forward nearly a half century later and these seasons all tend to run into each other. We have had World Series games into November, the Super Bowl keeps moving further into February and hockey and basketball don’t wrap up until June. For collectors of newer products, it means the card release calendar can be expanded as well and cards can be "in-season" almost all year round. I still remember when we were in the infancy of many companies producing football cards in the early 1990's and there appeared to be a dead period of several months with nothing to collect. The same ran true for basketball and hockey.
For the most point, products released after the season should be higher-ended since collectors aren’t usually looking for base card products at that point. Those releases are better off at the beginning of a card year cycle to introduce collectors to the current year players. The only exception is Topps baseball which does its update set very late in the year.
Into this mix comes 2013-14 Select basketball. When I dropped into Triple Cards in Plano, TX, they said they sold about three boxes, wholesaled the rest and were happy to move on.
The silver-bordered cards feature the player's photo in the middle along with their name and team on the bottom. The backs have seasonal and career starts, biographical information as well as a paragraph describing career highlights. As of today, leading on-line retailers are between $125-130 per box for these boxes which have 14 packs with six cards per pack. Each box has two autographs, two relic cards and six parallel Prizm cards. Because there are two mini-boxes, a dealer can actually sell these as either mini-boxes or as full boxes.
So how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 69 of 200
Blue Prizm Parallel (#d to 49) Monta Ellis
Clutch: Ray Allen
Draft Selection: Gorgui Dieng
Draft Selection Purple Prizm Parallel (#d to 99): Gorgui Dieng (This will not be the last time we got the same player in an insert set and a parallel insert set).
Red Hot: Brook Lopez
Skills: Kyrie Irving
Skills Prizm Parallel: Kyrie Irving. (At least the second time we received the same player in our inserts it was a better known player)
Select Swatches: LeBron James
Signatures: Marcin Gortat
Rookie Jersey Autograph Blue Parallel (#d to 49): Archie Goodwin
Of course there is always something good to say when you pull a LeBron James memorabilia card as well as two autographs, even if the autos aren’t exactly household names.
One aspect the shop owner mentioned was that back in the day his collectors always seemed to enjoy the old Playoff products as collectors felt they got good value out of their boxes. Well, I don't know if the real world value equals the out-of-pocket cost but there is sure a good feeling of knowing you are getting hits which have an average cost of less than $10 each. So, on this one, I'll disagree with Al at Triple Cards and say this is a product worth looking into.
See more cards from this issue on eBay here.