It's tenure as a licensed NBA card maker is coming to an end, but Upper Deck is preparing to launch a set called Draft Edition Basketball in a few weeks.
Some of the more high profile players in this year's draft have already signed exclusive deals with Panini, next season's exclusive NBA trading card manufacturer. That hasn't stopped Upper Deck from heading to the presses one more time.
Upper Deck will launch Draft Edition Basketball on July 28, a small base set featuring some 2009 NBA Draftees, along with big name autographs among the inserts.
A news release from Upper Deck confirms the product will have James Harden, the No. 3 pick overall; Ricky Rubio, No. 5; Jonny Flynn, No. 6; and Stephen Curry, No. 7.
“We are very exited about this set,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s Basketball brand manager. “Collectors always expect great basketball cards from Upper Deck and this collection will include a great mix of players past and present, and a terrific amount of autograph cards from some of the league’s best talent.”
Beyond the inclusion of a few rookies, the 133-card overall set will also include Kobe Bryant of the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers; reigning league MVP LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers; and soon-to-be-inducted Basketball Hall of Fame nominee Michael Jordan who earned six NBA titles during his tenure with the Chicago Bulls. All three Upper Deck spokesmen will have autographed cards appearing in Draft Edition’s “Alma Mater” insert collection--one that will also have a Tiger Woods card.
Other basketball greats who will be appearing in this set include Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
2008-09 Upper Deck basketball