This would’ve been a post about 2016 Topps Opening Day, if this were a perfect world. If this were a perfect world, I wouldn’t have come out of work last evening feeling like I’d spent a week there. At any rate, the end result is that you get another review of a pack of basketball cards as purchased by someone who knows little and cares little about the NBA… but always appreciates cardboard.
I saw two different wrappers in the Panini Complete box… One had… um… Lakers Guy… on it. (See how big a basketball fan I am?) The other had Kevin Durant, whose breakout season coincided with one of my occasional experiments with fantasy basketball. I try it out sometimes to see how far I can get while knowing bupkis about the NBA, and the last time I did it my team was called “Nationally Rank” because I expected to suck… I still wonder if anyone in my league picked up on the wordplay. Anyway, thanks largely to Mr. Durant’s phenomenal season, I was the champion of that public Yahoo league.
So, yeah, in an attempt to increase what little mojo may be involved, I went with the pack with Durant on it instead of the one with the Lakers Guy.
Kobe Bryant! That Lakers guy.
So anyway the deal with Complete seems to be that it’s a pretty large set, by basketball standards. 330 cards, averaging 11 per team, which is a lot when the rosters are – what? 15 guys? Honestly, I’m asking, I know jack about the NBA.
Also the packs are relatively cheap – $0.99 for 5 cards. Not much of a bargain in terms of price per card, but cheap enough to buy a pack just for the heck of it.
So, here’s the first card…
Robert Covington… Don’t know him, but I probably don’t know 300+ guys out of the 330 in this set.
Decent photo, anyway… and I like the design. Appealing in a “less is more” way.
…And by the way, I’d seen a reference to the thin card stock, but WOW. This matte-finished card stock feels just barely thicker than an index card. The surface is kind of similar to 1996 and 1997 Fleer…
…But thinner. The Complete cards would work well for autographs, anyway.
Eric Bledsoe… I’m guessing he’s not related to Drew Bledsoe. Another decent action shot.
Bruno Caboclo of the Toronto Raptors. Am I the only one who thinks that “Raptors” is a dated team name? It just makes me think of Jurassic Park and the 1990’s.
Jerian Grant, on what amounts to an insert. Same crap stock, but it’s got foil on it and another interesting shot. It’s not at all clear that this is an insert and not a subset, but I confirmed by looking at the checklist online.
Does anybody ever refer to the New York franchise as the Knickerbockers?
Finally, Mike Dunleavy on a parallel. From the checklist this is apparently a “silver” parallel, which is laughable. Charcoal? Graphite? Sure. Silver. Pfft. Dream on.
Yeah, I don’t know. I like the card design and I appreciate the idea of a large set containing more guys than just the starting five and top draft picks… But this set feels like we should be paying less than 20 cents per card… Even if it were 7 cards for a buck, that seems like a better deal.
…But honestly, if I were a basketball collector who’s open to low-end sets, I would’ve already been busting NBA Hoops and would only go for this set if I were looking for another low-end pack-busting fix.