1972-73 Topps Basketball Cards

1972-73 Topps Basketball Cards

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In some ways, the design of the 1972-'73 Topps basketball set was an improvement over the previous year's set. While many of the subsets and the NBA/ABA separation remain from the earlier set, these cards seem to have been given an improved splash of color. Among the 1970s Topps basketball sets, this may have been the most aesthetically pleasing.

Card fronts feature a player photo. Most cards have a brightly-colored solid background, but a few do have game-action shots. The team name is rendered as a diagonal shape, with each successive letter being larger than the one before it. The only deviation from the format was with the two franchises called Rockets: a small box on those two teams contains either Houston or Denver inside. The player's name and position appear at the bottom, inside the white border area. Card backs feature a card number, name and position inside a blue box. An orange box below that contains vital stats, and another box has a short write-up about the player. A cartoon about the player appears below that, along with his career statistics. The copyright line at the bottom is different, depending on the league the player belonged.

Again, the set was split into two parts, and he NBA once again had the larger part. Cards #1-176 focused on the NBA, and ABA players showed up on cards #177-264. The subsets also broke down among the leagues. NBA All-Stars appear on cards #161-170, while ABA All-Stars can be found on cards #259-264. Yearly NBA statistical leaders appear three to a card on cards #171-176; ABA leaders also have three to a card, and they run from card #259-264. For the third year in a row, cards replaying the playoff games are included in the set, but this time, both leagues are included. NBA playoff cards are #154-159, while #241-247 recap the ABA playoffs.

The key card is Julius (Dr. J) Erving's rookie card, but he also has an ABA All-Star card as well. Other important rookies in the set include Artis Gilmore and Phil Jackson.

Key 1972-73 Topps Basketball Cards:


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1972-73 Topps Dr. J Julius Erving Rookie Card Graded BCCG 9 Great Centering *862
$449.95

1972-73 Topps Basketball # 33 Lee Winfield PSA 8 NM-MT
$9.99

1972-73 Topps Basketball # 63 Sam Lacey PSA 8 NM-MT
$9.99

1972-73 TOPPS BASKETBALL BOB LANIER #80
$5.99

1972-73 TOPPS BASKETBALL BILL BRADLEY #122
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TOPPS 1972-73 NBA SCORING LEADERS CARD #153 KAREEM, HAYWOOD, ARCHIBALD 
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1972-73 Topps #176 Len Wilkins Jerry West Nate Archibald LL
$6.99

1972-73 TOPPS COLONELS LOT: ARTIS GILMORE RC #180; DAN ISSEL & DAREL CARRIER
$19.99



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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

User Reviews

  1. As the author stated, this is a very colorful set indeed. An interesting side note should be added, and that is that while nearly all of the NBA teams had 9 players, most of the ABA teams averaged 6, with the Carolina Cougars inexplicably managing only 4 players deemed worthy of a card. Part of the confusion can be attributed to the constant player movement in the old ABA, as well as the folding of two franchises along with the creation of a new team at the time, the San Diego Conquistadors. A few glaring examples of players who should have had a card would be Larry Brown and Julius Keye- who both posted very decent numbers, and actually were among leaders in assists and rebounds, respectively.

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