1981-82 Topps Basketball Cards

1981-82 Topps Basketball Cards

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In the days before the Internet made reaching out to collectors a lot easier, Topps did something with its basketball set in 1981-'82 that probably confounded a lot of collectors. The set was distributed in three separate regions.

There were 198 cards in the entire set, with 66 being part of the National set. There were then three separate 44-card sets called East, Midwest and West. In other words, a collector in New York would get cards from the National set along with the 44 East cards, while one in Chicago would get the same 66 National cards and 44 Midwest cards. While this may have been done to account for team preferences, it also required fans to correspond with other collectors (then done largely through the mail and in hobby publications) at a time where basketball collectors weren't as organized as they are today.

Card fronts feature a player photo, with a starburst design in the lower left corner that contained his name, team and position. Card backs featured a circle in the upper left corner with the card number in front of a hoop. The player's name and vital stats were placed to the right of that. Below the hoop was a cartoon about the player, with year-by-year statistics and a short write-up taking up the rest of the space.

Players are grouped together by team in the main set and then inside whichever regional set they were placed. The teams are then alphabetically arranged inside those sets.
There are some subsets to be found. Cards #44-66 in the National set feature Team Leaders in three categories. The last several cards in each regional set feature Super Action cards of players who (except for Kevin Washington of the Bullets) appeared in the National set. Regional cards are slightly scarcer than their National counterparts.

Key rookies include Kevin McHale, Bill Laimbeer, Mike Dunleavy, Jim Paxson, Larry Smith and Rick Mahorn.

Key 1981-82 Topps Basketball Cards:

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3110050944264040 1 Image
1981-82 1981 1982 TOPPS BASKETBALL EMPTY WAX BOX NICE AND CLEAN NON X OUT
$9.99
1608695850734040 1 Image
1981-82 TOPPS MIKE MITCHELL #9 PSA 10 GEM MINT LOW POP 10 -- I OWN 2
$35.99
4003169794644040 1 Image
1981-82 TOPPS JACK SIKMA #39 PSA 10 GEM MINT LOW POP 12 -- I OWN 2
$19.99
3110051189334040 1 Image
1981-82 1981 1982 TOPPS BASKETBALL WAX PACK 36 PACK WAX BOX EAST LARRY BIRD
$318.88
2715412319354040 1 Image
TOPPS VAULT 1981 82 BASKETBALL 3 CARD TEST UNCUT STRIP W COA RAISED SEAL 1 ? *
$6.99
2011230948254040 1 Image
VINTAGE 1981-82 TOPPS LARRY BIRD SUPER ACTION #101 EAST - BOSTON CELTICS
$5.95
1513478310374040 1 Image
1981-82 1981 1982 TOPPS BASKETBALL WAX PACK LOT OF 4 EAST JOHNSON LARRY BIRD
$12.56
1513478312324040 1 Image
1981-82 1981 1982 TOPPS BASKETBALL WAX PACK LOT OF 4 WEST JOHNSON LARRY BIRD
$12.56



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Set Checklist

1981-82 Topps Basketball Card Checklist

Card #Player Name
1John Drew
2Dan Roundfield
3Nate Archibald
4Larry Bird
5Cedric Maxwell
6Robert Parish
7Artis Gilmore
8Ricky Sobers
9Mike Mitchell
10Tom LaGarde
11Dan Issel
12David Thompson
13Lloyd Free
14Moses Malone
15Calvin Murphy
16Johnny Davis
17Otis Birdsong
18Phil Ford
19Scott Wedman
20Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
21Magic Johnson
22Norm Nixon
23Jamaal Wilkes
24Marques Johnson
25Bob Lanier
26Bill Cartwright
27Michael Ray Richardson
28Ray Williams
29Darryl Dawkins
30Julius Erving
31Lionel Hollins
32Bobby Jones
33Walter Davis
34Dennis Johnson
35Leonard Robinson
36Mychal Thompson
37George Gervin
38Swen Nater
39Jack Sikma
40Adrian Dantley
41Darrell Griffith RC
42Elvin Hayes
43Fred Brown
44Atlanta Hawks Team Leaders
45Celtics Team Leaders / Bird / Arch
46Chicago Bulls Team Leaders
47Cleveland Cavs Team Leaders
48Dallas Mavericks Team Leaders
49Denver Nuggets Team Leaders
50Detroit Pistons Team Leaders
51Golden State Team Leaders
52Rockets Team Leaders / Malone
53Indiana Pacers Team Leaders
54Kansas City Kings Team Leaders
55Lakers Team Leaders / Jabbar
56Milwaukee Bucks Team Leaders
57New Jersey Nets Team Leaders
58New York Knicks Team Leaders
5976ers Team Leaders / Erving
60Phoenix Suns Team Leaders
61Trail Blazers Team Leaders
62San Antonio Spurs Team Leaders
63San Diego Clippers Team Leaders
64Seattle Sonics Team Leaders
65Utah Jazz Team Leaders
66Washington Bullets Team Leaders
E67Charlie Criss
E68Eddie Johnson
E69Wes Matthews
E70Tom McMillen
E71Tree Rollins
E72M.L. Carr
E73Chris Ford
E74Gerald Henderson RC
E75Kevin McHale RC
E76Rick Robey
E77Darwin Cook RC
E78Mike Gminski RC
E79Maurice Lucas
E80Mike Newlin
E81Mike O'Koren RC
E82Steve Hawes
E83Foots Walker
E84Campy Russell
E85DeWayne Scales
E86Randy Smith
E87Marvin Webster
E88Sly Williams
E89Mike Woodson RC
E90Maurice Cheeks
E91Caldwell Jones
E92Steve Mix
E93BASEChecklist 1-110 Error
E93Checklist 1-110R
E94Greg Ballard
E95Don Collins
E96Kevin Grevey
E97Mitch Kupchak
E98Rick Mahorn RC
E99Kevin Porter
E100Nate Archibald
E101Larry Bird
E102Bill Cartwright
E103Darryl Dawkins
E104Julius Erving
E105Kevin Porter
E106Bobby Jones
E107Cedric Maxwell
E108Robert Parish
E109M.R.Richardson
E110Dan Roundfield
MW67David Greenwood
MW68Dwight Jones
MW69Reggie Theus
MW70Bobby Wilkerson
MW71Mike Bratz
MW72Kenny Carr
MW73Geoff Huston
MW74Bill Laimbeer RC
MW75Roger Phegley
MW76Checklist 1-110
MW77Abdul Jeelani
MW78Bill Robinzine
MW79Jim Spanarkel
MW80Kent Benson
MW81Keith Herron
MW82Phil Hubbard
MW83John Long
MW84Terry Tyler
MW85Mike Dunleavy RC
MW86Tom Henderson
MW87Billy Paultz
MW88Robert Reid
MW89Mike Bantom
MW90James Edwards
MW91Billy Knight
MW92George McGinnis
MW93Louis Orr
MW94Ernie Grunfeld RC
MW95Reggie King
MW96Sam Lacey
MW97Junior Bridgeman
MW98Mickey Johnson
MW99Sidney Moncrief
MW100Brian Winters
MW101Dave Corzine RC
MW102Paul Griffin
MW103Johnny Moore RC
MW104Mark Olberding
MW105James Silas
MW106George Gervin
MW107Artis Gilmore
MW108Marques Johnson
MW109Bob Lanier
MW110Moses Malone
W67T.R.Dunn RC
W68Alex English
W69Billy McKinney RC
W70Dave Robisch
W71Joe Barry Carroll RC
W72Bernard King
W73Sonny Parker
W74Purvis Short
W75Larry Smith RC
W76Jim Chones
W77Michael Cooper
W78Mark Landsberger
W79Alvan Adams
W80Jeff Cook
W81Rich Kelley
W82Kyle Macy RC
W83Billy Ray Bates RC
W84Bob Gross
W85Calvin Natt
W86Lonnie Shelton
W87Jim Paxson RC
W88Kelvin Ransey
W89Kermit Washington
W90Henry Bibby
W91Michael Brooks RC
W92Joe Bryant
W93Phil Smith
W94Brian Taylor
W95Freeman Williams
W96James Bailey
W97Checklist 1-110
W98John Johnson
W99Vinnie Johnson RC
W100Wally Walker RC
W101Paul Westphal
W102Allan Bristow
W103Wayne Cooper
W104Carl Nicks
W105Ben Poquette
W106Kar.Abdul-Jabbar
W107Dan Issel
W108Dennis Johnson
W109Magic Johnson
W110Jack Sikma

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

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