1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Cards

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Cards

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1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball is highlighted by an extremely strong rookie class. While it's relatively free of inserts, the set isn't as straightforward as it seems. A three-tiered base set make it extremely challenging to complete.

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball came in two series. The first has numbers 1 to 146. The second series runs from numbers 147 through 291. Both sets have bronze, silver and gold cards. These aren't parallels. Rather, they're short prints, some of which are more rare than others. When the set came out, collectible card games, like Magic the Gathering, were really starting to take off. Several sports cards sets took a similar approach to releasing common, uncommon and rare cards. For 1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball, bronze cards are considered common. Silver cards, which fall every fourth pack, are uncommon. Gold cards, inserted one per box, are rare.

Adding to the tiers are the Refractors. Parallels for the bronze cards are the easiest to find at 1:12 packs. Every other box has a Silver Refractor. Gold Refractors are considered a case hit at 1:288 packs.

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball doesn't have one distinct design. All cards are part of themed subsets. For Series 1, they're Apprentices, Gladiators, Maestros and Sterling. Series 2 subsets include Foundations, Heirs, Mainstays and Sterling. Because of this structure, many players have multiple cards in the set.

Cards come with a clear film intended to help protect card surfaces. The film could be peeled off relatively easily. This creates a dilemma for collectors, though. Do you keep the film in tact, even though it doesn't look as nice? Or do you peel it, risking damage as you lift the film up for the first time? As far as secondary market values go, there is no major difference. However, when sending the cards in to be graded, they will look at the surface. If the protector shows scratches, this will lower the final grade, even if the card underneath has a perfect surface.

Rookie cards in 1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball include Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson and Ray Allen. The strong crop also has several second-tier players like Jermaine O'Neal, Derek Fisher, Marcus Camby and Stephon Marbury. Most rookies have multiple cards in the set, however the official rookie cards are nearly all found in Series 1 packs as these were the first. Vitaly Potapenko is the only Series 2 rookie card.

Both 1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Series 1 and Series 2 boxes come with 24 packs of six cards.

Key 1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Cards:

ebaysmalllogo Image
2714691232284040 1 Image
1996-97 96 Topps Finest Ray Allen #252 Rookie RC Silver Refractor Insert BGS 9
$149.99
2912705501404040 1 Image
1996-97 FINEST RAY ALLEN BGS 9
$9.99
2215829525234040 1 Image
1996-97 TOPPS FINEST SERIES 1 AND SERIES 2 WITH ALL THE MAJOR ROOKIES
$40.99
2215829566224040 1 Image
1996-97 FINEST SILVER #127 MICHAEL JORDAN
$11.99
3111063718274040 1 Image
1996-97 Finest Gold Refractor #277 Brent Barry Clippers RARE w Coating
$7.99
1214455393354040 1 Image
1996-97 Finest Gold Refractor #288 Alonso Mourning Heat RARE w Coating
$14.99
1214455408384040 1 Image
1996-97 Finest Bronze Refractor #75 Steve Nash Suns RC w Coating
$49.99
1214455412784040 1 Image
1996-97 Finest Bronze Refractor #217 Steve Nash Suns RC w Coating
$34.99
2313649689344040 1 Image
1996-97 TOPPS FINEST STERLING GOLD ***REFRACTOR*** GRANT HILL - CARD #130
$49.99
1410503314944040 1 Image
MICHAEL JORDAN 96-97 TOPPS FINEST MAESTROS SILVER BGS 9 MINT
$29.99
1815626936784040 1 Image
bryant stith 1996-97 finest card #119 refractor uncommon unpeeled hot rare
$11.49
3013545949504040 1 Image
1996-97 FINEST CHROMIUM #291 MICHAEL JORDAN
$175.00
3111371037494040 1 Image
1996-97 topps finest kobe bryant rc rookie
$16.49
2313634509544040 1 Image
JASON KIDD 1996-97 BGS 9.5 TOPPS FINEST GOLD CARD #135 M24 RARE BUCKS NETS MAVS
$25.99
3013585997024040 1 Image
96-97 finest gold (rare) michael jordan see description
$110.00
1412711871744040 1 Image
1996 97 Topps Finest Basketball Chris Webber Refractor Card #163 Theme H2 Common
$15.00
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Set Checklist

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Cards 7 and 134 do not exist. Christian Laettner (Bronze), Patrick Ewing (Gold) and Jeff Hornacek (Gold) all number 136.

Silver (Uncommon) 1:4 packs, Gold (Rare) 1:24 packs

PARALLEL CARDS: Bronze Refractors 1:12 packs, Silver Refractors 1:48 packs, Gold Refractors 1:288 packs

Series 1
1 Scottie Pippen B
2 Tim Legler B
3 Rex Walters B
4 Calbert Cheaney B
5 Dennis Rodman B
6 Tyrone Hill B
8 Dell Curry B
9 Olden Polynice B
10 John Wallace RC B
11 Martin Muursepp RC B
12 Chuck Person B
13 Grant Hill B
14 Shawn Kemp B
15 B.J. Armstrong B
16 Gary Trent B
17 Scott Williams B
18 Dino Radja B
19 Roy Rogers RC B
20 Tony Delk RC B
21 Clifford Robinson B
22 Ray Allen RC B
23 Clyde Drexler B
24 Elliot Perry B
25 Gary Payton B
26 Dale Davis B
27 Horace Grant B
28 Brian Evans RC B
29 Joe Smith B
30 Reggie Miller B
31 Jermaine O'Neal RC B
32 Avery Johnson B
33 Ed O'Bannon B
34 Cedric Ceballos B
35 Jamal Mashburn B
36 Micheal Williams B
37 Detlef Schrempf B
38 Damon Stoudamire B
39 Jason Kidd B
40 Tom Gugliotta B
41 Arvydas Sabonis B
42 Samaki Walker RC B
43 Derek Fisher RC B
44 Patrick Ewing B
45 Bryant Reeves B
46 Mookie Blaylock B
47 George Zidek B
48 Jerry Stackhouse B
49 Vin Baker B
50 Michael Jordan B
51 Terrell Brandon B
52 Karl Malone B
53 Lorenzen Wright RC B
54 Shareef Abdur-Rahim RC B
55 Kurt Thomas B
56 Glen Rice B
57 Shawn Bradley B
58 Todd Fuller RC B
59 Dale Ellis B
60 David Robinson B
61 Doug Christie B
62 Stephon Marbury RC B
63 Hakeem Olajuwon B
64 Lindsey Hunter B
65 Anfernee Hardaway B
66 Kevin Garnett B
67 Kendall Gill B
68 Sean Elliott B
69 Allen Iverson RC B
70 Erick Dampier RC B
71 Jerome Williams RC B
72 Charles Jones B
73 Danny Manning B
74 Kobe Bryant RC B
75 Steve Nash RC B
76 Sam Perkins B
77 Horace Grant B
78 Alonzo Mourning B
79 Kerry Kittles RC B
80 LaPhonso Ellis B
81 Michael Finley B
82 Marcus Camby RC B
83 Antonio McDyess B
84 Antoine Walker RC B
85 Juwan Howard B
86 Bryon Russell B
87 Walter McCarty B RC
88 Priest Lauderdale RC B
89 Clarence Weatherspoo B
90 John Stockton B
91 Mitch Richmond B
92 Dontae Jones RC B
93 Michael Smith B
94 Brent Barry B
95 Chris Mills B
96 Dee Brown B
97 Terry Dehere B
98 Danny Ferry B
99 Gheorghe Muresan B
100 Checklist B
101 Jim Jackson S
102 Cedric Ceballos S
103 Glen Rice S
104 Tom Gugliotta S
105 Mario Elie S
106 Nick Anderson S
107 Glenn Robinson S
108 Terrell Brandon S
109 Tim Hardaway S
110 John Stockton S
111 Brent Barry S
112 Mookie Blaylock S
113 Tyus Edney S
114 Gary Payton S
115 Joe Smith S
116 Karl Malone S
117 Dino Radja S
118 Alonzo Mourning S
119 Bryant Stith S
120 Derrick McKey S
121 Clyde Drexler S
122 Michael Finley S
123 Sean Elliott S
124 Hakeem Olajuwon S
125 Joe Dumars S
126 Shawn Bradley S
127 Michael Jordan S
128 Latrell Sprewell G
129 Anfernee Hardaway G
130 Grant Hill G
131 Damon Stoudamire G
132 David Robinson G
133 Scottie Pippen G
135 Jason Kidd G
136 Christian Laettner B
136 Jeff Hornacek G
136 Patrick Ewing G
137 Jerry Stackhouse G
138 Kevin Garnett G
139 Mitch Richmond G
140 Juwan Howard G
141 Reggie Miller G
142 Christian Laettner G
143 Vin Baker G
144 Shawn Kemp G
145 Dennis Rodman G
146 Shaquille O'Neal G
Series 2
147 Mookie Blaylock B
148 Derek Harper B
149 Gerald Wilkins B
150 Adam Keefe B
151 Billy Owens B
152 Terrell Brandon B
153 Antonio Davis B
154 Muggsy Bogues B
155 Cherokee Parks B
156 Rasheed Wallace B
157 Lee Mayberry B
158 Craig Ehlo B
159 Todd Fuller B
160 Charles Barkley B
161 Glenn Robinson B
162 Charles Oakley B
163 Chris Webber B
164 Frank Brickowski B
165 Mark Jackson B
166 Jayson Williams B
167 Clarence Weatherspoo B
168 Toni Kukoc B
169 Alan Henderson B
170 Tony Delk B
171 Jamal Mashburn B
172 Vinny Del Negro B
173 Greg Ostertag B
174 Shawn Bradley B
175 Gheorghe Muresan B
176 Brent Price B
177 Rick Fox B
178 Stacey Augmon B
179 P .J. Brown B
180 Jim Jackson B
181 Hersey Hawkins B
182 Danny Manning B
183 Dennis Scott B
184 Tom Gugliotta B
185 Tyrone Hill B
186 Malik Sealy B
187 John Starks B
188 Mark Price B
189 Elden Campbell B
190 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf B
191 Will Perdue B
192 Nate McMillan B
193 Robert Horry B
194 Dino Radja B
195 Loy Vaught B
196 Dikembe Mutombo B
197 Eric Montross B
198 Sasha Danilovic B
199 Kenny Anderson B
200 Sean Elliott B
201 Mark West B
202 Vlade Divac B
203 Joe Dumars B
204 Allan Houston B
205 Kevin Garnett B
206 Rod Strickland B
207 Robert Parish B
208 Jalen Rose B
209 Armon Gilliam B
210 Kerry Kittles B
211 Derrick Coleman B
212 Greg Anthony B
213 Joe Smith B
214 Steve Smith B
215 Tim Hardaway B
216 Tyus Edney B
217 Steve Nash B
218 Anthony Mason B
219 Otis Thorpe B
220 Eddie Jones B
221 Rik Smits B
222 Isaiah Rider B
223 Bobby Phills B
224 Antoine Walker B
225 Rod Strickland B
226 Hubert Davis B
227 Eric Williams B
228 Danny Manning B
229 Dominique Wilkins B
230 Brian Shaw B
231 Larry Johnson B
232 Kevin Willis B
233 Bryant Stith B
234 Blue Edwards B
235 Robert Pack B
236 Brian Grant B
237 Latrell Sprewell B
238 Glen Rice B
239 Jerome Williams B
240 Allen Iverson B
241 Popeye Jones B
242 Clifford Robinson B
243 Shaquille O'Neal B
244 Vitaly Potapenko RC B
245 Ervin Johnson B
246 Checklist
247 Scottie Pippen S
248 Jason Kidd S
249 Antonio McDyess S
250 Latrell Sprewell S
251 Lorenzen Wright S
252 Ray Allen S
253 Stephon Marbury S
254 Patrick Ewing S
255 Anfernee Hardaway S
256 Kenny Anderson S
257 David Robinson S
258 Marcus Camby S
259 Shareef Abdur-Rahim S
260 Dennis Rodman S
261 Juwan Howard S
262 Damon Stoudamire S
263 Shawn Kemp S
264 Mitch Richmond S
265 Jerry Stackhouse S
266 Horace Grant S
267 Kerry Kittles S
268 Vin Baker S
269 Kobe Bryant G
270 Reggie Miller S
271 Grant Hill S
272 Oliver Miller S
273 Chris Webber S
274 Dikembe Mutombo G
275 Antonio McDyess G
276 Clyde Drexler G
277 Brent Barry G
278 Tim Hardaway G
279 Glenn Robinson G
280 Allen Iverson G
281 Hakeem Olajuwon G
282 Marcus Camby G
283 John Stockton G
284 Shareef Abdur-Rahim G
285 Karl Malone G
286 Gary Payton G
287 Stephon Marbury G
288 Alonzo Mourning G
289 Shaquille O'Neal S
290 Charles Barkley G
291 Michael Jordan G
1996 97 Topps Finest Kobe Bryant RC Image


 |  E-Mail Author
Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

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