Professional basketball was a much different spectacle during the 1950s. While baseball and football had been regularly featured in nationally-issued card sets since 1948, there hadn't been any major basketball issues since that year. Judging from the fact that this was a single series set that wasn't revisited by Topps for more than a decade, it's likely the company didn't see a lot of potential in the sport at that time.
Card fronts feature a picture of a player - sometimes posed, sometimes during game action - with two four-sided shapes below him. Inside the yellow block is his name, with the last name in larger letters. The blue- or red-colored block to the right contains a team name. A white border surrounds the entire card. The backs are well-designed for basketball cards. A hoop in the upper left contains the card number, with the player's name and team to its right. Below them are a few vital statistics, a short career write-up and the player's year/lifetime stats. To the right is a diagram showing the player's height.
1957-'58 Topps Basketball is considered to be fairly scarce. In order to fit an 80-card series onto a printing sheet, the pattern resulted in 30 single prints, 49 double prints and even one quadruple print (#24 Bob Pettit). The cards are notorious for being off-center and having snowy print-dots, making them frustrating for high-grade collectors.
Since this was the first major basketball set in nearly ten years, almost every player is appearing on his rookie card. The biggest of these is Bill Russell, but other significant players include Bob Cousy, Bob Heinsohn, Bob Pettit, Dolph Scahyes and Bill Sharman. All are early NBA legends.