Topps' first basketball card set in over a decade is a 99-card set that is known to collectors as tall boys due to the fact that they were made much taller than standard cards. They were still 2 ½ inches wide, but were 4 11/16 inches tall (the same size as 1964-'65 Topps hockey and 1965 Topps football). The taller format actually served the basketball players well.
Cards showed a player inside an oval-shaped frame, with his head occasionally peeking out over the top of the line. Each corner was given a basketball icon in black ink. The player's name appeared in red along the top, along with his position in black ink. His team city was listed at the bottom in red ink. The border around the player was white. Backs feature a blue circle with the card number inside, along with the player's name and vital statistics at the top. A short write-up and year-by-year career statistics follow on a salmon-colored field. Below that, a circle that appears to be dropping into a hoop contains a cartoon.
As the first nationally-issued basketball set in several years, it contains a lot of first-time players. The biggest name among these rookies is Lew Alcindor (later to be named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Other big-name rookies include Bill Bradley, Dave Bing, John Havlicek, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Don Nelson, Wes Unseld, Nate Thurmond and Walt Frazier. Another first-time Hall of Famer would be Dave DeBusschere, if not for some baseball cards during the 1960s when he pitched for the Chicago White Sox.
The set was issued in one series, and all 99 cards were printed together on one sheet. It has been determined that the checklist card was on the lower right corner and therefore more prone to damage from the process or printing and packaging than others. As a result, it is a tough card to find in decent shape, even considering the normal issues they have with being marked up.
As far as inserts go, ten-card packs include an over-sized Topps Ruler. These have cartoon images of top players and fold out to reach nearly ten inches in height.