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1996-97 SP Basketball Cards

1996-97 SP Basketball Cards

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1996-97 SP Basketball ups the ante as far as technology and the hobby go. With inserts freely mixing foil, holograms and other premium designs, the release would still stand out as different in today's marketplace. The release is further bolstered by a deep crop of rookies, all of which are very affordable when compared with some other sets.

The 1996-97 SP Basketball base set has 146 cards. Veterans occupy the first 126 spots on the checklist. The design has lots going on but maintains a look that isn't overly busy. A pair of stripes run down the right side of the card with the team name running vertically in the second one. A thin foil stripe runs on the inside, vertically up the side and horizontally along the bottom to make a name plate. A cluster of SP logos are in the bottom-left corner as well as a prominent foil one in the top-left.

Rookie cards, the final 20 cards in the set, have a totally different design. A posed portrait takes up most of the card. A large blue stripe runs vertically up the left side of the card, acting as a name plate. It also notes the Premier Prospects subset. 1996-97 SP Basketball has several top rookie cards, including Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Allen Iverson. Although this is a super premium brand, these rookie cards be found relatively cheaply, especially when you compare them to what their 1996-97 Topps Chrome and 1996-97 Topps Finest counterparts go for.

Where 1996-97 SP Basketball really stands out is with its inserts. Holoviews (40 cards, 1:10 packs) are highlighted by the familiar player hologram. However, this year's design also includes etched foil to make the look even stronger. Game Film (ten cards, 1:120 packs) are die-cut cards that use a pair of slides to showcase the player. SPx Force (five cards, 1:360 packs) have four player holograms and a distinct die-cut design. Michael Jordan, Damon Stoudamire, Shawn Kemp and Anfernee Hardaway each signed 100 cards.

Every sealed 1996-97 SP Basketball box comes with an Inside Info box topper. These cards have a component that slides out to reveal more images. There is also a rare Inside Info Gold parallel.

1996-97 SP Basketball boxes have 30 packs of eight cards. They originally came wrapped in plastic with the small Upper Deck logos all over it. Collectors should be very suspicious of any that don't have such wrap.

Key 1996-97 SP Basketball Cards:

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Set Checklist

1996-97 SP Basketball Checklist

Base Set Checklist

146 cards.

1 Mookie Blaylock
2 Christian Laettner
3 Dikembe Mutombo
4 Steve Smith
5 Dana Barros
6 Rick Fox
7 Dino Radja
8 Eric Williams
9 Dell Curry
10 Vlade Divac
11 Anthony Mason
12 Glen Rice
13 Scottie Pippen
14 Toni Kukoc
15 Luc Longley
16 Michael Jordan
17 Dennis Rodman
18 Terrell Brandon
19 Tyrone Hill
20 Bobby Phills
21 Bob Sura
22 Chris Gatling
23 Jim Jackson
24 Sam Cassell
25 Jamal Mashburn
26 Dale Ellis
27 LaPhonso Ellis
28 Mark Jackson
29 Antonio McDyess
30 Bryant Stith
31 Joe Dumars
32 Grant Hill
33 Lindsey Hunter
34 Otis Thorpe
35 Chris Mullin
36 Mark Price
37 Joe Smith
38 Latrell Sprewell
39 Charles Barkley
40 Clyde Drexler
41 Mario Elie
42 Hakeem Olajuwon
43 Travis Best
44 Dale Davis
45 Reggie Miller
46 Rik Smits
47 Pooh Richardson
48 Rodney Rogers
49 Malik Sealy
50 Loy Vaught
51 Elden Campbell
52 Robert Horry
53 Eddie Jones
54 Shaquille O'Neal
55 Nick Van Exel
56 Sasha Danilovic
57 Tim Hardaway
58 Dan Majerle
59 Alonzo Mourning
60 Vin Baker
61 Sherman Douglas
62 Armon Gilliam
63 Glenn Robinson
64 Kevin Garnett
65 Tom Gugliotta
66 Terry Porter
67 Doug West
68 Shawn Bradley
69 Kendall Gill
70 Robert Pack
71 Jayson Williams
72 Chris Childs
73 Patrick Ewing
74 Allan Houston
75 Larry Johnson
76 John Starks
77 Nick Anderson
78 Horace Grant
79 Anfernee Hardaway
80 Dennis Scott
81 Derrick Coleman
82 Mark Davis
83 Jerry Stackhouse
84 Clarence Weatherspoon
85 Cedric Ceballos
86 Kevin Johnson
87 Jason Kidd
88 Danny Manning
89 Wesley Person
90 Kenny Anderson
91 Isaiah Rider
92 Clifford Robinson
93 Arvydas Sabonis
94 Rasheed Wallace
95 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
96 Brian Grant
97 Olden Polynice
98 Mitch Richmond
99 Corliss Williamson
100 Sean Elliott
101 Avery Johnson
102 David Robinson
103 Dominique Wilkins
104 Hersey Hawkins
105 Jim McIlvaine
106 Shawn Kemp
107 Gary Payton
108 Detlef Schrempf
109 Doug Christie
110 Popeye Jones
111 Damon Stoudamire
112 Walt Williams
113 Jeff Hornacek
114 Karl Malone
115 Greg Ostertag
116 Bryon Russell
117 John Stockton
118 Greg Anthony
119 Blue Edwards
120 Anthony Peeler
121 Bryant Reeves
122 Calbert Cheaney
123 Juwan Howard
124 Gheorghe Muresan
125 Rod Strickland
126 Chris Webber
127 Antoine Walker RC
128 Tony Delk RC
129 Vitaly Potapenko RC
130 Samaki Walker RC
131 Todd Fuller RC
132 Erick Dampier RC
133 Lorenzen Wright RC
134 Kobe Bryant RC
135 Derek Fisher RC
136 Ray Allen RC
137 Stephon Marbury RC
138 Kerry Kittles RC
139 Walter McCarty RC
140 John Wallace RC
141 Allen Iverson RC
142 Steve Nash RC
143 Jermaine O'Neal RC
144 Marcus Camby RC
145 Shareef Abdur-Rahim RC
146 Roy Rogers RC
1996-97 SP Basketball Cards 1

Game Film Checklist

10 cards. Inserted 1:120 packs.

GF1 Michael Jordan
GF2 Kevin Garnett
GF3 Charles Barkley
GF4 Anfernee Hardaway
GF5 Shaquille O'Neal
GF6 Jim Jackson
GF7 Dennis Rodman
GF8 Alonzo Mourning
GF9 Grant Hill
GF10 Shawn Kemp
1996-97 SP Basketball Cards 2

Holoviews Checklist

40 cards. Inserted 1:10 packs.

PC1 Mookie Blaylock
PC2 Antoine Walker
PC3 Eric Williams
PC4 Tony Delk
PC5 Michael Jordan
PC6 Dennis Rodman
PC7 Vitaly Potapenko
PC8 Bob Sura
PC9 Jamal Mashburn
PC10 Antonio McDyess
PC11 Grant Hill
PC12 Joe Smith
PC13 Latrell Sprewell
PC14 Charles Barkley
PC15 Hakeem Olajuwon
PC16 Erick Dampier
PC17 Lorenzen Wright
PC18 Kobe Bryant
PC19 Shaquille O'Neal
PC20 Alonzo Mourning
PC21 Ray Allen
PC22 Kevin Garnett
PC23 Stephon Marbury
PC24 Kerry Kittles
PC25 Walter McCarty
PC26 John Wallace
PC27 Anfernee Hardaway
PC28 Allen Iverson
PC29 Jerry Stackhouse
PC30 Steve Nash
PC31 Jermaine O'Neal
PC32 Brian Grant
PC33 Mitch Richmond
PC34 David Robinson
PC35 Shawn Kemp
PC36 Marcus Camby
PC37 Damon Stoudamire
PC38 John Stockton
PC39 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
PC40 Juwan Howard
1996-97 SP Basketball Cards 3

Inside Info Checklist

17 cards. Inserted as a box topper.


IN1 Charles Barkley
IN2 Kevin Garnett
IN3 Anfernee Hardaway
IN4 Grant Hill
IN5 Allen Iverson
IN6 Jason Kidd
IN7 Shawn Kemp
IN8 Antonio McDyess
IN9 Dikembe Mutombo
IN10 Shaquille O'Neal
IN11 Hakeem Olajuwon
IN12 Dennis Rodman
IN13 Jerry Stackhouse
IN14 John Stockton
IN15 Damon Stoudamire
IN16 Chris Webber
IN17 Michael Jordan
1996-97 SP Basketball Cards 4

SPx Force Checklist

5 cards. Inserted 1:360.

F1 Michael Jordan, Jerry Stackhouse, Mitch Ritchmond, Latrell Sprewell
F2 Shawn Kemp, Dennis Rodman, Charles Barkley, Juwan Howard
F3 Mookie Blaylock, Nick Van Exel, Stephon Marbury, Damon Stoudamire
F4 Marcus Camby, Erick Damphier, Anfernee Hardaway, Antonio McDyess
F5 Michael Jordan, Anfernee Hardaway, Shawn Kemp, Damon Stoudamire
1996-97 SP Basketball Cards 5

SPx Force Autographs Checklist

4 cards. Each signed 100 cards.

F5 Michael Jordan
F5 Anfernee Hardaway
F5 Shawn Kemp
F5 Damon Stoudamire

Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His 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.

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