1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Cards

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Cards

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1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Cards 1 $7444.441996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Cards 2

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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 makes it extremely challenging to complete.

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Set Details

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball came in two series. The first has cards #1 to #146 and the second series runs from #147 to #291. Both sets have bronze, silver and gold cards. These aren't parallels. Rather, they're short prints, some of which are rarer 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.

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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.

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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 intact, 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.

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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:

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Set Checklist

1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Checklist

Base Set Checklist

291 cards.
*Cards #7 and #134 do not exist. Christian Laettner (#7 - Bronze), Patrick Ewing (#134 - Gold) and Jeff Hornacek (Gold) all number #136.*
REFRACTOR PARALLELS: Bronze (1:12 packs), Silver (1:48 packs), Gold (1:288).

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

 

 

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Ryan Cracknell  |  E-Mail Author
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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