Monday, November 26, 2018

New (Donruss) Hoops

Another new crop of basketball cards, featuring the Portland Trail Blazers. 

A couple of weeks ago, I bought into a group break from a new basketball card set as a cheaper and more satisfying way of collecting for me. I was pleased. I took another shot at the group break thing with the new Donruss NBA set. Let's see how that worked out.

There are just seven base cards in the set, and this time I landed the whole team set several times over. Not bad! (Hit me up if you're interested in one, or some of my spare Blazers inserts from this set and the new Hoops set.)

The set uses the same design we've seen in the Donruss baseball and football products this year. I'm not the biggest fan, with the NBA set's biggest issue being that it can be difficult to read the player's name unless you hold the card up to direct light or are in a well lit room.

The photos are also pretty dull. I think it can be a challenge to get exciting action basketball shots, especially in the current game where everyone wants to shoot 3's all of the time.

Here's big Zach wearing the blindingly red "Statement" jersey. I wish they had done away with this one instead of making a change to their "City" jersey.

With just five of the team's rotation players, the set leans heavily on its Rated Rookie subset. These don't appear to be short printed in any way, as I received tons of each Blazer rookie.

Both Gary Trent and Anfernee Simons are looking for playing time in any way they can get it. Simons is the only one who has played any meaningful minutes this season, as he stepped in for an injured Seth Curry.

The inserts were plentiful. I absolutely love new Clyde Drexler cards, especially ones that feature him as a Blazer. Panini went with a very different design for these than in the past, but they retained the same texture/feel to the card.

This is one of the most shocking designs I've ever seen. It's like Miami Vice meets early '90s SkyBox? I guess? I don't know... it's incredible. Look at those fonts! I'm too stunned to remember that the players wore those weird "huge logo" All-Star jerseys last season.

Sticking with the goofy faux retro theme, here's a look at the Court Kings inserts. I still need Dame's card from this.

This photo of Petro has been seen on a lot of cards, but it never gets old.

Kid Simons (Lil' Penny?) gets his own insert card here.

Press Proof parallels only differ from the base set with their use of silver foil (and serial number).

It wouldn't be Panini without parallels of parallels, so we get a look at a lower numbered color Press Proof parallel of young Trent. This could be a nice one if Trent starts to develop.

I didn't really score with any Blazers "hits", but a bunch of Sonics cards were included as well. I'm not sure if I lucked out in some sort of random draw, or if it was a proximity thing, but it was awesome to get this signed card of a Sonics legend. I also scored some Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp inserts. I'm almost tempted to start collecting Sonics cards on the side, but that would be... weird.

Finally, the eBay seller (hobbylegends) also threw in a pack of last year's Donruss into my package. Inside was a nice /25 parallel of T.J. Warren, who is one of the Suns better players these days. Not bad!


  1. Good stuff. I remember Gary Trent Sr. as a rookie. I've already sent you all the Blazers I have (new stack has about 2 cards in it) but I would be glad to give your dupes a new home.

  2. The All-Stars card is cool. Definitely reminds me of 91-92 Skybox.

  3. Oh the timing of this post is uncanny as I saw Donruss basketball for the first time last night at Walmart. I bought a rack pack as I was curious and hopes to pull some Hornets. I also thought perhaps I’d land some Trailblazers so I could begin to pay you back for the awesome surprise package that arrived the day before Thanksgiving. Then I see you have all the TB from Donruss covered.

    Those eBay group breaks can be pretty productive and Hobby Legends is one of the better from what I understand. Awesome freebies too, especially the TJ Warren. He’s a NC State alumni I passively collect.

  4. That's an awesome Sikma card. I'm a bit more bullish on this set. The crazy colors on some of inserts don't even throw me off though I do find myself wanting to watch old episodes of Miami Vice. Great post. Our Blazers are struggling a bit right now. I'm hoping they can get out of their funk soon.

  5. Damn that Evan Turner photograph is awesome! Seeing pictures like that kinda makes me want to hunt down some basketball cards.

  6. The Clyde is very cool, but I'm partial to the Petro. Nice Sikma suto, too. Haven't seen any Donruss basketball near me yet (Hoping the dollar store near my office will stock them soon)


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