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The NBA season is here — at least on cardboard — tomorrow with the arrival of 2016-17 NBA Hoops from Panini America.
It’s in this one where we’ll get our first looks at the newest rookies and the newest reigning NBA champs on cardboard.
What: 2016-17 NBA Hoops basketball cards
Arrives: Oct. 12
Box basics: Two autographs per 24-pack box (20 boxes per case)
What’s buzz-worthy: The NBA season tips off on cardboard with this release, which arrives a week after Panini America’s Contenders college brand gets collectors started on the hardwood.
Keep reading for more info and a full gallery of images released so far.
Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Washington’s Marquese Chriss have signed exclusive autograph card and memorabilia deals with Panini America, according to an announcement from the company on Thursday afternoon.
Both are likely top-10 picks in tonight’s NBA Draft.
“There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the 2016 NBA Draft Class and these two players are a big reason why,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “As we look to the start of a new NBA trading card season and the importance every new rookie crop plays in our success, we can’t wait to get started.”
At the beginning of the season it was Kristaps Porzingis, who stole all the headlines when it came to NBA rookies.
But it’s Karl-Anthony Towns who got the one that mattered as he was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in unanimous fashion on Monday — just the fifth winner-take-all vote in the history of the award. Porzingis finished second.
Way back in 1999, Elton Brand was a star center for the Duke Blue Devils — a center from tiny Peekskill, N.Y., who was about to make a big impression as the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Fast-forward to today and the former Chicago Bull is coming out of retirement to join the NBA’s worst team — the Philadelphia 76ers, owners of a 3-33 record — to help mentor another former Blue Devils star and first-round pick, Jahlil Okafor. Okafor, of course, has had issues off the court this season while also picking up the NBA game quickly. It’s a match made in Blue Devils collecting heaven.
“He’s not unlike most 20-year-olds you probably know, and he’s definitely not at all different than most of his fellow players,” Brand wrote in a piece for Sports Illustrated’s website. “… if camera phones were around when Brad Miller, Ron Artest and I were Jahlil’s age, we might’ve been banned from the league altogether, never mind suspended for a few games.”
So, what about Brand on cardboard?