Basketball card sets produced during the 1999/00 season can be easy to overlook for a couple of reasons. First of all, Michael Jordan was well into his second retirement by the time 1999/00 products began hitting store shelves, and as such, MJ’s cards from this season tend to be of the retrospective variety. Still nice collectables, but they have a hard time measuring up against cards that were created during Jordan’s six title runs with the Bulls. Another challenge confronting 1990/00 basketball card sets is that the 1999 draft class did not produce a generational talent along the lines of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, or Lebron James. To be sure, Elton Brand, Jason Terry, Andre Miller, and especially Shawn Marion were terrific NBA players at certain points in their careers, but none of these guys enjoy widespread hobby love. Collectors looking to snag iconic rookie cards tend to look elsewhere.
HoloGrFX basketball is one of those 1999/00 sets that doesn’t receive widespread attention, and that is a real shame because Upper Deck crafted some beautiful cards for this release. Many of the insert sets in particular are stunning. Take, for example, NBA 24-7 Gold Kobe Bryant (pictured above) and HoloFame Gold** Kevin Garnett (pictured below). These cards are bold and shiny, yet not so egregiously busy that collectors are distracted from great action photography. It appears that Upper Deck expended much time and energy to create these cards; that is something I appreciate and why I wanted these two cards in my collection. Both cards are parallels (base NBA 24-7 and HoloFame inserts do not have a gold finish), and neither is serially numbered.
Major differences do exist between these sets. First of all, NBA 24-7 Gold contains 15 cards that were inserted in packs at a rate of 1:105. HoloFame Gold, on the other hand, includes just nine cards and were inserted at a rate of 1:210. Additionally, NBA 24-7 Gold features only (then) active players. HoloFame Gold mixes things up with a combined checklist of four retired and five active players. Regarding card backs, I prefer NBA 24-7 Gold. As can be seen in the Kobe card, additional white area creates space and makes reading the player description a little bit easier. As an added bonus, biographical data is provided at the top.
Both sets are rare enough that a decent amount of effort is required to put them together (especially in high grade). At the same time, both NBA 24-7 Gold and HoloFame Gold remain affordable and won’t cause collectors to break-the-bank. In short, these sets are highly collectible and should appeal to collectors who want a change of pace from the various autograph and relic insert sets that permeate the hobby. While I am not a set-builder – even for inserts – the thought of seeing a complete set of NBA 24-7 Gold and HoloFame Gold cards intrigues me. These inserts are simply gorgeous.
What’s your favorite basketball insert from 1999/00?
**Some databases list these sets as “NBA 24-7 AUsome” and “HoloFame AUsome”
Word of the Day
credulous – too ready to believe things; easily fooled or cheated; few people are credulous enough to believe such nonsense; a credulous audience