2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball Details


2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball gives the regular Contenders set a metal makeover for the fourth season in a row. Besides the upgraded look and feel, the configuration is more sleek with just six cards per hobby box. These break down to include an autograph, two inserts, a pair of parallels and one base card.

2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball Checklist Overview

The base set is a mix of veterans and rookies. Both maintain a ticket-inspired layout that’s similar to Contenders. But with the chrome finish, there’s a shinier look and feel to it all.

2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball Gold Luka Doncic

Parallels include:

  • Silver
  • Red
  • 75th Anniversary
  • Blue – /99
  • Orange – /49
  • Green Pulsar – /25
  • Gold – /10
  • Gold Vinyl – 1/1
2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball Green Pulsar Josh Giddey

There’s also hobby-only Black Pandora versions that, although don’t carry a serial number, rank among the rarer parallels in the product.

As far as autographs go, according to Panini the focus is on-card ink. Top first-year players are in both the Rookie Season Ticket Autographs and Rookie Variations Season Ticket Autographs sets.

2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball Rookie Ticket Autographs Gold Vinyl Scottie Barnes

Like their first-year counterparts, Veteran Autographs also use a design that’s similar to the base set.

1984 Tribute Autographs include some retired players. These take it back more than 35 years to the 1984 Donruss Baseball design.

2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball 1984 Tribute Autographs Charles Barkley

2021-22 Contenders Optic has a broad mix of standard inserts as well including All-Star Aspirations, Hoop Dream, Legendary Tandems, Lottery Ticket, Pick N Roll, Playing the Numbers Game, Suite Shots, and Uniformity.

Superstars is back as well with a die cut design.

Blue Cracked Ice and Red Cracked Ice are among the insert parallels.

2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball cards at a glance:

Cards per pack: Hobby – 6
Packs per box: Hobby – 1
Boxes per case: Hobby – 20
Set size: TBA
Release date (subject to change): December 14, 2022

Shop for 2021-22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball boxes on eBay:

What to expect in a hobby box:

  • Autographs – 1
  • Inserts – 2
  • Parallels – 2
  • Base Cards – 1

Recent Panini Contenders Optic Basketball releases:

The full 2021-22 Contenders Optic Basketball checklist and team set lists will be up as soon as they’re available, likely shortly before the product comes out.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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