First look: 2011-12 NBA Hoops

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

It’s been a long wait for this one, but Panini America has finally released the first official glimpses at the return of a hobby staple to the hardwood this year in 2011-12 NBA Hoops.

Teased last February, Hoops is primed for a return as one of the five 2011-12 products in Panini’s reduced stable of offerings following the NBA lockout.

Set to arrive on March 14, Hoops marks the return of a brand that helped usher in a new era of basketball cards back in 1989 — a set that included color photography on both the card fronts and backs and the arrivals of Hall of Famers such as David Robinson to cardboard. This time, “The Admiral” is back as there will be 1989-90 Hoops buybacks — all signed by the players — as part of the offerings in a product that will have a $1-per-pack retail version and a $2-per-pack hobby version set to deliver two autographs per box.

The base set will include 279 cards and an NBA champions card — an homage to the 1989 Detroit Pistons insert. Its autograph checklist will be deep with 179 signers lined up for the set, including Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Dirk Nowitzki among others.

Among the insert cards will be “A Night To Remember” — a card set designed by readers of the company’s blog — as well as a few others.  (Click on the images below for a closer look.)

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



  1. Posted January 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    No thanks, I’m on strike from you guys!

  2. Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    At $2 per pack, this will be a great value with two autos per box. This is will be a great draw for new collectors and kids. With 279 base cards, this will be great for team collectors. Can’t wait to see the reaction.

  3. Michael Chase
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I am really excited for this release and I wish I didn’t have to wait until March for it but oh well. The anticipation will make it all the better experience. I used to love NBA Hoops and I don’t have a lot of money, so this product is where I’m going to be at for basketball this year.

  4. Posted January 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I feel very good about this product. Might be the best for basketball setbuilders of the year. I cant wait to see the Brandon Knight, and all the other Rookies! Its so strange that their are no RC cards out at all right now, but that will change soon :) I am hoping Tayshaun Prince is in this set. 1989 PISTONS insert set sounds awesome, and I want to learn more details soon. I like the price too!

  5. Ed
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Let see?… 2012 Hoops plain cards or Vintage 1996 Bowman Best Basketball Atomic Refractors? hummmmm????? Largest rookie subset in history…. hummmmm? Give me something to collect not trade. If I wanted a piece of jock strap on my trading cards. You would probally find me in a van…. down by the river!

  6. XstreamINsanity
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait for this product. I told myself I’m going to not start collecting new sets until I finish off my current sets, but a Hoops revival gets the exception. I’m hoping to pick up a box or two (depends on how much of the set I get from one box) and would love to get some nice buy backs. I’m just wondering how good of condition the buy backs will be in. Those that may want them graded would be quite upset if the buy back itself wasn’t in the best of shape (centering will more than likely be off).

    @Johnny – I don’t think they’ll leave out any Starter from any team (that’s only 150 players) and with no rookies Tay will more than likely be in there.

    @Ed – Love the Chris Farley reference. (May he RIP) However, I think you’re comparing apples to oranges. Many collectors have been asking for cards that are like the 90’s (or throwbacks) as well as something cheap enough to keep kids interested in the hobby. That’s this product. Many people, myself included, would love to see a Hoops revival as it’s one of the sets I loved collecting most years. But if that’s not your taste, that’s alright, they will have other products this year. Also, you have to remember, with no rookie photo shoot this year, Rookies aren’t currently available or else they would be in this product.

    @CThomashowell – Do you mind if I ask why?

  7. Ed
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Just $2.00 per pack with two Auto’s per box? That isn’t too bad without rookies. But 279 cards of who or what? There has to be subsets in the set. Like 1-25 and 1-75 etc. If they had included a 1-50 serial numbered subset in that 279 figure it would be more attractive. There has to be mini goals in large sets or all that paper just gets boring. But I’ll give it a look-see.

  8. skeletorsambora
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to Hoops, but are they gonna scrap Hoops next year like they did with Donruss, which was their best product?

  9. XstreamINsanity
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    @Ed – In the 1989-90 Hoops, I think the only subset was the All-Star subset. But I almost want to guarantee there will be a few subsets in there. I want to think that the checklist will have the starting five (most consistent starting five of the team) along with the “sixth” man. That would mean 180 cards, so 99 more cards for a few subsets (no rookies though). So they may extend it to the top 7 people of each team (210 cards) and then only have 69 cards for subsets (MVPs of each team, previous year award winners, all star, etc.). I don’t expect it to be anything like 2009-10 Panini where all of the cards were the same with no subsets (if you don’t consider RC as subsets, because I don’t).

    @skeletorambora – I don’t think they scrapped Donruss because they didn’t want to make it again, but with Hoops already announced and it’s probably their lowest end product, with only releasing 5 products, you need something in the middle. Preferred will be the high end, Gold Standard will be mid-tier, Hoops is low end. So the other two (can’t remember which ones they are) will be closer to mid-tier which Donruss is not. But I do agree, I loved that set.

  10. Anything but Panini
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    How many redemptions per box? And will they be honored in a year or two? I just watched a case break of 2011 football Limited. 7 redemptions in 15 boxes. I will never buy Panini products again. Have 4 redemptions with Panini waiting to be fulfilled all over a year ago was the placement date for my redemptions. Collectors I suggest buy any brand but Panini. You will receive alot less redemptions

  11. Ed
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Hearing the name Panini over and over makes me want a sandwich. I’m a set builder also but need to see some meat in these sets. I won’t count Panani out, it took all the major brands a few years to hit one out of the Ball Park…. Now I want a hot dog.

  12. Posted January 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I have the same problem with 3 Panini redemptions from last year. They are coming up on a year. I watched 6 boxes of Gold Standard football get opened and there were 5 redemptions for the main patch/auto. If it is high end wait until you have it all to release it. Say what you want about all the delays for Upper Deck SP football, you get all the cards when it arrives.

  13. Josh
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    @Chris-idk how the SP authentic had been the past few years, but 2009 indeed did have redemptions. I pulled a hakeem nicks auto super patch #’d 90. I waited 8 months and finally sake for a replacement. Trust me I’m not saying panini is any better because they are not. I waited over a year for a couple of sub par replacements and finally asked for replacements and when I finally got them in the mail, they were heavily damaged…I’m still waiting on them to do something about those. In all it’s best to just sell redemptions when we get them. The company’s know we hate them but they don’t care because if they did then something would have been done about them by now.

  14. XstreamINsanity
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    @Anything but Panini – People have had the same issues with Upper Deck and Topps as well. jpleazme805 has about four redemptions sitting with UD right now for cards from 2009-10. I don’t remember which product he’s waiting for, but there are two cards that are almost identical; 2009-10 SP Game Used Jordan Farmar and 2009-10 SP Signature Jordan Farmar. Everything on these cards are almost identical except for the brand logo and a little coloring on the back. One of the cards is numbered, he has that. But his redemptions are for non-serial numbered cards and they haven’t been replaced. Also, if you check the Basketball boards, there are users who are calling in daily and finally getting their redemptions or replacements with extras (one person even got a box of cards as an extra for the hassle). Check the basketball boards for the person who called their thread something about a win over Panini or something like that (I think the user name is like swjrp10 or something) and he provided contact information.

    @Ed – I agree with wanting a Panini, but I’m on a diet. :( lol.

    @chris – I agree that if the product is high end that it would be best to wait until they have everything, but the problem is that they could have everything except for AU from a few players and they may have already pushed deadlines back, so to wait for a few players who may or may not get them to them within a week or so wouldn’t be smart either. I don’t like redemptions, but if they’re only waiting on a few people, I’d rather have the product out there and maybe get a replacement if they never sign. What I really don’t like is when you get a redemption and it’s only for a Patch, no AU. That’s stupid if you ask me.

  15. Ed
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I agree Xstream. In the back of the mind you are thinking while at the hobby store, man this set would be great to start building. But I have that set at home that my attention and loose change. When set collecting one day cards are available and the next thing you know, you can’t find one. Years later they are plentyful again but not selling the one’s you need. Today there are more CheckoutMy-Sportlot-Cards websites that has awesome card (Mega-Lo Mart) card databases. Today there are plenty of 96 Bowman’s Basketball Refractors and Atomics floating around. And I am happy to report that there is at least one set builder that has finally finished the entire 1996 Bowmans Best Basketball Atomic and Refractor Set. It’s a beauty, and a labor of love. Whew!!!!! So where is the next Yosemite of card sets to build?

  16. Anything but Panini
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Almost 3 months ago Panini posted on facebook that they have received autos of Shaq. They showed the stickers and other on card autos. I waited a month finally hit up Tracy and he said he check on it. And still no word back 2 months later. They have more then plenty time to get out new products. But can’t put some auto stickers on some cards and send them out. The internet can help or hurt your business. Thanks to the internet I no longer want to spend my money with them.

  17. Anything but Panini
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Panini puts out the most redemptions by far. How about Panini gives me the product and in return I’ll give them a redemption for my money. And I will honor the money in a year or more.

  18. Ed
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    What if this forum posted links to all the major websites to provide quick references to cards and players? Like the one below. Imagine a whole row of quick links on the side of the page of all the Major league teams. You could also through in a few boxing ring girls at the top of the page with players jersey numbers on them. Hey thats a good idea for Panini. Put out a subset with boxing ring girls holding up round cards with jersey numbers on them. I would collect the whole set.

  19. Ed
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Also when you turn the card over you would see the posterior statistics.

  20. Ed
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    You could turn this into a ‘SportsCard Tweeter’ Link to all the card and hobby shows, ring girls, links to major league websites with players tweetering in their own pack buster pulls. With an opportunity for a fan to sign a major league players card. That hasn’t been done. But it could happen on: ‘Sport Tweeter SportCard Digest’ or STD for short. But hey there are a lot of good names that could be used like… or GotWood? Kerry might want a piece of that action don’t use that one.

    I hear you can still ket card boxes at Wal-Mart. Guess I will check them out tomorrow. I am confused on the 2012 Topps Tier I baseball. News says June 18 but some are trading them and selling boxes? Is it or are their two different boxes like Hobby or Retail that are being sold at different times. I was probally one of the only ones who put the Bowman Series I and II set together and the International Foil parallel sets for both series. They are impressive with a lot of rookies and international players. I like the stars in the 2012 Topps Tier I, it might be a future collector if tey don’t come out with news tomorrow of another soo to be released. Maybe they should call the press heading announcing the new sets… Red Box.

  21. Ed
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Hoops you are looking good baby i’m starting to like what I see in this new release. Fleer Skybox Ultra, Upper Deck, you guys can do it buddys just pretend there is still contract player talks going on. Topp’s keep chuggin, your hittin them to the fences. Like that ‘Little Engine That Could’. Take a few notes from out of the year books Panani. Choo! Choo!

  22. Ed
    Posted January 20, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Another reason sales are off and collectors are just flipping cards for quick sales. Is due to a stock market term…. ‘Worthless Paper’ If a card set is devalued to $20.00 for years after a collector spent, time money and gas putting it together and bying singles in the open market and going to card shows then a year or two down the road here comes the down arrows from the price guides. After that happens the long term investor turns into a paper trader and flipper. They don’t care anymore about assembling sets for the long term if their $200 or $300 investment becomes a meager $20.00 set prive in a pricing journal. That is why I am leary about buying anything unless I see down the road value. Too many are stuck on 1950’s Topps and 1983 Star cards or bags which are fine and worth the investment. But there are many more Gems out their and unless the price guides start keeping it real. More companies are going out of buisness and more collectors will never return. And until there is more value to rolls of paper, you will be able to find this collector reading new issues of sportcard pricing guides, in a van, down by the river.

  23. Ed
    Posted January 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    My final word on Hoops cards. I have several Hoops nice insert cards. One in particular is a 1997 Marcus Camby Hoops Skybox HOOPER STARS die-cut card #9 of 10. I trusted in the Hoops brand so well, I took the card in a snap display case to a local bar. I pulled the card out and chicks went wild. One asked; “So, where are you parked?”. Hey! thanks HOOP’s

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