2006-07 Topps Basketball

What I pulled--

Short Prints, Parallels and Inserts:
Gold Parallel - Josh Childress (#461/500), Tyrus Thomas Draft (#435/500)
Black Parallel - Will Blalock (#6/99), Eduardo Najera (#9/99)
Clutch City - Ray Allen, Luol Deng, T.J. Ford, Kevin Garnett, Ben Gordon, Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Deron Williams
Topps 2K All-Stars - Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade
Hobby Masters - Vince Carter, Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Dwyane Wade
Own The Game - Elton Brand, Andrei Kirilenko, Brevin Knight, Alonzo Mourning, Josh Smith, Gerald Wallace
Pride of the Program - Carter/Kidd/Jefferson, Anthony/Boykins/Camby
Larry Bird Flashbacks - 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Relic Cards and Autographs:
Own The Game - Dwight Howard blue shorts

Base cards. Topps' forte. And 2006-07 Basketball does not disappoint.

Base sets are the bread and butter of trading card companies. It is about the full set, and all inserts
are just a bonus to the thrill of opening a pack of cards. But what Topps has done in this set is
head and shoulders above what we have come to expect when opening a box of base set cards.
Let's gloss over the simple, attractive design - AS always, Topps has a slam dunk with the visual
appeal of the cards. Let's also slide past all of the inserts, some of which are simply OK and
"been there, done that", while others, like Pride of the Program, are top of the line. There are relic
variations and color variations on many of them, but again, they all have the feeling of deja vu. But
that is what base products bring.

What raises the bar in this set are the variations that are floating through the set. The first group is
with players selected in the 2006 Draft. A number of them have two different cards, one from Draft
night, one an action shot from college. Both, however, carry the same card number, increasing the
number of cards needed to complete a true base set. It is a nice tweak to a formula that didn't
even need improving, and a positive tweak that Topps should be applauded for.

The second group of variations focus on the star player in this year's set, the legendary Larry Bird. Not only has Topps put
together a set of Larry Bird Flashback cards, featuring card designs and photos from the years the company did not produce
hoops cards, but card #33 has been used to produce numerous variations of Larry Bird cards in this set. There are multiple
cards of Bird from him playing days, many featuring "Larry Legend" in action (and even a couple that Larry might be
embarrassed to see). Just putting this set together will be a lot of fun for any fan of Bird. Added to the fun of putting the full set
together will add an extra thrill.

Base sets are what they are. Don't expect anything earth-shattering or carrying a huge price tag, and you won't be
disappointed. But by adding a fun element to the set, Topps has made set-building fun even for those who might not normally
feel that way. And that is why this box earns such a high mark..........