Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2010-11 Donruss Basketball...Finally In My Hands

I have been waiting for the 2010-11 Donruss Basketball boxes to finally drop in my neighborhood and I finally came across a couple of blasters so I grabbed one to take a look. Looking at the sell sheets and box breaks I was really looking forward to this set. Panini did right, well mostly right, with this set. Outside of the semi-gloss coating they did a nice job recreating the retro Donruss look even going as far as making the backs look and feel like the sets from the 80s and 90s. I am not sure how I feel about the yellow/sepia tone on all of the players images. I understand it is used to give an “old” feel to a retro set but when you use the yellowing along with the semi-gloss you are not doing anyone a favor.

At best I would call my box mediocre, not because I didn’t pull a top-dollar autograph or relic card, but because the players selection at best is just alright, nothing spectacular. There is one card of note, a card that put a smile on my face at the end of ripping all the packs but I will cover that card at the end of this post.

Only a handful of the base cards are even guys I would consider to be team stars let alone superstars. Amar’e Stoudamire, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Shaq and possible-MVP Manu Ginobili are the top players on the list. Ex-Wildcats Channing Frye, Mike Bibby and Gilbert Arenas made the box more bearable.

I pulled a Wesley Johnson Rated Rookie but the rest of the list is made up of backups and scrubs that may be lucky to play 2-3 minutes a game and would be lucky to even still be in the NBA in 3 years.

I wanted to point out that some of the cards have been Photoshopped to blur the audience. I am not sure what was used to determine how players were selected for this process. The Jason Thomspon was the first card I noticed the blurred background when opening packs.

I pulled three Emerald Die-cut cards; Jameer Nelson, Dwight Howard and Anthony Morrow (another card where the audience is blurred).

Production Line cards include Emerald Die-cut Chris Kaman and Al Horford and a base Darren Collison, which is not die-cut. If you were to look at these die-cuts you might think that they were miscut cards during production. I have seen some odd die-cuts in pictures and on box break videos that make you wonder who was in charge of the die-cutting and why things went down the way they did.

My favorite cards on the checklist by far are the Jersey Kings inserts. These cards look amazing using painted images of players on a marble surface. The downside is that these cards were created with the autograph sticker in mind. The cards without autographs just seem unfinished.

I pulled an Emerald Die-Cut Andre Miller but the top card of the entire box is the Ruby Die-Cut Maurice Cheeks #/25. Mo may not be Hall of Fame material but in the 1980s he was Mr. Defense. He is still #5 on the All-Time Steals list, he was on the All-Defensive team through most of the 80s and he won a NBA Championship with the 76ers in 1983. My only problem with the card? WHY THE F@*K is he in a Knicks uniform? He played a year and a half in New York (107 total games) while he spent 11 years in Philly. Hell, he even coached the 76ers for a few season, now why would you go and put him in a Knicks uni on an awesome card like this?

The hit is a white dime-sized Deron Williams jersey card #/299. He is a pretty good player but the thing about the Jazz is if you aren’t named Malone or Stockton you pretty much are lost in the collecting world outside of Utah. Also I am not a fan of the Craftsman insert, it just doesn’t seem right.

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