Last weeks release of 2003-04 Upper Deck basketball satisfied my palate.
This product, as usual, contains top-notch, crisp photography and a creative player checklist, which includes the likes of Michael Jordan in a Bulls uniform and the usual superstar suspects Shaquille ONeal, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, et al.
But what this product also includes is a short-printed rookie subset randomly inserted at a 1:4 pack clip. That makes the LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony rookie cards highly sought-after.
In addition, there are numerous inserts including the revival of the infamous SE Die-Cuts, which made a cameo in the 1993-94 Upper Deck SE product and never resurfaced. If you were a collector back then, you remember that the Anfernee Hardaway SE Die-Cut was one of the hottest cards of the early 1990s.
Now, 10 years later its the LeBron James SE Die-Cut that has been garnering literally everyones attention, with copies pushing the $100-150 range on eBay. All I can say in response to that is WOW!
Also included in this release are the usual game-used jerseys and dual game-used jerseys, and in abundance, too.
The part that I like most about this set is the condition sensitivity that surrounds the key rookie cards, such as LeBron and Carmelo. These borderless beauties are subject to some serious chipping that should result in high demand for PSA 10 and BGS 9.5 copies.
I would like to pay some serious homage to Upper Deck for evoking a bit of nostalgia with the inclusion of the SE Die-Cuts. Its decisions like these that keep the hard-core collector coming back for more.
Upper Deck basketball retails for $2.99 per pack with 24-ct boxes selling for $60-75.