The Beckett Blog

First look: Panini’s 2010-11 Playoff Contenders Basketball by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Playoff Contenders Basketball is getting an upgrade. Panini America is changing the product to Playoff Contenders Patches Basketball.

The 2010-11 installment is set to be released in February.

So, what the big change and why did they add a word to the title?

Each product will still have Rookie Ticket Autographs, but each of those cards will also have a manufactured prime patch. The Rookie Ticket Autographs will be three of the four autos in the 20-pack box, one of which will be a draft lottery pick.

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First Look: 2009-10 Panini NBA Season Update by Tracy Hackler

Panini America will recap its first season as the exclusive NBA cardmaker with the early September release of 2009-10 Panini NBA Season Update, a quirky catch-all release sporting a reasonable $2.99 pack price and a typical box break (24 packs) that will produce one autograph, two memorabilia cards and 22 additional insert cards.

See more images after the jump.

The product is bolstered by 111 on-card Kobe Bryant autographs, more than 1,000 additional on-card signatures updating previous 2009-10 releases and special Christmas Cards featuring swatches from jerseys worn on Christmas Day 2009.

Stay tuned to for additional information on this product.

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Panini America Inks Evan Turner to Exclusive Agreement by Tracy Hackler

AP Images

A week to the day after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, Ohio State standout Evan Turner has agreed to an exclusive agreement with Panini America.

The deal means that Turner’s autographed trading cards will be available exclusively in Panini America products, beginning with the company’s first 2010-11 release, Prestige, due out in September. In addition, Turner will likely be involved in promotional appearances for the company.

“We are excited to announce that we have signed Turner,” said Scott Prusha, Director of Marketing for Panini America. “We look forward to an exciting rookie season from him and hope he has as much success as our NBA rookies last year.”

In 2009-10, Panini’s first as the NBA’s exclusive trading card and sticker manufacturer, the company enjoyed exclusive agreements with Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks sensation Brandon Jennings, among others.

Stay tuned to for additional information on the Panini America’s 2010-11 NBA product line and images of Evan Turner’s first trading cards.

— Tracy Hackler

Sights and Sounds from the 2010 NBA All-Star Jam Session by Tracy Hackler

Equipped with a wandering eye and a nifty, Dallas Mavericks-branded Flip Mino Camcorder, Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Keith Hower spent the better part of three days documenting quality time at 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend in downtown Dallas.

Hower captured, among other things, Kobe Bryant signing the world’s largest basketball card, a see-it-to-believe-it half-court shot from Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings, fellow hot rookie Hasheem Thabeet playing a game of Panini Adrenalyn XL with one lucky kid and a former Beckett Basketball guest editor sharing the experience with his mom.

All in all, it was a record-breaking weekend in Dallas . . . and one collectors of all sports can appreciate after the jump

. . .

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Brandon Jennings: NBA Superstar Rookie & Beckett Basketball Editor by Tracy Hackler

The Jan./Feb. 2010 issue of Beckett Basketball, notable in and of itself for featuring the first solo cover appearance for Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki, also includes the journalistic stylings of the newest Beckett “employee” – Milwaukee Bucks sensational rookie Brandon Jennings.

Jennings, a leading candidate so far for the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, serves as the issue’s guest editor. The huge Allen Iverson fan – second among all rookie scorers with 19.3 ppg – penned a page-2 introduction to the issue, took time for an exclusive interview with the Beckett Basketball brain trust (and I use that term loosely) and even offers his thoughts on cover subject Nowitzki: “Man, that dude is amazing.”

In addition, the fine folks from Panini, who also employ Jennings as one of their exclusive company spokesmen, were nice enough to provide us with a sweet Jennings autographed card (2009-10 Rookies & Stars Freshman Orientation Materials Signatures numbered to just 25) to give away.

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Panini Inks Blake Griffin, Four Others to Exclusive Contracts by Tracy Hackler


Panini America officials confirmed on Wednesday that the company has inked five of the NBA’s top draft prospects, including projected No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin, to exclusive trading card agreements.

In addition to Griffin, the 6-10 forward from Oklahoma who was largely considered the best player in the country in 2008-09, Panini confirmed deals with Tyler Hansbrough (UNC), Jordan Hill (Arizona), Brandon Jennings (Lottomatica Virtus Roma, Italy) and Hasheem Thabeet (UCONN).

The players and their autographs will be featured in all 2009-10 Panini NBA card products, beginning with Prestige in October; they’ll also appear on select packaging and advertisements throughout the year.

Stay tuned to for more on this story.

— Tracy Hackler