The 1998-99 NBA Hoops product offered one of the more visually appealing and intricate designed insert sets of the era. The 10-card Prime Twine insert set was found by lucky collectors in Hoops packs that season. It’s an insert that dates to the infamous lockout, when the season was shortened to 50 games because of a labor dispute. The season didn’t open until February 5.
Serial numbered to just 500 copies, the Prime Twine cards feature an ornate, eye-catching design with the entire card die cut along each edge and corner. The sophisticated gold oval design features an intricate hoop with a full color image of the player in the center and the words “Prime Twine” along with the player’s name and team scrolled across the front of the card in a deep blue color.
Underneath the player and the ornate oval hoop, collectors will find another piece of the die cut design where the twine, a.k.a. the net, is found in the same rich, gold texture. The relatively new NBA Hoops logo is found at the base of the card.
The card backs feature the same rich, gold color and the obvious die cut found on the front of the card with the serial number to 500 at the very top. The words Prime Twine and the player’s name are listed with a brief paragraph explaining what makes the subject such a “prime time player.”
The Skybox, NBA and team logo are found near the bottom of the card with the card number featured on the right hand side with a PT suffix.
The checklist starts off with a man who made his career grabbing the ball when it didn’t go through the twine. Rebounding madman Dennis Rodman is playing for the Bulls at this point in his career and is seen going after a loose ball with two hands.
The second card in the set finds Philadelphia 76ers point guard Allen Iverson. An all-first team pick that year, AI is seen laying a shot in at the rim in his dark Sixers uniform.
The third card features Utah Jazz Hall of Famer Karl Malone. The league MVP that season, Malone is also seen as he just released a best released a laying at the rim.
Phoenix Suns high flyer Antonio McDyess next up in the set. He is found in his white Suns uniform, ball cocked in both hands behind his head, ready to throw one down through the prime twine.
Portland Trailblazers point guard Damon Stoudemire is found halfway through the set. Stoudemire is seen bringing the ball up the court on the front of his card.
Los Angeles Lakers swing man Eddie Jones is the sixth card in the set. Los Angeles Lakers number 6 is found in his purple and gold uniform dribbling towards the hoop.
Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen is the seventh card in Prime Twine, laying the ball in at the rim. Pippen was a first-team all-defense selection in 1999.
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Shawn Kemp is card number 8. The Reign Man be seen posting up with the ball on both hands looking cross court.
Boston Celtics young star Antoine Walker is number 9, dribbling the ball up court and his classic green Celtics uni.
The final card in the set is that of Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Stephon Marbury who was also seen driving to the hoop in his classic white Minnesota Timberwolves gear.
With a relatively limited production run and the intricacy of the design, these cards are not easy to find in high grade. In actuality, there are only a handful of cards from this set listed on eBay at any given time. Raw cards of the star players go for a few hundred dollars a pop. Higher grade examples of the Iverson and Rodman cards have recently sold in the $500 to $700 range but any card from the set is in demand among lovers of 1990s basketball inserts. You can see what’s currently offered on eBay here.
Although this set may lack a few of the biggest stars of the time, the unique design and limited production make this a very desirable insert set from an era that offered a lot of classic inserts.
About Tony Reid
From the time he was a little kid, Tony has been a huge sports fan. If he could play sports, watch sports and talk about sports it was a great day. From as early as he was drawn to sports, Tony was drawn to collecting sports cards. Not much has changed over the years. He collects RCs of star players in baseball, basketball and football. He also has a soft spot for first autographs of MMA stars. If you want to talk to Tony about the greatness of Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson or Ken Griffey, Jr. you can reach him at [email protected] and @OffCenterTR on social media.