Review: 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball

We are still looking at the college stuff here, but this time in a different light under a brand that just about everybody recognizes, 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic basketball. What I have always loved about the SP Authentic brand in all sports is the quality of the base and hits that goes into each box. This year is no different.

You will get about 3 hits per box this year in SP Authentic, but the interesting thing is that you can find a Jordan or Lebron auto in one half case, or a Jordan/Lebron/Bird/other legendary high value autograph in the other half case. Some may say it dilutes the autograph market a bit, which it does, but it makes opening a box a little more exciting. Let’s see what we pulled:

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It seems like every year SP Authentic has some great designs. This year again is no different. There are some very clean looking cards with a white background, as usual. The photos they use are great action shots in the player’s college uniform and I like the light background design that really makes the bold colors in the player photos stand out. The lettering is easier to read, unlike last year. If I had any complaint what so ever, it’s gotta be that large white box below the player’s typed name. What is it and why is it there? I mean, it looks okay, but it just sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s the first thing I noticed when I opened the first pack of cards. But other than that, very good design work.


The checklist has it’s negatives and positives but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. First, why is the plain base set just 50 cards? I pulled two complete plain base sets (minus Rookie F/X) in one box with a few cards left over. That is asinine and strangely impressive. I also find that there just isn’t a lot of current NBA talent on the checklist. A ton of rookies, just not many current players. I’d love to see more current players in their college uniform. There are some great legends as well so can’t complain with that. Next, the hit checklist, especially for autographs, is wonderful. There are tons of awesome legendary player autographs to be had. Again, lacking in current talent as well. I feel like they should rename this product Rookies & Legends.


First, the doubles and triples hurts. I know it saves the company money, but it doesn’t help the consumer (unless it’s put toward more autos). Second, the Jordan Brand Classic jerseys are just that. Plain old jerseys. I know what they tried to do, but this is a $120 product. Plain jerseys aren’t fun. Next, Jordan floor cards are played out. Great with an autograph, played out when plain. But everything else is pretty nice. I like that I got a full regular base set and like that the Rookie F/X cards are a little hard to get. I also really like the auto checklist and the Alonzo Mourning auto I pulled makes me giddy as I’ve always been a fan of ‘Zo. The manu-patch autos I could still care less about, but some of the names are solid. Overall, not bad at all.


Overall, UD Rookies & Legends is a solid product and is what I will now call this product this year. The design is beautifully done with another great, clean look for this brand. It always brings that sort of nice clean design so I shouldn’t be surprised. The checklist is a bit small for the base set, but the autographs checklist is pretty stacked. While the doubles and triples hurts the consumer value a little bit, as well as the plain jersey cards, the autographs can easily make up for it. I like what Upper Deck tried to do with this product and I would judge it as a moderate success. But I can’t wait to see SP Authentic football.

As always, I’d like to thank Upper Deck providing the box to review. Please visit their official website, official blog, Facebook and Twitter pages for more information about them.

And remember, after tomorrow’s last review I will be giving away a ton of Upper Deck cards to some people so stay tuned for that.

Video coming up soon.

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9 Responses to Review: 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball

  1. Matt G says:

    Wow!! Love the Alonzo. I really like sp authentic. looks great every year. I love the manufactured letter autos, maybe i am crazy, but they are really cool. As for the jerseys in this product, very blah. Awesome to get 2 base sets though. what other product gives you that oppurtunity. Cant wait to see what you have planned for the giveaway and which cards you are including in that.

  2. Matt G says:

    The jordan floor pieces, despite being too many, love em. Like holding a piece of history.

  3. Shane.K says:

    I agree about the plain Jersey cards assessment. I wish they put effort into every swatch they send out… Great review

  4. I’m a big fan of the college products because it gives collectors a chance to get their favorite college players from their favorite team.

    Love the fact that they still use the Lettermans in this product.
    The base card (Jordan) looks a lot like past years. I was hoping they would change it up a little bit.

  5. Kyle Lefler says:

    I’d also agree. Getting a jersey hit is always nice, but plain old white jersey swatches make potentially great cards a bit dull. I think that the floor pieces are nice touch,as long as it has some memorable moment attached to it.

  6. PatrickP says:

    I really liked your review of the product got a break of it coming up myself… I just dont like the college uniforms… Now for some reason I dont mind basketball as much as football though.

  7. Madison says:

    Love the product but hate the fact that they water down the product with so many legends swatches and autographs.

  8. Evan L. says:

    Nice variety of hits, I’ve always been a fan of those letter autograph cards.

  9. rommel uy says:

    this is an awesome product – that i have to agree with you. being a heat fan, i wouldn’t mind that zo auto and lebron rookie f/x. nice.

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