A few weeks ago, BBM announced the upcoming release of a new set of Japanese B.League Basketball cards. I only occasionally watch NBA basketball here in the States so doing some research on Japanese basketball made my head spin. In a nutshell, here is how we get to the B.League, which started up just a few months ago:
Japan Basketball League 1947-2013
Basketball Japan League 2005-2016
National Basketball League 2013-2016
***BJ League and NBL merged in 2016 to form B.League
B.League 2016 - current (Operated by Japan Professional Basketball League)
A quick search really shows very few Japanese basketball sets exist. According to SCM there are four sets:
- 1998 National Team Set
- 1999 BBM JBL Set
- 2000-2001 JBL Set
- 2001-2002 JBL Set
Here are the details for the 2016-2017 B.League set.
1 box is ￥8000 (about $65)
1 box has 20 packs with 5 cards per pack
There are 72 base cards (4 players from each of the 18 teams)
Insert Set called On-Fire (looks like 1 player from each team)
Unknown amount of autograph cards
This 1st Half set comes out at the end of January and the 2nd Half set sometime in February.
Here are some pictures for the enthusiasts from BBM's website:
It is interesting to note that there can only be 3 foreign players on a team...which isn't surprising since baseball and sumo have similar rules. I'm not sure of all the foreign players in the league right now, but imagine there are some ex-NBA stars living it up over in Japan. I guess Yuta Tabase, the first Japanese ever to play in the NBA, has a card in this set.