The NBA has extended Panini’s exclusive right to produce NBA cards. This is awful news. First and foremost, Upper Deck has always been the king of NBA cards. They just did it right and the last few years without them has been rough. Secondly, Panini produces ugly cards, so this is much worse than Topps being the exclusive manufacturers of MLB cards. At least Topps, and the Bowman imprint, produce solid designs. Finally, with no competition there is no reason for Panini to improve their products, to create classic designs, and move away from the lazy sticker autos and non-sense insert sets. The scary part is that details of the deal are sparse and we don’t know how long this arrangement will last.