Topps Company Sued by NBA Stars

How else will they be able to afford those ridiculous tattoos?

Nine NBA players are suing The Topps Company for allegedly not following through on payments for sticker labels signed.

You can find the article HERE which not only has details on how much Topps paid for the autographs but also how many labels they had to sign.

How in the world can Derrick Rose possibly use his hand after signing 10,000 cards???



  1. Now that’s it public, can you see these players talking trash during a game saying “Man, you only get $3 for your autograph? “

  2. I would be so F’n pissed off if I signed 2000 tacky sticker autos and didnt get paid.

    give them life… without parole! 🙂

  3. Ouch.

    So what happens if NBA players boycott Topps? Would UD become the official supplier of basketball cards? I can’t see Topps being able to survive in basketball if they can’t get player autographs in any of their releases.

    BTW- Interesting to see what I long speculated–that Topps (and probably every other card company who produces sticker autographs) stockpiles the stickers for releases that are months or even years down the line.

  4. for sure steve…

    its good the players are finally caring about what they sign. its just now hitting them that signing stuff that can be stuck anywhere = bad. we have all seen a sticker-auto error card thats really funny. it may be upside down, or it may have a completely different players sig on it.

  5. I don’t think the athletes really care what they sign. It seem that the bottom line is getting a paycheck for it.

  6. Topps is most likely out of the basketball game now that Panini has an exclusive to NBA releases and UD has college sets (or non-logo ones)

  7. These “ballers” need to get paid so they can spend it all at strip clubs & tatoo shops!

    Jeez, I’d sign my name 10,000 times LEGIBLY for $1 each. And NOT complain!

  8. It’s not like he worked that hard at it. I think the hard part is to stay within the edges of the sticker.

    How difficult can it really be to write “VS.Rl” ten thousand times.

    It’s not like he’s signing a deposition (yet).

    And who / what is ‘rowcats’? Isn’t that like farming equipment?

  9. I wonder if it’s a case of:

    1) Topps contracts with players to sign autographs.
    2) Topps loses license to produce licensed NBA cards.
    3) Topps determines that releasing unlicensed card sets, even with these auto stickers, can be profitable.
    4) Topps tries to escape contract / remaining payment(s) to said players based on cancellation of the NBA license.
    5) Players sue to receive payment for autos, as completed ‘work’, regardless of Topps’ current market position.

    Does that lead to:

    6) Topps sues the NBA to recover lost revenue by awarding a market segment monopoly to Panini, and some of the proceeds go to the players?

    I’ve always though that card companies, as the contracting party for these auto agreements, need to have a standards of performance clause in their contracts, and be tough about it if the auto is ghost signed, lazy, or pathetic.

    It’s not like anybody on that list besides McGrady or Roy are that desirable or important. No set is *so much better* because a Deandre Jordan auto made it in (clue: wrong Jordan).

    If the player sucks at signing, or worse, lies and lets somebody else do their ‘work’, the card company *should* be able to withhold payment until quality is met.

    Player gets mad? So what? For 80%+ of the players:

    The. Cards. Don’t. Need. Your. Stupid. Scribble.

  10. This is actually painful, when you consider the ramifications of playing former all-stars that much money. McGrady’s high end stuff goes for about a quarter of the price they pay him…

    When Rose cards are selling for 10 times the amount, and it costs half as much to get him to sign — HRM? MATH ANYBODY?

    I wonder how much a set of basketball cards would cost if they eliminated those super expensive, shitty autographs.

  11. I added a little bit of news about this on my site. The players were paid for all autographs that were used in products.

  12. Mario,

    The link in this article sent me to a page that did not exist. Is it possible send it to me directly?

    Many thanks in advance and keep up the incredible work,

    Mike Fruitman
    Mike’s Stadium Sportscards

  13. I think this is a bad sign for the future of the card business.
    Topps is dead wrong. If I buy a car and don’t get to drive it because
    my drivers license was suspended, do I still
    have to pay? Of course!

    Topps is desperate (as are the rest of manufacturers).

    The end is near as we know it.


  14. How many of the people that read this blog could put together a product for 50K, because I know I could.

    The companies need to comparison shop, and pay some dead broke PHD student in economics to figure out exact insertion rates to keep people buying it.

    The fact that this company hasn’t torn through the readily available numbers is mind boggling. If they were smart enough to split the players by race, college, draft position, and team, they could create a damn model that’d spit out how much of each guy should be produced.

    It’s unbelievable that they haven’t torn through the demographics of athletes. It’s all in the demographics.

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