Biggest Flawless Basketball Break In History: A Review

Layton Sports Cards and Blez Sports Cards advertised it as the “biggest break of all time.” Picking up on the massive excitement around Flawless generated by Drake’s huge buy, the break was exclusively a Panini Flawless Basketball one. So how did the Biggest Flawless Basketball break in history go?

Taking place in Los Vegas, Nevada, on March 24, 2022, the break was designed to be one of the biggest nights in hobby history. It was supposed to launch the MINT Collective event in style. Instead, it turned into a somewhat problematic event. Let’s dive into it.

Who Are The Breakers Responsible For The Biggest Flawless Basketball Break In History?

Buy Panini Flawless Basketball on eBay. 

Blez Sports Cards was established by Chad Bleznick and his brother, poker player Jared Bleznick. They broadcast breaks 15 hours a day and have a separate channel for baseball. Chad recently put a bounty on the Lebron triple logoman: “Yours truly, the backer, is paying $1 million in cash.”

Joining the brothers in this break was Damon Kaufman, a long-time employee of Blez. You can get more details on the company and their approach from this YouTube clip:

 

 

The other breaking company in question is Layton Sports Cards established in 2012. The company is owned by Rich and Sara Layton, a married couple originally from Cape May, NJ. They have since relocated to a 7,000 sq ft facility in Apopka, Florida.

On their website, you will find the following mission statement:

“At Layton Sports Cards, we share our love of collecting in a family-friendly online environment”

We have always believed that collecting should be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why you will not hear our group breakers use offensive language. We choose to keep our live chat rooms PG. We respect the rights, differences, and dignity of others.”

Details Of The Biggest Flawless Basketball Break In History

The break included:

  • 15 cases of 2020-21 Panini Flawless Basketball Hobby.
  • 10 cases of 2020-21 Panini Flawless Basketball First Off The Line
  • 2 boxes of Panini One and One Basketball

It cost $40,000 to participate, and it completely sold out even at that massive price. According to the organizers, it sold out in 11 hours.

Biggest Flawless Basketball Break In History And The Model Controversy

The break was done in full Vegas-style, with two showgirls bringing the cases over to the breakers in yoga pants and bikini tops. Bianca and Linda are their names.

Two thoughts immediately came to mind. First, it is 2022, and while we took the objectification of women very lightly in the past, things have changed. Second, I thought it was ungentlemanly to have a room full of guys, and the two girls were asked to lug boxes. But I’m old-fashioned that way. The girls, for their part, tried their best to seem interested but could not hide their dismay at the length of the proceedings.

Reaction To The Model Controversy 

Then something fascinating happened. There was a good deal of blowback on Twitter. Many male and female collectors complained that the use of the girls in the background was demeaning to women.

The breakers did not comment on it, but the girls notably disappeared from the break about halfway through. This felt like a pivotal moment for the hobby. Perhaps it is becoming a more welcoming place for women and moving with the times.

https://twitter.com/TiskaSue/status/1507175018492538880

Layton Sports Card Reacts

A statement from Layton Sports Cards appeared during the break, disassociating them from the use of models in the break.

The statement read: “Layton Sports Cards respects that there are many different types of breakers. We have a long-standing family-friendly tradition, and we remain true to those principles. That said, please recognize that tonight’s break in collaboration with another breaker is not a typical break for us. There were many people and sponsors involved. Oftentimes models are hired in the hobby for different purposes. However, it is not a practice of Layton Sports Cards to use models in a way that objectifies them. This can be seen in our ten years’ worth of videos.

We pride ourselves on being leaders in the industry when it comes to inclusivity. We regret that tonight’s event in Las Vegas does not represent the principles that we strive to uphold.”

After the Layton statement, it became increasingly apparent that the breakers from Blez had invited the models. Indeed, as the break dragged on (and my god, did it drag on), the Blez breakers made comments pushing back against the criticism during the break.

Women In The Hobby

The events of the break started a frank conversation about problems the hobby faces in presenting a welcoming environment for female collectors.

The conversations surrounding the incident on Twitter were fraught with tension. Most people seemed to regret the incident and sympathize with women who feel targeted or excluded. However, the conversation also brought out the worst in some collectors.

This specific incident is not isolated in any way. The hobby space is primarily designed by men and for men. As such, many female collectors find themselves uncomfortable in collecting spaces and situations.

There are no easy solutions for this problem. However, we should listen to the women in the hobby and avoid creating easily avoidable conditions that make any collector feel uncomfortable.

Other Problems With The Biggest Flawless Basketball Break In History

Other immediate issues made the break less than enjoyable, putting the model controversy aside. One was it was incredibly long. There is only so long you can be excited about the 17th Zeke Nnaji /25 auto. So the breaking varied from half-asleep to artificially excited. But of course, that is not the breaker’s fault. They wanted to give the people who paid $40,000 a pop a good return, and that takes time.

Second, it could have been better organized. Even the breakers admitted, “this is super awkward because we only had two days to set this up.”

Third, there was a generally frat party-ish atmosphere surrounding the proceedings. Some of the gems you were likely to hear included calling Sixer legend Maurice Cheeks “Maurice Buttcheeks.” Or upon pulling Lonzo Ball, “we got the wrong ball! It’s a kick in the balls!” Still, that kind of humor comes with the territory. But just once, I would like to see a breaker draw a Dikembe Mutombo card without someone saying, “not in my house! No, no, no!”

I was also surprised by the low number of viewers. It hovered around the 3,200 mark. As the break dragged on, the number went down to around 2,000.

Who Participated In The Biggest Flawless Basketball Break In History

Getting back to the break itself, it was sponsored by some of the biggest companies in the business. In addition, significant players bought in despite (or possibly because of) the high entry fee.

Leaf Trading Cards bought a spot in the break. Other organizations that did so to promote themselves include Mojo Break Shop. In addition, Ben Lamb bought into the break in the 2011 World Series of Poker Player of the Year.

The sponsors for the break were a veritable who is who of the hobby. PSA also generously offered to grade any cards pulled in the break. But, again, a representative was on hand, ready to take the cards.

Sponsors:

  • All Sports Marketing
  • Badger Breaks
  • Blowout Cards
  • Cards and Coffee
  • Dave & Adams Card World
  • Expeditus Transport
  • GTS Distribution
  • Peach State Sports
  • Poker Go
  • Southern Hobby Distribution
A full list of those buying into the break. The teams shifted for every case.

The Logoman Quest

The Lebron James triple logoman, as always, was the main hunt. In addition, both hosts promised to donate $25,000 cards each to charity.

The card is for three teams, so if the card is hit, the three people who bought in for the three teams would each get a third of the proceeds. The breakers said the cards would be sold on Goldin Auctions. It is believed to be worth at least 3 million dollars, as several high-profile names in the card world have bought bounties on the card.

However, despite breaking no less than 25 boxes of Panini Flawless Basketball, no triple logoman was hit. Unlike the Drake break, one logoman was hit. The third box included a Michael Porter logoman 1/1. There are no exact comps for that card, but an RPA of Porter has sold for $11,000. If we are generous, the Porter may be worth about twice as much. The card is a beauty, but certainly not the highlight the organizers hoped for.  

Look for logoman cards on eBay. 

If you want more info on what was pulled in this break, we have a complete list of the major hits in each box at the bottom. Yup, I watched the whole thing.

 Bottomline On The Biggest Flawless Basketball Break In History

The massive break in Vegas showcased all that is great and wrong with the hobby. Flawless is an enormous success, and the amount of attention it has brought to the business is incredible. It is undoubtedly a beautiful product, and the folks at Blez and Layton did well to turn that into a landmark event.

However, the event did highlight some problems with the hobby. First, the value of the cards in Flawless and other products does not justify the massive outlay of money. Customers bought 29 spots in the break at $40,000 a pop. That means that they spent $1,160,000 overall. One hobby enthusiast, known Flawless collector Scuralli, bought 8 spots at $320,000. But if you tally up the value of all the cards drawn, I would be surprised if they were worth as much as Scuralli paid. I have now watched the ripping of over 40 cases of Flawless, and it looks to me like most people are recouping less than 20% of their investment.

More importantly, employing models in an objectifying way revealed some severe cracks in the hobby. People in this business do not seem to agree on best practices to provide a welcoming space for all. The responses of some collectors to the conversation on Twitter reveal that women have valid complaints and are often either inadvertently or maliciously disregarded in our spaces. We all have to try harder.

What Was Pulled In The Break

#1 Case Hobby

Vince Carter patch /15

Zion patch auto /15

Lebron three-color patch /20

Isaac Okoro three-color RPA /15

Kevin Durant USA gold auto 10/10

#2

Jayson Tatum patch auto /5

Tyrese Haliburton rookie auto /20

Tyrese Maxey rookie auto /25

James Wiseman three color patch auto /5

#3

Finally, a logoman. After seeing all the Drake cases without pulling a single logoman, I had despaired. But there it was. Brian S. won the card.

Zeke Nnaji RPA /25

Michael Porter logoman 1/1

Immanuel Quickley rookie auto /5

Clyde Drexler auto 1/1

Trae Young auto /25

#4

Nikola Jokic patch auto /10

Luka Doncic auto /3

James Wiseman RPA /3

#5

Precious Achiuwa rookie auto /5

Anthony Davis patch auto /25

Zeke Nnaji RPA /5

LaMelo Ball auto /15

#6

Zion Williamson emerald diamond auto 5/5

Trae Young auto /5

#7

Zeke Nnaji RPA /15

Luka Doncic Star Swatch auto /10

Isaac Okoro RPA /25

David Robinson auto 1/1

#8

Patrick Williams RPA /15

Trae Young auto /15

Anthony Edwards RPA /25

#9

Tyrese Haliburton RPA /10

Isaac Okoro auto /5

Cole Anthony RPA /25

Steph Curry gold /3

Kevin Durant auto /25

#10

Immanuel Quickley gold auto /10

Cole Anthony RPA /25

James Wiseman rookie auto /15

Zeke Nnaji RPA /25

RJ Hampton rookie auto /25

Tyrese Haliburton RPA /25

#11

Colin Sexton patch auto /15

Cole Anthony rookie auto /25

Trae Young auto /25

LaMelo Ball three-color RPA /25

#12

Malachi Flynn gold auto /10

Jae’Sean Tate RPA /24 (that is not an error)

Nikola Jokic gold auto /10

Luka Doncic auto /15

Damian Lillard patch auto /25

Matisse Thybulle RPA /25 (Rookie card from 2019-20)

Trae Young gold patch auto /10

#13

Andre Drummond multi-color patch auto /5

Anthony Edwards rookie auto /25

Desmond Bane rookie auto /25

Deni Avdija RPA /25

Obi Toppin RPA /25

Tyrese Haliburton diamond rookie 1/1

Trae Young swatch signatures /10

#14

This case was notable for featuring the Sabonis father and son team and Haliburton, who was traded for Sabonis.

Saben Lee RPA /5

LaMelo Ball RPA /15

Tyrese Haliburton RPA /15

#15 

Tyrese Haliburton rookie auto /5

Giannis Antetokounmpo patch auto /15

Payton Pritchard RPA /25

Cole Anthony RPA /5

James Wiseman rookie auto /15

#16

Deni Avdija RPA /25

Donovan Mitchell three colored patch /10

Payton Pritchard rookie auto /15

Tyrese Maxey rookie auto /10

Kevin Durant auto /5

#17

Malachi Flynn auto /25

Jayson Tatum patch auto /15

LaMelo Ball jersey number RPA /5

Josh Green rookie auto /25

Malachi Flynn emerald rookie auto /5

Devin Vassell rookie auto /15

Tyrese Haliburton rookie auto /15

#18

Tre Jones rookie auto /25

Luka Doncic swatch autos 5/5

#19

Zeke Nnaji rookie auto /25

Jayson Tatum auto /15

Saddiq Bey rookie diamond /3

LaMelo Ball RPA /15

Lebron James logo patch /10

Immanuel Quickley RPA /5

Payton Pritchard RPA /25

Patrick Williams gold RPA /10

Kevin Garnett auto /25

#20

Immanuel Quickley auto /10

Payton Pritchard auto /25

Onyeka Okongwu auto /25

Anthony Davis auto /5

Tre Jones auto /25

Jae’Sean Tate auto /25

LaMelo Ball gold RPA /10

#21

Saben Lee RPA /25

LaMelo Ball RPA /25

Matisse Thybulle RPA /10

Cole Anthony RPA /5

Kevin Durant gold auto /10

#22

Tre Jones rookie auto /15

R.J. Hampton RPA /5

Tyrese Haliburton auto /25

Steve Kerr auto 1/1

Trae Young auto /15

#23

Patrick Williams RPA /15

Tim Duncan All-Star Jam 1/1

Luka Doncic auto /15

#24

Anfernee Hardaway swatch patch auto /5

Isiah Stewart rookie auto /15

Anthony Edwards rookie auto /25

Aleksej Pokuševski multicolor RPA /10

Kevin Durant auto /25

#25

Isiah Stewart RPA /25

Luka Doncic gold auto /10

Saddiq Bey gold auto /10

Onyeka Okongwu rookie auto /10

Deni Avdija auto /25

#1 Panini One and One

Luka Doncic Downtown

Mark Price auto /99

#2 Panini One and One

Dennis Schroder auto /99

Redemption for LaMelo Ball Rookie Autograph Blue

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is a former history and political science professor at UCLA. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary. Shai also worked as a diplomat and journalist on three continents.


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