Allen Iverson is hands-down one of the most famous and influential basketball players in recent memory. Today, he’s remembered for his explosive gameplay as well as some off-court controversies. As a new player he became an immediate star. And even though he is now retired he continues to capture the hearts of basketball fans around the world.
His likeness has been captured on basketball cards since his rookie season. Today if you own any of his cards in PSA 9s or better condition. Then they are are some of the most valuable cards around. For those of you with deep pockets, pristine Allen Iverson cards could set you back well into 5 figures.
Could you be sitting on a valuable rookie card? Whilst not quite in the same league as Michael Jordan cards. We hope to give you an insight into just what some expensive first-year cards could be worth. Especially PSA 10s.
Currently, the most valuable basketball card of Iverson’s is the 1996-97 Topps Chrome Allen Iverson Rookie Card #171. Which can sell for as much as $40,000. This card, along with several others from Topps, Upper Deck, and E-X2000 are some of the most valuable trading cards on the market and all feature the legendary Allen Iverson.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at the 5 most valuable basketball cards from Allen Iverson’s rookie season. And we’ll also learn a little bit about why he’s such a renowned and beloved player. If you own any of these cards, you could be sitting on a goldmine. They definitely could be worth money and we recommend having them graded as soon as possible.
An Overview of Allen Iverson’s Career
Like many of the greats, Allen Iverson’s basketball playing career started as far back as his childhood when he was known throughout his neighborhood as a scrappy kid with a passion for sports. By the time he graduated high school, he was welcomed into Georgetown University to play college basketball before finally being chosen as the first overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996.
He quickly became one of the biggest stars in the league and was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Iverson went on to have a successful career with the 76ers, winning the NBA Most Valuable Player award and leading his team to the NBA Finals in 2001. He was a model of consistency, he would revolutionize modern NBA basketball with the help of his good friend Kevin Garnett.
However, Iverson’s career took a turn in 2006 when he was traded to the Denver Nuggets. Where he spent two seasons before moving again to the Detroit Pistons in 2008. Iverson’s career declined rapidly after the trade and he retired by 2010. In 2016, Iverson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Cementing his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
The Most Valuable Allen Iverson Rookie Cards
Over the course of his career, Allen Iverson has been featured on 237 basketball cards. But, today, some of the most valuable depict him in his 1996-97 rookie year. As a top pick to the NBA draft, Iverson came onto the court with a lot to prove. And quite clearly fans were ready to pay attention.
Fair warning, though….. The price points we’ll mention in this review are all for Grade 10 GEM-MT cards. So don’t expect to make the exact amount if you own a variation of any of these cards. With that in mind, let’s check them out!
1. 1996-97 Topps Chrome Allen Iverson Rookie Card #171
Looking back on it today, 1996 was a big year for basketball card collectors. With both Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant entering the NBA, a few lucky souls were able to get their hands on some of the most sought-after cards in the world. Among those is the 1996-97 Topps Chrome Allen Iverson Rookie Card #171.
This card is possibly his rarest card. With only 3,734 on record and fewer than 700 qualifying as Grade 10 GEM MINT. The card depicts a full body shot of Iverson in game mode, set against a chrome refractor background, setting this card apart from the base 1996-97 Topps Allen Iverson Rookie card, which is set against a typical glossy paper.
The value of his Topps Chrome Rookie Card is very impressive. If you currently own a Grade 10 GEM MINT version of this card, you could easily sell it for thousands of dollars. Thanks to its limited availability and high demand, this card regularly starts at around $1,200 and prices quickly soar at auction up to forty and even fifty-thousand dollars.
2. 1996 Skybox E-X2000 Credentials #53
Few card sets managed to capture the glory of mid-90s basketball like the 1996 Skybox E-X2000 Credentials set. This stylishly unique set of cards features some of the greatest players in NBA history,. Including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and the #53 card—Allen Iverson. The set contained both refractor and base cards but it’s the foil-backed Iverson card that stands out the most.
To date, it remains one of the rarest Iverson cards in the world. With only 117 on record according to PSA. Most of these have been graded between Grade 7 and 8, however, there are a handful of GEM-MT cards. Because of their unique action-shot design and extremely limited supply. A 1996 Skybox E-X2000 Credentials #53 can easily sell for more than $15,000.
There is currently a GEM-MT edition of this card retailing for almost $19,000 on eBay, setting the asking price for this incredibly rare card well above most others.
3. 1996-97 Allen Iverson Upper Deck Rookie Card #91
It’s one thing to collect a basketball card depicting your favorite player in the heat of the game but the 1996-97 Allen Iverson Upper Deck Rookie Card #91 shows the legendary player before he even took his first step out onto an NBA court. This deceptively simple image was taken as soon as Iverson signed with the 76ers, sealing his fate and legacy for a generation.
The back of the card gives a brief summary of Iverson’s stats and introduces him as an up-and-coming player, joining Jerry Stackhouse on the 76ers. This card isn’t as rare as the two previous cards but it is a highly sought-after piece and is valued at around $300.
While it might not earn you a small fortune, it is a remarkable piece of basketball history. Commemorating the moment when one of basketball’s greatest All-Stars joined the NBA.
4. 1996-97 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Allen Iverson RC #3
When Flair released its 1996-97 Showcase Legacy Collection, it skyrocketed the company into the public eye. Although they’d been around for a few years, this combination of tiered cards and high-quality photography made them a household name. The entire collection consisted of 90 cards divided into three “rows”, ranked by their rarity.
In total, the Showcase Legacy Collection contained three individual cards featuring Allen Iverson in his rookie season. The rarest of these is the Row 0 card, with only 169 cards on record according to PSA. The Row 1 and Row 2 cards are slightly more common, with 331 and 762 on record, respectively.
Although the cards have never been sold as a complete set, a single GEM-MT Row 0 1996-97 Flair Showcase Legacy Allen Iverson card can sell for more than $8,000. If these cards were sold as a set, their combined value would likely retail for between $15,000 and $20,000.
5. 1996-97 UD3 Allen Iverson Rookie Card #14
When Upper Deck released its UD3 line of basketball cards, they wanted to offer something a little more luxury than their standard base decks. Since its release, though, the UD3 line hasn’t really paid off for many collectors. The only card to really break with the pack and appreciate in value is the 1996-97 UD3 Allen Iverson Rookie Card #14.
This Iverson card is designed using a thicker cardstock, known as Wood-Cel, which looks and feels like natural wood and gives the card a little more support. This card features Iverson proudly clapping mid-game with the standard stats on the back. This card isn’t that common but it’s also not as high-sought after as others on our list.
In total, you can expect to earn between $100 and $200 for a GEM MINT version of this card.
Summing it Up
Considering that he’s one of the greatest players of all time, it’s no surprise that Allen Iverson’s basketball cards are some of the more expensive basketball cards in the world.
The cards of most influential players will generally continue to increase in value as time goes on. If you own any of the cards listed above, then you could be the proud owner of an expensive Iverson card. If so we highly recommend getting them graded. The average selling price, especially those with a limited print run and in pristine condition are only going to increase in terms of value.
If you are thinking of buying a true rookie card of Iverson’s then one of the most reputable sources is Goldin Auctions where there are high quality lots regularly going up for sale.
Of course the real dream is to buy an ungraded card that looks to be in good condition. Hopefully you have a good eye and then take it to get it slabbed. If it proves to be high grade you may just be able to buy that dream car with the proceeds!