The 1990s are possibly the greatest basketball decade of all time. The decade was dominated by the all-conquering Chicago Bulls, led of course by the great Michael Jordan, who won 6 NBA Championships (2 sets of 3) and changed the face of basketball entirely.
Elsewhere, the Detroit Pistons took 2 Championships in the early ’90s, whilst the Houston Rockets took advantage of Johnson’s brief hiatus from the game to win back-to-back championships in ’94 and ’95 and the San Antonio Spurs rounded out the decade with a victory if their own.
With such historic and nostalgic basketball in the ‘90s, it is no surprise that the cards from that era are some of the most popular of all time. By this time, the autograph and patch cards were getting into full swing and now provide excellent memorabilia from the decade.
Most Valuable Basketball Cards From the 1990s
Usually, these lists are dominated by rookie cards, but such was the impact that Michael Jordon had on the game, he has two signed cards from the back end of his career that feature here. The other 3 are rookie cards and unsurprisingly come from the late great Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
1999 Michael Jordan Upper Deck MJ’s Final Floor Autograph #FF2A
This card is one of the last ever made of Michael Jordan during his career (there have also been some special post-retirement releases) and is a true beauty.
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It features a picture of MJ at the top, in his Bulls uniform with a piece of game floor in the center, and the on-card autograph at the bottom. The border is in the style of a basketball court, which fits in well with the name of the card. The cards are also handed serial numbered by Jordan himself up to 23.
This extremely rare piece of sporting history comes at a cost, with the true valuation almost impossible to predict if the card ever makes it to auction.
1992 Shaquille O’Neal Classic 4 Sports Autograph #1
This is actually technically a pre-rookie card looking at future prospects, and Shaq certainly was that. The behemoth that is Shaquille O’Neal can be seen dunking above some hopeless opposition players in the picture which takes up almost all of the cards in front of a packed arena.
The on-card autograph is what lets this card down slightly, being in the blue pen it blends into the crowd in the background and can be very hard, if not impossible to see. They are hand-numbered up to 156 which is done in the same pen and has the same issues as the autograph.
Despite its flaws, a hand autographed card from a pre-rookie Shaquille O’Neal with a very short print run is always going to be valuable, and this is no different. You will need very deep pockets to even have a sniff of getting your hands on this one.
1996 Kobe Bryant Topps Chrome Refractor #138
Kobe Bryant is seen by many as the successor to Michael Jordan in the NBA, so it is very fitting that they both feature here. Bryant’s rookie cards are some of the most popular of all time, and the Topps Chrome set the most popular of them all.
It features Bryant in yellow Lakers uniform with the ball in front of a full arena, and in typical Topps, the style has a thin border framing the card.
Most Expensive Basketball Cards From The 1990s Investment Outlook
Not much to say here as investing in these cards are a no-brainer and hopefully, you already own one…. cheers!