Legendary baller Ray Allen is known for many things – his Olympic gold medals, his multitude of championship runs (and two wins), even his acting career. Most importantly, Allen is renowned for having a record-breaking shot.
Chosen 5th overall in the 1996 draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Allen was promptly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks and began his NBA career on November 1st, 1996.
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Throughout his 18-year career, Ray Allen played for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Seattle SuperSonics, the Boston Celtics, and the Miami Heat. After flirting with free agency in pre-season 2014, Allen took some time off to focus on his game. He discussed contracts with several teams during his absence but ultimately announced his retirement on November 1st, 2016.
Investors and collectors alike can’t miss these top three Ray Allen rookie cards:
1996 Ray Allen Topps Chrome RC #217
This card is labeled “chrome” for a reason. With both the front and back sides fringed in a chrome border, the 1996-1997 Topps Chrome Ray Allen RC #217 is undeniably beautiful. The card’s front face is dominated by an action shot of Allen sinking a basket against the Vancouver Grizzlies. Basketball streaks across the bottom edge, Allen’s name in all capitals aligned left in its wake. The backside features a posed photo of Allen holding a basketball beside a litany of stats and information.
“Characterized as ‘a wonderful, wonderful human being’ by UConn Coach Jim Calhoun, Ray brings more to the NBA than just a UPI College Player of the Year tribute.”
Any collector who is serious about showcasing a Ray Allen rookie card should consider this an essential purchase. Of course, the card comes at a similarly serious price – listings can often exceed $1,000 for mint condition copies.
1996 Ray Allen Flair Showcase RC #35
The face of the 1996 Ray Allen Flair Showcase RC #35 has no border; instead, it’s dominated by an action shot of #34 with a watermarked photo of Allen’s face imposed in the top right corner. “The Flair Showcase” logo can be found on the right side of the card, just above Allen’s centered name and the Bucks insignia.
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Not to be outdone, the back of the card displays a close-up photo of Ray Allen sweating during a quiet moment on the court. Stats and details are featured along with the bottom third of the card, with row and seat number visible in their respective top corners.
This card is often more affordable than the Topps Chrome #217 rookie card. While still an investment, the Flair Showcase RC #35 serves as a suitable compromise for more budget-conscious collectors.
1996 Ray Allen Upper Deck Exclusives RC #R7
The 1996 Ray Allen Upper Deck Exclusives RC #R7 has attitude. It’s textured to look like a basketball, with a seated Ray Allen featured prominently in the center of the card. “Allen” appears in the top right corner, with the “Upper Deck” logo displayed in the bottom left corner, and “Rookie” and “Exclusives 97” written along the right edge of the card.
The back face contains significantly more content than the other mentioned cards. Partially bordered in orange on the top and right sides, the words “Rookie” and “Exclusives 97” can again be found along the right edge. Allen’s picture is featured in the top right section of the card, with questions and answers taking up most of the remaining space. Also included are the Bucks’ logo and the NBA and Upper Deck logos, both stacked in the bottom corner.
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Like the Flair Showcase RC #35, the 1996 Ray Allen Upper Deck Exclusives RC #R7 is an excellent choice for collectors on a budget. It’s still valuable enough to be a good investment but won’t necessarily break the bank at first blush.
Ray Allen rookie cards can be considered a good investment for those looking to get into the card-collecting game.
A retired All-Star, Allen’s career is still regarded as exceptional. His top accomplishments include a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics, two championship wins, and two NBA free-throw records. In 2018, Ray Allen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Ray Allen is still considered an outstanding player – and, therefore, a good investment for rookie card collectors.
- 1996 Topps Chrome RC #217
- 1996 Flair Showcase RC #35
- 1996 Ray Allen Upper Deck Exclusives RC #R7
- 1996-97 Finest #252 Ray Allen RC Rookie Card
- 1996 Metal Basketball Rookie RC #186
- 1996 Fleer Lucky 13 Ray Allen Bucks #5 Rookie
- 1996 Fleer Sprite RC #20
- 1996 Bowman’s Best Rookie Ray Allen Atomic Refractor
Ray Allen Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Ray Allen rookie card is currently the 1996 Bowman’s Best Rookie Ray Allen Atomic Refractor card, which is listed at $3,200 on eBay. Other high-value rookie cards include the 1996 TOPPS Ray Allen (listed for $1,500), the 1996 Fleer Sprite Ray Allen Bucks #20 Rookie Card (listed at $1,000), and the 1996 Fleer Lucky 13 Ray Allen Bucks #5 Rookie Card (also listed at $1,000).