Tuesday, March 28, 2023

10 Career-Defining Allen Iverson Basketball Cards – Instant PC

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One of the best pure scorers in NBA history, Allen Iverson was an immediate star from the moment he was selected No. 1 overall in the 1996 NBA draft out of Georgetown. He won three scoring titles and his 26.7 points per game for his career rank eighth all-time in NBA history.

All told, there are more than 8,000 Allen Iverson cards, according to the Beckett database.

So where does one begin putting together an Allen Iverson PC?

The following 10 cards serve as an excellent representation of his playing career and footprint on the hobby, making them a great place to start.

1996 Score Board Rookies #1 Allen Iverson

Iverson averaged 25.0 points, 4.7 assists and 3.4 steals during his sophomore season at Georgetown while making significant improvements over his freshman year numbers. He improved his shooting percentage (39.0 to 48.0 percent) and three-point percentage (23.2 to 36.6 percent) to solidify his status as a top NBA prospect and earn All-American honors.

Collector’s Edge, Pacific Power, Press Pass and Score Board all released pre-NBA sets in 1996, so there are plenty of choices available for Iverson in his Georgetown uniform before he began his pro career.

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1996-97 Topps Chrome #171 Allen Iverson RC

The 1996-97 draft class was one of the deepest in NBA history, and Iverson was the No. 1 overall pick to a 76ers team that won just 18 games the previous season. The 6’2″ guard made an instant impact, averaging 23.5 points, 7.5 assists and 2.1 steals to win Rookie of the Year honors, though the team still only won 22 games.

Iverson has 16 different Rookie Cards, the most valuable of which by a wide margin is his 1996-97 Topps Chrome RC.

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1998-99 Fleer Electrifying #5 Allen Iverson

In his third NBA season, Iverson won the NBA scoring title with 26.8 points per game while also playing a staggering 41.5 minutes per contest. The lockout-shortened campaign also represented a significant step forward for the Philadelphia franchise as they finished 28-22 to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 1990-91 season.

With a 1:72 pack pull rate and sharp looking foil background, the 1998-99 Fleer Electrifying inserts have held their value extremely well.

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2000-01 Topps Gallery Gallery of Heroes #GH1 Allen Iverson

Iverson led the NBA in scoring (31.1 PPG) and steals (2.5 SPG) during the 2000-01 season to take home MVP honors. He also led the 76ers to the NBA Finals where they were upended by the Lakers in five games, though Iverson averaged 35.6 points in the series.

The Gallery of Heroes inserts in 1999-00 and 2000-01 Topps Gallery have a die-cut, stained glass design and stand out as one of the better all-around designs from the insert card boom.

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2004-05 SkyBox Autographics #52 Allen Iverson

Iverson won the NBA scoring title for the fourth and final time during the 2004-05 season, averaging 30.7 points and a career-high 7.9 rebounds. The 76ers went 43-39 to finish second in the Atlantic Division, but they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Pistons. That would be Iverson’s final playoff appearance in Philadelphia.

The SkyBox Autographics line provided some of the first certified autographs of a number of star players from the 1990s and early 2000s, but they also had a great-looking base set for the 2004-05 release with a prominently featured facsimile signature.

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2006-07 SPx #71 Allen Iverson

After 10 1/2 seasons in Philadelphia, Iverson was traded to the Nuggets early in the 2006-07 season in exchange for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round picks. He teamed up with a young Carmelo Anthony in Denver and averaged 24.8 points in 50 games following the trade as the Nuggets finished 45-37 and reached the playoffs.

Iverson only appears in a handful of 2006-07 sets in his Nuggets uniform, including the SPx base set with its dramatic “X” background.

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2008-09 SkyBox Metal Universe #11 Allen Iverson

Iverson spent parts of three seasons in Denver before he was traded again, this time going to the Pistons in exchange for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb. He averaged 17.4 points and 4.9 assists in 54 games in Detroit to close out his age-33 season..

The popular Metal Universe cards of the 1990s and early 2000s were revamped as a 100-card insert set in the 2008-09 release. Iverson appears in his Pistons uniform.

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2009-10 Panini Threads #59 Allen Iverson

Iverson signed a one-year contract with the Grizzlies prior to the 2009-10 seasn, but appeared in just three games before leaving the team for personal reasons. He was ultimately waived in November after averaging 12.3 points and 3.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game over his three-game stint.

Since he only spent a few months with the team, Iverson only has a handful of Grizzlies cards, including a base card in the 2009-10 Panini Threads set.

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2009-10 Crown Royale #12 Allen Iverson

Less than a month after he was waived by the Grizzlies, Iverson returned to the 76ers to close out his Hall of Fame career. He averaged 13.9 points, 4.1 assists and 31.9 minutes per game at the age of 34 on a team that finished 27-55 with Andre Igoudala as the leading scorer. He played his final professional season in Turkey the following year.

One of Iverson’s final playing days 76ers cards appears in the die-cut 2009-10 Crown Royale set, which was originally a Pacific brand product line but was resurrected by Panini.

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2014-15 Select #237 Allen Iverson USA

Iverson wrapped up his -year career ranked among the top 100 all-time in points (24,368), assists (5,624, 52nd) and steals (1,983, 14th), and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

I cap off this collection with a card showing Iverson during his time playing for Team USA in the 2004 Olympics when the team settled for bronze. He did win gold during the 2003 FIBA championships.

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