Wednesday, March 22, 2023

10 Career-Defining Scottie Pippen Cards – Instant PC

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Despite spending much of his career in the shadow of Michael Jordan, small forward Scottie Pippen was an all-time great in his own right and an elite two-way player who earned his spot on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team and a place in the Hall of Fame.

All told, there are more than 4,500 Scottie Pippen cards, according to the Beckett database.

So where does one begin putting together a Scottie Pippen 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.

1988-89 Fleer #20 Scottie Pippen RC

Pippen played his college ball at the University of Central Arkansas where he averaged 23.6 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists during his senior year to put himself on the NBA radar. The Sonics selected him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 1987 draft, but traded him to the Bulls on draft night in exchange for No. 8 overall pick Olden Polynice and a future second-round pick. The two teams also swapped 1989 first-round picks.

His only Rookie Card is part of the 1988-89 Fleer set, as it was customary then to not include rookies until after they played their first NBA season. It’s the most valuable rookie on a checklist that also includes Reggie Miller, Dennis Rodman and John Stockton.

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1989-90 Fleer #23 Scottie Pippen

Pippen was an All-Star for the first time during the 1989-90 season, averaging 16.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists. The Bulls won 55 games that year, but were eliminated in the playoffs by the Pistons for the third year in a row.

His 1989-90 Fleer card carries a modest $10 book value, and is the more sought after of his two second-year cards with the other coming in the 1989-90 Hoops set.

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1991-92 SkyBox #537 Scottie Pippen USA

One of 12 members of the iconic Dream Team that won gold at the 1992 Olympics, Pippen averaged 9.0 points and led the team with 5.9 assists and 3.0 steals per contest during Team USA’s undefeated 8-0 run through the field.

The Dream Team was featured on subset cards in the 1991-92 Hoops and SkyBox sets, and both Pippen cards are worth adding to a budding PC.

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1993-94 Finest #208 Scottie Pippen

With Michael Jordan riding the bus in the Chicago White Sox minor league system, Pippen took the reins of the defending champion Bulls during the 1993-94 season and averaged a career-high 22.0 points per game. The Bulls won 55 games and reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Topps launched its premium Finest Basketball brand for the 1993-94 season. Each base card also has a refractor parallel.

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1994-95 Fleer All-Defensive #5 Scottie Pippen

Starting the 1994-95 season without Michael Jordan once again, Pippen averaged 21.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and led the NBA with 2.9 assists per game. It was one of eight times in his career that Pippen would earn First Team All-Defensive honors.

What better way to honor that accomplishment than with an insert set literally called Fleer All-Defensive?

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1996-97 Hoops Head to Head #HH2 Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen

Peanut butter and jelly. Batman and Robin. Calvin and Hobbes. There are few duos in history more iconic than Jordan and Pippen, and they won six NBA titles together while carving out their status as basketball royalty.

The pair share a number of different insert cards from their playing days, and they all carry a significant price tag. The 1996-97 Hoops Head-to-Head inserts were found in 1:24 packs and featured a 10-card checklist of the game’s top tandems.

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1998-99 Fleer Brilliants Shining Stars #12 Scottie Pippen

After 11 seasons with the Bulls, Pippen was traded to the Houston Rockets prior to the 1998-99 season. It was an early attempt at building a Big Three, as he joined fellow future Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon on a team that would finish 31-19 and bow out in the first round of the playoffs.

The 1998-99 Fleer Brilliants Shining Stars inserts were found in 1:20 packs and stand out for their mirrored foil design.

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1999-00 Hoops Decade Retrospection Collection #RC9 Scottie Pippen

Pippen averaged 14.5 points per game in what would be his lone season with the Rockets before he was traded again, this time to the Trail Blazers in exchange for a package of six players. He spent four seasons in Portland playing alongside the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Steve Smith, Damon Stoudemire and Arvydas Sabonis.

The 1999-00 Hoops Decade Retrospection Collection inserts were an extremely tough pull at 1:108 packs, and the design has stood the test of time.

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2004-05 Topps #27 Scottie Pippen

Pippen returned to the Bulls for the 2003-04 season to close out his NBA career, averaging 5.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 17.9 minutes per game. He ranks second all-time in franchise history in points (15,123), assists (4,494) and steals (1,792).

His final Topps card the following year features a great full stat back of his entire NBA career.

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2012-13 Panini Prizm #176 Scottie Pippen

A member of the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams and a Hall of Famer, Pippen ranks in the top 100 in NBA history in points (18,940, 65th), rebounds (7,494, 91st), assists (6,135, 35th) and steals (2,307, seventh). He was a seven-time All-Star and won six NBA titles during his 17-year career.

His first Panini Prizm card is a great bookend to this collection and a good place to start with his post-playing career cards.

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