After years of no major line set being released, Fleer put out a basketball set for the 1986-1987 season. The set was chock full of rookie cards for some of the game’s most iconic players like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon. But the set also included the first cards for guys who might not have been superstars but were very prominent names for the era. Here are some of the coolest non-Hall of Famer rookie cards to collect.
Charles Oakley #81
The Knicks of the 1990’s, led by stalwart center Patrick Ewing, had legendary battles with the Heat, Pacers and Bulls. Ewing was helped along by Charles Oakley. Oakley, a bruising forward acquired from the Bulls in 1988, handled much of the dirty work for the team. He was a defensive ace who averaged 9.5 rebounds per game over the course of his career.
Oakley retired in 2004 after playing an astonishing 19 seasons in the NBA. He is still in the public eye today, coaching in the BIG3 and often appearing alongside his best friend, Michael Jordan. Oakley’s 86 Fleer card is a popular issue and sells for around $700 in a PSA 10.
Spud Webb #120
Spud Webb, standing at only 5-7, was drafted out of North Carolina State in 1985. Webb would soon join the Atlanta Hawks where he would team with superstar forward Dominique Wilkins. Webb was known for his incredible leaping ability and he shockingly won the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest.
He was more than just a dunker, though. Webb was a capable point guard who spent 13 years in the NBA. He is still, however, best remembered for that performance in 1986. His 86 Fleer issue sells for more than $1,000 in a PSA 10.
Kurt Rambis #89
Kurt Rambis played college ball at Santa Clara and had to begin his career in Greece. In 1981 he signed with the star-studded Lakers and soon became a cult hero for the team thanks to his outstanding effort and his mustache and glasses. One of the most popular players on the team, Rambis won 4 titles during his time in Los Angeles.
Thanks to his cult status with the Lakers, there is still an interest this day in Rambis’ basketball cards. A PSA 9 copy of the card can be had for around $100 and a PSA 10 copy of the card runs for around $1,000.
Tom Chambers #15
Tom Chambers, a high-flying power forward began his career with the San Diego Clippers. He became a star when he was traded to the Seattle Supersonics. When he left the Sonics for the Phoenix Suns in 1988, he became a superstar. In his first year with the Suns he averaged 25 points a game and raised that up to 27 ppg in his second year in Phoenix.
A four-time All-Star, Chambers was nominated for the NBA Hall of Fame, but was not selected. Those who fondly remember the Power Forward could get his rookie card on the cheap. A PSA 10 copy of the card can be had for around $100.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar #1
This is not a rookie card. In fact, it is not even close to being a rookie card. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was in his 17th year in the NBA when this card was released. Jabbar had moved to the Lakers from the Milwaukee Bucks in the mid-1970s, but there are just not that many basketball cards that feature him in an LA uniform.
The first cards in the set (this issue is number 1) can often be more likely to be damaged as they were often the first to get dinged in a pile or nicked up by a rubber band. As a result, the Kareem 86 Fleer is hard to find in exceptional condition. There are only 96 PSA 10s and they sell for more than $6,000.
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.