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Pick 3 basketball cards from the 90’s

Hi everyone - I made a bet with my buddy, and wanted to cheat a bit and get some input from the boards.

Buy 3 1990’s basketball cards that total up to $100 by next weekend (must be a HOFer or close to it).

We grade the 3 cards at SGC (for speed purposes).

Whoever has the highest average grades wins a steak dinner with 2 drinks and bragging rights.

What cards would y’all pick for this challenge?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle

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    jfkheatjfkheat Posts: 2,722 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you are only looking for the highest grades it doesn't really matter what cards you pick.

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    ghooper33ghooper33 Posts: 308 ✭✭✭✭

    @jfkheat said:
    If you are only looking for the highest grades it doesn't really matter what cards you pick.

    True - I guess the real question would be what 3 basketball cards from the 90s would you purchase if you had a $100 budget?

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle
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    bgrbgr Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    Pick 3 that look solid in PSA 10 slabs that you can purchase for less than $55. Then submit them for crossover with SGC which should be $15/card.

    Then I guess you just have to decide…

    Tomahawk or Chateaubriand. Drink responsibly.

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    erikthredderikthredd Posts: 8,231 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 24, 2024 4:13PM

    Some suggestions...

    1. There are numerous base Upper Deck Magic,Bird or Jordans from the 1991-1992/1992-93 years that could grade well if you spent the time looking for the best copy and they're pretty cheap w/all selling for under $10. This was some random pic off ebay of the 1992-93 Upper Deck #23 Michael Jordanjust to give you an idea on what the card looks like.

    2. My second choice would be a 1997-98 Finest Tim Duncan with peel still attached. I would look for the best centered copy then before grading,pull the peel and give it a good wipedown with a microfiber cloth. Finest cards tend to grade well if they're centered and the peel is pulled,they're slightly thicker stock so the edges don't damage easily. These sell in the $10-30 range and here's another random pic from ebay:

    3. 3rd choice would be a 1996-97 Fleer Decade of Excellence #4 Michael Jordan insert,there's also a 96-97 Ultra version as well. They're basically commemorative reprints from Fleer/Ultra of his '86 Rookie and they printed a ton of them so you could probably find one in high grade condition. I've graded two years ago that both came back PSA 10.
      Here's a random pick and they tend to sell in the $30-40 range.

      Here's the Decade of Excellence insert set https://www.tcdb.com/Checklist.cfm/sid/2481 and you could choose other HOFers in Barkley,Ewing,Olajuwon,Malone or Drexler if you wanted to save money. They're all likely $20 or less.

    if this were me,I'd be looking for base sets where you'd have an easy time finding a well centered card like the UD & Fleer inserts above but also a set like Finest were its a thicker card and has the peel which protects the surface. If its possible to buy more than just exactly 3 cards,those UD issues are really cheap and you could try your luck with multiple copies to choose from. Good luck!

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    ghooper33ghooper33 Posts: 308 ✭✭✭✭

    Great suggestions - I am actually surprised Duncan is that affordable.

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle
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    erikthredderikthredd Posts: 8,231 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ghooper33 said:
    Great suggestions - I am actually surprised Duncan is that affordable.

    If you decide to look at other Finest years, just remember:
    1993 & 1994 deal with greening
    1995 & 1996 deal with atrocious centering and sometimes greening
    1997 & 1998 are likely your best years to find high grade cards. The 98-99 Finest set has rookies like Paul Pierce, Vince Carter & Dirk Nowitzki and sell for around $20 each.

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    ghooper33ghooper33 Posts: 308 ✭✭✭✭

    Update: I have the 3 cards to compete with my buddy. The Garnett has a ding on the side, but the others looks good.

    A couple of observations:
    1) I knew the market for 90’s Jordan inserts was strong, but holy cow they are very expensive
    2) HOF rookies from the 90’s are very affordable, and pretty condition sensitive (thanks for the Duncan recommendation!)
    3) It was NOT easy pulling the Topps Finest coating from the cards. I don’t think I did any damage, but we will see…

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle
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    erikthredderikthredd Posts: 8,231 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've never subbed anything from that Garnett Fleer rookie year set and IIRC those were slightly thicker stock than normal. I love the MJ silver, i pulled a couple of those back in the day including the embossed version but never the refractor.
    Good luck!

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    PatriotTradingPatriotTrading Posts: 191 ✭✭✭
    edited April 17, 2024 10:40PM

    96 Finest Kobe, 97 Finest Tim Duncan and 92 Topps Gold Shaq

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