Monday, August 23, 2010

Rookie Cards For $10 Bucks or Less: Shawn Kemp Fleer, SkyBox, Upper Deck

Basketball fans can’t talk 90’s NBA basketball without mentioning the “Reign Man”. Shawn Kemp was a devastating 6 foot 10 inch athlete who could catch an ally-oop from fellow running mate Gary “The Glove” Payton better than anyone in the Association. In addition to his athleticism, Kemp also had the skill-set to work down low in the post. He averaged 14.6 points/game and 10.9 rebounds/game with a .488 field goal percentage during his NBA career. Those numbers are a bit skewed because of a few seasons when his averages dipped for a number of reasons including weight issues. It was reported that Kemp showed up to Cavaliers’ training camp weighing a hefty 275 lbs. during the ’99 lockout shortened NBA season.

I like to remember the Shawn Kemp that many referred to as “Man Child”. This was the player that no team had an defensive answer for during the mid 90’s. For all of Kemp’s natural abilities though, it would have been fun to watch how much better he would have been if he had only put more time into the game and himself. As it is, I'm still a fan and enjoy watching old clips of Kemp Reignin’ down on Seattle.

I've done a couple of these “Rookie Cards for $10 Bucks or less” posts thus far, but this is the first time i'm featuring three rookie cards of one player. The best part about featuring Kemp’s three rookie cards is that you can add all three of these RC's to your collection "...for $10 Bucks or Less”.

  1. -The ’91 Fleer RC features a great action shot of Kemp doing what he did best, dunking. This is my favorite Kemp RC out of the three. Just checkout that awesome blue and red trim around the photo of Kemp. Coupled with the yellow surrounding Kemp's name, this card is so bad it's actually cool. The card has a book value of only $1.50 due to the over abundance of the card. In fact, that is the case for all three of these cards. Trading card manufactures mass produced their sets and thus killed the value of their own products during the late 80’s and early 90’s. eBay auction: (click here for an eBay “buy now” auction featuring the ’91 Fleer Shawn Kemp RC).

  1. -The ’91 NBAHOOPS RC has a fairly simple design. I can’t say it’s the best looking card ever made, but it’s a nice buy at around $1 on the secondary markets. Again, the card only has a book value of $1.50 like the ’91 Fleer RC. eBay auction: (click here for an eBay “buy now” auction featuring the ’91 NBAHOOPS Shawn Kemp RC).

  1. -The final Kemp RC is a ’91 SkyBox card. The ’91 SkyBox set is one of my all-time favorite sets. I actually like both the ’91 and ’92 SkyBox sets. They have some really funky early 90’s graphics and designs. The Kemp RC from the ’91 set has some of those funky graphics and is a good looking card. Nothing like some randomly colored lines going through the background of a card. Kinda like the always cool laser background used in 90’s school photos (you know the ones I'm talking about). This Kemp RC has a book value of $2.50, but typically sells for right around $.50 to $2. eBay auction: (click here for an eBay “buy now” auction featuring the ’91 SkyBox Shawn Kemp RC)

(Just for good measure, Kemp's Top 10 Slam Dunks)


  1. I don't know about anyone else, but this is showing up in Wingdigs font for me.

  2. I changed it to Times New Roman. This happens every few posts. Not sure why it doesn't alway use the default font. I use a Mac tho and sometimes write these posts when I have time and save them to my word processor or schedule them to publish at a later date as my time is limited, but i try to have at least one post a day. Hope it's not too tough to read Offy.

  3. Kemp was a beast for sure. But yeah, he let himself go towards the end and really tarnished his legacy.

    Nice cards though. Brings back memories.

  4. Can't beat a few cool cards for under a buck each. He was fun to watch back in the day too.

  5. Great post. I just got my eight-year old started in the hobby, so I gave him boxes full of early 90's basketball cards. He's got so many different Kemps. I explained to him how fun it was to watch Kemp play.

    In shape Kemp was fun to watch. Fat Kemp was fun to laugh at.

  6. Those were the days... I remember busting boxes of the Skybox looking for that Kemp. It's funny, back then I loved that hi-tech design. These days, I'm more of a fan of the Fleer design.

    Either way... I have to agree... Kemp was the man! I'm still searching for a reasonably price autograph. Have you seen what his 98/99 SOTT autos go for? It's crazy.

  7. Dodgerbobble, I don't think there is a better way to start someone off in the hobby. They get a ton of fun cards to go through that have some great players. Plus they really get a quick history lesson on card design Cool stuff. "In shape Kemp was fun to watch. Fat Kemp was fun to laugh at." Great quote!

    Fuji your completely right on the Kemp SOTT. I've looked for on-card auto's of Kemp as well. No dice tho on my budget. I love the SOTT cards, but it's Kemp in a Cav's uniform and they still go for crazy money. Insanity!!! Kemp was on of the select few that was a spokesman for UD in the mid 90's (95-98). There are some really great on-card auto's of Kemp like the '97 SPx ProMotion auto parallel. I would love to add the '93 Fleer SD (or Slam Dunk) on card auto to my collection. I think they were exchange cards only. I have the Darryl Dawkins '93 Fleer SD Auto, but there is a Kenny "Sky" Walker and Shawn Kemp that I want too. I have not seen the Walker, but a Kemp sold a few weeks ago. Let's just say I was out of that one with 6 days and 23 hours left to go on eBay.