The 1995-96 NBA season was a great one for the sport of basketball, fans and collectors alike.
The Chicago Bulls were back. More specifically, Michael Jordan was back. Again at the height of their superpowers, Da Bulls regained the NBA crown and took out the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA Finals. Jordan again won the league Most Valuable Player award and the scoring title, averaging over 30 points per game. Dennis Rodman, of course, led the league in rebounds per game at nearly 15 boards per contest. All-time assist leader John Stockton paced the league with over 11 per game. The all-time greats were shining.
Something else that was quite shiny that year was Fleer Metal Basketball. The higher end, new product featured a lot of metallic, machinery, and futuristic flavor.
One of the more underappreciated inserts featured the best guards in the game. Slick Silver focused on the smaller ball handlers and shooters around the league. They weren’t overly difficult to find, having been inserted into Series 1 packs at a 1:7 rate.
The acetate cards offered a somewhat unique design that featured a full color action shot of the player with lighter copies of the same image trailing the player across the face of the card. The cards feature a slick silver foil text, the foil Fleer Metal logo, and the players name in a shine, all at the bottom of the card.
The card backs feature a reverse silhouette of the image from the front as well as a quick player profile in one of the silhouettes that hypes up the featured player.
The set, listed in alphabetical order by the star’s last names, starts off with New Jersey Nets point guard Kenny Anderson.
Orlando Magic superstar point guard Penny Hardaway his next in the set. Penny is also seen handling the rock in his classic blue pinstriped Orlando Magic uniform.
That season’s scoring leader, MVP, NBA champion and all-time great Michael Jordan is the third card found in SS. The G.O.A.T. is also seen dribbling the ball.
Dallas Mavericks point our Jason Kidd is featured next. Kidd, won the NBA co-Rookie of the Year the previous season, ranking seventh in the league in steals and ninth in the league in assists.
Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Reggie Miller is featured. Although he’s seen passing the ball in his card, he was already becoming one of the greatest shooters in league history, becoming only the second player to knock down over 1,000 career 3-pointers.
Seattle Supersonics point guard Gary Payton is next up in the set. “The Glove” led the league and steals at just under 3 per game and led his team to the NBA Finals at the end of the 1995-96 season.
The Rock is featured next in the set. Not that Rock, but Mitch “Rock” Richmond of the Sacramento Kings. One of the greatest scores of the era, Richmond was coming off an NBA All-Star Game MVP award the prior season.
One of the more polarizing figures of the era Golden State Warriors shooting guard Latrell Sprewell as featured next. “Spree” well known for his speed, intensity and those vicious breakaway dunks. The multiple time All-Star was one of the more exciting players of the era.
The NBA’s all- time assist and steals leader is featured next: Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton. The Gonzaga product led the league with over 11 assist per game, totaling just under a 1,000 for the year and, of course, he played in all 82 games.
The final card in the set is Los Angeles Lakers point guard Nick Van Exel. Van Exel was a beast from long range as he became the only player in Lakers history to hit more than a 100 threes in two separate seasons. Nick the Quick, like every other player featured in the set, is found handling the ball in the photo featured.
All of the cards in the set can be had for five bucks or less in raw form with the exception of the Jordan card. MJ sells for north of a $100 raw and, depending on condition, even higher. Several PSA 10 copies have sold for $650-$750+ in recent months.
This is a really fun set from a new Fleer product line in Metal that always seemed to push the envelope as far as innovation and design. It’s also a great snapshot into MJ’s return and a number of all time greats still doing their thing at the highest level.
About Tony Reid
From the time he was a little kid, Tony has been a huge sports fan. If he could play sports, watch sports and talk about sports it was a great day. From as early as he was drawn to sports, Tony was drawn to collecting sports cards. Not much has changed over the years. He collects RCs of star players in baseball, basketball and football. He also has a soft spot for first autographs of MMA stars. If you want to talk to Tony about the greatness of Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson or Ken Griffey, Jr. you can reach him at [email protected] and @tonyreidwrites on social media.