Pros:Kobe Bryant Rookie Card
The Bottom Line: Kobe Bryant's 1996-97 rookie card from Fleer, is worthy of a laugh, but nothing else.
Kobe Bryant is without a doubt, one of this generation's best basketball players. He has the rings, stats, and money to prove it, along with public feuds with Shaq that have been nothing short of amusing. In addition to that, he got caught up in some rather tawdry issues involving a couple of ladies, but let's focus on who he is as a player, along with his 1996-97 Fleer Rookie Card. He's obviously not a kid anymore, but rather a grizzled veteran, although he should have a few more years of being on the court. I have to give him credit, as he's a competitor with intensity rarely seen, and has simply always seemed to deliver in the clutch. With Phil Jackson he has made some "beautiful music" for Lakers fans, and is among the NBA's most exciting to see in person or on the television.
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Sadly, his 1996-97 Fleer Rookie card, is a disaster in many regards. First of all I like the action shot, of him "going for the net, leaping in the air." Yet it gets blocked out a bit by the opposing player, along with the stupid graphics that Fleer employed this year. Is it really necessary to spell it out in huge letters, that his name is Kobe Bryant on the front, and that he plays for the Lakers? It looks cheap, and something that a high school student failing in graphic design, would come up with. It is among my least favorite Kobe cards, and this years edition is atrocious. Yes it shows he plays guard, but what's even more laughable is the back.
The purple basketball? Huh? This graphic looks stupid, and I don't think Kobe or any serious sports fan, can in anyway take this seriously. Even more ridiculous, is the card detailing, that Kobe's named after a prime cut of steak. Well, duh. I admit that my sarcasm is on a full tank with this card, but that, along with the design on the rear, just make this a "failure to launch" in many regards. While I did like that Jerry West described Kobe's talent upon being the reason they drafted him, and his summer statistics prior to the open of the regular season, this card is just an example of how to mess up royally. Even the construction with materials used is subpar, and while its worth a few dollars, this is the worst Kobe card in my collection. In no circumstance can I recommend it.