Allen Iverson's time in Philadelphia came to an end on December 19 when he was traded to Denver for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two draft picks. The Nuggets desperately needed a player of Iverson's caliber to offset the loss of leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, suspended for 15 games after a brawl with the New York Knicks.
Two Top Scorers Are Better Than One
Iverson and Anthony - the two leading scorers in the NBA at the time of the trade - told the press they were excited to play together. Fans in Denver were equally excited, buying hundreds of season tickets right after the trade was announced. And collectors should soon get excited about Iverson's basketball cards.
For starters, Iverson is leaving a team with one of the worst records in the NBA and headed for a team expected to make the playoffs. Winning is always better for card values than losing, and playing alongside the very collectible Anthony can't hurt either.
Time for Nuggets to Shine With Collectors?
Denver is also a first rate collector's town. Football fans made cards of John Elway and Terrell Davis among the hottest in the hobby during the Broncos Super Bowl years, and hockey fans did the same for the Avalanche when Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque and Peter Forsberg were winning the Stanley Cup. The Nuggets haven't had their time to shine yet, but that could change with Iverson on board.
In anticipation of increased interest in Iverson's cards thanks to his change of scenery, here's a list of his rookie cards, with book values taken from the December issue of Tuff Stuff. Iverson is already second to only Kobe Bryant in rookie value in most of the 1996-97 releases, but that gap could shrink if he finds success in the thin air of the Rocky Mountains.
Allen Iverson 1996-97 Rookie Cards
|Bowman's Best||# R1||$12|
|Flair Showcase||# 3||$10|
|Skybox Premium||# 85||$6|
|Skybox Z-Force||# 151||$5|
|Topps Chrome||# 171||$75|
|Upper Deck||# 91||$5|