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Tim Duncan (04/25/76) is a retired power forward who is seen as one of the greatest of all time. A five-time NBA Champion, he’s also a two-time NBA MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, and a 15-time NBA All-Star.
SHOP THE BEST TIM DUNCAN ROOKIE CARDS ON EBAY
Tim Duncan Rookie Year Stats: 82 games | 21.1 PPG | 2.7 AST | 11.9 TRB | 2.5 Blocks
He did it all with one team, staying with the San Antonio Spurs for his 19-year playing career. In more recent years, Duncan joined their coaching staff.
Tim Duncan Nicknames: Timmy, The Big Fundamental, Old Man Riverwalk, The Stone Buddha, Groundhog Day
Here’s everything you could need to know about three top Tim Duncan rookie card options, along with investment advice for the next few years.
1997 Tim Duncan cards are what we’re looking at here from his rookie season. Given the era, there aren’t many parallels or signed versions, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t expensive options if you know where to look.
We’ll start with one of the best cards regarding value and rarity.
1997 Tim Duncan Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 0 /100 RC #5 (Buy on eBay)
The first set is pretty unique for the time. The 1997 Flair Showcase had four Duncan cards, starting with Row 3 and ending to Row 0. The rarity increases as you go down the Rows, but we’re looking at something scarcer still.
The limited Legacy Collection parallel is numbered to just 100 and fetches a fair price at auction when looking at copies that have achieved a high grade. The Legacy parallels mimic the original Rows, so it’s a landscape option with an image of the player stretching for a ball, just like the regular Row 0 card.
1997 Tim Duncan Topps Chrome Refractor RC #115 (Buy on eBay)
Once more, we’re ignoring the base card, heading straight for the rare Refractor parallel! The 1997 Topps Chrome Refractor is arguably Duncan’s most popular RC overall, thanks to the power of the brand and the signature chromium finish. The legend is pictured in a great action shot as he attacks the net, evading two players.
As with the others, it’s highly condition-sensitive, but that also means that it’s a great investment piece.
1997 Tim Duncan Skybox Premium Star Rubies RC /50 #112 (Buy on eBay)
The 1997 Skybox Premium is a beautiful card with a simple image of Duncan leaping up toward the net. The blurred background has a reddish tint, and it’s finished off in gold foil, which has an impact on the condition when it comes to grading.
The Star Rubies parallel is numbered 50 and changes the background design significantly. The gold foil is also switched to red, making it even better to look at. Either card is popular, but the latter is much more valuable.
- 1997 Topps RC #115
- 1997 Topps Chrome Refractor RC #115
- 1997 Topps Finest RC #101
- 1997 Topps Finest Refractor RC #101
- 1997 Topps Chrome Destiny Refractor RC #D8
- 1997 Collector’s Choice Tim Duncan RC #323
- 1997 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 0 /100 RC #5
- 1997 Finest Embossed Gold Die-Cut Tim Duncan RC #325
- 1997 Skybox Premium Star Rubies RC /50 #112
- 1997 Skybox Z-Force Tim Duncan Rookie Card #111
- 1997 Skybox E-X2001 RC #75
- 1997 Skybox Premium Tim Duncan RC #112
- 1997 Ultra Court Masters #18CM
- 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems /50 RC
- 1997 Upper Deck SPx GOLD RC #37
- 1997 Bowman’s Best Tim Duncan Rookie RC
- 1997 Press Pass Autographs
- 1997 Hoops Basketball Tim Duncan RC #166
- 1997 SP Authentic Profiles 3 Die-Cut
- 1997 SP Authentic Profiles RC #P37
- 1997 Hoops High Voltage /500 RC #HV15
- 1997 Metal Universe RC #66
- 1997 Tim Duncan Rookie Card Fleer Tiffany #201
- 1997 Fleer Crystal Tim Duncan ROOKIE RC #201
- 1997 SP Authentic RC #128
- 1997 Tim Duncan Upper Deck #114
Tim Duncan Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Tim Duncan rookie cards are his 1997 Topps Chrome Refractor and the 1997 Skybox Premium Star Rubies… both went for over $10k in the summer of 2020.
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Buyers Guide & Investment Advice
When ranking the most incredible power forwards ever, Duncan has a legitimate claim to be number one and needs to be included in the conversation, at the very least. He’s also a San Antonio Spurs legend and can’t give up his association with the franchise to this day.
Investment Rating: Buy/Strong Buy (4.4 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: One (1) 1997 Topps Chrome Refractor RC #115
Best Tim Duncan Rookie Card: 1997 Topps Chrome Refractor RC #115
He’s their assistant coach, reuniting with Gregg Popovich, who also drafted the player back in the 1997-98 season.
Duncan’s RCs saw a lift this year, as he was elected as a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020. It was the first year he was eligible, and there was never a real chance he’d miss out.
The late 1990s was a significant era for sports and collectible hobbies. We’re past the junk wax era, so there are a number of rare Duncan RCs and more affordable options if you’re operating with a limited budget.
In the grand scheme, Duncan has only just retired, while his legacy with his team and the sport itself is likely to live on unabated. As such, his rookie cards will likely rise rapidly over the next decade, especially as younger fans grow up and want to own their favorite player’s best RC.
We’d snap them up while you can or keep tabs on prices for six months at the very least. You wouldn’t want to look back regretfully in a few years’ time.