Rookie Card Year: 1996-97
Investment Rating: 6.5
Ray Allen is an elite shooter who made a career out of putting the ball in the basket. His clutch shooting and association with strong fanbases like the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, have made Ray Allen cards a popular option for collectors.
Ray Allen attended the University of Connecticut and was drafted fifth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1996 NBA Draft. After seven seasons in Milwaukee, Allen was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics in 2003 in a deal that included Gary Payton. Four seasons later in 2007, Ray Allen was traded again. He joined Paul Pierce and newly-acquired Kevin Garnett, to form a formidable Boston Celtics team. They went on to win the NBA Championship that season and made several deep playoff runs in subsequent seasons. As a free agent in 2012, Allen left the Celtics to join the reigning NBA Champions, the Miami Heat.
A ten-time All-Star and 2000 Olympic gold medalist, Ray Allen holds many NBA records, including the most career 3-pointers made. Ray Allen is also one of the most effective free throw shooters in league history, with an average of 89.4% for his career. In non-basketball news, Ray Allen gained some notoriety for appearing opposite Denzel Washington in the 1998 Spike Lee film, He Got Game.
Because of the stacked 1996 rookie class that includes Allen Iverson, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, 1996-97 products are hotly pursued. However, most of the 16 Ray Allen rookie cards remain fairly cheap. The big chase comes from the various parallels and tougher inserts.
Collectors looking for certified autographed Ray Allen cards have plenty of of options from his entire playing career.
Top Ray Allen Rookie Cards
While most people breaking 1996-97 Topps Chrome Basketball are likely looking for a Kobe Bryant rookie card, Ray Allen makes a great consolation prize. This card is the unquestioned top Ray Allen rookie card option. The Refractor parallel is also very popular.
Not a true rookie, this might be the most popular Ray Allen card from all 1996-97 products. Autographics were a huge insert when they were first released and have become even more in-demand over the years. The cards do have some trouble with counterfeits, so do your research before buying. Authentic cards feature an embossed stamp.
1996-97 (BKB) Bowman's Best Picks Refractors #BP5 Ray Allen
1996-97 (BKB) Finest Refractors #252 Ray Allen S
1996-97 (BKB) SkyBox Premium Rubies #63 Ray Allen
1999-00 (BKB) Hoops Decade Hoopla Plus #108 Ray Allen
Ray Allen Rookie Card Checklist
Budget Rookie Cards
Mid-Range Rookie Cards
Premium Rookie Cards
Ray Allen Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide
Below you will find an example of what Ray Allen's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well respected professional autograph authentication company. Reputable authentication companies include JSA, PSA, Panini Authentic and Mounted Memories to name a few. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.
Ray Allen Cut Signature Exemplar
Ray Allen Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Ray Allen signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics, depending on when in his career the item was signed. Other characteristics that play into his signature style are the particular item and venue. Look for the following signature features:
- The whole signature is indecipherable as far as specific letters, instead look for character traits.
- The signature is fluid and rushed with only minor pauses.
- The first character can be best described as looking like a number "3" with an oval shape connecting the top loop.
- The bottom of the "3" has a small curlycue.
- The second character resembles a "0" in a smashed oval shape.
- An extending line is underlined for emphasis.