1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 1 $225.001996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 2

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Although Flair made its debut a few years earlier, 1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball took that product line to another level. The hobby-exclusive offering brought the sophistication of previous Flair releases and added low numbered parallels to a checklist that included hobby superstar, Michael Jordan, and rookie cards for Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Ray Allen.

When discussing 1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball, there is nothing basic about the glossy base set. To those unfamiliar with the product, it might seem like a daunting undertaking to even collect the release. That is further apparent by a stern warning on the box that states:

"WARNING! Do not buy this product unless you are a serious collector looking for a challenge."

While this is written mostly in jest, the set is more complex than other products from this time.

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Base / Parallels

A total of 90 cards make up the base set, but each card has three different levels, or "Rows," as they are called. So really, there are 270 base cards, with each Row featuring different odds based on their placement in the main checklist.

Good so far? Each Row features a different front image for each player and a specific theme, noted on the card front. Row 2, the true base set, is known as "Style." The next batch of cards, rarer than Row 2, goes by Row 1 or "Grace." Row 0, the rarest cards in the base set, is called "Showcase." Since each Row features a different front image, distinguishing the different versions for each player is fairly easy. The specific odds, which are tiered within each Row, can get a little messy, but a simple breakdown can be seen below.

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Row Odds Breakdown

  • Row 2 Odds (Style) 
  • Card #1-30 (Showtime) 1.5:1 pack
  • Card #31-60 (Showpiece) 1:2 packs
  • Card #61-90 (Show Stopper) 1:1.5 packs
  • Row 1 Odds (Grace)
  • Card #1-30 (Show Stopper) 1:2.5 packs
  • Card #31-60 (Showtime) 1:2 packs
  • Card #61-90 (Showpiece) 1:3.5 packs
  • Row 0 Odds (Showcase)
  • Card #1-30 (Showpiece) 1:24 packs
  • Card #31-60 (Show Stopper) 1:10 packs
  • Card #61-90 (Showtime) 1:5 packs

The 90-card checklist is broken down into groups of 30, noted by another theme on the card back, which dictates their specific odds in each Row. These themes include Showtime, Show Stopper and Showpiece. For example, Kobe Bryant is card #31. That puts him in the second grouping among the Rows. However, the themes swap in each Row, so Bryant's Row 2 is Showpiece, Row 1 is Showtime and Row 0 is Show Stopper. Each Row has a distinct design and this can be seen with the three different Kobe Bryant cards below.

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 31996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 41996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 5

Although the 90 cards checklist makes for a smaller group of players, the quality factor is strong. In addition to the impressive rookie class, a deep roster of Hall of Fame talent is found, including Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Hakeem Olajuwon and others. Stat geeks will especially enjoy the card backs because they include full listings for both pro and college seasons.

On top of all that, a limited Legacy Collection Parallel, numbered to 150, is available for each Row version. Teal foil text and a black-and-white image on the back are the main differences from the base cards. These limited cards also have the distinction of being the very first serial numbered NBA cards. Since the parallels all feature the same print run, regardless of the Row, each card is available at the same odds. On average, the Legacy Collection parallels fall 1:30 packs.

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 61996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 71996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 8

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Inserts

Considering all that is involved in the base set, it is not that surprising that there are only two inserts. Class of Ninety-six showcases the current crop of rookies in a 20-card set. These embossed inserts drop 1:5 packs, on average. With much steeper odds, Hot Shots is a die-cut card that has the look of a flaming basketball. They have seen considerable interest and value in recent years, especially since Michael Jordan is in the checklist, and are a tough pull at 1:90 packs.

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball boxes come with 24 packs and five cards per pack. Sealed box prices have skyrocketed in recent years and they are not the easiest product to locate.

1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 9

Set Checklist

Base - Row 2, Row 1, Row 0 Set Checklist

Each player has three different Row cards.
PARALLEL CARDS: Legacy Collection #/150 (1:30 packs, 1 card for each Row)

1 Anfernee Hardaway
2 Mitch Richmond
3 Allen Iverson RC
4 Charles Barkley
5 Juwan Howard
6 David Robinson
7 Gary Payton
8 Kerry Kittles RC
9 Dennis Rodman
10 Shaquille O'Neal
11 Stephon Marbury RC
12 John Stockton
13 Glenn Robinson
14 Hakeem Olajuwon
15 Jason Kidd
16 Jerry Stackhouse
17 Joe Smith
18 Reggie Miller
19 Grant Hill
20 Damon Stoudamire
21 Kevin Garnett
22 Clyde Drexler
23 Michael Jordan
24 Antonio McDyess
25 Chris Webber
26 Antoine Walker RC
27 Scottie Pippen
28 Karl Malone
29 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
30 Shawn Kemp
31 Kobe Bryant RC
32 Derrick Coleman
33 Alonzo Mourning
34 Anthony Mason
35 Ray Allen RC
36 Arvydas Sabonis
37 Brian Grant
38 Bryant Reeves
39 Christian Laettner
40 Tom Gugliotta
41 Latrell Sprewell
42 Erick Dampier RC
43 Gheorghe Muresan
44 Glen Rice
45 Patrick Ewing
 46 Jim Jackson
47 Michael Finley
48 Toni Kukoc
49 Marcus Camby RC
50 Kenny Anderson
51 Mark Price
52 Tim Hardaway
53 Mookie Blaylock
54 Steve Smith
55 Terrell Brandon
56 Lorenzen Wright RC
57 Sasha Danilovic
58 Jeff Hornacek
59 Eddie Jones
60 Vin Baker
61 Chris Childs
62 Clifford Robinson
63 Anthony Peeler
64 Dino Radja
65 Joe Dumars
66 Loy Vaught
67 Rony Seikaly
68 Vitaly Potapenko RC
69 Chris Gatling
70 Dale Ellis
71 Allan Houston
72 Doug Christie
73 LaPhonso Ellis
74 Kendall Gill
75 Rik Smits
76 Bobby Phills
77 Malik Sealy
78 Sean Elliott
79 Vlade Divac
80 David Wesley
81 Dominique Wilkins
82 Danny Manning
83 Detlef Schrempf
84 Hersey Hawkins
85 Lindsey Hunter
86 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
87 Shawn Bradley
88 Horace Grant
89 Cedric Ceballos
90 Jamal Mashburn
1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 30

Class of  Ninety-six (96) Set Checklist

20 cards
1:5 packs

1 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
2 Ray Allen
3 Shandon Anderson
4 Kobe Bryant
5 Marcus Camby
6 Erick Dampier
7 Derek Fisher
8 Todd Fuller
9 Othella Harrington
10 Allen Iverson
11 Kerry Kittles
12 Travis Knight
13 Matt Maloney
14 Stephon Marbury
15 Steve Nash
16 Jermaine O'Neal
17 Vitaly Potapenko
18 Roy Rogers
19 Antoine Walker
20 Lorenzen Wright
1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 31

Hot Shots Set Checklist

20 cards
1:90 packs

1 Michael Jordan
2 Kevin Garnett
3 Damon Stoudamire
4 Anfernee Hardaway
5 Shaquille O'Neal
6 Grant Hill
7 Dennis Rodman
8 Shawn Kemp
9 Scottie Pippen
10 Juwan Howard
11 Jason Kidd
12 Hakeem Olajuwon
13 Karl Malone
14 Joe Smith
15 David Robinson
16 Jerry Stackhouse
17 Antonio McDyess
18 Clyde Drexler
19 Gary Payton
20 Eddie Jones
1996-97 Flair Showcase Basketball Cards 32

3-Card Promo Strip Set Checklist

Jerry Stackhouse

Trey Treutel  |  E-Mail Author
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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