Since entering the NBA more than a decade ago, Dirk Nowitzki has been one of basketball's top stars. However, he's done so without being overly flashy or controversial. He's been somewhat overlooked by many basketball collectors as well when compared with other stars performing at similar levels. Until recently, several of his rookie cards could be bought for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks. And I'm not talking some fancy frothy thing either. That's changing quickly, though, with Nowitzki leading a Mavericks march for an NBA Championship.
The German-born Nowitzki was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the ninth-overall pick in the 1998 draft. He was quickly traded to Dallas alongside Pat Garrity for the late Robert "Tractor" Traylor. Garrity was then traded to Phoenix for Steve Nash, giving Dallas a hot pairing that would lead the team to prominence. When Nash headed back to the Suns following the 2003-04 season, Nowitzki became the undisputed leader of the team, taking them to the 2006 NBA Finals. Nowitzki has continued to be a superstar for the Mavericks, emerging as one of the game's elite.
Nowitzki had 18 rookie cards in 1998-99, none of which were autographed or featured memorabilia pieces. Only two cards were serial numbered: SP Authentic (/3500) and SPx Finite (2500). His Stadium Club rookie card was a redemption, making it one of his most desirable cards. It is important to note that the Stadium Club rookie is #109 in the set. Card #202 isn't his first card in the set, so it's not generally regarded as a true rookie card and is valued as such. For those wanting more of a challenge beyond Nowitzki's basic rookie cards, most of these have much tougher parallels.
Dirk Nowitzki Rookie Card Checklist
Budget Rookie Cards