An NBA legend and first-ballot Hall of Famer, Paul Pierce likely needs no introduction. However, Paul Pierce rookie cards don't always get the same recognition.
Pierce spent the bulk of his 19-year career with the Boston Celtics before jumping around the league over the final few seasons. "The Truth" is perhaps best remembered from 2007-08, when he led the Celtics to a title over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, and won the Finals MVP.
His NBA card career got underway in 1998-99 sets, which is also the place to find rookies for Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki. In total, collectors can find 18 Paul Pierce rookie cards. Although his ungraded base cards remain relatively affordable, high-grade versions and limited parallels continue to push higher.
Review the full lineup below featuring a full checklist and image gallery for Pierce's main rookie cards.
When applicable, some of the key parallels and/or inserts are noted for each set.
Ultimate Paul Pierce Rookie Cards Guide
1998-99 Paul Pierce Rookie Card Checklist
Paul Pierce Rookie Cards Set Checklist
- 1998-99 Bowman's Best Paul Pierce RC #110
- 1998-99 Flair Showcase Paul Pierce RC #29
- 1998-99 Fleer Brilliants Paul Pierce RC #110
- 1998-99 Fleer Ultra Paul Pierce RC #108
- 1998-99 Skybox E-X Century Paul Pierce RC #82
- 1998-99 Skybox Molten Metal Paul Pierce RC #91
- 1998-99 Skybox Premium Paul Pierce RC #263
- 1998-99 SP Authentic Paul Pierce RC #100 #/3500
- 1998-99 SPx Finite Paul Pierce RC #220 #/2500
- 1998-99 Topps Paul Pierce RC #135
- 1998-99 Topps Chrome Paul Pierce RC #135
- 1998-99 Topps Finest Paul Pierce RC #235
- 1998-99 Topps Stadium Club Paul Pierce RC #110
- 1998-99 Upper Deck Paul Pierce RC #321
- 1998-99 Upper Deck Black Diamond Paul Pierce RC #101
- 1998-99 Upper Deck Encore Paul Pierce RC #123
- 1998-99 Upper Deck Ionix Paul Pierce RC #70
- 1998-99 Upper Deck Ovation Paul Pierce RC #80
Paul Pierce Rookie Card Gallery
Shop for singles or check completed values using the eBay links.
1998-99 Bowman's Best Paul Pierce RC #110
One of several Paul Pierce rookie cards with some added shine, 1998-99 Bowman's Best is the only one to showcase visible game action. While the rest of the base cards feature gold backgrounds, the rookies are given a silver finish.
The Refractor versions of his Best Performers insert are another popular choice.
1998-99 Flair Showcase Paul Pierce RC #29
Offering three different base options for Pierce, 1998-99 Flair Showcase NBA has one of the most timeless looks on the list. Although all three cards are #29, the difference is the tiered Rows, which act as subsets. Row 3 is the most common.
Row 2 adds a large "34" in the background.
And Row 1 is the rarest with only 1,500 copies. On top of that, every Row provides limited Legacy Collection (#/99) parallels.
1998-99 Fleer Brilliants Paul Pierce RC #110
By now, it should be clear just how shiny the '90s became. That brings us to 1998-99 Fleer Brilliant Basketball. This is definitely an instance where the card looks much better in hand. Gold (#/99) and 24-Karat Gold (#/24) parallels are the big draws here.
1998-99 Fleer Ultra Paul Pierce RC #108
Featuring a photo from the NBA Draft, the 1998-99 Fleer Ultra rookie shows Paul in a suit rather than a uniform, which may not appeal to all collectors. A key chase is the Medallion parallel lineup that includes Gold Medallion and Platinum Medallion (#/66) cards.
1998-99 Skybox E-X Century Paul Pierce RC #82
If your tastes skew more to the nontraditional, it's hard to go wrong with the acetate rookie in 1998-99 E-X Century. Big spenders with patience can try for the Essential Credentials Now (#/82) and Essential Credentials Future (#/9) versions.
1998-99 Skybox Molten Metal Paul Pierce RC #91
With no Metal Universe, collectors got their metal fix from 1998-99 Molten Metal. Joining the Metal Smiths base card is a rounded-edge Xplosion parallel that is printed on metal stock.
1998-99 Skybox Premium Paul Pierce RC #263
Even after all these years, 1998-99 Skybox Premium still has a cardboard elegance. Perhaps it's the script "Rookie" title. No matter what, it's a solid choice, and, other than high grades, it's easy on the wallet. On the other hand, the Star Rubies (#/25) parallel is sure to set you back a lot, if you can even find one.
1998-99 SP Authentic Paul Pierce RC #100 #/3,500
While the image choice could be better, 1998-99 SP Authentic is probably the top choice for collectors outside of the chromium cards. It's also just one of two base cards on the list with serial numbering.
1998-99 SPx Finite Paul Pierce RC #220 #/2,500
Did someone mention senior portraits? If so, 1998-99 SPx Finite has you covered. This is actually the rarest base Paul Pierce rookie available. These came in specially-marked SPx Finite Rookie Update packs found in 1998-99 Upper Deck MJ Access (UD Series 2) boxes.
The green/teal base card has 2,500 copies and it is joined by a blue Radiance (#/1,500) parallel.
1998-99 Topps Paul Pierce RC #135
1998-99 Topps Chrome Paul Pierce RC #135
Naturally, 1998-99 Topps Chrome NBA supplies the chromium version of the Topps design. For many, this card edges out Finest for top billing.
1998-99 Topps Finest Paul Pierce RC #235
With arguably one of the best-looking Paul Pierce rookie cards, especially once the protective coating has been removed, 1998-99 Finest Basketball presents a strong base card and a desirable Refractor.
In addition, his Court Control insert, numbered to 750, is worth checking out, along with the Refractor parallel (#/150).
1998-99 Topps Stadium Club Paul Pierce RC #110
Pierce is part of the NBA Draft Pick Redemption set for 1998-99 Stadium Club NBA, so don't expect to find it in packs. Unlike the main rookie, his Series 2 card (#203) matches the main design of the set and also comes in a popular Chrome parallel. Both cards offer First Day Issue (#/200) and One of a Kind (#/150) parallels.
1998-99 Upper Deck Paul Pierce RC #321
The court-styled background on the Rookie Watch card makes it one of the easiest to spot. This rookie is from the main 1998-99 Upper Deck Basketball product, which adds a rare UD Exclusives Bronze (#/100) edition.
1998-99 Upper Deck Encore Paul Pierce RC #123
Very similar to the flagship UD card, 1998-99 Upper Deck Encore offers a slightly different image of Pierce near the basket. The foil finish does give it a bit more pop and a rare F/X parallel amps up the rarity with just 125 copies. Another base card (#145) highlights his Rookie of the Month honors.
1998-99 Upper Deck Black Diamond Paul Pierce RC #101
The Diamond Futures rookie for Pierce in 1998-99 Black Diamond NBA is another design that stands out. In true Black Diamond style, there are Double Diamond (#/2,500), Triple Diamond (#/1,000) and Quadruple Diamond (#/150) versions. Most of these parallels still surface for sale.
On top of that, his Dominance insert has only 1,000 copies.
1998-99 Upper Deck Ionix Paul Pierce RC #70
The designs for 1998-99 UD Ionix have a lot going on, especially the ELCTRX rookie cards. It is not as common as some of the other cards on the list, but prices are reasonable.
1998-99 Upper Deck Ovation Paul Pierce RC #80
Displaying a memorable design from the '90s, 1998-99 UD Ovation works in a basketball-themed rookie card for Paul Pierce. The limited Gold parallel has 1,000 copies.