The man of many nicknames, Shaquille O'Neal dominated basketball for years and his on-court ability was equally matched by his off-court personality. As a rookie, his cards were once the hottest option in collecting. Through ups and downs, Shaquille O'Neal cards are still a very popular option for collectors.
While he is remembered most for his time with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, Shaq's final three seasons were spent playing for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The 15-time All-Star won four titles and three Finals MVP awards on the way to Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Intense collecting interest for Shaquille O'Neal began not long after he was drafted first overall thanks to his inclusion in 1992 Classic products. From there, collectors have plenty of choices for O'Neal and several of his top cards are highlighted in the guide below.
For a complete look at his earliest card options, view our detailed Shaquille O'Neal rookie card guide.
Top Shaquille O'Neal Basketball Cards to Collect
Bolded links in the text go to detailed profiles. Shop for specific cards on eBay or check completed sales values for current pricing info.
1992 Classic Shaquille O'Neal Autographs
Collectors who were active during this period will undoubtedly remember the hoopla surrounding Shaquille O'Neal. Classic Games, a pre-rookie/prospect card company that was big in the 1990s, managed to get a temporary exclusive and they certainly did not play it conservatively. O'Neal signed thousands of cards for Classic across several brands and they featured the big man during his LSU days. These early releases represent the first chance to own an autograph card from Shaq and they are all hard-signed and hand-numbered.
1992-93 Upper Deck Shaquille O'Neal RC #1
Because of his deal with Classic, collectors had to wait on official NBA cards for Shaq. In place of the actual cards, redemptions were issued to give collectors something to start with.
This is exactly what Upper Deck Series 1 did in the form of a "Trade Upper Deck" card.
While his official rookie was found in Series 2 as a short print, the redemption version is virtually identical except for the gold foil headline at the top of the card that says "TRADE CARD." The redemption is #1B.
1992-93 Topps Stadium Club Beam Team Shaquille O'Neal #21
Easily among the top cards for Shaquille O'Neal, the colorful Beam Team inserts still see big prices in high-grade. They are intended to resemble the popular laser halftime show during the 1992-93 season. While the pack-pulled 1992-93 Stadium Club Basketball version is more valuable, there is also a "Members Only" parallel that was part of a factory set. Collectors can distinguish the two based on a watermark found on the Members Only card.
1993-94 Finest Refractor Shaquille O'Neal #3
Presenting a kaleidoscope of color, 1993-94 Topps Finest Basketball offers an idea that ultimately changed the hobby. These limited Refractor parallels remain in high demand with Shaq collectors. The Atlantic's Finest subset version is the cheaper option and much easier to locate.
1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Shaquille O'Neal #50
The Precious Metal Gems parallels are some of the most coveted 1990s inserts and their rarity and condition issues are a huge reason why values continue to push higher. Although the 1997-98 Metal Universe Basketball PMG parallel for O'Neal is numbered to 100, the first 10 are green foil and the remaining 90 feature red foil. Neither version is easy to track down.
1998-99 Upper Deck Game Jerseys Shaquille O'Neal (2 versions)
Noteworthy as the first relic card for Shaquille O'Neal, collectors can find two different Game Jersey options in 1998-99 Upper Deck. The version with a silver font (#GJ4) is found in both hobby and retail boxes, while the gold version (#GJ34) is only found in hobby packs.
1999-00 Skybox Premium Autographics Shaquille O'Neal Autograph #80
Although O'Neal was not included in the first three editions of Autographics, collectors finally got their shot in 1999-2000 Fleer/Skybox products. In addition to the base version, there is also a Century Marks parallel limited to 10 hand-numbered copies. While the Autographics rarely surface, Shaq has a good number of other signed cards to chase.
2000-01/2002-03 Topps Stadium Club Co-Signers Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan Dual Autographs
It's hard to think of two big men who saw more success in the 1990s and 2000s than Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan. The two were featured on Co-Signers inserts in 2000-01 (horizontal) and 2002-03 Stadium Club (vertical) and both include on-card autographs from the two legends.
Any Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant Dual Autographs
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal won three consecutive titles with the Lakers. Although their time as teammates ended on bad terms, it is hard to view their overall partnership as anything other than an immense success. Despite this, it took over a decade before collectors were able to pull a dual-signed card from the pair, starting in 2012-13 National Treasures. The best option came in 2015-16 Immaculate Collection.
Any High-End Shaquille O'Neal Autograph Card
Among several high-end autograph options for Shaquille O'Neal, standouts include Flawless, Immaculate Collection and National Treasures. While it is hard to argue one as the best, most of the top options include a nice patch along with an on-card signature and low print run.