Scottie Pippen Rookie Cards
Scottie Pippen is regarded as one of the greatest small forwards in NBA history. His 1988-89 Fleer card is the one most collectors think of as his rookie, but there are several Scottie Pippen rookie cards. It’s not even the first. There is an interesting mix of Scottie Pippen rookies in existence that includes regional issues, an Italian sticker, and a card that came packaged with a toy. In this article I’ll walk through all of them plus one card that is sometimes deemed a rookie card but isn’t.
1988-89 Fleer Scottie Pippen #20
The 1988-89 Fleer Scottie Pippen rookie card #20 is one of the most sought-after rookie cards in of the 1980s and a more than worthy addition to anyone’s private collection. The Arkansas native played college basketball for Central Arkansas and was the 5th overall pick in the 1987 NBA Entry Draft by the Seattle Supersonics. He was then traded to the Chicago Bulls where he would create a legacy for himself and play a key role in winning 6 NBA Championships. Pippen played in the Windy City for 11 years at the start of his career and then returned to the Bulls for his final season after stints with the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets.
Scottie Pippen was a highly decorated player who achieved many individual and team accomplishments. In addition to his six NBA Championships, Pippen won two Olympic Gold Medals with Team USA in 1996 and 1992. He was a member of the NBA All-Star team seven times and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team 8 times. In 1996, in celebration of the NBA’s 50th anniversary, a panel of voters comprised of former players and sportswriters chose Pippen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Any rookie of a player with this kind of success would be valued by collectors, but other factors also help drive the value of Scottie Pippen’s rookie cards:
- Six-Time NBA Champion: Pippen was a backbone member of the Chicago Bulls dynasty that won six NBA Championships. Michal Jordan gets a lot of the glory for this team, but Pippen was a regular top-10 MVP vote-getter, All-Star, and All-Defensive team member during this run. Being a member of the ’90s Bulls puts him in an elite group of players who have 6+ championship rings that include Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Horry, Bill Russell, and several other 1960s Celtics players.
- Defensive Mastery: The reputation of an NBA player is often built on his offensive accomplishments. Scottie Pippen was a great offensive player, but there was more to his game than offense. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive players in history, demonstrated by the fact that he is an 8-time All-Defensive team member. His combined offensive and defensive proficiency make him one of the most well-rounded players in NBA history.
- Intertwined Legacy with Michael Jordan: Jordan and Pippen were the two best players on each of the Bulls’ six championship seasons. Michael Jordan is the most famous player in NBA history and Scottie Pippen will always be part of his story.
1988-89 Fleer Basketball Set Details
The 1988-89 Fleer basketball set contains 132 cards and remains popular with collectors because of the inclusion of several key cards. It may have one of the best rookie classes of all time outside of the 1986-87 Fleer set. The 1988-89 set includes the rookie cards of Hall of Famers John Stockton (#115), Reggie Miller (#57), and Dennis Rodman (#43) along with stars Mark Jackson (#82) and John Sally (#44) .
The design of the cards get mixed reviews with the use of four very different fonts on the front being the primary complaint. Each pack included a sticker insert, but none of the key rookies were included in that set.
- Year: 1988-89
- Manufacturer: Fleer
- Size: 2-1/2” by 3-1/2”
- Number of cards: 132
- Super Star Stickers (11 cards)
- Super Star Stickers (11 cards)
1988-89 Fleer Scottie Pippen #20 Details
- Card no: #20 of 132
- Name on front of card: Scottie Pippen
- Name on back of card: Scottie Pippin
- Uncorrected Misprint
- Height: 6’8”
- Weight: 210
- Born: 09/25/1965
- College: University of Central Arkansas
Front of the card
Design: The 1988-89 Fleer Scottie Pippen card features a vertical layout and is primarily red and black. The border of this card has a gradient that is black in the middle of the card and white at the top and bottom. The photo of Pippen appears to catch him in the act of finishing a layup in his iconic red Bulls jersey of the late ’80s. The border around his photo is red and black and houses text both above and below the photo. The text says Pippen’s name across the top with Fleer in the top right corner. The bottom of the card says Bulls with the forward position in the lower left corner.
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Back of the card
The back of the card is primarily green with light red and white vertical stripes in the middle. The top of the card has Pippen’s biographical information, including the spelling of his last name as “Pippin.” The misspelling of Pippen’s last name is an uncorrected error, which means there is not a version of this card with the correct spelling on the back. Below that in the red and white stripes is his rookie-year stats. There is a lot of unused space because a large part of the card is reserved for statistics, but Pippen had only played one year at this point. The bottom of the card has both the NBA logo and Bulls logo on the left bottom and right bottom.
Scottie Pippen Rookie Card Value
The 1988-89 Scottie Pippen Fleer rookie card is one of the most valuable basketball cards made in the 1980s. The chart below was pulled from the popular card grading site PSA on 01/23/2022. It shows prices for the Scottie Pippen rookie card in various conditions.
Keep in mind that prices fluctuate. While PSA is a great way to find out the value of a card, we recommend going to eBay to see what cards are currently selling for on the world’s most popular auction site. Click here to view current auctions for the 1988-89 Scottie Pippen rookie card #20
Other Relevant Scottie Pippen Cards
The 1988-89 Fleer Scottie Pippen rookie card (#20) is his most recognized rookie, but it’s not the only Scottie Pippen rookie in the hobby. He has several oddball rookies, one of which came packaged with a toy. I’ll also cover a very valuable Scottie Pippen card that I do not consider to be a rookie.
1987 Entenmann’s Scottie Pippen (no number)
If you’re looking for the first Scottie Pippen rookie card this is it. It was produced and distributed in 1987, a full year before his 1988-89 Fleer rookie card. Entenmann’s only made Chicago Bulls cards for two seasons. They were only available in the Chicago area and are pretty rare. This card is valuable in high-grade condition.
Shop for the 1987 Entenmann’s Scottie Pippen on eBay (affiliate link)
1988 Kenner Starting Lineup Scottie Pippen
The 1988 Kenner Starting Lineup Scottie Pippen is a very unique rookie card because of the way it was distributed. This card was included in the package of a Scottie Pippen Starting Lineup figurine. At the time these cards were afterthoughts, but now they can have significant value, particularly when they are from the same year as a player’s primary rookie card. I’ve included a picture of the card packaged with the figurine below. It’s worth noting that Starting Lineup figurines in the original package are also valuable. A collector who owns this one should give careful consideration before taking the card out and submitting it for grading.
Shop for the 1988 Kenner Starting Lineup Scottie Pippen on eBay (affiliate link)
1988-89 Panini Sticker Scottie Pippen #77
The 1988-89 Panini Sticker Scottie Pippen #77 is part of a set containing 292 stickers of NBA players. We now know Panini as a company that makes cards targeted at Americans, but back then Panini was making and distributing these stickers in Italy only. The text on the peel-away sticker back is in Italian. These stickers were designed to go into a sticker album that was also available for purchase. As you can probably imagine, this sticker is both rare and valuable.
Shop for the 1988-89 Panini Sticker Scottie Pippen on eBay (rare) (affiliate link)
1988 Entenmann’s Scottie Pippen
This is the second Scottie Pippen card that Entenmann’s produced. I don’t consider this a rookie because it’s not the first Entenmann’s card, but this one is rarer than the 1987 card. For that reason, the two cards have approximately the same value. You will see sellers calling this a rookie card because it was produced the same year as his Fleer rookie. Ultimately, it’s up to collectors to decide what they consider a rookie — and it doesn’t impact the card’s value. Supply and demand determines a card’s value.
Shop for the 1988 Entenmann’s Scottie Pippen on eBay (affiliate link)
Scottie Pippen’s Legacy
Scottie Pippen had one of the greatest careers in NBA history and was a key cog for one of the most prolific dynasties the sport will ever see. He is regarded as an NBA great on offense and defense — and as a great teammate due to his unselfish, but tenacious style of play. Pippen’s career isn’t defined by one single area of the game, but by well-rounded excellence. In addition to winning six Championships, he was a multiple-time All-Star, multiple-time All-Defensive team member, and was frequently in the running for the MVP award although he never finished first. He was also a member of Team USA and won the gold medal in both 1992 and 1996. His playing number has been retired by both the University of Central Arkansas and the Chicago Bulls. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Here are some of Scottie Pippen’s career accomplishments:
- 6 time NBA Champion (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
- 7 time NBA All-Star (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997)
- 1 time NBA All-Star Game MVP (1994)
- 7 time All-NBA team
- 1 time Triple Doubles Leader (1991-1992)
- 8 time All-Defensive Team
- 1 time NBA Steals leader (1994-95)
- Jersey #33 retired by Chicago Bulls
- Jersey #33 retired by the University of Central Arkansas
- USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year 1996
- 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist
Get Your Scottie Pippen Rookie Cards
Do you want to add a 1988-89 Fleer Scottie Pippen rookie to your collection? If so, we recommend starting your search on eBay – the world’s #1 card trading place. Even if you’re not planning to buy one just yet, it’s fun to look at all the great cards currently for sale.
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