On the hunt for a Dennis Rodman rookie card? We’ve got some bad news for you. They don’t exist. We know what you’re thinking: What’s with the title of this post then?? We’ll explain in a bit. But as we usually like to do, first we’ll reflect on the career of the player.
Dennis Rodman Career Highlights
Dennis Rodman is a true basketball great who knew how to get the angle on a rebound like no other. Thus it comes as no surprise the basketball legend (and wrestling mercenary) was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2011. The flamboyant Rodman was nicknamed ‘The Worm’ and played small forward in his early days before very successfully transitioning to power forward.
Rodman developed a fierce reputation both on and off the field and won 5 NBA Championships, including 2 with the Detroit Pistons and 3 in a row alongside Michael Jordan at the Chicago Bulls in the late ’90s. Rodman also played in the NBA All-Star game twice and was named the NBA rebounding champion 7 years in a row between 1992 and 1998.
Rodman’s rookie year was in the 1986-87 season after he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in round 2 as the 27th overall pick. In his rookie season, Rodman averaged a very respectable 15 minutes per game throughout the season. On top of that, Rodman chipped in 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game to play a small part in the Pistons making the playoffs. And it was then that Rodman’s off-field reputation really took hold.
Despite a decent amount of success as a rookie, Rodman never received a basketball card to mark his first season in the NBA. And we think that’s a crying shame. Therefore, although not true rookie cards, we’re gonna go ahead and call his 1988-89 Fleer just that.
Dennis Rodman Rookie Card Plus 3 Valuable Late Editions
1988-89 Fleer Basketball #43 (Buy this Dennis Rodman rookie card on eBay)
As we just said, this is the earliest card available for Rodman so many collectors will treat it as a rookie card. The card has a very simple design with the majority of it consumed by Rodman in his blue Pistons uniform. The border is half blue half red with his name at the top and the words ‘Piston’ and ‘Forward’ at the bottom. Unlike Rodman the man, the card is both simple and elegant. As far as value goes, the card is capable of bringing in $2,000. It may not be a TRUE rookie card, but the value says it all.
1996-97 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection #9 (Buy on eBay)
A unique card that features 2 different pictures of Rodman faded on top of each other. To add to the effect, the card shows Rodman in his Bulls uniform in front of a packed arena. One downside is that the blue writing down at the bottom. You can hardly see it! Or maybe it’s time we invest in reading glasses.
One reason the card has a little bit of value is due to the limited print run of just 150. The rarity clearly plays a role in gem mints going for around $1,000. However, there are also base versions with no limited run that you can pick up for much cheaper.
1997-98 E-X2001 Jambalaya #3 (Buy this card on eBay)
This set always brings an off-the-wall design, and the Rodman card is no different. It’s die-cut with a full action picture of Rodman in the middle. Add to that a background that’s half green and half orange and you got yourself one spectacle of a card. Oh, and as if that weren’t enough, all of the writing is in a satisfying gold color.
This card was part of a retail set and, like the others we’ve mentioned so far, is a rare find. How rare? You could only expect to see one of them turn up for every 720 packs. As is expected with retail cards, you won’t find many in mint condition. So when something like a gem mint BGS 9.5 card turns up, don’t be shocked to see a price tag of up to $4,000.
2007-08 Upper Deck Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman Dual Autograph (Buy it on eBay)
An incredibly valuable Upper Deck card with on-card autographs from both Rodman and Jordan. Wow, right? The visuals don’t hurt either. A jet-black background, silver trimmings, and silvery-white autographs. Enough said. On a more sour note, the card was produced long after they both retired. We’re personally not into throw-backs unless of course, it’s the Topps Project 2020 Set. We’ll consider those all day long.
At any rate, the card is extremely rare with a print run of just 25. With that kind of scarcity, it comes as no surprise that the card sold UNGRADED for a whopping $5,100. If you were lucky enough to get one back with a 10 grade from Beckett you could probably afford to buy a small island after you sell.
While on the topic of NBA legends…check out this handy little Kobe Bryant rookie card guide.
Investment Ratings for the Dennis Rodman Rookie Card & Other Valuables
Short (Less than 1 year)
Now this play would have made perfect sense if you would have had the foresight to purchase one of these cards in the months leading up to the wildly popular Last Dance documentary. However, we’re not really seeing anything in the short term that’s going to move the needle much. Although you probably won’t lose money this way, we would definitely recommend holding for a longer-term play. 4/10
Medium (1 to 5 years)
We like this better than a short play simply because the market as a whole will have more time to grow. That and the chance that Rodman does something crazy and ends up in the news is more likely when you’re holding for a few years. Both should help your investment in a Dennis Rodman rookie card (and any other on this list for that matter). 7/10
Long (5 Years Plus)
Just like we said in our review of the top Shaq rookie cards, Dennis Rodman is a larger than life personality. Meaning that although his NBA career is long over, his reputation will live on in perpetuity. Add to the fact that he was an amazing player and you can only conclude that his card values will remain high for the foreseeable future. Some say Dennis Rodman is misunderstood and that may be the case. Just don’t misunderstand the value of that Dennis Rodman card in your collection. 8.5/10