It doesn’t get any better than this. The Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractor has always been a huge card. The 1996-97 Topps Chrome basketball set suffers from condition sensitivity so centering issues, among other things, are common. This particular specimen features perfection in every way making it one of the most attractive cards in existence. Given this is the most important card in the set, it represents the absolute supreme in quality from the set roster both in player and appearance.
Long gone are the days when this card could be had in low grade for around $4,000. These days, it’s not uncommon for PSA 8s to close north of $30,000 and the prices just keep rising. In addition to its value, this card is important for several reasons:
- 1996-97 was Kobe Bryant’s rookie year in professional basketball
- While initially drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 NBA Draft, Kobe Bryant ultimately ended up with the dynastic Los Angeles, Lakers
- 1996-97 Topps Chrome is the first release of its kind in the basketball category, is a condition sensitive set, and was released exclusively via retail
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As one of the most decorated basketball players, Kobe Bryant was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020, the same year devastating tragedy struck and left us all without him. He is forever remembered as one of the sports greatest athletes and icons, and is loved by many all over the world.