Steve Nash played 18 seasons in the NBA, where he was an eight-time All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection. The Canadian was also a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player while playing for the Phoenix Suns.
One of the greatest point guards ever, Nash was part of a 1996 NBA Draft that contained the likes of Kobe Bryant, and Allen Iverson.
Nash still made his mark, voted one of the league’s 75 greatest players of all time, going on to become just the second Canadian-born player to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Here’s what you need to know about the best Steve Nash rookie cards, as we’ve narrowed it down to five top options.
The Best Steve Nash Rookie Cards
Steve Nash rookie cards were released in 1996-97, with 14 options to choose from.
5. 1996-1997 Skybox Autographics Steve Nash RC #58 (eBay)
The only top rookie missing from the base 1996-97 Skybox E-X2000 Basketball checklist is Steve Nash. However, he was included in the Autographics set from the inaugural edition in 1996-97. As the name implies, it leaves a small space for a signature on a white section of the card on the left hand side. It features an image of a suited Nash with a basketball clutched in both hands.
4. 1996-97 Ultra Steve Nash RC #87 (eBay)
The Fleer Ultra rookie card is a full-bleed option that uses a great action shot of Nash while playing for the Phoenix Suns. You’ll see the base version in the image above, while the set also includes Gold Medallion parallels and Platinum Medallion parallels. The foil-centered parallels can be identified by the effect on the text on the card front. There are no confirmed print runs, but it’s rumored that there are fewer than 250 Platinum Medallion parallels.
3. 1996-97 Topps Finest Steve Nash RC #75 (eBay)
On the subject of rare copies, 1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball comes with a Nash card that also has a valuable Refractor parallel. As seen in the image, cards come with a layer of protective film, used to keep the front safe due to the flaky finish. You can find the 1996-97 Topps Finest Nash RC graded with or without the film.
2. 1996-97 Bowman’s Best Steve Nash RC #R18 (eBay)
1996-97 Bowman’s Best is another set that comes with a Refractor version which is the card to chase. As seen above, the shiny finish gives the Nash RC a sleek feel, while there’s also an Atomic Refractor which considerably increases the rarity and the price tag. These also happen to be the earliest Atomic Refractors for NBA collectors, which is an added chase element to consider.
1. 1996-97 Topps Chrome Steve Nash RC #182 (eBay)
It’s no surprise that the flagship 1996-97 Topps Chrome set is top of this list. A collection which has proven to have staying power, that’s mainly due to the Refractor parallels that were the main chase element for the set. Refractors could be found at a rate of 1:12 packs.
Whether it’s Kobe, Allen Iverson, or Ray Allen, this is likely to be one of the more popular RC options when all is said and done.
Steve Nash Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide
What do we think of the current market for the best Steve Nash rookie cards?
The Best Cheap Steve Nash Rookie Cards
There are lots of cheap Steve Nash rookie cards which are great if you just want to round out your collection. As always, you can look at raw cards, or even lower grades. For example, the 1996-97 Topps Chrome Steve Nash Refractor RC recently sold for just over $2,100, when looking at a PSA 9 version. A base version is much more affordable.
The Best Steve Nash Rookie Card Investment
We’d look at the Topps Chrome RC, given the values for pristine copies. Then again, there are also premium parallels for Finest, Ultra, Bowman’s Best and Bowman Chrome.
The 1996-97 Bowman’s Best Atomic Refractor is another high-ticket item.
Steve Nash Rookie Cards: Checklist
Here’s a rundown with all of the base Steve Nash rookie cards to keep an eye out for:
- 1996-97 Topps Chrome #182
- 1996-97 Topps Finest #75
- 1996-97 SP #142
- 1996-97 UD3 #15
- 1996-97 Bowman’s Best #R18
- 1996-97 Collector’s Choice #310
- 1996-97 Fleer #239
- 1996-97 Hoops #304
- 1996-97 Metal #138
- 1996-97 SkyBox Premium #91
- 1996-97 Topps #182
- 1996-97 Ultra #87
- 1996-97 Upper Deck #280
- 1996-97 Z-Force #158
Steve Nash Rookie Cards: Final Thoughts
With lots of options to choose from, only the rarest parallels and pristine graded versions tend to be worth much in the grand scheme of things. Nash is a victim of the success of his rookie class in many respects, as values will never match up to the likes of Kobe Bryant.
Regardless, Nash is still a major star who had a massively successful career. A hero in Canada, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018. We think they’re one of the safer investment options within the hobby.