This is the 2nd, and last, non-baseball card from my top 9. I have over 1,000 Jalen Rose cards, so I definitely felt like I needed to include a Jalen Rose card in my top 9. I didn’t have to think very hard. While there were a few other Jalen Rose cards that were in the second 9 – I knew this card would be included without having to go through my collection.
My parents went to Michigan, and I’ve always been a fan of the Maize and Blue. The Fab Five really sparked me into becoming a sports fan, and Jalen was my favorite player on those teams. I followed him all through college and the pros, and continue to do so now that he’s an ESPN analyst.
Jalen is best known for being a member of the Fab Five, but he also had a great NBA career. He played 13 seasons, averaging 14.3 points per game. He was the highest scoring player on a team that made the NBA Finals (99-00 Pacers), and he had 3 seasons where he averaged over 20 points a game. He’s one of the best players who didn’t ever make an All-Star game.
Aside from an autograph card with Chris Webber and Juwan Howard – it would be hard to knock this card off the top pedestal. It’s a jersey swatch from the 2000 Finals, when Indiana lost to the Lakers. But the other guy on the card is particularly appropriate. Glen Rice was nearing the end of his career, helping the Lakers to that title. Rice is one of the few players who surpasses Jalen as far as his Michigan accolades. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1989 Final Four, leading Michigan to their only National Championship.