Best Manu Ginobili Rookie Cards

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Manu Ginobili was drafted by the SA Spurs in the 1999 draft as the 57th overall pick. But he only entered the NBA in 2002, which is when most of his rookie cards come from.

By that time, Ginobili was a bit of a basket balling legend in Europe.

He had already won two Italian league MVP awards and one EuroLeague MVP award, which made Ginobili one of the most highly anticipated imports from Europe.

And sure enough, Manu Ginobili delivered big-time for the Spurs. So much so that he’s today seen as one of their biggest ever legends.

Let’s go over the best Manu Ginobili rookie cards.

Top Manu Ginobili Rookie Cards

The Spurs legend has had his #20 jersey number retired, but the memories remain. You can relive his career with these rookie cards.

2002 Topps Chrome Manu Ginobili RC #124

2002 Topps Chrome Manu Ginobili RC #124

The 2002 Topps Chrome is one of the truly top choices when it comes to Manu Ginobili rookie cards.

You’ll get that recognizable Topps Chrome design in the bottom right corner of the card, and an image-heavy card to begin with.

And of course, the Topps Chrome cards are always of very high quality, making this option one of your best if you’re looking for a solid, long-term investment, or as an addition to your collection.

Now, Topps Chrome was usually released with base Topps cards, but over the years, they were added as their cards. This meant that many people gravitated towards Topps Chrome cards instead of Topps ones.

In his first season in the NBA, Manu Ginobili struggled with injuries a bit and it took him a bit of time to get adapted to the style of playing in the league. But eventually, towards the end of the season, Ginobili started showing why he entered the league with such hype.

At the higher grades, this card might be slightly too expensive for some collectors, especially if you’re tight on a budget. But overall, this is generally the best pick of the bunch because it’s so popular and it’s always going to be in demand.

2002 Upper Deck Star Rookie Manu Ginobili #392

2002 Upper Deck Star Rookie Manu Ginobili #392

If you can’t muster up enough cash to get the best graded Topps Chrome cards and you want an alternative, then one of your best options will be the 2002 Upper Deck card.

This card is an excellent choice for you if you’re on a budget and you don’t want to overspend on Manu Ginobili.

The overall feel and vibe of the card are a bit darker, which does fit the jersey of the SA Spurs quite nicely.

Upper Deck has always been a good brand for basketball cards. Historically, it is one of the most significant ones, also. So you’re also getting a good card that is going to last you a few years or even longer.

Although this card is a bit tougher to find than the Topps Chrome cards, it’s also not as expensive. However, you might struggle to find a graded version of this card, which is a bit of a shame, but you can always have it graded yourself.

2002 SP Game Used Manu Ginobili RC #142

2002 SP Game Used Manu Ginobili RC #142

In my opinion, the 2002 SP Game Used Manu Ginobili rookie card is one of the best-looking cards for this player overall – but of course, that’s just a personal opinion, which will change from one person to the next.

The fact is that this is one of the best options if you want something a bit more exclusive.

Thanks to the relatively short print run of 900 cards, there’s limited availability for these SP Game Used cards.

One of the main attractions of this card is the overall feel and design. It all feels in place, especially the layout and the overall colors, which fit the Spurs brand and the colors very nicely.

Even though it is a limited card, you should not have any problems getting it. It might be slightly more expensive than most other cards we’ve featured, especially if you’re aiming for a top-graded one.

But you should still find plenty of listings for the card out there, although you might have to work a bit and pay a bit more to get the highest graded cards.

2002 SPx Manu Ginobili RC #155

2002 SPx Manu Ginobili RC #155

SPx cards are some of the most popular basketball cards from the 1990s and also the early 2000s. These cards were mainly seen as the more premium options, although by 2002, they were more easily available.

There were 2999 copies for this card, so you should not have that many problems getting this one.

In the past, SPx cards often features an autograph or a jersey patch, but the 2002 version sadly didn’t have any of those features.

If you look at the image, you’ll find that the image of Ginobili shooting is the same as the image on the SP Game Used card. That’s a bit of a drawback for this card, but you’re getting something a bit different with the background here, as well.

If you own either of these two, then there is probably no reason to buy one or the other, since the two cards are quite similar.

Nonetheless, it remained a popular brand for card collectors it remains that. It’s not very expensive and relatively easy to get, so you should be looking at this card if you’re not looking to spend a fortune on a card.

2002 Topps Xpectations Manu Ginobili RC

2002 Topps Xpectations Manu Ginobili RC

Now, this is one card that not many people might be aware of.

The Topps Xpectations card comes from 2002, and it is one of the more exclusive and rare Manu Ginobili cards out there. Only 99 copies of this card were printed, so you might struggle to find one for a sensible price.

Also, you’re unlikely to find many graded options for this card, so be very mindful of what cards you go for.

Overall, this card also feels a bit more premium with the gold patches and the golden graphics at the bottom of the card.

It’s certainly an interesting card to think about if you have a bit more to spend, although you’ll have to work a bit harder to find this card, which also means that you’re going to have to spend a bit more to get it.

2002 Fleer C. Butler/E. Ginobili/M. Haislip RC #288

2002 Fleer C. Butler/E. Ginobili/M. Haislip RC #288

If you want a card that solely includes Manu Ginobili, then you’ll have to look at other options, but if you’re interested in this type of design where Ginobili shares the real estate on the card with other players, then go for this one.

This Fleer card is one of the more interesting cards you can go for. It includes Caron Butler, Manu Ginobili, as well as Marcus Haislip. Now, Butler and Haislip were decent players, especially Butler, but not quite at the level of Ginobili.

For some people, the fact that both of those players are also included on the card might be a bit of a turn-off.

Other people find this card interesting, especially since it comes from such a reputable brand as Fleer.

Even though it might not interest some people, the card can still collect respectable money, because it’s not very common or easy to find.

About Manu Ginobili

Manu Ginobili is a San Antonio Spurs legend. He was drafted by the Spurs in 1999, but he was left to develop in Italy for an additional two years.

At the time of the 1999 draft, Ginobili was 22, which for a rookie player is not very young. And when Ginobili made his debut in the NBA, he was aged 25, which is not the youngest ever player to make a debut.

Many people saw Ginobili as a bit-part player for the Spurs, a rotational option. But Ginobili managed to defy the odds.

His best years with the Spurs came from 2004 to about 2011 or 2012, when he was a starting shooting guard for the team. During these years, Ginobili was a part of the formidable Spurs team that also had Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.

With the Spurs, Ginobili won the NBA Championship in 2003, 2005, 2007, and again in 2014.

As a player, Manu was known for his die-hard attitude and hard-working playing style, but he was also a good shooter and decent defensively, which made Ginobili a Spurs legend.

Manu Ginobili Rookie Card Investment Guide

So if you’re looking for a Manu Ginobili rookie card, you have some great options.

The first card you should consider is the Topps Chrome card, but that one might be too expensive for some.

A good budget alternative is the Upper Deck card, while you can also go for the SP Game Used card or the SPx card.

Two additional options are the 2002 Fleer card, although that one has Ginobili with two other players; the other one is the Topps Xpectations card, which is a bit harder to find and also quite expensive.

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