Four years after the basketball card floodgates began to open, a fresh face ignited the market. The 1992-93 Fleer set included a classic shot of a much anticipated newcomer. Rookie center Shaquille O’Neal appeared in multiple sets and in multiple ways but everyone wanted to find that gold bordered card of Shaq in his black Magic jersey posted up, ready to grab the ball and rip the backboard to the ground. Shaq’s classic first signature shoe makes a cameo on the card to boot.
Shaq Diesel was every bit worthy of having collector’s undivided attention but one insert set not to be slept on is the 1992-93 Fleer All Stars. Some collectors know the set as All-Star Weekend, due to the logo on the cards and who can blame them for wanting the entire All-Star Weekend immortalized in one set?
Indeed, it was a great weekend to honor. Craig Hodges pulled off a three peat in the Three Point Shootout. Cedric Ceballos capped off All-Star Saturday Night with a blindfolded dunk to capture the NBA Slam Dunk Contest trophy. The NBA All-Star Game itself took place on February 9,1992 and was one for the books…and cards. Magic Johnson made his triumphant return, hitting the fall back three pointer and hoisting the MVP trophy that made us all believe in magic once again. Michael Bolton handled the pregame musical arrangements. Vanilla Ice performed at the halftime show. Hey, in 1992 what more could you ask for? Unfortunately, neither Magic nor Bolton nor Vanilla Ice were immortalized in this set.
The 24-card issue was randomly inserted into 17-card packs of Series 1. Found at a rate of 1 in 9 packs, these definitely weren’t unattainable by any stretch of the imagination.
The horizontal design offers two color images of the featured player competing in the NBA All Star game with a backdrop that flows from a rich blue to a light silver color. The cards have an even darker silverish blue border that ties the design together. The Fleer ’92-93 logo is featured in an upper corner and the Orlando All Star Weekend logo is featured in the other upper corner of the card. The player’s name is featured in gold foil in a lower corner and the team logo is featured of the opposite corner.
The card backs are nothing to write home about. The featured player’s name is found in the upper left-hand corner the card, the number in the upper right-hand corner and again the All-Star Weekend logo is front and center at the top of the card. There is a paragraph of text that encompasses most of the card, speaking to what made the player in the front an NBA All-Star.
The highlights of the Eastern Conference, of course, start with Michael Jordan, wearing his white All Star uniform after releasing a classic MJ jump shot. The second image is a close up shot of Jordan, who has a bit of a goofy look on his face. Nicer ungraded copies of this card can usually be had for under $30. Top end graded examples will run much higher, of course.
Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen is another highlight in the Eastern half of the set. He is featured in an action shot bringing the ball up the court with a picture of him deep in concentration at the free throw line from the regular season in the background.
One of the most powerful pound for pound greatest rebounders of all time is also featured in the Eastern Conference half of the set. Detroit Pistons live wire Dennis Rodman is shown, of course, pulling down a board in his in action shot on the front of the card.
The Eastern part of the set also features Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Mark Price and center Brad Daugherty, Detroit Pistons teammates and back court mates Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, among other stars.
Clyde Drexler leads off the Western Conference All-Stars and his card offers another Hall of Famer. Drexler is shown in his blue West uniform, ready to throw one down with Patrick Ewing watching from ground level.
Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon is also featured in the Western half of the set. The Dream is shown just after releasing a beautiful touch shot headed right for the bottom of the net. The background image of Olajuwon shows him with his temporary usage of the classic Rec Specs resting on the top of his head.
Karl Malone is also featured laying one in at the hoop. His second picture in the background shows him at the free throw line.
Malone’s teammate, NBA all-time assist leader John Stockton is shown in All Star game action imagery (and his decidedly non fancy haircut). Malone and Stockton would get their special All-Star moment the following season, winning co-MVP honors in front of the home crowd in Salt Lake City.
The Western Conference half of the set also features Golden State Warriors teammates and two thirds of RUN-TMC point guard Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin, Phoenix Suns shooting guard Dan Majerle, Denver Nuggets’ shot swatting center Dikembe Mutombo, San Antonio Spurs Hall of Fame center David Robinson, the Los Angeles Lakers Big Game James Worthy and other worthy all-stars.
As mentioned, Jordan is the key to the set, but unless you’re chasing graded 9s and 10s, the 1992-93 Fleer All-Star inserts are among the best values of the era, with a terrific checklist of greats from the era. Single cards can be had for a very modest cost and complete sets are often available for around $100 or less.