The 1994-95 NBA season was an interesting one. With Michael Jordan still away from basketball, the Houston Rockets picked up their second straight NBA championship. Two incredibly versatile youngsters won co-Rookie of the Year Awards. Both Grant Hill of the Pistons and Jason Kidd of the Mavericks were triple-double machines.
In large part, the league was dominated by the centers who imposed their will on possessions, games, entire series, and even seasons.
Honoring those big men that dominated on defense, 1994-95 Flair boxes included an insert set called Rejectors that focused on players who made the offense second guess their shot selection, the monsters in the middle that swatted shots into the third row and the ones that changed offensive game plans altogether.
Inserted in Series 2 at a rate of one in approximately ever 25 packs, the six-card set offered a flashy, colorful etched foil front with the backdrop designed as three large hands- one red, one green and one blue, representing the tools that do the rejecting. There is a nice full color action shot of the player in the foreground. A yellowish gold foil Rejectors logo is found one of the corners of the card, again showing 3 hands (two of the shooter and one of the rejector, I presume.) and one basketball.
The player’s name is found in a nice gold cursive writing at the bottom of the card and the 94-95 Flair logo is found in a very similar gold cursive writing in one of the other corners of the card.
The card backs feature a very similar backdrop as the card fronts with the player’s name found in the same cursive writing at the top while another full-color image and a text box offers an extensive chronicle of the player’s shot rejecting highlights.
As we often say, this is a card that you need to hold in your hands to fully appreciate its quality and coolness.
Card number 1 in the set is New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing who was as much of a defensive force on the college level and then in the NBA is anyone in the last 50 years.
We stick with Georgetown centers as Charlotte Hornets center Alonzo Mourning is found at the second spot. The Hornets were happy to find their center, even if he was a bit undersized, as this Mourning became an immediate force on both ends of the floor. He quickly became one of the leagues leading shot blockers.
The third card features our third Hoya as Denver Nuggets all-time great defender Dikembe Mutombo is featured. In a really cool image on the front of the card, it offers an aerial view of the Dikembe swatting a woulde-be shot at the rim. You can be sure that the finger waving came shortly thereafter.
The future Hall of Famer led the league in blocks (321) and blocks per game (3.9) that season. Clearly as deserving as anyone, maybe in history, to be included in a set such as this.
Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon is the fourth card in the six card set. The image shows a helpless Kenny Anderson releasing a left handed shot at the rim while Olajuwon, midair with his head near the net and his long arm outstretched, is clearly swatting that shot in the other direction.
It’s an absolute perfect image for this insert set. The Dream was fourth in the league with 242 blocks that particular season.
One of the most dominant forces in league history, Shaquille O’Neal, is fifth card of the six shot swatting cards. Shaq is pictured just a split second after swatting a shot away at the rim.
The then 22-year-old was sixth in the league with a 192 blocks during the 1994-95 NBA season. He also captured the scoring title that year averaging over 29 points per game.
The final card in the set features San Antonio Spurs all time great David Robinson. Although you might have to use your imagination with the picture, it appears Robinson is reaching out to make a block. Robinson finished the season as the league’s most valuable player averaging nearly 28 points, 11 rebounds and over three blocks per game.
This is one of the cheapest Flair Basketball sets you can own. Most of the stars in this set can be had for a couple of bucks. The Shaq card might cost you a $10 bill. A PSA 10 Patrick Ewing version sold for a little more than 50 bucks towards the end of November.
Although there isn’t a ton of monetary value here, as with much of 1990’s sports cards, this was high end at the time. Flair produced one of the more high end products and this insert set exhibits those qualities of the glossy, thick card stock, the great photography, the foil technology and everything that made cards elite back in the 1990s.