Player Focus: Kobe Bryant
From the beginning of his career, Kobe Bryant has had the confidence & drive (and talent of course) to become the player he is today - the best in the NBA. His offense & defense have been top notch for a few years now, and he has finally become the complete package by adding the ability to elevate the game of his teammates. The Lakers' current roster provides the perfect situation for Kobe to develop this skill, with a solid #2 (Lamar Odom) and a group of young, up-and-coming talent to guide (Bynum, Turiaf, Cook, Walton, Farmar, Vujacic), by providing a great on-court example and "coaching". It was near impossible to do with the old Lakers line-up, with players like Shaq, Malone & Payton, who have been around for a lot longer and had their own way of doing things. Barring any major changes, I predict the Lakers to be in the Western Conf finals by 2009.
Kobe's top 5 base RCs from 96-97 are 1) Topps Chrome ($225), 2) E-X2000 ($60), 3) Finest ($40), 4) Bowman's Best ($25) and 5) SP ($20). I've been tracking recent actual sales of these cards and found that the Topps Chrome sold for an avg of $146.16 (65% of BV), E-X2000 $30.28 (50.5% of BV), Finest $16.48 (41.2% of BV), Bowman's Best $11.69 (46.7 % of BV) and SP $6.18 (30.9% of BV). This shows the typical trend of higher priced RCs selling for higher % of BVs than lower ones.
Kobe's top 5 parallel RCs are 1) Topps Chrome Ref ($1800), 2) Flair Legacy Coll #'d 150 ($800), 3) E-X2000 Credentials #'d 499 ($700), 4) Skybox Prem Rubies ($400) and 5) Finest Ref ($350). Some recent sales that I've seen are Flair Legacy Coll $432.38 (54.6% of BV), Finest Ref $164.90 - avg of two sales (47.1% of BV) and E-X2000 Credentials $609 (87% of BV). I've seen a couple of Topps Chrome Refs graded BGS 9.5 listed, but they didn't meet reserve.
My personal favorites are his E-X2000 base & parallel. I think that they are the most unique & attractive of the bunch, in addition to being quite rare & condition sensitive.