When Big Men Ruled – 1995-96 Ultra Power

Remember when big men were prioritized at the top of the draft over perimeter players? This happened routinely, with some outliers.

A few years ago I started picking up cards here and there from the Power insert set from 1995-96 Ultra. Right now I own half the set.

These cards are colorful, they are in your face, just as these big men play the game, with purpose and with power. When I think about 90s big men, the 10 guys in this set are the ones I think of, without question. A few are missing, of course from the end of the decade (Duncan, KG, etc…), but this set gets most of them in one place.

I know I opened at least a few packs of 1995-96 Ultra. Not near as many as 1994-95 Ultra or 1995-96 Fleer, but I certainly remember the double-trouble inserts, the All-NBA set, and the full gold fronts on the Gold Medallion parallels. The Power insert set might be my favorite, looking back.

Honestly, these cards hold up very well years later. They are thick, solid cardstock, and they were advertised as such. They are also affordable. The most desirable cards are probably Shaq and Hakeem. All of the cards in this set can be had for a couple dollars or less. Even the Gold Medallion versions are very attainable.

The backs on these are as sharp as the front. I love swagger you can see coming from Patrick Ewing here. You also get a complete shot of the 90s jerseys here, which I will never get enough of.

The five players in the set that aren’t shown here are Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Johnson, Dikembe Mutombo, and David Robinson.

If you want a set that focuses on the big men from the 90s, 95-96 Ultra Power is a good place to start.

Who’s your favorite NBA big man? Are there any 90s big men who were left out?

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