Most Expensive Basketball Cards

Basketball card collectors will spend big to secure two types of rare cards, vintage cards in perfect condition and low-numbered modern cards of NBA superstars. A list of the most expensive basketball cards usually involves both. At the top of the list is the first true pro basketball superstar.

George Mikan rookie cards and other rarities picturing the former Minneapolis Lakers sensation command some of the biggest prices. In December of 2009, one of his cards sold for $218,550 at a Memory Lane Inc. auction. Not only was it his rookie card, but it was in the same condition it was when it was made. The card was the 1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan, with a grade of PSA GEM MINT 10. Any Mikan rookie is valuable, and on eBay his rookie card with a grade of PSA EX-MT 6 sold recently for $3,063.23.

Any complete sets that have a Mikan card go for big money, but there are probably more collectors that want the Mikan cards than the full sets. Not only was Mikan in 1948 Bowman but in 1948-49 Exhibits Sports Champions, 1948 Kellogg's and 1950-51 Bread For Health and 1951 Bread For Energy.  As these are bread labels there will be very few in high grade, but when they do appear in as-new condition they go for strong prices. Two Bread For Health Mikans sold in 2012 with low grades. A George Mikan graded SGC 20 FAIR 1.5 sold for $1,279.25 at a Mile High Card Company auction and another sold at SCP Auctions, that was graded SGC FAIR 20 and sold for $1,172.00.

Michael Jordan cards can obtain high prices. Selling for $13,000 on eBay in 2012 was his 1984-85 Star #101 extended rookie card, with a grade of BGS 9 MINT. That card and his Fleer 1986-87 rookie card often have the highest values.

Fleer Jordan rookie cards have been rising in value on a steady basis despite tens of thousands in the market or in personal collections. High-grade Jordan cards have proven to be very good investments.

However, collectors can actually open more recent packs and find expensive Jordan cards, too. One example of this was his Fleer Retro autographed 1997-98 E-X Jambalaya Buyback. The bidding went up to $29,299.69 in the fall of 2012, as this card is a 1 of 1.

Buyback cards should continue to bring strong prices, especially Jordan cards like his 2001-02 Ultimate Collection Buybacks. Michael Jordan autographed older Upper Deck cards, and these along with an accompanying certificate were in the Ultimate Collection packs. There are 1 of 1 cards, and others with only two or three ever made.

There are also graded rookie cards of Chamberlain, West, Russell and other superstars that go for  hundreds--sometimes a few thousand dollars in ultra high grade. A Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rookie card--which also includes Julius Erving from the 1980-81 Topps set was graded PSA 10 GEM MINT and sold for $16,000.  PSA 7 examples sell for around $175 with 8's at about $400-500.

The most expensive basketball cards typically involve high grade rookie cards of the game’s greatest icons.

1986 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " PERSONAL DATA " BGS 8.5++ !! VERY NICE...
1986  STAR  MICHAEL JORDAN  $90.00
Time Remaining: 4d 20h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $90.00
1986 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN #1 " CHECKLIST " BGS MINT 9 !! VERY NICE....
1986  STAR  MICHAEL JORDAN  #1  $110.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $110.00
1986 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " '85 ROY " BGS 9.5 GEM !!! PRISTINE....
1986  STAR  MICHAEL JORDAN  $265.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $265.00
1986 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " COURT KINGS " BGS MINT 9 /9.5 !! PRISTINE....
1986  STAR   MICHAEL JORDAN  $230.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $230.00
1985 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " GATORAID SLAM DUNK " BGS MINT 9 /9.5 !!
1985  STAR   MICHAEL JORDAN  $270.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $270.00
1986 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " THE FUTURE " BGS 9.5 GEM !!! PRISTINE....
1986  STAR  MICHAEL JORDAN  $285.00
Time Remaining: 4d 20h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $285.00
1986 FLEER BASKETBALL COMPLETE STICKER SET, CARDS GRADED PSA 9
1986 FLEER BASKETBALL COMPLETE STICKER SET,  CARDS GRADED PSA 9 $1,494.95
Time Remaining: 29d 18h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $1,494.95
1985-86 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " ALL-ROOKIE TEAM " BGS 8.5+ /9.5 !! .5 AWAY
1985-86  STAR  MICHAEL JORDAN  $240.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $240.00
2006-07 Fleer 1986-87 20th Anniversary Kobe Bryant BGS 9.5 GEM MINT
2006-07 Fleer 1986-87 20th Anniversary Kobe Bryant BGS 9.5 GEM MINT $35.00
Time Remaining: 29d 21h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $35.00
1985 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " TEAM SUPERS 5X7 " BGS MINT 9 /9.5 !! SWEET....
1985 STAR  MICHAEL JORDAN  $290.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $290.00
1986 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN 'BEST OF THE BEST' BGS 9.5 GEM !!! PRISTINE....
1986  STAR  MICHAEL JORDAN  'BEST OF THE BEST'   BGS 9.5 GEM !!!   PRISTINE.... $280.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 29m
Buy It Now for only: $280.00
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card BGS Authentic CENTERED
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card BGS Authentic CENTERED $499.99
Time Remaining: 14d 21h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $499.99
1985 STAR MICHAEL JORDAN " CRUNCH N MUNCH ALL-STAR " BGS MINT 9 /9.5 !!
1985  STAR   MICHAEL JORDAN  $470.00
Time Remaining: 4d 19h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $470.00
PSA 7 1972 Topps Julius Erving #195 Rookie Card Squires DR. J Near Mint RC
PSA 7 1972 Topps Julius Erving #195 Rookie Card Squires DR. J Near Mint RC $222.00
Time Remaining: 28d 22h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $222.00
1957 Topps George Yardley PSA 5 EX Card #2 Detroit Pistons
1957 Topps George Yardley PSA 5 EX Card #2 Detroit Pistons $39.99
Time Remaining: 28d 18h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $39.99
1986 FLEER #84 ROBERT PARRISH PSA 8.5 NM-MT+
1986 FLEER #84 ROBERT PARRISH PSA 8.5 NM-MT+ $15.99
Time Remaining: 26d 15h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $15.99
1986-87 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN ROOKIE #57 GORGEOUS PSA BGS MINT?
1986-87 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN ROOKIE #57 GORGEOUS PSA BGS MINT? $1,600.00
Time Remaining: 28d 16h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $1,600.00
1971 Topps #70 Wilt Chamberlain PSA 8
1971 Topps #70 Wilt Chamberlain PSA 8 $120.00
Time Remaining: 6d 21h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $120.00
1985 Star Lite All-Stars Michael Jordan #4A Variation BGS 6
1985 Star Lite All-Stars Michael Jordan #4A Variation BGS 6 $80.00
Time Remaining: 28d 13h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $80.00
1986 Star #5 Michael Jordan 1985 All-Star RC BGS 9 Mint
1986 Star #5 Michael Jordan 1985 All-Star RC BGS 9 Mint $119.99
Time Remaining: 9d 18h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $119.99

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