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 high prices, but there are probably more collectors that want the Mikan cards than the complete 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. Christie's sold a Bread For Energy Mikan for $2,420. As these are bread labels there will be very few with a high grading, but when they do appear in as-new condition they go for high 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.

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. But collectors can actually open this year's packs and find expensive Jordan cards.

A recent example of this was his Fleer Retro autographed 1997-98 E-X EX 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 1980 Topps #16 Larry Bird and Magic Johnson rookie card--which also includes Julius Erving 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 rookie cards of the game’s greatest icons.

1986-87 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Rookie RC HOF PSA 8 NM-MT
1986-87 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Rookie RC HOF PSA 8 NM-MT $898.23 (16 Bids)
Time Remaining: 11h 9m
1993 93 ALONZO MOURNING FINEST REFRACTOR #104 PSA GEM MINT 10 LOW POP 5
1993 93 ALONZO MOURNING FINEST REFRACTOR #104 PSA GEM MINT 10 LOW POP 5 $149.99
Time Remaining: 29d 7h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $149.99
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan HOF RC Rookie PSA 9 MINT CENTERED
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan HOF RC Rookie PSA 9 MINT CENTERED $1,410.00 (20 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 10h 34m
1957 Topps #77 Bill Russell PSA 4 G3589
1957 Topps #77   Bill Russell PSA 4 G3589 $1,630.00
Time Remaining: 26d 2h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $1,630.00
1985 Michael Jordan Nike Promo Card Psa 8.5 Psa8sold4$115 Chicago Bulls Rookie !
1985 Michael Jordan Nike Promo Card Psa 8.5 Psa8sold4$115 Chicago Bulls Rookie ! $114.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 31m
3 CARDS 1986 FLEER #47 CRAIG HODGES PSA 9
 3 CARDS 1986 FLEER #47 CRAIG HODGES  PSA 9 $31.00 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 36m
1969 TOPPS #50 OSCAR ROBERTSON PSA 9 CINCINNATI PSA 9 23030897
1969 TOPPS #50 OSCAR ROBERTSON PSA 9 CINCINNATI PSA 9        23030897 $999.99
Time Remaining: 25d 4h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $999.99
1986-87 Fleer Basketball #40 Sidney Green PSA 10 Gem MT WOW great card!
1986-87 Fleer Basketball  #40 Sidney Green PSA 10 Gem MT WOW great card! $32.00 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 5m
1986-87 Fleer Basketball #113 Wayman Tisdale PSA 10 Gem MT WOW great card!
1986-87 Fleer Basketball  #113 Wayman Tisdale PSA 10 Gem MT WOW great card! $71.15 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 11m
1986 86 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA 8 NM-MT; NICE!
1986 86 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA 8 NM-MT; NICE! $979.00
Time Remaining: 6d 8h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $979.00
1988-89 Fleer Basketball Checklist #132 1-132 PSA NM-MT 8
1988-89 Fleer Basketball Checklist #132 1-132 PSA NM-MT 8 $9.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2h 26m
MARK PRICE 1988-89 Fleer #25 PSA MINT 9 RC Cavaliers
MARK PRICE 1988-89 Fleer #25 PSA MINT 9 RC Cavaliers $14.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2h 26m
Dave Cowens PSA - 8 1971 Topps Rookie #47
Dave Cowens PSA - 8 1971 Topps Rookie  #47 $45.00
Time Remaining: 5d 4h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $45.00
1972 Topps #30 Connie Hawkins Suns PSA Mint 9
1972 Topps #30 Connie Hawkins Suns PSA Mint 9 $14.00 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 32m
1972 Topps #31 Calvin Murphy Rockets PSA Mint 9
1972 Topps #31 Calvin Murphy Rockets PSA Mint 9 $12.99 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 32m
1954 Topps #70 Larry Doby (HOF) Indians! SGC 50 80-020
1954 Topps #70 Larry Doby (HOF) Indians!  SGC 50       80-020 $24.95
Time Remaining: 28d 22h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $24.95
1972 Topps #105 Dave DeBusschere PSA Mint 9
1972 Topps #105 Dave DeBusschere PSA Mint 9 $12.99 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 33m
1993 1993-94 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Triple Double Hologram PSA 8
1993 1993-94 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Triple Double Hologram PSA 8 $4.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2h 33m
1986-87 fleer bgs 9 lot of 33 cards all bgs 9 great starter set
1986-87 fleer bgs 9 lot of 33 cards all bgs 9  great starter set $499.99
Time Remaining: 29d 9h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $499.99
1972 Topps #97 Walt Bellamy Hawks PSA Mint 9
1972 Topps #97 Walt Bellamy Hawks PSA Mint 9 $12.95 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 33m

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