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.

RARE 1985 Nike Michael Jordan basketball promo card PSA 9 MINT Bulls
RARE 1985 Nike Michael Jordan basketball promo card   PSA 9 MINT   Bulls $152.50 (19 Bids)
Time Remaining: 31m
1996-97 fleer decade (1986) MICHAEL JORDAN rookie BGS BCCG 10 **
1996-97 fleer decade (1986) MICHAEL JORDAN rookie BGS BCCG 10 ** $49.00
Time Remaining: 18d 8h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $49.00
(2) 1988 fleer PSA 9 LARRY BIRD CARDS #9 and #124
(2) 1988 fleer PSA 9 LARRY BIRD CARDS #9 and #124 $0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1h 23m
Wilt Chamberlain 1961-62 Fleer Rookie RC #8 BVG 4
Wilt Chamberlain 1961-62 Fleer Rookie RC #8 BVG 4 $575.00
Time Remaining: 5d 17h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $575.00
(11) 1986-87 Fleer PSA 8 Doc Rivers Malone Larry Drew + Jordan Insert
(11) 1986-87 Fleer PSA 8 Doc Rivers Malone Larry Drew + Jordan Insert $48.99 (14 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4h 5m
1986-87 Fleer Ricky Pierce #87 BGS 9 Mint well centered
1986-87 Fleer Ricky Pierce #87 BGS 9 Mint well centered $16.38 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6h 55m
1986 Star Court Kings #12 Alex English BGS 9
1986 Star Court Kings #12 Alex English BGS 9 $34.99
Time Remaining: 27d 6h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $34.99
1971 TOPPS Rc #170 RICK BARRY PSA 9 NETS H.O.F.
1971 TOPPS Rc #170 RICK BARRY PSA 9 NETS H.O.F. $311.00 (9 Bids)
Time Remaining: 7h 12m
1986-87 Fleer Magic Johnson #53, BGS-8
1986-87 Fleer Magic Johnson #53, BGS-8 $30.00
Time Remaining: 7h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $40.00
1985 MICHAEL JORDAN STAR LITE ALL-STARS CARD #4 BGS 9 #0008291414
1985 MICHAEL JORDAN STAR LITE ALL-STARS CARD #4 BGS 9 #0008291414 $295.00
Time Remaining: 29d 3h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $295.00
1972 TOPPS #195 JULIUS ERVING RC HOF PSA 7
1972 TOPPS #195 JULIUS ERVING RC HOF PSA 7 $189.99
Time Remaining: 7h 49m
1980 TOPPS SCORING LEADER, BIRD, ERVING, JOHNSON PSA MINT 9(OC)
1980 TOPPS SCORING LEADER, BIRD, ERVING, JOHNSON  PSA MINT 9(OC) $275.00
Time Remaining: 11h 48m
1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan RC BGS 8
1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan RC BGS 8 $1,000.00
Time Remaining: 28d 22h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $1,000.00
PSA 7 near mint 1970 Topps # 41 Bob Boozer Seattle Supersonics Sonics Kansas St
PSA 7 near mint 1970 Topps # 41 Bob Boozer Seattle Supersonics Sonics Kansas St $5.95
Time Remaining: 21h 18m
1986-87 Fleer #31 Julius Erving BGS 7 Near Mint
1986-87 Fleer #31 Julius Erving BGS 7 Near Mint $14.95 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 21h 57m
1984-85 Star Leo Rautins #83 BGS 9 Mint
1984-85 Star Leo Rautins #83 BGS 9 Mint $9.97
Time Remaining: 24d 22h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $9.97
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card BGS 6
1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card BGS 6 $569.99
Time Remaining: 23h 21m
PSA 9 MINT 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Johnny Moore #76 LOW POP TOUGH
PSA 9 MINT 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Johnny Moore #76 LOW POP TOUGH $43.00 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 37m
1986 Star Court Kings #8 Terry Cummings BGS 9.5
1986 Star Court Kings #8 Terry Cummings BGS 9.5 $49.99
Time Remaining: 24d 8h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
1969-70 Topps #1 Wilt Chamberlain/Lakers PSA 6
1969-70 Topps #1 Wilt Chamberlain/Lakers PSA 6 $88.34 (10 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 40m

« Previous12345