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.

1984-85 Star #101 MICHAEL JORDAN BGS 7 w/9 True Rookie Card Not 1986 Fleer RC
1984-85 Star #101 MICHAEL JORDAN BGS 7 w/9 True Rookie Card Not 1986 Fleer RC $4,395.00
Time Remaining: 3d 22h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $4,395.00
1986-87 Fleer Basketball Complete Set (132) w Michael Jordan RC PSA 9 + Stickers
1986-87 Fleer Basketball Complete Set (132) w Michael Jordan RC PSA 9 + Stickers $7,200.00
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $7,200.00
1985 Star Lite All-Stars MICHAEL JORDAN #4 BGS 8
1985 Star Lite All-Stars MICHAEL JORDAN #4 BGS 8 $250.00
Time Remaining: 28d 3h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $250.00
1988 Fleer #20 Scottie Pippen Rc Rookie PSA 8
1988 Fleer #20 Scottie Pippen Rc Rookie PSA 8 $17.95
Time Remaining: 19d 3h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $17.95
1988 Fleer #20 Scottie Pippen Rc Rookie PSA 8
1988 Fleer #20 Scottie Pippen Rc Rookie PSA 8 $17.95
Time Remaining: 19d 3h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $17.95
1969 TOPPS #99 CHECKLIST 1-99 CENTERED PSA 6 K2449355-293
1969 TOPPS #99 CHECKLIST 1-99 CENTERED PSA 6 K2449355-293 $449.99
Time Remaining: 28d 21h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $449.99
MICHAEL JORDAN 1986 FLEER ROOKIE RC #57 BULLS BGS 8 (.5 AWAY) 9 CENTERING
MICHAEL JORDAN 1986 FLEER ROOKIE RC #57 BULLS BGS 8 (.5 AWAY) 9 CENTERING $1,723.00
Time Remaining: 29d 39m
Buy It Now for only: $1,723.00
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card RC #57 PSA 6 - DEAD CENTERED
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card RC #57 PSA 6 - DEAD CENTERED $1,199.00
Time Remaining: 2d 7m
Buy It Now for only: $1,199.00
1971 Topps #506 Bobby Knoop White Sox SGC 88 NM-MT 8
1971 Topps #506 Bobby Knoop White Sox SGC 88 NM-MT 8 $16.28
Time Remaining: 13d 20h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $16.28
1961 Fleer #38 Bill Russell Celtics HOF PSA 4 (MK)
1961 Fleer #38 Bill Russell Celtics HOF PSA 4 (MK) $125.00
Time Remaining: 26d 22h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $125.00
1957 Topps 77 Bill Russell RC PSA 4 548427
1957 Topps 77 Bill Russell RC PSA 4 548427 $1,507.00
Time Remaining: 29d 4h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $1,507.00
1961 Fleer #8 Wilt Chamberlain Rookie PSA 8.5
1961 Fleer #8 Wilt Chamberlain Rookie PSA 8.5 $20,900.00
Time Remaining: 29d 4h 56m
Buy It Now for only: $20,900.00
1988 Fleer Sticker #7 Michael Jordan Card PSA MINT 9
1988 Fleer Sticker #7 Michael Jordan Card PSA MINT 9 $439.99
Time Remaining: 29d 5h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $439.99
1972 Julius Erving Topps Squires RC #195 PSA EX 5
1972 Julius Erving Topps Squires RC #195 PSA EX 5 $150.00
Time Remaining: 5d 23h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $150.00
1985 HAKEEM Akeem OLAJUWON Star All-Rookie Team #1 BGS 9.5 Gem Mint VERY RARE!
1985 HAKEEM Akeem OLAJUWON Star All-Rookie Team #1 BGS 9.5 Gem Mint VERY RARE! $499.34
Time Remaining: 5d 21h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $499.34
1985 MICHAEL JORDAN Star All-rookie Team #2 BGS 9 with 9.5 x3 only 2 higher!
1985 MICHAEL JORDAN Star All-rookie Team #2 BGS 9 with 9.5 x3 only 2 higher!  $1,023.23
Time Remaining: 5d 20h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $1,023.23
1988 Fleer #57 Reggie Miller Rc Rookie PSA 8
1988 Fleer #57 Reggie Miller Rc Rookie PSA 8 $9.95
Time Remaining: 19d 2h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $9.95
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Stickers #8 BGS 7 Near Mint
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Stickers #8 BGS 7 Near Mint $199.99
Time Remaining: 29d 2h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $199.99
PSA Graded Collection: MAGIC JOHNSON!! 1985-1986 Fleer Basketball #53 NM 7
PSA Graded Collection: MAGIC JOHNSON!! 1985-1986 Fleer Basketball #53 NM 7 $14.99
Time Remaining: 21d 3h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
1961-62 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain #8 Rookie SGC 10 Poor
1961-62 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain #8 Rookie SGC 10 Poor $500.00
Time Remaining: 4d 9h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $500.00

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