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 Sticker Julius Erving #5 PSA 9 Mint
1986-87 Fleer Sticker Julius Erving #5 PSA 9 Mint $24.15 (9 Bids)
Time Remaining: 46m
1986 FLEER PREMIER CHECKLIST # 132 PSA 8 !!! SWEET... AN 8.5+ REGRADE
1986  FLEER PREMIER   CHECKLIST  # 132   PSA  8 !!!    SWEET... AN 8.5+ REGRADE $30.00
Time Remaining: 3d 19h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $30.00
1986 (rookie x2),87,88,89 Fleer basketball Michael Jordan PSA graded Cards;NM/MT
1986 (rookie x2),87,88,89 Fleer basketball Michael Jordan PSA graded Cards;NM/MT $1,795.00
Time Remaining: 10h 41m
1986-87 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Rookie RC BGS 4
1986-87 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Rookie RC BGS 4 $400.01
Time Remaining: 29d 13h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $400.01
1993-94 Finest REFRACTOR BCCG 10 CHRISTIAN LAETTNER #111 MF Psa Bgs 9.5
1993-94 Finest REFRACTOR BCCG 10 CHRISTIAN LAETTNER #111 MF Psa Bgs 9.5 $3.00 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 11h 49m
Topps 1980-81 #6, 34 Bird, 174 Erving SL, 139 Johnson BVG graded 4.5 VG EX+ nice
Topps 1980-81 #6, 34 Bird, 174 Erving SL, 139 Johnson BVG graded 4.5 VG EX+ nice $59.99
Time Remaining: 12h 25m
1972 Topps JERRY WEST #75 PSA 7 (NM) HOF Lakers (W&W)
1972 Topps JERRY WEST #75 PSA 7 (NM) HOF Lakers (W&W) $19.99
Time Remaining: 29d 23h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
Topps 1969-70 #1 Wilt Chamberlain Center Los Angeles BVG graded 2.0 Good SWEET!!
Topps 1969-70 #1 Wilt Chamberlain Center Los Angeles BVG graded 2.0 Good SWEET!! $39.99
Time Remaining: 12h 25m
1993-94 Finest Chris Webber Refractor PSA 9
1993-94 Finest Chris Webber Refractor PSA 9 $99.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 15h 8m
1986 FLEER PREMIER CHECKLIST # 132 BGS 8 !! VERY TOUGH GRADED...
1986  FLEER PREMIER   CHECKLIST  # 132   BGS  8 !!    VERY TOUGH GRADED... $25.00
Time Remaining: 3d 19h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $25.00
BGS 8.5 NM-MT+ 1986-87 FLEER DEREK HARPER #44 DALLAS MAVERICKS
BGS 8.5 NM-MT+ 1986-87 FLEER DEREK HARPER #44 DALLAS MAVERICKS $1.29 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 16h 31m
BGS 8.5 NM-MT+ 1986-87 FLEER ARTIS GILMORE #37 SAN ANTONIO SPURS W/ QUAD 8.5s
BGS 8.5 NM-MT+ 1986-87 FLEER ARTIS GILMORE #37 SAN ANTONIO SPURS W/ QUAD 8.5s $0.99
Time Remaining: 16h 33m
1986 Star Michael Jordan #7 Career Highlights Bgs 9 Mint Mt W/ 2 9.5
1986 Star Michael Jordan #7 Career Highlights Bgs 9 Mint Mt W/ 2 9.5 $124.99
Time Remaining: 29d 23h 1m
Buy It Now for only: $124.99
BGS 7.5 NEAR MINT+ 1986-87 FLEER THURL BAILEY UTAH JAZZ W/ 9.5 SURFACE
BGS 7.5 NEAR MINT+ 1986-87 FLEER THURL BAILEY UTAH JAZZ W/ 9.5 SURFACE $0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 16h 33m
BGS 7.5 NEAR MINT+ 1986-87 FLEER BILL LAIMBEER #61 DETROIT PISTONS W/9.5
BGS 7.5 NEAR MINT+ 1986-87 FLEER BILL LAIMBEER #61 DETROIT PISTONS W/9.5 $1.29 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 16h 33m
1986 FLEER #1 KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR LAKERS HOF PSA 8.5 K1850409-426
1986 FLEER #1 KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR LAKERS HOF PSA 8.5 K1850409-426 $59.99
Time Remaining: 29d 16h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $59.99
BGS 7 NEAR MINT 1986-87 FLEER BILL WALTON #119 BOSTON CELTICS W/ 9.5
BGS 7 NEAR MINT 1986-87 FLEER BILL WALTON #119 BOSTON CELTICS W/ 9.5 $0.99
Time Remaining: 16h 36m
MICHAEL JORDAN 1993 TOPPS FINEST # 1 PSA GRADED 10 GEM MINT CHICAGO BULLS 23 HOF
MICHAEL JORDAN 1993 TOPPS FINEST # 1 PSA GRADED 10 GEM MINT CHICAGO BULLS 23 HOF $22.00 (21 Bids)
Time Remaining: 17h 19m
1969/70 Topps Basketball Checklist #99 - Graded BVG/PSA 4 - FREE SHIPPING!
1969/70 Topps Basketball Checklist #99 - Graded BVG/PSA 4 - FREE SHIPPING! $75.00
Time Remaining: 28d 14h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $75.00
TOPPS 1972 JOHN HAVLICEK #110 PSA 9 ......HIGH END
TOPPS 1972  JOHN HAVLICEK  #110  PSA 9 ......HIGH END $18.26 (11 Bids)
Time Remaining: 20h 26m

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