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.

1993 ULTRA #7 MICHAEL JORDAN PSA 9 Famous Nicknames
1993 ULTRA #7 MICHAEL JORDAN  PSA 9   Famous Nicknames $12.00
Time Remaining: 6d 10h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $12.00
1961 Fleer Dolph Schayes #39 PSA 7
1961 Fleer Dolph Schayes #39 PSA 7 $55.00
Time Remaining: 29d 51m
Buy It Now for only: $55.00
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Sticker #8 PSA 8
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Sticker  #8 PSA 8 $180.00
Time Remaining: 28d 11h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $180.00
1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rc Rookie BGS 4
1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rc Rookie BGS 4 $599.99
Time Remaining: 27d 23h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $599.99
1961 FLEER BASKETBALL #23 SAM JONES PSA 6 St
1961 FLEER  BASKETBALL #23 SAM JONES PSA 6  St $60.00
Time Remaining: 29d 1h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $60.00
1986 FLEER JOHNNY MOORE # 76 PSA 8
1986  FLEER JOHNNY MOORE # 76  PSA 8 $10.85
Time Remaining: 25d 11h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $10.85
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57 PSA EX-MT 6 Graded Chicago Bulls
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57 PSA EX-MT 6 Graded Chicago Bulls $650.00 (10 Bids)
Time Remaining: 57m
1969 TOPPS BASKETBALL # 25 LEW ALCINDOR ROOKIE PSA 6 EX-MT
1969 TOPPS BASKETBALL # 25 LEW ALCINDOR ROOKIE PSA 6 EX-MT $295.00
Time Remaining: 26d 11h 30m
Buy It Now for only: $295.00
1986 Fleer #17 Michael Cooper Lakers PSA 9 MINT (0186)
1986 Fleer #17 Michael Cooper Lakers PSA 9 MINT (0186) $15.00
Time Remaining: 23d 4h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie PSA 4.5
1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie PSA 4.5 $549.00
Time Remaining: 27d 11h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $549.00
1988 FLEER JOHN PAXSON RC BULLS #19 PSA GEM MT 10
1988 FLEER JOHN PAXSON RC BULLS #19 PSA GEM MT 10 $29.99
Time Remaining: 1h 35m
John Stockton 1988-89 1988 Fleer Rookie #115 PSA 9 MINT
John Stockton 1988-89 1988 Fleer Rookie #115 PSA 9 MINT $21.99
Time Remaining: 27d 10h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $21.99
1986 FLEER VINNIE JOHNSON # 56 PSA 8
1986  FLEER  VINNIE JOHNSON # 56   PSA 8 $12.85
Time Remaining: 25d 11h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $12.85
1961 FLEER #22 K.C. JONES RC CELTICS HOF PSA 7 Centered
1961 FLEER #22 K.C. JONES RC CELTICS HOF PSA 7 Centered $140.00
Time Remaining: 29d 1h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $140.00
1988 Fleer #124 Larry Bird Gem Mint PSA 10
1988 Fleer #124 Larry Bird Gem Mint PSA 10 $24.99
Time Remaining: 22d 6h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $24.99
1993 Fleer All-stars #5 Michael Jordan PSA 10
1993 Fleer All-stars #5 Michael Jordan PSA 10 $225.00
Time Remaining: 28d 9h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $225.00
1993 Skybox Premium CENTER STAGE #CS1 Michael Jordan PSA 10
1993 Skybox Premium CENTER STAGE #CS1 Michael Jordan PSA 10 $275.00
Time Remaining: 23d 9h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $275.00
1988 Fleer #56 John Long Gem Mint PSA 10
1988 Fleer #56 John Long Gem Mint PSA 10 $9.99
Time Remaining: 11h 18m
PSA 10 1988 FLEER BASKETBALL # 85 CHARLES BARKLEY 76ERS FROM SET BREAK
PSA 10 1988 FLEER BASKETBALL # 85 CHARLES BARKLEY 76ERS FROM SET BREAK $59.99
Time Remaining: 6d 3h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $59.99
1986 FLEER BASKETBALL# 82 AKEEM OLAJUWON BGS 9 MINT MINT MINT
1986 FLEER BASKETBALL# 82 AKEEM OLAJUWON BGS 9 MINT MINT MINT $109.00
Time Remaining: 24d 51m
Buy It Now for only: $109.00

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