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.

1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA Authentic Rookie Card
1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA Authentic Rookie Card $699.99
Time Remaining: 6d 14h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $699.99
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie BGS 8.5
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie BGS 8.5 $1,725.00 (35 Bids)
Time Remaining: 9h 47m
1986-87 Fleer JOHNNY MOORE #76 Spurs PSA 9 MINT
1986-87 Fleer JOHNNY MOORE #76 Spurs PSA 9 MINT $179.00
Time Remaining: 27d 10h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $179.00
1961 Fleer #8 Wilt Chamberlain BVG 7
1961 Fleer #8 Wilt Chamberlain BVG 7 $1,900.00
Time Remaining: 23d 2h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $1,900.00
1986 Fleer MICHAEL JORDAN RC #57 HOF PSA 5
1986 Fleer MICHAEL JORDAN RC #57 HOF PSA 5 $1,049.00
Time Remaining: 5d 16h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $1,049.00
1986 Fleer PSA 9 (NQ) LOT of (20)
1986 Fleer PSA 9 (NQ) LOT of (20) $450.00
Time Remaining: 28d 12h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $450.00
1986 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan ROOKIE RC #57 PSA 7 NRMT RANDOM SPOT
1986 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan ROOKIE RC #57 PSA 7 NRMT RANDOM SPOT $49.99
Time Remaining: 4d 12h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
1993 Upper Deck Halojams #H4 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls PSA 9 MINT
1993 Upper Deck Halojams #H4 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls PSA 9 MINT $0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4d 15h 24m
1970 TOPPS #123 PETE MARAVICH RC HOF PSA 7 K2323366-575
1970 TOPPS #123 PETE MARAVICH RC HOF PSA 7 K2323366-575 $459.99
Time Remaining: 21d 10h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $459.99
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card BGS 8.5
1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card BGS 8.5 $2,599.00
Time Remaining: 4d 11h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $2,599.00
1986-87 FLEER #57 MICHAEL JORDAN ROOKIE RC BGS 8.5
1986-87 FLEER #57 MICHAEL JORDAN ROOKIE RC BGS 8.5 $2,599.99
Time Remaining: 26d 7h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $2,599.99
1986 Fleer #8 Michael Jordan Rookie Sticker BGS 9
1986 Fleer #8 Michael Jordan Rookie Sticker BGS 9 $1,215.00
Time Remaining: 27d 10h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $1,215.00
Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie Card #57 Chicago Bulls psa
Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie Card #57 Chicago Bulls psa $495.00
Time Remaining: 27d 16h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $495.00
1980-81 TOPPS MAGIC JOHNSON JULIUS ERVING KOLFF SL #146 BGS BVG 9 ROOKIE
1980-81 TOPPS MAGIC JOHNSON JULIUS ERVING KOLFF SL #146 BGS BVG 9 ROOKIE $499.00
Time Remaining: 29d 10h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $499.00
1986 - 1987 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan Bulls #57 Rookie HOF PSA 6 EX-MT
1986 - 1987 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan Bulls #57 Rookie HOF PSA 6  EX-MT $1,059.00
Time Remaining: 6d 19h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $1,059.00
1961 Fleer #43 Jerry West PSA 8 (rookie) (centered)
1961 Fleer #43 Jerry West PSA 8  (rookie) (centered) $8,497.00
Time Remaining: 25d 7h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $8,497.00
1988 Fleer MICHAEL JORDAN A/S #120 Bulls PSA 9 MINT
1988 Fleer MICHAEL JORDAN A/S #120 Bulls PSA 9 MINT $139.00
Time Remaining: 26d 11h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $139.00
1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie BGS 8.5
1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie BGS 8.5 $2,650.00
Time Remaining: 20d 6h 56m
Buy It Now for only: $2,650.00
1986-87 Fleer CHARLES BARKLEY #7 Rookie 76ers PSA 9 MINT
1986-87 Fleer CHARLES BARKLEY #7 Rookie 76ers PSA 9 MINT $255.00
Time Remaining: 27d 10h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $255.00
1986 Fleer DOMINIQUE WILKINS #121 HOF PSA 9
1986 Fleer DOMINIQUE WILKINS #121 HOF PSA 9 $499.00
Time Remaining: 5d 16h 15m
Buy It Now for only: $499.00

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