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.

1980 Topps Larry Bird Magic Johnson Julius Erving RC Rookie PSA 7 NM
1980 Topps Larry Bird Magic Johnson Julius Erving RC Rookie PSA 7 NM $349.00
Time Remaining: 28d 9h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $349.00
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: 17d 3h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $16.28
1957 Topps Bill Russell RC #77 PSA 7 (oc) - Celtics
1957 Topps Bill Russell RC #77 PSA 7 (oc) - Celtics $2,850.00
Time Remaining: 2d 15h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $2,850.00
HIGH END !! MICHAEL JORDAN 1986 FLEER ROOKIE #57 PSA 5 EX CENTERED UNDERGRADED
HIGH END !! MICHAEL JORDAN 1986 FLEER ROOKIE #57 PSA 5 EX CENTERED UNDERGRADED $1,399.99
Time Remaining: 6d 5h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $1,399.99
1986 Fleer Sticker #8 Michael Jordan Rookie PSA 8 NM-MT HOF
  1986 Fleer Sticker #8 Michael Jordan Rookie PSA 8 NM-MT HOF       $300.00
Time Remaining: 28d 9h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $300.00
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan ROOKIE *SGC graded* #57 Great centering
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan ROOKIE *SGC graded*  #57 Great centering $699.99
Time Remaining: 4d 13h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $699.99
1980 TOPPS SCORING LEADER ERVING LARRY BIRD MAGIC JOHNSON ROOKIE PSA 8 OLD LABEL
1980 TOPPS SCORING LEADER ERVING LARRY BIRD MAGIC JOHNSON ROOKIE PSA 8 OLD LABEL $889.99
Time Remaining: 28d 20h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $889.99
1985 star gatorade slam dunk charles barkley short print bgs 9
1985 star gatorade slam dunk charles barkley short print bgs 9 $54.75
Time Remaining: 20d 10h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $54.75
1957 Topps Bill Russell Celtics RC Rookie Card #77 PSA EX-MT 6
1957 Topps Bill Russell Celtics RC Rookie Card #77 PSA EX-MT 6 $3,999.00
Time Remaining: 28d 9h
Buy It Now for only: $3,999.00
1983-84 star #52 brad davis bgs 9
1983-84 star #52 brad davis bgs 9 $29.75
Time Remaining: 29d 7h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $29.75
1985 STAR SLAM DUNK SUPERS 5X7 #5 MICHAEL JORDAN BGS 9 K1000526-897
1985 STAR SLAM DUNK SUPERS 5X7 #5 MICHAEL JORDAN BGS 9 K1000526-897 $699.99
Time Remaining: 28d 8h 42m
Buy It Now for only: $699.99
MICHAEL JORDAN-bulls-1986/87 FLEER RC SGC GRADED "A" AUTHENTIC-PERFECT CENTERING
MICHAEL JORDAN-bulls-1986/87 FLEER RC SGC GRADED $999.99
Time Remaining: 5d 16h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $999.99
1969 TOPPS BASKETBALL #20 JOHN HAVLICEK BOSTON CELTICS PSA 8 11121216
1969 TOPPS BASKETBALL #20 JOHN HAVLICEK BOSTON CELTICS PSA 8    11121216 $1,264.00
Time Remaining: 29d 6h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $1,264.00
1969-70 TOPPS BASKETBALL COMPLETE SET 1-99 VG -NM WITH 16 GRADED PSA SGC
1969-70 TOPPS BASKETBALL COMPLETE SET 1-99 VG -NM WITH 16 GRADED PSA SGC $800.00
Time Remaining: 6d 3h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $800.00
1969 Topps Basketball Lew Alcindor ROOKIE RC #25 PSA 6 EXMT FRESHLY GRADED
1969 Topps Basketball Lew Alcindor ROOKIE RC #25 PSA 6 EXMT FRESHLY GRADED $875.00
Time Remaining: 27d 10h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $875.00
1985 Star All Stars XRC Michael Jordan #4 BGS 6.5 w/2 8.5
1985 Star All Stars XRC Michael Jordan #4 BGS 6.5 w/2 8.5 $214.23
Time Remaining: 3d 17h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $214.23
1969 TOPPS BASKETBALL #1 WILT CHAMBERLAIN LOS ANGELES LAKERS PSA 7 23841253
1969 TOPPS BASKETBALL #1 WILT CHAMBERLAIN LOS ANGELES LAKERS PSA 7    23841253 $526.00
Time Remaining: 28d 19h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $526.00
1980 Topps Larry Bird J Erving Magic Johnson Autographed PSA/DNA Authentic 40144
1980 Topps Larry Bird J Erving Magic Johnson Autographed PSA/DNA Authentic 40144 $1,100.00
Time Remaining: 28d 13h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $1,100.00
1961 FLEER #14 TOM GOLA HOF PSA 9 K2422267-460
1961 FLEER #14 TOM GOLA HOF PSA 9 K2422267-460 $524.99
Time Remaining: 28d 9h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $524.99
1986-87 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN RC ROOKIE #57 PSA 6 EX-MT BULLS HOF
1986-87 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN RC ROOKIE #57 PSA 6 EX-MT BULLS HOF $1,000.00
Time Remaining: 24d 14h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $1,000.00

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