10 Most Expensive Basketball Cards Ever Sold

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Over the past few years, sports cards, especially basketball cards, have exploded in value. Collectors are now paying tens of thousands and even millions of dollars to get their hands on some of the most sought after basketball cards. The most valuable basketball cards features some of the most legendary basketball players such as LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. All of the cards on this list were sold over the last two years. Every few months a new record is set, so the most expensive basketball card may soon change once again.

  1. Stephen Curry Autographed Panini National Treasures Rookie Card
  2. Price Paid: $960,000
    Date of Sale: January 30, 2021
    Grade of Card: BGS GM-MT 9.5/10
    Stephen Curry Autographed Panini National Treasures Rookie Card
    photo source: Goldin Auctions

    This Stephen Curry Autographed Panini National Treasures Rookie card is currently the second most valuable Stephen Curry card. It was sold in early 2021 for $960,000. Later in the year, a different Stephen Curry card became the second most expensive sports card in history when it was purchased for nearly $6 million!

    The National Treasures Rookie card is one of five copies of this particular card made for Stephen Curry; this one is No. 3. It is in excellent condition and was graded GEM MINT 9.5 by BGS.

    Did you know?

    The 2009-10 Stephen Curry Autographed Panini National Treasures Rookie card features a piece of Curry’s Golden State Warriors Jersey.


  3. Anthony Davis Autographed Panini National Treasures
  4. Price Paid: $1.045 Million
    Date of Sale: January 30, 2021
    Grade of Card: BGS MT 9/10
    Anthony Davis Autographed Panini National Treasures
    photo source: Hypebeast

    In early 2021, an Autographed Anthony Davis 2012-13 Panini National Treasures card sold for $1.045 million at auction. This is currently the most expensive Anthony Davis card ever. The sale of the card was facilitated by Goldin Auctions and it had a starting bid of $150,000. Twenty-six bids took the card to its final price.

    The Anthony Davis Panini National Treasures card is in excellent condition and was graded BGS MT 9/10. Like nearly all of the other expensive basketball cards on this list, this card is the only existing copy of this particular card.

    Did you know?

    The Autographed Anthony Davis 2012-13 Panini National Treasures card features a “Logoman” NBA patch from a jersey that Davis actually wore in a game.


  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm #290
  6. Price Paid: $1.16 Million
    Date of Sale: December 12, 2020
    Grade of Card: BGS GM-MT 9.5
    Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm #290
    photo source: Goldin Auctions

    The Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm #290 “Black Mosaic” is the second Antetokounmpo card on this list that is worth more than $1 million. The card sold at the end of 2020 for over $1.16 million through the Goldin Auctions’ 2020 Holiday Auction. Like Antetokounmpo’s other card on this list, the Black Mosaic card is one-of-a-kind.

    This card was graded GEM MINT 9.5 by BGS. The card’s impressive BGS condition report: Centering: 9.5, Corners 10, Edges 10, Surface 9.5. Gem Mint condition.

    Did you know?

    The Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm #290 “Black Mosaic” card is the most valuable unsigned modern era trading card.


  7. One-Of-A-Kind LeBron James Upper Deck Ultimate Signatures
  8. Price Paid: $1,291,500
    Date of Sale: March 6, 2021
    Grade of Card: PSA Authentic / Auto 10
    One-Of-A-Kind LeBron James Upper Deck Ultimate Signatures
    photo source: Goldin Auctions

    In early March 2021, a one-of-a-kind 2003-04 LeBron James Upper Deck Ultimate Signatures card sold for $1,291,500. Goldin Auctions, which handled the sale said that this was the most expensive card featuring LeBron James after 2004. However, this is not James’ most valuable card, that honor belongs to the top card on this list, which is worth nearly five times as much as this Upper Deck Ultimate Signatures card.

    This LeBron James Upper Deck Ultimate Signatures card is in excellent condition and was graded PSA 10. It features James during his second NBA campaign, when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Did you know?

    The starting bid for the one-of-a-kind LeBron James Upper Deck Ultimate Signatures card was only $100,000.


  9. Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game Jersey Autograph
  10. Price Paid: $1.44 Million
    Date of Sale: February 4, 2021
    Grade of Card: PSA NM 7 / Auto 8
    Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game Jersey Autograph
    photo source: New York Post

    Surprisingly, the great Michael Jordan only comes in at number five on this list. In early 2021, an Autographed Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game Jersey card sold for $1.44 million. The card was originally released in 1997 and features a swatch of the jersey Jordan wore in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game. This particular card was No. 8 of the 23 cards that were produced.

    According to Heritage Auctions, which facilitated the sale of the card, the auction attracted 69 registered phone bidders. The winning bidder remains anonymous. This was the first Heritage Auction event exclusively dedicated to the sale of modern cards.

    Did you know?

    The Autographed Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game Jersey card is the very first Michael Jordan autographed memorabilia card.


  11. Kobe Bryant Topps #138 Rookie Card
  12. Price Paid: $1,795,800
    Date of Sale: March 6, 2021
    Grade of Card: BGS PRISTINE/Black Label 10
    Kobe Bryant Topps #138 Rookie Card
    photo source: Hypebeast

     

    The Kobe Bryant Topps #138 Rookie Card that sold for a whopping $1,795,800 in early 2021 is not just valuable, it is incredibly rare. The card is one of only two cards in the world rated BGS PRISTINE/Black Label 10. The Kobe Bryant rookie card received perfect 10s in all categories earning it the prestigious Black Label grade.

    Following Kobe Bryant’s death in early 2020, his cards increased in value by 600%. This Black Label Kobe Bryant rookie card is currently the most expensive Kobe Bryant card ever. The buyer’s identity remains anonymous.

    Did you know?

    This Black Label Kobe Bryant Topps #138 Rookie Card previously sold in 2016 for only $58,100. This shows just how much more valuable Bryant’s cards have become since his passing.


  13. One-Of-A-Kind Giannis Antetokounmpo Autographed Panini National Treasures
  14. Price Paid: $1,857,300
    Date of Sale: September 20, 2020
    Grade of Card: BGS MT 9
    One-Of-A-Kind Giannis Antetokounmpo Autographed Panini National Treasures
    photo source: sportscollectorsdaily.com

    In September 2020, a one-of-a-kind Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013-14 Autographed Panini National Treasures card sold for over $1.8 million. Like the other cards on this list, at the time of the sale, the rare Giannis Antetokounmpo set a record for being the most expensive basketball card. At the time of this writing, the card is now the third most expensive basketball card ever sold.

    Since Antetokounmpo’s rookie season, his rookie cards have become increasingly valuable. The 2013-14 Panini National Treasures Giannis Antetokounmpo Logoman Autograph is graded a Mint 9 by BGS with a 10 for the signature.

    Did you know?

    The Goldin Auction that the  one-of-a-kind Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013-14 Autographed Panini National Treasures also featured other valuable sports memorabilia, including a 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite LeBron James RPA that sold for just under $400,000.


  15. One-Of-A-Kind Luka Dončić Autographed Panini National Treasures
  16. Price Paid: $4.6 Million
    Date of Sale: February 28, 2021
    Grade of Card: Ungraded
    One-Of-A-Kind Luka Dončić Autographed Panini National Treasures
    photo source: Instagram

    On Luka Dončić’s 22nd birthday on February 28, 2021, it was revealed that his 2018-19 Autographed Panini National Treasures rookie card had sold for $4.6 million. At the time, this was the most expensive basketball card ever sold, until the record was broken a few months later by a LeBron James rookie card. The Dončić card is one-of-a-kind and was originally bought by collector Bolillo Lajan San. San sold the card to high-end collector Nick Fiorella for the record-setting $4.6 million.

    According to basketball card collectors, the 2018-19 Panini National Treasures cards are some of the rarest and hardest to find basketball cards out there. A single pack contains 10 cards and can no longer be purchased for retail price. On the secondary market, a pack can sell for $4,500 or more.

    Did you know?

    Many people believe that the signature on the One-Of-A-Kind Luka Dončić Autographed Panini National Treasures was not written by Dončić; they believe that his mother wrote the signature on the card as well as on many of his other highly coveted trading cards.


  17. LeBron James Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Card #78
  18. Price Paid: $5.2 Million
    Date of Sale: April 26, 2021
    Grade of Card: BGS MT 9
    LeBron James Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Card #78
    photo source: PWCC Marketplace

    In April 2021, a 2003-04 LeBron James Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Card #78 sold for $5.2 million to an anonymous buyer. At the time, the card was tied with a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle as the second most valuable sports card ever. The LeBron Upper Deck Card and the Mickey Mantle card are now the third most valuable sports cards ever. The valuable LeBron James rookie card is Beckett Grading Services-graded 9, which is nearly mint as 10 is a card in perfect condition.

    Overall, the Upper Deck Exquisite Collection cards are pretty rare. They were only produced for a few years and cost $500 a box. So cards from the collection, especially any LeBron James Exquisite cards, hardly ever come up for sale. This is one of the reasons why the card has become so valuable in recent years.

    Did you know?

    One copy of the 2003-04 LeBron James Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Card #78 is rated BGS MT 9.5. It is one of only two cards ever graded that high by Beckett.


  19. Stephen Curry Autographed National Treasures Logoman Rookie Card
  20. Price Paid: $5.9 Million
    Date of Sale: July 6, 2021
    Grade of Card: PSA NM-MT 8
    Stephen Curry Autographed National Treasures Logoman Rookie Card
    photo source: beckett.com

     

    On July 6, 2021, a 2009-10 Stephen Curry Autographed National Treasures Logoman Rookie card sold for $5.9 million, making it the most expensive basketball card ever sold. The rare card (there is only one in existence) is now the second most valuable sports card after the $6.6 million Honus Wagner baseball card.

    An investment fund managed by alternative asset platform Alt purchased a 51% stake in the card, valued at $5.9 million. Interestingly, the card is only graded a PSA 8, but Curry’s autograph is rated a Gem Mint 10, the highest grade given out by PSA.

    Did you know?

    Leore Avidar, the founder of Alt, said that the 2009-10 Stephen Curry Autographed National Treasures Logoman Rookie card will anchor its second investment fund, Alt Fund II, and serve as the fund’s core asset.

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