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Basketball Cards

Organized basketball dates back to the late 1800s, but basketball cards have a more random history, with card makers jumping in and out of the market for decades in response to market demand. It wasn’t until the 1980s that basketball cards achieved a steady presence in the collecting world.

The Egyptiene Cigarrette company made the first basketball cards in 1910, called College Athlete Felts B-33. The products had a package insert to mail in exchange for a card. Next, the cigarette company Murad had a 1911 series of 150 cards, containing just six college basketball cards. A long break followed, until 1932, when chocolate maker C.A. Briggs and Goudy Gum produced a few cards.

In the late 1940s, Bowman produced a set containing the coveted George Mikan card. In subsequent years, cards were made by Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, and others until 2009, when Panini bought Donruss and became the exclusive, licensed NBA (National Basketball Association) card maker; a multi-year extension followed in 2012.

Basketball card value is often linked to a player’s rookie status. Some of the highest netting cards in basketball include the 1986-87 Fleer cards for Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and James Worthy, among others. Topps had a 1980 set which produced valuable Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Julius Irving cards. Bowman’s 1948-49 George Mikan card is also a key find.


Quick Facts

  • In 2009, a George Mikan rookie card in gem mint condition sold at a Memory Lane Auction for $218,500, the highest price ever recorded for a basketball card sale. Lower-grade Mikan cards are earning anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 at auction
  • Michael Jordan cards are popular collector’s items. In 2011, one of his mint 1986-87 Fleer rookie cards sold for $100,000 at auction
  • Kobe Bryant signed a multi-year exclusivity deal with Panini in 2009. The agreement included TV and radio advertising, as well as autograph and memorabilia rights

Recommended Items at Auction

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2009-10 UD RC Draft Edition Steph Curry Rookie
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
2009-10 UD RC Draft Edition Steph Curry Rookie
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $50- $100
$5112 Bids
2003-04 UD Rookie Exclusives Jersey LeBron James RC
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2003-04 UD Rookie Exclusives Jersey LeBron James RC
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Est: $200- $400
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1986 FLEER BASKETBALL ULTRA HIGH GRADE NEAR COMPLE
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
1986 FLEER BASKETBALL ULTRA HIGH GRADE NEAR COMPLE
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Est: $4,000- $5,000
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1992 Upper Deck Winner Michael Jordan Hologram #AW9 PSA Mint 9
Dec 10, 10:00 AM EST
1992 Upper Deck Winner Michael Jordan Hologram #AW9 PSA Mint 9
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
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2019-20 Panini Prizm RC Red White Blue Prizm Ja Morant Rookie
Dec 02, 9:00 PM EST
2019-20 Panini Prizm RC Red White Blue Prizm Ja Morant Rookie
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $75- $150
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Factory Sealed 2021 UD SkyBox Metal Universe Champions Hobby Box
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Factory Sealed 2021 UD SkyBox Metal Universe Champions Hobby Box
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Est: $400- $800
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(#'d /99) Beckett 9.5 (Gem Mint) 2019-20 Select RC Purple Prizm Sparks Jersey Ja Morant Rookie
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by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $300- $600
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PSA 10 (Gem Mint) 2018-19 Hoops RC Luka Doncic Rookie
Dec 02, 9:00 PM EST
PSA 10 (Gem Mint) 2018-19 Hoops RC Luka Doncic Rookie
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $100- $200
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1996-97 Fleer Metal Shredders Michael Jordan
Dec 01, 7:00 PM EST
1996-97 Fleer Metal Shredders Michael Jordan
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$227 Bids
1996-97 Topps Finest Michael Jordan W/ Protective Seal
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
1996-97 Topps Finest Michael Jordan W/ Protective Seal
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $5- $50
$207 Bids
1988 Fleer Michael Jordan All-Star
Nov 30, 8:00 PM EST
1988 Fleer Michael Jordan All-Star
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$356 Bids
1997 Skybox Metal Universe Michael Jordan
Dec 07, 8:00 PM EST
1997 Skybox Metal Universe Michael Jordan
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
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2007-08 Topps Black Kevin Durant Rookie
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2007-08 Topps Black Kevin Durant Rookie
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $5- $50
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PSA 9 (Mint) 1997-98 Topps Finest Embossed Kobe Bryant Catalysts Insert
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
PSA 9 (Mint) 1997-98 Topps Finest Embossed Kobe Bryant Catalysts Insert
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Est: $50- $100
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1996-97 Fleer Metal Shredders Michael Jordan
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
1996-97 Fleer Metal Shredders Michael Jordan
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $50- $100
$206 Bids
1996-97 Topps Kobe Bryant Rookie
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
1996-97 Topps Kobe Bryant Rookie
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $150- $300
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PSA 10 (Gem Mint) 2018-19 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Luka Doncic RC
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
PSA 10 (Gem Mint) 2018-19 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Luka Doncic RC
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $200- $400
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Beckett 9.5 (Gem Mint) 2017-18 Panini Mosaic RC Blue Prizm Jayson Tatum Rookie
Dec 02, 9:00 PM EST
Beckett 9.5 (Gem Mint) 2017-18 Panini Mosaic RC Blue Prizm Jayson Tatum Rookie
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $150- $300
$346 Bids
PSA 9 (Mint) 2017-18 Donruss Rated Rookie Jayson Tatum RC
Dec 02, 9:00 PM EST
PSA 9 (Mint) 2017-18 Donruss Rated Rookie Jayson Tatum RC
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $50- $100
$86 Bids
2019-20 Donruss Optic RC My House! Ja Morant Rookie
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
2019-20 Donruss Optic RC My House! Ja Morant Rookie
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $5- $50
$65 Bids
1996-97 Fleer Ultra Rookie Kobe Bryant RC
Nov 30, 9:00 PM EST
1996-97 Fleer Ultra Rookie Kobe Bryant RC
by Boston Sportscard Exchange
Est: $50- $100
$155 Bids
1995 Upper Deck 23k Gold Michael Jordan
Nov 30, 8:00 PM EST
1995 Upper Deck 23k Gold Michael Jordan
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
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1961-62 Fleer Basketball Cards (27)
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
1961-62 Fleer Basketball Cards (27)
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Est: $100- $200
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Beckett 9 (Mint) 2019-20 Panini Prizm RC Zion Williamson Rookie
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Est: $75- $150
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Sellers Who Sell Basketball Cards


Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Boston Sportscard Exchange

Boston Sportscard Exchange

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Saco River Auction

Saco River Auction