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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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!! UPDATE 05/17 !! 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
!! UPDATE 05/17 !! 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1,05024 Bids
Jerry West #43 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 4
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Jerry West #43 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 4
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $800- $1,200
$47516 Bids
1993-94 Topps Finest NBA Basketball Hobby Box
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1993-94 Topps Finest NBA Basketball Hobby Box
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$60015 Bids
1996-97 Topps Finest NBA Basketball Series I Box
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1996-97 Topps Finest NBA Basketball Series I Box
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$92515 Bids
1996-97 Topps Finest NBA Basketball Series II Box
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1996-97 Topps Finest NBA Basketball Series II Box
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$92515 Bids
1987 Fleer Basketball Vintage Full Set
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1987 Fleer Basketball Vintage Full Set
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$31014 Bids
Elgin Baylor #3 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 6
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Elgin Baylor #3 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 6
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $400- $800
$32513 Bids
Oscar Robertson #36 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 4
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Oscar Robertson #36 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 4
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $400- $800
$47513 Bids
1992-93 Topps Stadium Club Basketball Complete Shaquille O'Neil 400 Card Set Near Mint
May 25, 6:00 PM EDT
1992-93 Topps Stadium Club Basketball Complete Shaquille O'Neil 400 Card Set Near Mint
by Caff's Collectibles
Est: $60- $100
$1310 Bids
1957 TOPPS BOB PETTIT PSA 6
May 26, 9:00 PM EDT
1957 TOPPS BOB PETTIT PSA 6
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $400- $700
$9610 Bids
1969 TOPPS ELGIN BAYLOR PSA 6
May 26, 9:00 PM EDT
1969 TOPPS ELGIN BAYLOR PSA 6
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$2810 Bids
1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Series 2
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1996-97 Topps Finest Basketball Series 2
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$67510 Bids
1985 Star Michael Jordan Rookie Card
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1985 Star Michael Jordan Rookie Card
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$11010 Bids
A Booster Box of Basketball Cards, Marked Panini Revolution 22/23, Sealed
May 28, 6:00 PM AEST
A Booster Box of Basketball Cards, Marked Panini Revolution 22/23, Sealed
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD1209 Bids
1986 Star Patrick Ewing Rookie Card Full Set
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1986 Star Patrick Ewing Rookie Card Full Set
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1309 Bids
Bill Russell #38 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 5
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Bill Russell #38 Fleer 1961-62 Basketball Card - SGC 5
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $600- $1,000
$2259 Bids
1986 Fleer Basketball Sticker Michael Jordan Rookie Card
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1986 Fleer Basketball Sticker Michael Jordan Rookie Card
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$3009 Bids
1994-95 Topps Finest Basketball Series 2 Box
May 27, 3:30 PM EDT
1994-95 Topps Finest Basketball Series 2 Box
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1609 Bids
1969 TOPPS RICK ADELMAN PSA 7
May 26, 9:00 PM EDT
1969 TOPPS RICK ADELMAN PSA 7
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$208 Bids
1957 TOPPS BILL SHARMAN PSA 4
May 26, 9:00 PM EDT
1957 TOPPS BILL SHARMAN PSA 4
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$318 Bids
1969 TOPPS JEFF MULLINS PSA 7
May 26, 9:00 PM EDT
1969 TOPPS JEFF MULLINS PSA 7
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $10- $100
$208 Bids
Jerry West Snags a Rebound #66 Fleer 1961-62 - SGC 4.5
May 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Jerry West Snags a Rebound #66 Fleer 1961-62 - SGC 4.5
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $150- $300
$1108 Bids
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Psa 4
May 27, 2:00 PM EDT
1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Psa 4
by Saco River Auction
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$8508 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Basketball Cards


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC

Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC

Ripley Auctions

Ripley Auctions

Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.

Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.