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Ranking the Top 5 Highest NBA Rookie Cards

Highest NBA Rookie Cards

Basketball fanatics are always on the prowl when it comes to procuring any trading card on the market. However, when it comes to stalwarts of the game like LeBron James or Michael Jordan, it is an entirely different ball game.

Recently, a 2003 LeBron James rookie card sold for about $5.2 million. It was bought by an anonymous buyer. In doing so, it surpassed the highest price ever paid for a rookie card that was set by Luka Doncic’s card in March this year.

Seeing all the hype and fervor around trading cards, we decided to bring you the latest basketball news in the form of the top five highest priced NBA rookie cards.

   #5. Luka Doncic 2018 Panini Donruss Optic Rookie Holo #177

Luka Doncic is one of the upcoming generational talents in the league. Aside from LeBron, he is probably the most well-known basketball player who is currently playing. This fact came into play when his rookie card went up for sale in March this year.  

The 22-year-old Slovenian has ascended through the ranks at a pace no one has ever seen before. From playing in Europe to being amidst his third season in the NBA, his meteoric rise to the top has been something to witness. 

Doncic is surely on course to become one of the legends of the game. His exceptional game awareness and sheer tenacity has come to the fore on many occasions during this season. He is an incredibly valuable asset for the card collectors as well as the Dallas Mavericks

   #4. Kobe Bryant 1996 Topps Chrome Rookie #138

The name Kobe Bryant invokes a sense of pride in the hearts and minds of every Lakers fan. He was the one who single handedly ushered in the modern way of playing basketball. The Lakers icon’s partnership with Shaq is still a treat to watch in old highlight packages. 

Until his tragic death last year, Kobe held a stature in the world of basketball which was unmatched. Even after his passing, the legacy of “Black Mamba” will stay alive for years to come. Hence, there is no question about the fact that his card was one of the highest priced in history. 

#3. Larry Bird/Julius Erving/Magic Johnson 1980 Topps Scoring Leader

This card does not need an explanation as to why it is on the list. The names itself suffice the need for further clarification. Larry Bird, Julius Erving, and Magic Johnson; these names when taken in unison can bring tears to the eyes of people who watched them live. At their peak, each of these three was unplayable and opponents just reveled in their brilliance. 

“Dr. J” however, was on a different planet. Any shot, no matter how difficult, was in his repertoire. The man was a walking bucket in every game he played. During his playing career, the Philadelphia 76ers formed the reputation they are now associated with. 

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were essentially on the same level when it comes to ranking the legends of the game. They played pivotal roles for their respective teams and were always up for a challenge. At the time when Bird rose to prominence, he was one of the first white players to compete at the same level as the rest of the league. 

#2. Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie #57

One does not need to mention the supremacy of Michael Jordan in the world of basketball. The man has inspired generations of players and spectators all over the world with his god-like skills. 

There are several iconic moments that are associated with Jordan. However, that does not take away anything from what “His Airness” used to do on a regular basis. Critics and analysts have gone as far to say that Jordan was way ahead of his time. 

Michael Jordan was a player who could rip defenses apart with minimum effort. The way he carried himself during and after his playing career was something to admire. For some he is the best player in history. However, there is no denying the fact that he is one of the most prolific hoopers the sport has ever seen.

    #1. LeBron James 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA

It is certainly fitting that the most expensive trading card in history is of LeBron James. Sure there have been many legends before him. However, he has surpassed every other competitor with sheer talent and perseverance. 

Since 2003, LeBron has ushered in a new era of basketball with his tremendous work ethic and love for the game. The four-time MVP winner has lit up the NBA every season. Irrespective of the franchise he plays for. 

The legacy of King James is unparalleled in every aspect of the game. Some collectors are of the opinion that there are even more valuable LeBron cards that are not yet up for sale. Whatever be the case, the person who secured the card might be the happiest man on earth at the moment.

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