Top 20 Most Expensive Basketball Cards Ever Sold

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Getty Images // Jason Koeppel ONE37pm

With hoops season heating up, read through this list to see the most expensive basketball cards of the last few years!

Basketball drove "The Hobby’s" pandemic boom in 2020. Documentaries like The Last Dance and the NBA Bubble ushered in a new era of fans and unwavering hype. While some cards have since come back down to earth, many cards are still worth way more than they were before the boom. Hoops has played a major role in that.

Related: The Most Valuable Trading Cards Ever Sold

The boom wasn't limited to basketball, as it also led to significant increases in other categories of trading cards such as football cards, baseball cards, Marvel cards, hockey cards, etc.

This influx of money and increased interest has created fierce competition for the rarest and highest-graded cards at places such as eBay, Goldin Auctions and Heritage Auctions, and the results can be seen below.

Today, we will be counting down the 20 most expensive basketball cards of all-time. For the purposes of this list, we are only allowing each individual card to appear once.

Let’s hop right in: here is a comprehensive list of undeniable basketball grails!

20. Michael Jordan 2003-04 UD Exquisite Limited Logos Patch Auto /75 PSA 9/10 ($780,000)


It is very fitting to kick this list off with the GOAT. While this card may be 20th on the list, its eye appeal is unparalleled in comparison to the rest of the list. The Limited Logos autograph set from 2003 Exquisite features some of the greatest game-worn patches in hobby history, including this three-color jersey of His Airness. Couple that with a PSA 9/AUTO 10 grade, and you’ve got one incredible basketball card.

19. George Mikan 1948 Bowman Rookie PSA 9 ($800,000)

George Mikan 1948 Bowman
Probstein123 / eBay

George Mikan was a pioneer for the game and one of the NBA’s first stars. While he may not be the hottest name in the hobby today, his 1948 Bowman RC remains one of the most heralded basketball cards of all time. The ‘48 set is also very condition-sensitive, which makes this $800,000 PSA 9 copy even more impressive. Interestingly enough, there is one PSA 10 in existence, but it hasn’t sold publicly since 2015.

T-18. Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie PSA 10 ($840,000)


For our money, this is THE quintessential basketball card. The iconic cursive “Chicago” script. The tongue out. The outstretched arm. Just like the Honus Wagner and the Mickey Mantle before it, this card will likely reach that level of iconography. It reached its peak in 2021 with an $840,000 sale, but this card is still bought and sold nearly every day.

T-18. LeBron James / Kobe Bryant Exquisite Dual Logoman Autograph #1/1 PSA Authentic/AUTO 10 ($840,000)

LeBron James Kobe Bryant Exquisite Dual Logoman Auto

These two competed at the highest level together for over a decade. However, this is LeBron and Kobe’s only dual-signed logoman, and it is an absolute stunner. Upper Deck Exquisite Collection has proven to be one of the most timeless products in the history of the hobby. This card is also a second-year autograph of King James, which only bolsters its $840,000 sale price. We also have a feeling it’s not the last time you’ll see a Bron or Kobe logoman on this list.

T-18. Magic Johnson / Larry Bird 1980-81 Topps Scoring Leaders Rookie PSA 10 ($840,000)

1980 81 Topps Scoring Leader Larry BirdMagic Johnson

If you were to make a list of the most iconic basketball cards ever, this card would have be on it. The 1980-81 Topps Scoring Leaders features three HOFers and is regarded as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s true rookie card. The set also utilized perforated edges to tear away the individual players, so finding a perfect PSA 10 is nearly impossible. But when it happens, it is big money, as noted by this $840,000 sale in 2021.

15. Michael Jordan 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Green /10 PSA Authentic ($915,000)

1997 Metal Universe Michael Jordan PMG Green
Heritage Auctions

Since its inception, the Precious Metal Gems (PMG) insert has been a favorite of many modern basketball collectors. Only one hundred were produced for each player in the set. Ninety of the one hundred cards boasted red foil, with the remaining ten sporting the green seen on this example. This is one of MJ’s rarest and most desired cards, and it hasn’t sold publicly in nearly three years.

14. Kobe Bryant 2002-03 Upper Deck NBA Logo Mania 1/1 BGS 9 ($922,500)

Kobe Bryant 2002 03 Upper Deck NBA Logo Mania

At 14, we have the first Kobe Bryant logoman card ever produced. It features Bryant back when he donned the #8 jersey (plus a headband), and it also has an early signature of one of the game’s greatest. This card was way ahead of its time, and it sold for $922,500 in late 2021.

13. Stephen Curry 2009-10 National Treasures RPA /99 PSA 9 ($1,008,000)

Stephen Curry 2009 10 National Treasures RPA

Stephen Curry is now a four-time champion and the greatest shooter in NBA history, so it makes sense to find him on a list like this. Curry’s market grew significantly during the Warriors’ 2021 championship campaign, which can be shown by the $1.08 million sale of his true National Treasures RPA.

12. Anthony Davis 2012-13 National Treasures Logoman RPA 1/1 BGS 9 ($1,020,000)

2012 13 National Treasures Anthony Davis Logoman

Yes, AD has had a card sell for over a million dollars. While the big man has been plagued by injuries in the last few seasons, he is easily one of the most dominant players of this generation. Davis led his Kentucky squad to a title in 2012, he won a ring with the Lakers, and he’s an Olympic gold medalist. For a collector of the Brow, this is as good as it gets.

11. Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013-14 Panini Prizm Black Mosaic 1/1 BGS 9.5 ($1,140,000)

Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013 14 Panini Prizm Black Mosaic

Few players have ever dominated the basketball court like Giannis Antetokounmpo. When he was drafted in 2013 as a scrawny kid from Greece, few would’ve imagined the run he’d go on. This included bringing a ring to Milwaukee in 2021. The Greek Freak is legit, and this Black Finite Prizm 1/1 is too.

10. LeBron James 2003 Topps Chrome Rookie Gold Refractor /50 PSA 10 ($1,200,000)

LeBron James 2003 Topps Chrome Rookie Gold Refractor PSA 10
Instagram / Private Sale

King James’ iconic 2003 Chrome does not include a superfractor 1/1 in the checklist, so this gold refractor /50 is the lowest-numbered LeBron card in the set. And as we’ve seen gold parallels become more prominent in the hobby, this card has steadily increased in value as well. That increase culminated with an August 2022 private sale of $1.2 million for this POP 9 stunner.

9. Michael Jordan/LeBron James/Kobe Bryant 2006 UD Exquisite All NBA Access Triple Logoman PSA Authentic ($1,680,000)

Michael JordanLeBron JamesKobe Bryant 2006 UD Exquisite All NBA Access Triple Logoman

While another infamous triple logoman was being auctioned off, this one may have snuck under the radar. To our knowledge, the card above is the only publicly-traded logoman of MJ, Kobe, and LeBron. This is a one-of-a-kind piece for game-worn patch collectors, and it reached a final price of $1.6 million in a Goldin auction.

8. Luka Doncic 2018-19 Panini Immaculate Logoman RPA 1/1 ($1,700,000)

Luka Doncic 2018 19 Panini Immaculate Logoman
Instagram / Private Sale

If National Treasures didn’t exist, this would be Luka’s best card. This card is famously owned by Bolillo Lajan San, one of the biggest collectors in the Hobby. It was last traded at $1.7 million; not bad for a player that was traded on Draft Day.

7. Kobe Bryant 1996 Topps Chrome Rookie BGS 10 ($1,752,000)

1996 97 Topps Chrome Refractors Kobe Bryant BGS 10 Black Label

This card, albeit iconic, is notorious for “hulking,” which occurs when the card develops a greenish tint. So for this one to notch a BGS 10 black label is incredible. This piece was even featured on the Today show, and it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing cards you’ll ever see.

6. Giannis Antetokounpo 2013-14 National Treasures Logoman RPA 1/1 BGS 9 ($1,812,000)

2013 14 National Treasures Giannis Antetokounmpo Logoman

This is the Greek Freak’s best card, and the amazing story about this piece is that it was previously sold back in 2014 for just $7000, but the buyer actually returned it because of a small yellow stain on the back. The seller did a little bit better this time around.

5. Kobe Bryant 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems (PMG) Emerald /10 BGS 8.5 ($2,000,000)

Kobe Bryant 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Emerald
CardLadder / Private Sale

This 1997 Kobe Bryant Emerald is the pinnacle of that PMG fandom. A BGS 8.5 grade, the copy is numbered /10 and sold for $2,000,000 privately last year. That marks the highest sale for any Kobe Bryant card or any Precious Metal Gem, and it will be interesting to see how the PMG market grows in the future.

4. LeBron James 2020-21 Panini Flawless Triple Logoman PSA Authentic ($2,400,000)

LeBron James 2020 21 Panini Flawless Triple Logoman

At year 21, LeBron has proven that his dominance transcends a particular era. If anything, this card is emblematic of the King’s longevity, as it features a game-worn logoman patch from three different teams. Easily the most discussed card of 2022, it even had A-listers like Drake buying cases to get a hold of this piece. After getting hit by Backyard Breaks, it sold during a Goldin auction for $2.4 million.

3. Michael Jordan 1997-98 UD Game Jersey Autograph /23 BGS 8 ($2,700,000)

Michael Jordan 1997 98 UD Game Jersey Autograph 23

This card boasts an autograph as well as a large sample of the jersey that Michael Jordan wore in the iconic 1992 NBA All-Star Game. It’s the first patch autograph of the GOAT and also the most expensive MJ card of all time.

Only 23 of these cards were ever produced, with Jordan hand-numbering all of them. A true piece of basketball history, it last sold privately with Goldin Auctions in May 2021.

2. Luka Doncic 2018-19 Panini National Treasures Logoman 1/1 ($4,600,000)

Luka Doncic 2018 19 Panini National Treasures Logoman
Instagram / Private Sale

Doncic has undoubtedly become one of the game’s brightest stars since his Draft Day in 2018. The Slovenian has already earned four All-Star nods but is still looking to break through on a deep postseason run. Even still, the 24-year-old is a generational player, which is why this card sold for $4.6 million back in 2021. Although it has since sold in a Beckett-graded copy, this National Treasures logoman rookie is the holy grail of Luka cards.

1. LeBron James 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Gold /23 RPA BGS 9 ($5,200,000)

LeBron James 2003 04 Upper Deck Exquisite Gold 23 RPA

To round off this list, we have arguably the most recognizable card of the last 20 years. Despite where you have him in your all-time rankings, LeBron’s legacy is solidified. This particular BGS 9 copy is serial numbered to 23 and features a 3-color patch. It sold from the PWCC Vault in April of 2021, marking the highest price of any basketball card.

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