This past Sunday, a LeBron James rookie card from 2003-2004 has sold for more than $1.845 million. CEO of Lob.com completed the purchase this past weekend with the auction being hosted by Goldin Auctions.
“If we were talking about a T206 Honus Wagner, or a 1952 Mickey Mantle, it probably wouldn’t be that much news,” Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions, explained. “But when you’re talking about a card that was literally produced 17 years ago and is for a guy still playing in the NBA, it’s just shocking news to a lot of people. It’s really where my particular industry has been going for several years.”
Part of the reason this card is so exclusive is that there were only 23 of them produced worldwide. Because not everybody values basketball cards the same, there are only two traceable cards, so it’s a super rare grab. The Upper Deck rookie Patch Autograph set always consists of 99 cards. But this particular Patch Autograph set was different because the company produced the same number of cards as the number on the player’s jersey– hence the 23 cards.
The sale breaks the previous record for a card which was set just two months ago when a gem mint Bowman Draft Chrome Red Refractor Mike Trout signed rookie card sold for $922,500. There were only five of those cards produced, and it was graded the highest of a card sold on the Goldin Auctions platform.
Back in April, a rookie LeBron James Rookie Jersey broke a record as the most expensive jersey in modern history. It was the jersey he wore in his fifth game in the NBA as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game took place on November 7, 2003, against the Indiana Pacers.
Despite the rate of unemployment steadily rising, NBA memorabilia are selling for astronomical prices. Eleven pairs of Michael Jordan’s game-worn sneakers went up for auction last week which includes a pair of Olympic 7s worn during the Barcelona games expected to sell for over $500,000.