$5.2 Million For Lebron James: The Highest Selling Basketball Card In History

Nothing can get “The King” down. Basketball legend LeBron James worried Lakers fans when he recently suffered an injury to his right ankle, then ratcheted up the concern in May’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans during which he suffered a high-ankle sprain and left the victory soon after.

But even with ankle troubles that turned into the longest running injury stretch of James’ incredible career causing him to miss out on 27 games, he still managed to go down in history when the PWCC Marketplace sold the decorated player’s 2003-2004 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA (Rookie Patch Autograph) Parallel card for $5.2 million in a private auction.

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This whopping purchase is currently the most expensive basketball card and ties the all-time world record for the largest price of any trading card with the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card which was purchased by Rob Gough in January. The PWCC Marketplace handled that transaction as well.

Knocked back into the second place position for most expensive baseball card is the one-of-one 2018-2019 Panini National Treasures Luka Doncic Logan RPA card which sold in March for $4.6 million.

James’ card was graded a 9 out of 10 by Beckett Grading Services and a “perfect 10 signature” is said to adorn the card. The card is said to be numbered out of 23.

The fact that a card featuring James sold for such a high amount shouldn’t surprise fans or card collecting enthusiasts. Last year, in February and July, two of James’ cards, a James/Michael Jordan dual Logoman, then a different version of the Parallel card that recently sold, a James parallel card, sold for staggering price tags. Both cards were from the same 2003-2004 Exquisite Collection and brought in $900,000 and $1.85 million respectively.

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Both of the Parallel cards, the card recently crowned as the world’s most expensive basketball card and the one that sold in July 2020 received the highest grades by Beckett with the card that sold on July 2020 having received a 9.5 from the grading services company.

Jesse Craig, PWCC Marketplace’s director of business development told ESPN that Exquisite, which debuted in 2003, was a “revolutionary product” for collectors and “the most expensive retail product that had ever been released at $500 a box.” Craig went on to explain that because Exquisite cards were only made from 2003 to 2009, which intensifies the rarity of the cards and

The name of the purchaser of the 2003-2004 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA Parallel hasn’t been released just yet but card collectors and “King James” fans alike are eager to know who is the proud new owner of the world’s most expensive basketball card.

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Sources: Action Network, CBS Sports, USA Today

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