LeBron James Rookie Card is Sold at Record $1.8 Million Price

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The NBA may not be back for another week, but LeBron James is still setting records.

A 2003-04 James Upper Deck rookie patch parallel card was sold at an auction for $1.845 million on Sunday, per ESPN.

It’s a new record for modern day cards (produced in 1980 or later) and is the most any basketball card has ever sold for.

Lob.com CEO Leore Avidar was placed the winning bid, which was sold at Goldin Auctions.

“If we were talking about a T206 [Honus] Wanger, or a 1952 [Mickey] Mantle, it wouldn’t be much news,” Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions, said. “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.”

The new record surpasses the previous record, set in May at Goldin Auctions, when a GEM mint Bowman Draft Chrome Red Refractor Mike Trout signed rookie card went for $922,500. It was only one of five such Trout cards produced.

For James, only 23 of this particular card was produced, and was graded as a 9.5 mint gem by Beckett grading service, per ESPN.

Goldin said that he sees basketball cards beginning to rise and compete with baseball cards.

“It’s growing,” he said. “I believe potentially could have more growth than baseball in the collectability aspect of it.”

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