LeBron James rookie card sells for record $5.2 million
The card is one of only 23 copies ever made
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James holds many titles and records — and now he can add most expensive basketball card to the list.
PWCC Marketplace announced the $5.2 million private sale of a rare 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Rookie Parallel LeBron James card.
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The unique card, which is one of only 23 copies ever made (alluding to James’ jersey number), was graded a BGS 9 with subgrades of 10 for centering and surface, 9.5 for edges and 8.5 for corners, according to Beckett.com.
"At the heart of every collector in 2003 was the hope of pulling the ultra-rare Lebron James Rookie Patch Auto Parallel numbered to 23 copies," PWCC said in an Instagram post. "With so few ever becoming available and demand increasing by the day, this card is quickly becoming the crown jewel of all sports card investing."
Monday’s sale broke the previous record of $4.6 million set just two months earlier through the private sale of one-of-a-kind 2018-19 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph Logoman Luka Doncic card.
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The LeBron James sale, while breaking for the record for most expensive basketball card, ties the record for most expensive sports card ever sold. It shares that title with a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold back in January.
"There are LeBron cards [still] out there, I would say, worth over $10 million," Jesse Craig, PWCC's director of business development, told ESPN.
"And let's be clear: There are three Mantle PSA 10s that, whenever they transact, will break every record there is. But as a market, there are so many desirable cards that haven't sold yet publicly."