Rare LeBron James Rookie Trading Card Sells For Record-Breaking $5.2 Million

Published 04/27/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Mar 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Team LeBron forward LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (23) is introduced before the 2021 NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James is one of the most popular players in NBA history. Through his near-two decade career, James has impressed fans the world over with his incredible play. Despite being in year 18, LeBron is playing at the highest level in the NBA. His consistency throughout his career has put him in the conversation of the greatest ever. And now, his rare rookie card has broken another record on the auction marker.

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LeBron James trading card breaks auction record

LeBron James had a rare set of rookie cards released in 2003-04. One of those cards has just broken the record for the most expensive basketball trading card in history. James’ rookie card sold for $5.2 million on the auction market. The card was in great condition and even tied Mickey Mantle for the most expensive trading card in history. The price paid for his card is a true indictment of his legendary status in the NBA.

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James’ trading cards have been making the rounds this year. Earlier this year, a rare sophomore year trading card of James sold for another record fee. LeBron’s trading cards have become a valuable collector’s item in the auction market so far. However, the biggest endorsement of his game is the fact that James is continuing to play at the highest level, and could win another NBA championship calling time on his NBA career.

James working hard to return

Currently, James is sidelined with a high ankle sprain. However, he is close to making a return. The Lakers will be happy that he is on his way back. The franchise has struggled in his absence and will welcome James back into the team. The Lakers currently occupy the fifth seed and run the risk of falling into the play-in picture if they cannot win their final few games ahead of the NBA playoffs.

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Mar 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is helped up by Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews (9) and Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) after injuring his leg in the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

For the season, James was playing at an MVP level before his injury. He was averaging 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. However, his injury derailed his momentum. James will forgo the MVP if he can win the NBA championship once again, much like he did last season.

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Can LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA championship? Needless to say, the Lakers will need both LeBron and Anthony Davis at full health. However, the two need to use the final stretch of the season to build form.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1207 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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