Basketball Collectibles: Our Favorite Cards

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It’s a busy time to be a follower of professional basketball, with the newspapers and trade websites packed with gossip, guesswork, and rumors. Which player moves where next, and which star isn’t happy with his current contract? There’s a whisper that one of the top-performing coaches isn’t satisfied with their current salary, or star players are demanding a contract extension. The end of summer is when you can’t believe much of what you read regarding basketball and the NBA.

Things are changing as we race towards fall and a brand-new season that begins on October 24 and runs to April 14 next year. That’s when the talking stops, and the biggest teams and most famous players show why they’re in the NBA. Pre-season is a time of promise and hope for fans as they know anything can happen in the sport. New players begin to arrive and settle in with their teammates.

Followers watch warm-up games to see how their favorites perform while fans decide on their NBA betting strategy for the season. They study the trades, get up to speed on the form, and make predictions for the year ahead. Basketball fans must do all the necessary work to ensure they’re in the strongest position possible when the opening games arrive. They know they must only bet when they have all the required information.

Time to organize your pack

The summer off-season isn’t every basketball fan’s favorite time as there are few games shown live on TV, and they must fill their time and get their NBA fix by reading rumors. Summer is a great time to revisit your NBA trading card collection, ensuring your collectibles are in mint condition, organized, and ready to show any fellow NBA collectibles enthusiasts.

How is your basketball collection looking? Do you have a strong hand, or are you in the market for at least one show-stopping card that will add serious weight to your pack? You may be new to NBA collectibles and need a little guidance. This page aims to help. We have researched and updated our list of the most collectible NBA cards in 2023. 

The cards detailed on this page will appeal if you’re a big-hitter with cash to burn and see NBA collectibles as an investment. You’ll find them on this page if you’re new and want to know the star attractions. These are the cream of the crop cards that are difficult to find and almost impossible to collect as owners wish to avoid parting with these cards easily.

If you’re a collector with cash to spend, adding any of the cards mentioned on this page to your collection will put you amongst the best in the business. If you have a collection of NBA cards in a dusty storage box, it’s time to see your hidden gems. Find one of the cards listed below, and you’ll sit on a gold mine. You may have a card in the loft worth thousands or even millions of dollars.

George Mikan RC – 1948 Bowman

You’d likely walk past this unassuming card if it were lying in several collectibles at a yard sale. It’s not the type of card that leaps off the page and grabs your attention unless you know what you’re looking for. But missing the chance to buy a George Mikan RC – 1948 Bowman would haunt any collector forever. 

The card fetches upwards of $400,000, which is no surprise as Mikan is one of the most famous names in American basketball. He’s a game pioneer, and his rookie card is a snippet of history. If you love basketball and money is no object, this card should be on your wishlist. Feel free to place it right at the top, too, as it’s the main attraction in any collection.

George Mikan – 1950 Lakers Scott’s Potato Chips

Another from the player known as Mr. Basketball and a name that’ll live long in the NBA history books. George Mikan’s 1950 is beautifully illustrated and is more eye-catching than the one above, despite the previous card being ten times more valuable.

If you have a George Mikan 1950 Lakers Scott’s potato chips card, you’re likely holding at least $30,000 in your hand. It’s not as expensive as the card above of the same player, but it’s scarce. It’s challenging to find this card, and that’s why collectors love it with only seven examples graded.

Bill Russell RC – 1957 Topps

Find a Bill Russell RC – 1957 Topps card in your collection or stumble across the opportunity to purchase one for an affordable price, and you’ve won a watch. The card is worth $800,000, and it looks the part, so there’s little chance of this collectible going unnoticed or appearing at a yard sale.

Bill Russell played his best years at the Boston Celtics and is remembered as an all-time great. Like Mikan above, Bill Russell broke new ground in professional basketball, and his trading card does him justice. Russell is as famous today as he ever was when playing the game, and that’s because of this card. 

Bob Cousy RC – 1957 Topps

Another card worth six figures is the Bob Cousy RC – 1957 Topps, and it’s rumored to be worth over $100,000. That would be a nice little find in the attic; we’re sure you’ll agree. If you find two fans of the Boston Celtics with cash to burn and a passion for the team’s history, you could likely name your price as it would become a fierce bidding war, such is Bob’s importance.

During the Boston Celtic’s dominance in the 1950s and 60s, Cousy was the star attraction, winning six championships and leading the assist charts for eight seasons on the bounce. They don’t make them like Bob Cousy anymore with that consistency, the thing of dreams for modern NBA stars.

Other notable cards

We hope you enjoyed our selections of exciting and valuable NBA collectibles. Others are worth mentioning, including Jerry West RC – 1960 Kahn’s Weiners and Wilt Chamberlain RC – 191 Fleer, worth $340,000.

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