LeBron James 'Ultra-Rare' Autographed Rookie Card Bids Clear $1M at Auction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during Game 5 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals in Boston, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

LeBron James' 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Autographed Rookie Patch Parallel card has exceeded $1 million at auction, which is already a record for modern-era cards.

The card is numbered 14/23 and earned a 9.5 grade on Beckett Authentication Services' 10-point scale. The autograph is graded a 10 as well, making it a nearly perfect card all around.

According to TMZ Sports, the card is sitting at $1.020 million on the Goldin Auctions website, but there are still two weeks to go in the auction and it is expected that the bidding could reach $2 million.

Even if the bidding stays where it is, the LeBron rookie card is the most valuable modern-era card from any sport, as it has surpassed a card of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout that sold for $900,000.

The card is from 16 years ago when LeBron was an 18-year-old phenom with the Cleveland Cavaliers fresh out of high school. His NBA arrival was among the most hyped of all time, and he didn't disappoint.

James averaged 20.9 points, 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game as a rookie. Since then, he has been named an All-Star 16 consecutive times and won four NBA MVP awards, three NBA championships and three NBA Finals MVP awards.

LeBron won his first two titles with the Miami Heat after leaving Cleveland in free agency, but he returned to the Cavs and helped them win their first championship following the 2015-16 season. Now, James is in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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The Lakers are the top seed in the Western Conference, and if James can help them win a title following the 2019-20 season's resumption amid the coronavirus pandemic, he will have won a championship with three different organizations.

LeBron is already one of the greatest and most iconic players in NBA history, but his story is still being written, which means his rookie card could be worth even more in the future.

Bidding on the card will conclude July 18.

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