LeBron James rookie card sells for record $5.2 million, tying mark for most expensive sports card

One of just 23 editions of the card

Chris Bengel – CBS Sports

LeBron James is continuing to make history. However, this time, the king has broken a record off the court. According to PWCC Marketplace, a signed 2003 James Exquisite Collection patch rookie card has sold for a record-breaking $5.2 million in a private sale.

The record for most expensive basketball card had been set in February when a 2018 autographed Luka Doncic Panini National Treasures card was sold for $4.6 million in a private sale, but that mark lasted just two months. This James card is the new record holder.

The identity of the buyer of this iconic James card hasn’t been released. The James rookie card is one of just 23 editions of the card that are in existence. Here’s what the record-breaking one looks like:

According to Sports Illustrated, the James rookie card is not just the most expensive basketball card ever. It also ties the all-time sports trading card record, which was set by a 1952 Mickey Mantle card that in January went for the exact same price tag.

“This was actually in the works for a while,” PWCC’s director of business development Jesse Craig told Darren Rovell of The Action Network. “The demand for rare cards, especially basketball right now, is just like the demand for fine art.”

Craig added that 23 of the 24 most expensive sports trading cards of all-time have been sold since February 2020.

banner image: Keith Allison via Wikimedia