LeBron James and his money moves don’t always happen on the court.
CBS Sports reports that a signed 2003 James Exquisite Collection patch rookie card recently sold for a whopping $5.2 million in a private sale by PWCC Marketplace.
The sports channel also reports that the James Rookie Card is one of just 23 cards.
“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,” said PWCC. “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.”
Previously the Luka Doncic Panini National Treasures Card held the record for the most expensive NBA card set selling in 2018 for a record fee of $4.6 million through a private sale.
According to ESPN, the recent sale is now tied for the all-time record sale of any card with the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card purchased by Rob Gough.
While the demand for the rookie card may have been low recently, PWCC’s director of business development, Jesse Craig, notes that high-end cards are still making record sales.
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“This was actually in the works for a while,” said Craig in an interview. “The demand for rare cards, especially basketball right now, is just like the demand for fine art.”
He also adds that most people who own those rare James cards are hesitant to sell them in an effort to capitalize on the rise of the market.
“The majority don’t want to sell,” he said. “There are a select few that want to capitalize on the rise of the market, but it has to be kind of the perfect storm for someone to release a card of this magnitude.”
Collector Aaron Davis currently has two of James’ cards that he’s not planning to release any time soon.
This includes a one-of-one 2003-04 Ultimate Collection LeBron Logoman RPA and a 9.5 BGS-graded version of the record-breaking card.