Basketball has as rich a history as any other American sport. The National Basketball League (NBL) was formed in 1898, twenty years prior to the forming of the National Football League. The first basketball trading cards were only produced in 1910, however, and the first officially released set was only issued by Bowman in 1948. It took until late into the 1940s for professional basketball to reach a household-name status in the U.S. Once it became popular, however, the production of valuable player trading cards also increased.
Interesting basketball cards are available to add to your collection. The Mark Jackson basketball card is not currently as financially valuable as Michael Jordan or other top player cards. The Mark Jackson card is quite unique, however. Mark Jackson was picked 18th overall in the 1987 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. Standing 6’3”, Jackson played point guard for the Knicks, starting his rookie season in 1988.
Jackson, alongside legends such as Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing, helped lead the Knicks from the bottom of the league to a playoff contender status. Jackson helped change the culture of Knicks basketball and attract more fans to watch the franchise play in Madison Square Garden. Jackson eventually became 4th in all-time career assists, meaning he was a valuable part of the Knicks’ increase in scoring opportunities and contender status.
Why is the Mark Jackson basketball card so unique? Jackson was photographed near the sideline while making a bounce pass. Seated in the background watching the games were Lyle and Erik Menendez of the infamous Menendez brothers murder cases.
Surprisingly this card is valued only between $15 and $456, with PSA copies selling for the highest amounts. Perhaps its value will increase over time. For now, finding the card is not a significant challenge for collectors, so it is advisable to grab one soon through marketplaces such as Sports Cards Infinity or other trading card specialists before any degradation in quality occurs.
The Kobe Bryant rookie card sells for significantly more than the Jackson card does. Bryant became a basketball legend, with accolades including five NBA Championships, eight All-Star games, one MBA most-valuable player (MVP), two NBA Finals MVP awards and more. Bryant was also one of the most all-around popular sports figures during his time.
Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, CA. Currently, a pristine condition Kobe Bryant rookie card sells for $1,800,000.
The 1996 Topps #138 Chrome Refractor Kobe Bryant Rookie cards are currently being auctioned for between approximately $1,000 and $5,000 on eBay with bids still coming in.
The 1996 Fleer #181 Metal Precious Metal Kobe Bryant Rookie card is currently auctioning for between approximately $10,000 and $50,000 on eBay at the time of this writing.
Additional top basketball cards available today include:
- Hakeem Olajuwon – 1986 Fleer (RC #82).
- Michael Jordan – 1986 Fleer (RC #57).
- Wilt Chamberlain – 1961 Fleer (RC #8).