LeBron James is breaking another record, this time with his rookie card.
PWCC Marketplace announced on Monday, April 26, that the basketball legend’s 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA (rookie patch autograph) parallel rookie card was sold for a whopping $5.2 million, which is the most any basketball card has ever fetched at sale. The price shares the record for most expensive sports card with a 1952 card by New York Yankees baseball player Mickey Mantle.
However, the Los Angeles Lakers forward’s card sale did eclipse that of Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic’s Panini card that broke a record for most expensive basketball card last month. Panini’s rookie patch autograph went for $4.6 million.
PWCC Marketplace’s Instagram post shows a picture of the card with a caption that reads: “Record $5.2MM @kingjames card sets the record for the highest price for a basketball card. Ever. Only .5 away from a 9.5, this is the third best example in existence. The modern high-end sports card origins can only be traced back to 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball. Combining the now staple Rookie Patch Autographs with arguably the greatest draft class in NBA history, Exquisite gave rise to every elite brand on the market today. 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. 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. We’re pleased to have privately brokered the deal for the most valuable basketball card ever sold.”
The person who bought James’ card lives in the U.K. but has decided to remain anonymous. ESPN reported that Jesse Craig, PWCC’s director of business development, said, “Exquisite was a revolutionary product when it came out in 2003. It was the most expensive retail product that had ever been released, at $500 a box, and they were only made from 2003 to 2009; the rarity of those assets carries a lot of weight for collectors and investors today.”
James has made no statement in regards to the record. But he did announce on April 27 that he is releasing his second children’s book, “We Are Family.” James partnered with journalist and writer Andrea Williams to write a story about five friends who are working together to save their basketball season.
In the news release about the book James said: “Everyone has a story and unique set of challenges they’re going through that we don’t hear about. ‘We Are Family’ shows how an unlikely group of kids comes together to chase their dreams, despite having the odds stacked against them. It’s an important story of family, purpose and perseverance in the face of adversity that I hope inspires everyone who reads it to never stop dreaming and believing in what they’re capable of.
“We Are Family,” which falls under James’s deal he has with HarperCollins Children’s Books, is slated to be released in August.