L.A. Lakers star LeBron James has been dominating the NBA for the past 17 seasons. In that time, he has amassed three NBA Championships and a myriad of accolades. Now, his 2003 Cleveland Cavaliers rookie card wants in on the action. You won’t believe its price tag!
During an auction Saturday night, a rare autographed LeBron James rookie card sold for $1.8 million. The LBJ 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite basketball card had become the most-expensive modern-day card with a $960,000 bid earlier this summer. The previous record belonged to a Mike Trout rookie card which sold for $922,500 in May 2020.
The Patch Autograph Parallel rookie card — one of only 23 manufactured — was sold to Lob.com CEO Leore Avidar. The $1.8 million price tag is the most any basketball card has ever sold for.
“If we were talking about a T206 [Honus] Wagner, or a 1952 [Mickey] Mantle, it probably wouldn’t be that much news,” the founder of Goldin Auctions said. “But when you’re talking about a card that was literally produced 17 years ago for a guy still playing in the NBA, it’s just shocking news… It’s really where my particular industry has been going for several years.”
Of the 23 Patch Autograph Parallel rookie cards produced, Beckett Grading Service only graded two of them as a 9.5 mint gem. The other is owned by a private collector.
“There are only two of them. One of them is in private hands and the other was up for auction,” Goldin said. “So this really was the single best LeBron card that somebody could have hoped to get. It was very active bidding, a lot of bidders, and we’re happy with the results.”
Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook has partnered with the NBPA to produce shirts that contain social justice slogans. The shirts — manufactured by the star’s “Honor The Gift” clothing apparel company — will contain messages not approved for NBA game jerseys.
Message alternatives reportedly include:
The NBA and NBPA earlier this month approved of 29 social justice messages that players can wear on the back of their jerseys in lieu of their last names. Several players, however, say the options are too limited.
Prior to the weekend, Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell criticized the approved list of social justice statements, calling them “cookie-cutter.”
“I was really disappointed in the options that were given to us. I felt like the list was very cookie-cutter and doesn’t really touch the topics of what we’re trying to achieve,” Powell told reporters Thursday.
“We shouldn’t be boxed in. As long as it wasn’t anything explicit or any cursing in your saying, you should’ve been able to put whatever you want on the back of your jersey because it is your last name that you’re removing. It’s you and it speaks to yourself.”
Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden was criticized last week for wearing a face covering linked to a pro-police symbol. In response to the backlash, Harden revealed why he wore the specific mask upon his arrival in Orlando to prepare for the NBA’s return-to-play.
“Honestly, I wasn’t trying to make a political statement,” the sharp-shooter said Friday. “I honestly wore it just because it covered my whole face and my beard.”
Harden’s face covering featured a black and white American flag with a blue vertical line and a skull. The “Thin Blue Line” design represents the belief that law enforcement is the only viable barrier —or “line” — between societal order and chaos.
Some claim the symbols have strong connotations within the Blue Lives Matter movement, which many believe is a countermovement meant to undermine the Black Lives Matter initiative.
Despite Harden’s choice of face covering, the 30-year-old has praised the city of Houston’s efforts to support social equality.
“The way the city rallied, it was amazing,” Harden said during a video conference Thursday. “I think the world saw it – how so many people could come together so close. Obviously, it was for a tragic reason, but the marching and everything that we’re standing for is very powerful.”
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has never been shy with his words. But neither has former NBA star, Charles Barkley. And their ongoing feud may come to a head as the two work together on the new TNT series “The Arena.”
Barkley has been awfully critical of Green’s talent through his time with the Warriors. Barkley’s even referred to the three-time NBA Champion as “the least famous person in the boy band.” As a result, Green hasn’t held back in calling out his most aggressive critic.
“He’s not a friend of mine. He’s not someone whose opinion matters to me. So, there is not a need to hash anything out,” Green told USA TODAY Sports.
“He’s kind of known to put out some crazy statements. I don’t know if they are his true beliefs or whatever, or he’s just saying stuff for reactions,” Green said. “We’ll see. But I’ve never worked with him, so I can’t really say what it’s going to be like.”
Green has claimed that Barkley’s comments have come as a result of jealousy.
“It’s jealousy, you know what I’m saying? It’s jealousy that somebody the same size as him could come in the league and have the success I had, make the money I’ve made, win the championships I’ve won. These are all things that Charles Barkley wasn’t able to do.”