There are a few cards in the market right now that truly represent what the hobby is all about. Among these epic pulls belongs to no other than the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James. The four-time NBA champion’s 2003 Topps Chrome rookie card is one of the hobby’s most coveted items, especially those that got a gem-mint grade of 10 from PSA. The thing is, this same card is showing everyone a two-year market trend that will leave collectors concerned.
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In an image shared by Slabstox on Instagram, James’ definitive rookie card, his 2003 Topps Chrome, and its PSA 10 price trend over the past two years were shown. Its value started at around $6,000 last 2020 as the pandemic began and shoot straight up to $15,000 during the subsequent months. Similar to the overall NBA card market, the graded LeBron James card went bonkers and almost reached $45,000 sometime in 2021.
From that point on, the Lakers’ All-Star and his PSA 10 rookie card value gradually slid down to its current price of $8,400. According to Slabstox, this downtrend represents a 44% decrease over the last two years since the said LeBron James rookie card reached its peak in the market. The sports card content creators added that while there are a lot of pulls that experienced upward spikes and subsequent dips, there are still a lot of cards that gained value over the given period.
While there is certainly truth to that, the trend of the Lakers’ All-Star rookie card seems similar to the overall sports card market. Just a few weeks after the pandemic started, a huge surge of new enthusiasts entered the hobby and drove the prices of cards insane. What followed was an epic upward trend that increased demand for card products and grading. This resulted in a massive increase in prices, which is still being felt today.
But while prices of sealed products and grading have gone up, there are a lot of cards that have gone down in value during the past few months. Of course, the best example is this LeBron James rookie card and its price journey over the past two years is clear proof of that. It remains to be seen how much more NBA Cards will drop, especially since the offseason is nearing. In any case, collectors are advised to practice discernment with their purchases to preserve their money.