Rare LeBron James trading card brings $1.84M at auction

Sports

FILE – In this March 10, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in Los Angeles. If James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

CHICAGO (Reuters) — A rare trading card of NBA great LeBron James’ 2003-04 rookie campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers fetched $1.84 million at auction over the weekend, the league has said.

Bidding for the Upper Deck card, signed by the 35-year-old who now plays for Los Angeles Lakers, began at $150,000 before it became the most expensive basketball card purchased in the modern era — those produced in 1980 or later.

“Only 23 versions of the Patch Autograph Parallel collection for James were ever produced. The rare card received a 9.5 mint gem grading from Beckett grading service,” the NBA said. “Numbered 14 of 23, the card attracted 34 bids over the course of the 26-day auction.”

Darren Rovell of sports media company Action Network said the winning bidder was Leore Avidar, the CEO and co-founder of a San Francisco-based company.

James is a three-times NBA champion (2012, 2013, 2016) and twice Olympic gold medallist (2008, 2012). He has won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award four times.

In May, Michael Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season fetched $560,000 in an online auction.

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