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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Jelani Scott

LeBron James Trading Card Expected to Make History Soon

As the NBA’s first active billionaire player, it seems as though nearly everything LeBron James touches turns to gold. And, evidently, King James’s Midas touch has the 37-year-old on the verge of making more history in the world of business.

A unique James trading card known as the “Triple Logoman” is currently up for sale this month through collectibles marketplace Goldin Auctions via an auction that runs through June 25. The Associated Press reported Wednesday the latest bidding on the card came in at $1.8 million, but according to Goldin founder Ken Goldin, the card has the chance to go for a lot more.

“The card stands out like no other card in the history of the industry,” Goldin said, per AP. “Typically, it’s the older vintage cards that are very valuable. … But there’s really never been a card this popular before it was even pulled from a pack.”

The James card is part of Panini’s 2020–21 “Flawless” collection, and features game-worn NBA logo patches from three of his jerseys, one each from his tenures with the Cavaliers, Heat and Lakers, his team for the past four seasons. 

In a video interview with Sports Illustrated, which can be viewed above, Goldin revealed that the card is already “the most valuable card ever sold that was issued in the same year.”

“Our goal is for, at a minimum, the card to be the most expensive basketball card ever sold publicly at auction,” he added.

NBA megafan Drake was on the hunt for the card, and previously streamed with Goldin as he opened packs looking for it. Goldin says he’d like for Drake to bid for the card, but would not confirm whether the rapper is involved in the auction.

James himself is something of a card aficionado, and Goldin has no doubt that he is aware of this auction. 

“There’s no way on God’s green earth that LeBron James is not aware of this card. We literally have a billboard in Times Square touting the card. It’s the first time it’s been done in history. … I’m sure LeBron knows.”

Given the item’s rarity, it is believed by many, including Goldin, that the Triple Logoman could surpass the record set by a LeBron rookie card last year for the most expensive basketball card ever sold. After Goldin sold the rookie card for over $1 million—the first modern card to hit that milestone—James disclosed that he has two of the rare cards, which were limited to 23 in total, himself.

More interestingly, the Triple Logoman could also pass the $6.6 million mark set last August by a 100-year-old Honus Wagner trading card for the most expensive trading card of all-time.

“It’s got a reasonable shot of passing $5.2 million,” Goldin told AP. “This, to me, is an iconic card, and if it can break that record, it just shows people how valuable trading cards can be and that it does not have to be 100 years old. I think it’s really going to encourage people to go out to their local stores, go out to their hobby shops, go out to the Targets and Walmarts and buy packs of cards and rip them open trying to find the next golden ticket.”

For the better part of nearly the last 20 years, LeBron’s name and likeness has changed both the sports and business worlds thanks to his sustained greatness. And, in yet another testament to his longevity, his name could soon belong to another record book when it’s all said done.

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