Who would have thought sports tickets would be incredibly expensive these days? More than a year ago, most people hadn’t even thought about this hobby, let alone invested a lot of money in it. Few had the foresight to see how big the sports card industry could become.
Among those who got into the hobby early were influential people like Gary Vaynerchuk. You may recall that this entrepreneur and social media personality kept encouraging people to invest in cards until their value skyrocketed last year.
Nowadays almost everyone collects sports cards. Look around and chances are you’ll run into another collector or meet someone who has invested heavily in this type of memorabilia. Meanwhile, even famous NBA players have taken notice of the hobby and have taken the game in hand.
With the popularity of and demand for basketball cards on the rise, it’s no surprise that some of the league’s most famous names are getting into the hobby. Below, we present five NBA stars who not only collect cards, but actively buy them on the market.
One of the greatest scorers in NBA history has put his goals on sports charts, not just as a hobby, but as an investment. Recently, Kevin Durant and his fellow Chernin Group investors invested $40 million in gold auctions. This decision will help the auction house expand into fast-growing markets outside the United States.
This Kobe Bryant + Kevin Durant card is signed by Kobe and donated by KD for his personal @PaniniAmerica collection.
Today @KDTrey5 drew his side of the map to complete this 1/1 masterpiece pic.twitter.com/nmtOudRQDt
– Boardroom (@boardroom) February 11, 2021
As a collector, Slim Reaper owns one of the most valuable cards on the market, the Immaculate Collection Card, signed by Durant himself and the late Kobe Bryant. The card, donated to Panini by the Brooklyn Nets All-Stars, was signed by Black Mamba before his death last year. Durant signed it and it is now part of his personal collection.
Ray Allen, considered one of the deadliest shooters in league history, has his sights set on another goal after retirement: the Athletic Cards. More recently, the legendary shooter acquired an autograph card with a double NBA logo on it from the 2004-05 season, featuring him and former Milwaukee Bucks teammate Michael Redd.
Ray Allen just bought his Logoman card. We expect more and more players, past and present, to invest in their own cards. pic.twitter.com/FM1AlNCoGE
– Gold Auctions (@GoldinAuctions) 3. March 2021
The card features large patches of the NBA logo from jerseys worn by these two players, along with their respective signatures. In an Instagram post, Allen said sports cards are a great way to remember his time in the league. Of course, his first foray into the hobby would not be his last.
When he’s not busy defending the Los Angeles Clippers’ post, Serge Ibaka is looking for sports cards for his collection. It all started in February when Ibaka met with Vaynerchuk. At the time, the entrepreneur was betting on sports cards and their imminent rise. Ibaka, for his part, listened intently to Vaynerchuk describe the value of the cards as an investment.
The sports card game is so real. Find out why in this #WeeklyVee with @sergeibaka https://t.co/K7HEhgtqwp pic.twitter.com/XWPRd6rzZW
– Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) February 22, 2020
That’s right, the card market exploded a few months after that. While Ibaka’s personal collection and investment records are not publicly available at this time, it’s safe to say that the big man followed Vaynerchuk’s advice on sports cards.
A few weeks before Bubble came to Orlando, Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a video of his prized TikTok card collection. The catch is that all the cards he showed were different from him.
The two-time MVP award winner displayed his collection of signed precious cards. In the video alone you can see that the Greek Freak card collection is large, both in quantity and quality. So far, there are no new updates on how many cards Antetokounmpo owns, but you can be sure he’s worth a fortune.
LeBron James’ cunning is not limited to the field. The way King has built his brand and the countless investments he has made over the years are proof of that. One of them is his precious collection of postcards.
@KingJames is currently sitting on a few million…. In the cards @SportsCenter pic.twitter.com/LwqdancL5u
– ESPN (@espn) July 20, 2020
Last year, it was announced that the rookie card featuring James’ beautiful lap car had sold for $1.8 million. On Twitter, LBJ said he had a few of those cards. This means that James’ collection is now worth millions of dollars. It is not yet known what other sports cards James owns. But more importantly, they will probably fetch an insane amount of money when sold on the market.
These five players are just the tip of the iceberg. As the hobby grows exponentially, more and more people, including current and former NBA players, become interested and involved. Keep an eye on these stars, as their involvement in the card industry is sure to be a good development for everyone in the hobby.
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