When Larry Bird basketball cards first saw the light of day, the hobby (and the world!) was a very different place than it is today.

After all, in the fall and winter of 1980-81, when Bird’s rookie card(s) was first popping out of wax packs, baseball cards ruled the roost completely, with football a distant second in the fight for collector hearts … and dollars.

Basketball? If it weren’t for the safety net provided by hockey cards (non-Wayne Gretzky division), hoops cards would have been hobby cellar-dwellers.

But the times, they were a’changin’!

For one thing, Topps would be joined by Fleer and Donruss in the spring of 1981, casting a new light on the hobby overall and starting to heat things up.

For another, the baseball strike in the summer of 1981 dented the Grand Old Game’s reputation and gave the other sports a chance to get a stronger toehold.

And, for another another, Bird and college rival Magic Johnson had brought their blood battles to the NBA, trading Indiana State and Michigan State, respectively, for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

It was ready-made drama as the young bucks sought to bring those storied franchises back to the center of the hoops world, especially if it meant clawing over each other to get there. And, boy, did they succeed!

From their first season in the league, 1979-80, through Bird’s retirement in 1992, Magic and Larry met in the NBA Finals three times, with the Lakers taking two titles and the Celtics, one.

Beyond that, though, L.A. made the Finals nine times those seasons, winning five titles.

Bird’s Celtics, meantime, made it to the last series of the season five times, copping three championships along the way.

Not surprisingly, the Bird-Magic rivalry captivated fans and collectors alike and helped pave the way for the high-octane era of NBA basketball heralded by the arrival of Michael Jordan in 1984.

And, even when Bird hung up his sneakers after the 1991-92 season, he still had something left in the tank, and in store for fans — namely, Kodak played a key role on the 1992 USA Olympic Dream Team that rolled to a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics.

That team — and Bird — appeared on everything from magazine covers to medallions to cereal boxes … to, of course, basketball cards.

And, today, Larry Bird basketball cards rightly sit among the hobby royalty, and continue to draw plenty of collector interest, as evidenced by the below list of the most-watched Larry Legend cards on eBay right now (and check back often, as these listings are updated continuously).

(NOTE: The section below contains affiliate links to eBay listings for the card shown.)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ebay_market_182x76.gif

1980-81 MAGIC JOHNSON / LARRY BIRD / JULIUS ERVING RC CSG 1.5 ROOKIE CARD

Watchers: 67  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $227.5
Auction Ends: 03-Jul-2022 00:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2014-15 PANINI NOIR Auto Noir Color Gold LARRY BIRD ON CARD AUTO 3/5 SSP HOF

Watchers: 52  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $165.5
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 04:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

24833724 - Larry Bird - 1981 Topps #4 First 1st True Celtics Card PSA 9 MINT

Watchers: 51  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $265
Auction Ends: 04-Jul-2022 01:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1993-94 Topps Finest  #1 Michael Jordan & #2 Larry Bird very sharp mint cards

Watchers: 46  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $73
Auction Ends: 03-Jul-2022 00:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2021-22 Impeccable Larry Bird on card auto 7/10 BOSTON CELTICS

Watchers: 41  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $131.5
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 21:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1980 Topps Larry Bird Magic Johnson Rookie Card RC Julius Erving PSA 7 NEW CASE

Watchers: 40  
# of Bids: 35
Current Bid: $1008.89
Auction Ends: 03-Jul-2022 02:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2012 PANINI CONTENDERS LARRY BIRD/25 SUBSTANTIAL SIGNATURES AUTO/PATCH CARD NM+

Watchers: 37  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $91
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 01:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2009-10 Larry Bird Hall of Fame Panini Dream Team Jersey Card Patch Relic Magic

Watchers: 35  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $35
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 03:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2021-22 Impeccable Larry Bird Auto /35 Immortal Ink Boston Celtic On-Card Auto

Watchers: 34  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $99
Auction Ends: 06-Jul-2022 01:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2021-22 Impeccable Victory Larry Bird On Card Auto 7/35 Celtics

Watchers: 34  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $56
Auction Ends: 09-Jul-2022 02:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2021-22 Panini Contenders: Larry Bird - Playoff Ticket On Card Auto /49 SP

Watchers: 32  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $87
Auction Ends: 03-Jul-2022 00:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1980 Topps Larry Bird/Magic Johnson Rookie Card! PSA 7

Watchers: 30  
# of Bids: 1
Current Bid: $1499
Auction Ends: 30-Jun-2022 19:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013-14 Panini SELECT ROOKIE CARD RC BGS 9 MINT 2 9.5

Watchers: 26  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $261
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 04:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Larry Bird 2012-13 Panini Elite Basketball Card 2 All Time Greats /49 Auto

Watchers: 25  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $23.5
Auction Ends: 03-Jul-2022 01:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

🏀 1981 Topps #101 Larry Bird ROOKIE CARD RC Boston Celtics HOF HGA 7.5 NM+

Watchers: 24  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $14.5
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 03:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2004 Larry Bird Upper Deck SP Auto Signed Card /100 Significance SIG-LA Celtics!

Watchers: 24  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $120.5
Auction Ends: 30-Jun-2022 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Huge Basketball card Lot Rookies Inserts Patch Kobe Jordan Steph LeBron Dr. J

Watchers: 23  
# of Bids: 5
Current Bid: $307
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 23:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

🏀 1981 Topps #101 Larry Bird ROOKIE CARD RC Boston Celtics HOF PSA 7 NM

Watchers: 23  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $35.65
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 03:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2021-22 Panini Origins Legendary Autographs Larry Bird AUTO On card Celtics

Watchers: 22  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $90
Auction Ends: 05-Jul-2022 02:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1980-81 TOPPS LARRY BIRD BASKETBALL ROOKIE CARD #30 May Sikma NM+ SHARP READ

Watchers: 22  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $14.5
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 01:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Magic Johnson/Larry Bird 1993 SkyBox Auto Autograph Signed Card w/ COA

Watchers: 22  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $16.5
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 12:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Larry Bird HOF Signed Autograph 1980 Topps RC Rookie Card 31 PSA 10 AUTO

Watchers: 22  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $96
Auction Ends: 04-Jul-2022 01:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)