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.)

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2004-05 Upper Deck SPX Magic Johnson & Larry Bird Jersey On Card AUTO 6/10 SGC 9

Watchers: 48  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $370
Auction Ends: 08-Mar-2024 03:03
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

(8)1986 Fleer Sticker Card Lot Ewing(2), Thomas, Nique RC's. Bird, Kareem, more

Watchers: 44  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $42
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 03:03
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1980-81 TOPPS BASKETBALL LARRY BIRD/MAGIC JOHNSON/ERVING RC CARD!!!! SGC 5

Watchers: 42  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $380
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 04:03
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1981 Topps Basketball PSA 9 MINT Larry Bird 1st Individual Card HOF

Watchers: 40  
# of Bids: 38
Current Bid: $346
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 21:03
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1980-81 Topps #34 / 139 / 174 Larry Bird Magic Johnson Julius Erving Card TCCCX

Watchers: 37  
# of Bids: 25
Current Bid: $152.5
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 19:03
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2013-14 Panini Crown Royale Larry Bird Die Cut On Card Auto 7/10 Purple Celtics

Watchers: 37  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $67
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 01:03
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Larry Bird 2021-22 Panini Impeccable Victory On Card Auto /25 Boston Celtics

Watchers: 36  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $102.5
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 00:03
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2022-23 Contenders Optic Larry Bird 1985 Tribute Auto Blue /25 On Card Celtics

Watchers: 33  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $71
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 03:03
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2022 Crown Royale Larry Bird Crown Jewel Signatures On Card AUTO/49 PSA 10 POP 4

Watchers: 32  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $225
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 02:03
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1991 Skybox USA Team Card #NNO Gold Foil PSA 9 + GEM LOW POP MICHAEL JORDAN HOF

Watchers: 29  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $9.5
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 23:03
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HUGE 2400+ Sports Cards Collection PATCH/AUTO/ROOKIE OHTANI JORDAN KOBE BRADY

Watchers: 27  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $170.5
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 02:03
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2021-22 Panini Flawless Larry Bird USA Basketball on card Auto Ruby 15/15

Watchers: 26  
# of Bids: 19
Current Bid: $157.5
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 03:03
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2007 Upper Deck Chronology Larry Bird 20,000 Point Club On Card Auto /25

Watchers: 25  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $101
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 02:03
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1981 Topps Basketball PSA 8 Larry Bird 1st Individual Card HOF

Watchers: 23  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $55
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 21:03
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2019-20 Panini Immaculate Larry Bird Gold Scorers Club Auto /10 On Card Celtics

Watchers: 20  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $156.5
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 03:03
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Larry Bird 2022-23 Noir Snapshot Signatures On Card Auto 3/15

Watchers: 18  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $102.5
Auction Ends: 03-Mar-2024 02:03
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2022-23 Immaculate Larry Bird Legends On-Card Autograph #35/49 Celtics

Watchers: 17  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $123.5
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 03:03
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NBA 1990's Basketball Card Lot 750-1000+ Jordan Shaq Barkley Webber Hardaway

Watchers: 16  
# of Bids: 0
Current Bid: $12.95
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 21:03
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2022 Leaf ITG Triple Relic JERSEY Card! Bryant-Erving-Bird! # 16/35, Basketball

Watchers: 16  
# of Bids: 10
Current Bid: $33.6
Auction Ends: 01-Mar-2024 15:03
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1981 Topps Basketball LARRY BIRD Card #4 Boston Celtics HOFer

Watchers: 16  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $6.5
Auction Ends: 02-Mar-2024 21:03
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(6) 1980s BASKETBALL HOF/STAR CARDS RODMAN RC, KAREEM, BIRD EX-NM+ READ *YCC*

Watchers: 15  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $27.66
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 01:03
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1980 Topps Larry Bird Rebounding Leader PSA 8 Rookie Card Celtics

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $28
Auction Ends: 07-Mar-2024 01:03
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1992 Skybox Team USA Basketball Cards Box / New / Factory Sealed / Dream Team

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 10
Current Bid: $43
Auction Ends: 05-Mar-2024 01:03
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LARRY BIRD & Julius Erving 1981-82 Topps Basketball Card Boston Celtics #4 #30

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $14.5
Auction Ends: 01-Mar-2024 21:03
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LARRY BIRD 1981-82 TOPPS BASKETBALL CARD #4 BOSTON CELTICS SGC 8 TOUGH CARD

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 19
Current Bid: $95
Auction Ends: 04-Mar-2024 04:03
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