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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1980 1981 Topps Magic Johnson Larry Bird Julius Erving, rookie card BVG GRADED 8

Watchers: 92  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $770
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 04:06
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1980 Topps Larry Bird Magic Johnson Julius Erving RC Rookie Card PSA 3 HOF RARE

Watchers: 61  
# of Bids: 34
Current Bid: $245.35
Auction Ends: 26-Jun-2024 02:06
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2003-04 Upper Deck SP Authentic Larry Bird SP SIGNATURES On-Card AUTO PSA 10 New

Watchers: 60  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $151
Auction Ends: 22-Jun-2024 21:06
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1980-81 Larry Bird Julius Erving Magic Johnson Rookie Card RC #139 #174 34 PSA 7

Watchers: 52  
# of Bids: 43
Current Bid: $805
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 02:06
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HUGE MULTI-SPORT, GRADED SPORTS CARD LOT (x588), PSA 10’s, Autos, SP, Rookies

Watchers: 33  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $97
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 02:06
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80s-00s NBA Basketball Card Mega Lot - Jordan Kobe Lebron Shaq Graded & Non RCs

Watchers: 32  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $162.5
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 00:06
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1991-92 NBA Hoops Basketball Trading Cards Factory Sealed Box Brand New

Watchers: 26  
# of Bids: 10
Current Bid: $47
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 04:06
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2023 TOPPS CHROME ROB DILLINGHAM AQUA ON CARD AUTO /99 ROOKIE SSP #1 PICK? MINT?

Watchers: 24  
# of Bids: 5
Current Bid: $5
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 01:06
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1980s-90 STAR/HOF BASKETBALL CARD LOT OF 11 MICHAEL JORDAN, LARRY BIRD READ*YCC*

Watchers: 21  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $2.25
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 00:06
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LARRY BIRD 1981-82 Topps #4 NBA HOF Boston Celtics 2nd year card

Watchers: 21  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $18.55
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 22:06
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Topps Chrome/Finest Basketball HoF GoATs Refractor Lot *READ*21 Cards Total*

Watchers: 20  
# of Bids: 10
Current Bid: $29
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 17:06
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Huge NBA Basketball Card Lot 1500+ Cards. Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, Star Rc, Inserts

Watchers: 19  
# of Bids: 24
Current Bid: $76
Auction Ends: 29-Jun-2024 01:06
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1981 Topps - #4 - 2nd year card - Larry Bird - PSA 8

Watchers: 18  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $67
Auction Ends: 28-Jun-2024 03:06
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1981 Topps - #4 - 2nd year card - Larry Bird - PSA 8

Watchers: 18  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $78
Auction Ends: 28-Jun-2024 01:06
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1981 - 1982 Topps Larry Bird Boston Celtics #4 Basketball Card HOF

Watchers: 18  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $39.91
Auction Ends: 22-Jun-2024 22:06
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1990-91 NBA Hoops Basketball Card Series 1 Box ( Factory Sealed) 36 packs

Watchers: 17  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $36
Auction Ends: 25-Jun-2024 01:06
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LARRY BIRD Auto /10 REIGNING NIGHTS /10 GOLD Autograph On CARD SSP NOIR 2018

Watchers: 16  
# of Bids: 0
Current Bid: $259.99
Auction Ends: 23-Jun-2024 21:06
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1984-85 Star - #12 Larry Bird MVP Boston Celtics Beckett 9 Mint Card

Watchers: 14  
# of Bids: 1
Current Bid: $75
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 00:06
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1981 Topps #4 Larry Bird PSA 7 nm very clean sharp card

Watchers: 14  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $10.49
Auction Ends: 26-Jun-2024 21:06
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Larry Bird Auto 2006 Upper Deck Game Used Jersey 27/33 Auto PSA 9 Card PSA 6

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $127.5
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 00:06
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LARRY BIRD SGC 7 1981-82 TOPPS BASKETBALL #4 CELTICS CARD 9226

Watchers: 12  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $11.5
Auction Ends: 26-Jun-2024 01:06
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LARRY BIRD MAGIC JOHNSON JULIUS ERVING 1980/81 TOPPS RC ROOKIE CARD SGC 4 VG-EX

Watchers: 11  
# of Bids: 0
Current Bid: $399.99
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2024 16:06
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LARRY BIRD SGC 8 1986-87 FLEER STICKER BASKETBALL #2 CELTICS CARD NM-MT 1627

Watchers: 10  
# of Bids: 5
Current Bid: $66.5
Auction Ends: 26-Jun-2024 01:06
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LOT OF (6) DIFFERENT LARRY BIRD BASKETBALL CARDS 1987-88 TO 1992-93

Watchers: 10  
# of Bids: 1
Current Bid: $0.99
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 03:06
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1981-82 Topps Basketball COMPLETE SET 198 Cards READ

Watchers: 9  
# of Bids: 0
Current Bid: $100
Auction Ends: 24-Jun-2024 01:06
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