Believe it or not, there was a time when rookie basketball cards were about as exciting to your average hobbyist as that checklist they pulled from their last wax pack.

Indeed, back in the 1980s, during the original hobby boom, it was tough for even the hottest of basketball players to make much noise in a market dominated by baseball cards. Heck, even football was a distant, distant second to the diamond when it came to capturing collector hearts … and dollars.

It took a good long while, and some of the most exciting stars in NBA history, but the tide slowly began to turn.

A large part of the credit for that has to go to Michael Jordan (who else?), whose first Threepeat with the Chicago Bulls elevated him to basketball legend status. Even then, though, Jordan’s 1986-87 Fleer rookie card didn’t sell for much more than the RCs of the latest baseball phenom.

Upper Deck issued a baseball card of Jordan in 1991, though, and it instantly became a hobby favorite and began to shine light on other hoops cards.

When Jordan retired from baseball in the mid-1990s and headed to the diamond, his star — and his basketball cards — rose even further.

By the time Air Jordan returned to the court a year later, Shaquille O’Neal and other young stars were really starting to light up the hobby with their own rookie cards.

The 25+ years since have seen hoops continued to eat into baseball’s hobby market share, with huge names like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, and many others flooding the buckets with their shots and the market with their rookie cards.

Today, you can pretty much count on every basketball product yielding a crop of new rookie cards that continue to drive the market forward.

And you can find nearly all of those cards for sale through various online venues … but, of course, there’s still one leading marketplace when it comes to where collectors turn to find our next cardboard conquests.

Yeah, it’s eBay, no doubt.

And, as you can see from the 25 most watched rookie basketball cards on eBay right now, the hoops market shows no signs of slowing down. Check back often, too, as these listings are updated on a continual basis.

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Michael Jordan 1986-87 Fleer Rookie Card RC 57 BGS 9 MINT w/ 9.5 BULLS HOF

Watchers: 191  
# of Bids: 33
Current Bid: $9780
Auction Ends: 26-May-2022 03:05
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2018-19 Panini Noir Spotlight Signatures Luka Doncic RC Gold On Card AUTO /99

Watchers: 162  
# of Bids: 48
Current Bid: $1963
Auction Ends: 25-May-2022 03:05
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1985 Star #101 Michael Jordan Rookie Card ? PSA NM-MT 8 - NONE HIGHER!

Watchers: 139  
# of Bids: 32
Current Bid: $61300
Auction Ends: 27-May-2022 02:05
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2019 CONTENDERS OPTIC JA MORANT BLUE AUTO RC ROOKIE CARD #16/99 FLAWLESS PSA 10

Watchers: 132  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $3494
Auction Ends: 31-May-2022 03:05
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2019-20 Panini Prizm Ruby Wave #249 Ja Morant Rookie Card RC BGS 10 BLACK LABEL

Watchers: 130  
# of Bids: 37
Current Bid: $2025
Auction Ends: 26-May-2022 23:05
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2021-22 NBA Hoops Cade Cunningham RC Luka Doncic DUAL ON CARD AUTO

Watchers: 130  
# of Bids: 107
Current Bid: $4000.01
Auction Ends: 31-May-2022 03:05
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2009-10 Topps Stephen Curry Rookie Card RC #321 SGC 8 Warriors NM-MT D106

Watchers: 123  
# of Bids: 36
Current Bid: $340
Auction Ends: 25-May-2022 01:05
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2009-10 Topps Stephen Curry Rookie Card RC #321 BGS 9 Warriors MINT D94

Watchers: 115  
# of Bids: 35
Current Bid: $988
Auction Ends: 25-May-2022 01:05
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Jalen Green 2021-22 Kaboom Rookie Card Crown Royale Case Hit Houston Rockets SSP

Watchers: 109  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $4050
Auction Ends: 24-May-2022 22:05
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2018 Panini Flawless Luka Doncic RC Rookie Signed On Card AUTO 1/1 Black Box

Watchers: 102  
# of Bids: 49
Current Bid: $2275
Auction Ends: 31-May-2022 03:05
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2020-21 Panini Flawless Basketball Kevin Durant On Card Auto Ruby /15 STACK SALE

Watchers: 100  
# of Bids: 36
Current Bid: $385
Auction Ends: 26-May-2022 00:05
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2015-16 Panini Flawless Emerald Nikola Jokic RC Rookie On Card AUTO 1/5 PSA 9

Watchers: 99  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $1100
Auction Ends: 26-May-2022 03:05
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JA MORANT 2019 PANINI IMPECCABLE ROOKIE SIGNATURES ON CARD AUTO /99

Watchers: 95  
# of Bids: 32
Current Bid: $460
Auction Ends: 25-May-2022 02:05
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2019-20 Panini Noir Spotlight Ja Morant RC Rookie Auto On Card 77/99

Watchers: 94  
# of Bids: 37
Current Bid: $1913
Auction Ends: 26-May-2022 03:05
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2019 PRIZM JA MORANT AUTO RC BLUE SHIMMER ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH CARD FLAWLESS PSA 10

Watchers: 88  
# of Bids: 30
Current Bid: $2651
Auction Ends: 31-May-2022 03:05
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2013-14 Panini Prizm Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Card RC #290 Bucks D106

Watchers: 83  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $138.5
Auction Ends: 25-May-2022 01:05
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1996 SKYBOX PREMIUM KOBE BRYANT #55 ROOKIE CARD RC PSA 10 💎 MINT💰💯

Watchers: 77  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $391.01
Auction Ends: 26-May-2022 12:05
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Jayson Tatum 2017-18 Panini Prizm Silver Rookie Card RC 16 PSA 10 GEM MINT

Watchers: 76  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $1475
Auction Ends: 26-May-2022 03:05
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1996 TOPPS CHROME #138 KOBE BRYANT - PSA 10 GEM MINT ROOKIE CARD

Watchers: 75  
# of Bids: 42
Current Bid: $5500
Auction Ends: 29-May-2022 01:05
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2015-16 National Treasures Nikola Jokic RC Rookie Signed On Card AUTO 4/99 PSA 8

Watchers: 74  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $785
Auction Ends: 27-May-2022 03:05
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2018-19 Panini Opulence Luka Doncic RC Rookie 64/99 BGS 8.5 w/ 10 On Card AUTO

Watchers: 73  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $930
Auction Ends: 27-May-2022 03:05
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1992 Upper Deck #1b Shaquille O’Neal PSA 10 Gem Mint Perfect Shaq Trade Card 💎

Watchers: 72  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $209.01
Auction Ends: 27-May-2022 03:05
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1986 Fleer Michael Jordan #57 Rookie Card RC SGC 9 MINT

Watchers: 72  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $6389
Auction Ends: 30-May-2022 01:05
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2021-22 Panini Origins Evan Mobley RC Rookie Signed On Card AUTO 60/99

Watchers: 72  
# of Bids: 40
Current Bid: $246.5
Auction Ends: 25-May-2022 03:05
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