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 (down below), the hoops market shows no signs of slowing down. For further proof, check out these other basketball cards setting fire to the market:

Check back often, too, as these listings are updated on a continual basis.

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MICHAEL JORDAN 1986/87 FLEER #57 RC ROOKIE CARD CHICAGO BULLS BGS 8 NM-MT W/ 9.5

Watchers: 92  
# of Bids: 23
Current Bid: $3859
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Jerry West LAKERS HOF Signed Auto 1961 Fleer Rookie Card # 66 w/ stats PSA

Watchers: 88  
# of Bids: 37
Current Bid: $475
Auction Ends: 16-Jun-2024 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2020-21 Panini Prizm Anthony Edwards #258 Rookie Card RC White Sparkle Prizm SSP

Watchers: 86  
# of Bids: 48
Current Bid: $2025
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 04:06
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2018-19 Panini Immaculate Luka Doncic Moments Rookie On Card Auto RC # /99

Watchers: 80  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $732
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 02:06
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1980 Topps Magic Johnson/Larry Bird Rookie Scoring Leader Card PSA 7 HOF Sharp!

Watchers: 74  
# of Bids: 30
Current Bid: $455
Auction Ends: 17-Jun-2024 01:06
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2009 Topps Stephen Curry Psa 9 Rookie Card

Watchers: 71  
# of Bids: 51
Current Bid: $630
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 01:06
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2023-24 Crown Royale Gradey Dick Kaboom! Gold SP Rookie Card RC #09/10 Raptors

Watchers: 68  
# of Bids: 33
Current Bid: $1555
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 02:06
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Jason Williams 1998-99 Skybox Autographics RC Rookie Card, 33/50

Watchers: 66  
# of Bids: 13
Current Bid: $148.5
Auction Ends: 15-Jun-2024 18:06
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2000 Topps TIM DUNCAN AUTOGRAPHS On Card Auto Spurs BGS 9!

Watchers: 65  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $305
Auction Ends: 17-Jun-2024 01:06
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1984 Star #101 Michael Jordan "ROOKIE CARD" PSA 6

Watchers: 65  
# of Bids: 0
Current Bid: $22000
Auction Ends: 15-Jun-2024 16:06
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2018-19 Panini Donruss Optic Luka Doncic On Card Auto PSA 9 Rookie RC

Watchers: 61  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $162.5
Auction Ends: 17-Jun-2024 01:06
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2018-19 Panini Crown Royale Luka Doncic Rookie Auto RPA /199 On-Card BGS 9/10

Watchers: 59  
# of Bids: 34
Current Bid: $1026
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 04:06
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1961 Fleer Jerry West SIGNED Rookie Card #66 PSA Auto Inscribed “The Logo”

Watchers: 59  
# of Bids: 30
Current Bid: $293
Auction Ends: 15-Jun-2024 16:06
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1996 Skybox E-X2000 Kobe Bryant Rookie Card #30 PSA Mint 9! Tough Grade!

Watchers: 58  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $339
Auction Ends: 17-Jun-2024 03:06
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2024 Topps Now Victor Wembanyama RC Rookie Signed On Card AUTO 74/99 Spurs

Watchers: 58  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $1450
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 03:06
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2023-24 Panini Silver Prizm #136 Victor Wembanyama RC Rookie PSA 10 HOT CARD

Watchers: 56  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $888
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 03:06
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1961 Fleer Jerry West SIGNED Rookie Card #66 PSA Auto Inscribed “The Logo”

Watchers: 56  
# of Bids: 37
Current Bid: $345
Auction Ends: 13-Jun-2024 19:06
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2012-13 Panini Immaculate Kyrie Irving RPA Rookie Patch Auto 30/99 RC On Card

Watchers: 54  
# of Bids: 19
Current Bid: $202.5
Auction Ends: 17-Jun-2024 02:06
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2017 Panini Prizm Jayson Tatum Rookie Card RC Silver Holo Prizm SP #16 PSA 10 💎

Watchers: 53  
# of Bids: 24
Current Bid: $820
Auction Ends: 18-Jun-2024 02:06
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2019-20 Ja Morant Court Kings Fresh Paint On Card Auto PSA 9 RC ROOKIE /125

Watchers: 53  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $305
Auction Ends: 16-Jun-2024 22:06
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2018-19 Contenders Optic Luka Doncic On Card RC Auto Red Prizm #049/149 BGS 9.5

Watchers: 53  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $2247
Auction Ends: 17-Jun-2024 04:06
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2017-18 JAYSON TATUM VANGUARD AUTOGRAPHED JERSEY ROOKIE CARD RC WHITE BOX 1 OF 1

Watchers: 53  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $405
Auction Ends: 14-Jun-2024 23:06
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2023-24 Panini Silver Prizm #136 Victor Wembanyama RC Rookie PSA 10 HOT CARD

Watchers: 51  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $958
Auction Ends: 16-Jun-2024 03:06
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2017-18 National Treasures Jayson Tatum RC Rookie On Card AUTO 47/99 PSA 10

Watchers: 50  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $435
Auction Ends: 17-Jun-2024 03:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)