This week’s edition of The Curator is in homage to LeBron James, the Lakers great, as he begins his pursuit of the NBA Scoring record. We showcase a multitude of investment-grade LeBron James rookie cards that are live on PWCC. We’ll be highlighting the well-known classics like his Bowman Chrome and Topps Chrome, as well as some of his rarer issues from UD Glass and SP Signature Edition.
With that being said, let’s jump right into the headliners:
2003 Upper Deck Glass Focus LeBron James ROOKIE RC AUTO /100 #LJ BGS 9.5 GEM
A rarely seen LeBron James acetate rookie autographed card limited to 100 copies. Hailing from the 2003-04 UD Glass set, this card features an on-card signature of “King James” from his rookie season with the Cavaliers. Acetate cards like this are known for being hard to grade, making this BGS 9.5 all the more special.
2003 SP Signature Edition LeBron James ROOKIE RC /23 #144 PSA 10 GEM MINT
If being limited to 100 copies wasn’t rare enough, how about this LeBron James rookie limited to his iconic jersey number 23? Only 3 copies of this 2003 SP Signature rookie for LeBron exist in PSA 10 condition. It should go without saying that these almost never see public auction.
2003 Topps 1st Edition LeBron James ROOKIE RC #221 PSA 10 GEM MINT
The 2003 Topps is one of LeBron’s most popular rookies. This card takes the Topps base rookie to the next level, by featuring the 1st Edition stamp in the top left corner. 2003 Topps 1st Edition boxes were shorter printed and released prior to the 2003 base Topps set. In PSA 10 condition, the 1st Edition rookie is population 120 vs. the base Topps population of 2,213.
2003 Finest Basketball LeBron James ROOKIE RC /999 #133 PSA 9 MINT
A beautiful chromium LeBron James rookie card limited to 999 copies. The card features a teenage LeBron James going up for a dunk against a Cavaliers colored backdrop. In PSA 9 condition, this card is a population of 40 with 40 higher.
2003 Upper Deck Glass LeBron James ROOKIE RC /250 #100 BGS 10 PRISTINE
A unique and short printed LeBron James rookie card numbered to 250 in BGS 10 pristine condition. There were three tiers of rookies in the 2003 UD Glass set, and naturally, LeBron’s card fell into the scarcest group. In BGS 10 Pristine condition, this card is part of a population of 16.
2003 Topps Chrome LeBron James ROOKIE RC #111 PSA 10 GEM MINT
Is this the most iconic basketball card of the modern era? This card combines an all-time great rookie card with an all-time great card set. A classic photo of rookie LeBron James shooting a fadeaway shot against a faded crowd backdrop. In PSA 10 condition, this card is part of a population of 2,207.
2003 Upper Deck Finite LeBron James ROOKIE RC /200 #242 BGS 8.5 NM-MT+
Upper Deck Finite is not a set you see very often. The 2003 edition of the product featured three levels of rookies, with the rarest level being limited to just 200 copies. Of course, number one overall pick LeBron James was included in that 200-copy level.
2003 Fleer E-X LeBron James ROOKIE RC #102 PSA 10 GEM MINT
E-X was a popular set for basketball in the 90s and early 2000s. High end, and brutally tough to grade, the 2003 set features one of LeBron’s most difficult base rookie cards. This card has a gem rate of just 12.5% and is part of a population of 31 in PSA 10 condition.
2003 Fleer Mystique LeBron James ROOKIE RC /999 #99 PSA 10 GEM MINT
Fleer Mystique might not be the most well-known product, but there’s no ignoring how beautiful this LeBron James rookie card is. A simple silver background with the Cavaliers logo, and an action shot of LeBron throwing down a massive dunk. In PSA 10 condition, this card is part of a population of 89.
2003 Topps Pristine Refractor LeBron James ROOKIE RC /1999 #101 PSA 10 GEM MINT
2003 Topps Pristine was a unique product featuring uncirculated cards, relics, press plates, and of course LeBron James rookie cards. This refractor limited to 1999 copies is a classic LeBron James rookie issue. In PSA 10 condition, this card is part of a population of 197.
2003 Bowman Chrome LeBron James ROOKIE RC #123 PSA 10 GEM MINT
Along with his iconic Topps Chrome rookie card, LeBron James also had a Bowman Chrome rookie card. While more popular in baseball than in basketball, Bowman released some great looking basketball sets in the early 2000s. In PSA 10 condition, this card is part of a population of 545, which is much lower than the Topps Chrome.
2003 Fleer Tradition LeBron James Carmelo Anthony Dwyane Wade ROOKIE RC PSA 10
A single card featuring three rookies that would go on to define an era of basketball. While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would go on to win multiple championships together, Carmelo Anthony also built up a Hall of Fame career on his own. Time will tell if this card can age as nicely as the iconic 1980 Topps Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Julius Erving card.