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    Alone atop the Beckett population rankings!

    2003-04 SP Authentic LeBron James (Rookie Autographs) #148 BGS Pristine 10, Auto 10 - #'d 336/500. Until LeBron James' free throw in the closing seconds of Game Seven of the 2016 NBA Finals rattled home to put the contest out of reach, the most important ball in Cleveland Cavaliers history was of the ping pong variety, bearing a printed number 1. With the basketball world holding its breath in anticipation, it popped to the top of the 2003 Draft lottery machine to ensure that the greatest young talent ever spawned from the playgrounds of Ohio would remain within state borders.

    Though he'd break hearts in Cleveland before returning to fill them with unprecedented joy, LeBron's ascension to the professional ranks was unquestionably the biggest sports story of 2003, sparking a marketing bonanza to rival that of Michael Jordan nearly two decades earlier. In the blink of an eye, the son of a struggling single mother in Akron became the hottest commodity on Madison Avenue.

    The preternaturally gifted child now a man, LeBron James continues to reign over the collectibles marketplace, with rookie cards from that auspicious debut season regularly ticking the sixth digit on the pricing odometer. We expect this remarkable specimen to follow that soaring trend.

    Just 500 examples of this stunning commemorative were produced by the good folks at SP, but the spectacular grading results of this particular specimen establishes it as almost certainly the finest of that narrow population. After a careful consideration of the card's centering, edges, corners, surface and autograph, it's straight 10's across the board with the sole exception of a 9.5 for the surface, as close as one could come to the coveted Beckett "Black Label" without quite getting there.

    Who knows how high this card would have soared with that extra half-point and resulting Black Label, and we wouldn't be surprised if this card's new owner takes another crack at submission in hopes of a more favorable assessment. The pay-off would be enormous. But even as the card currently stands, it's unquestionably one of the most important and desirable LeBron James cards that exists, which means it's likewise one of the most important 21st century trading cards as well. Think of how much Michael Jordan cards have moved in the twenty years since His Airness exited the game, and you'll have some sense of the potential of this extreme condition-rarity.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    10th-13th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 32
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,417

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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