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    The most desirable LeBron rookie!

    2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeBron James Rookie Patch Autograph 34/99 #78 BGS NM-MT+ 8.5 - 10 Autograph. 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.

    Beyond the supreme notoriety of the subject, this particular issue likewise represents a dramatic step forward, one of the all-time greatest basketball brands ever produced. The Upper Deck Exquisite Collection saw no shortage of doubters when it debuted with $500 price tags, but today there's nary a collector active during that period that doesn't harbor regret at failing to purchase every available box when he had the chance.

    Just ninety-nine examples of this rookie format, pairing a patch of game worn jersey and a bold blue sharpie signature, were inserted at random within those high-dollar boxes, and they are today considered the most desirable of all LeBron rookies, bar none.

    This is a particularly fine example thereof, earning 9.5 subgrades for centering and surface, and an 8 and 9 respectively for corners and edges. The patch is a desirable tri-color example, and, perhaps most importantly, the autograph garners an unimprovable 10 rating. An investment-quality trading card for the forward-thinking hobbyist.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    17th-18th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 32
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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