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Basketball Cards More Popular Than Ever

According to Beckett Media, It'd Cost More to Buy a Copy of Every Basketball Card Released This Season Than to Buy a New Home

Despite negative publicity associated with the Pistons/Pacers brawl, a low-rated NBA Finals match-up and the specter of a possible lockout on the horizon, NBA trading cards reached a record level of popularity this season, according to Beckett Media, the acknowledged authority on the trading card hobby for over 20 years.

A total of 54 2004-05 basketball trading card products were produced, encompassing some 29,402 cards. The cost if you wanted to buy one of each trading card released this season? Your bill would come to $143,008.80 -- or $4.97 per card. If you include limited edition cards numbered to 25 or less (which Beckett does not usually include in its pricing model), the estimated value of all cards released this year jumps to $210,000 -- more than the $206,000 median purchase price of a new single-family home in the U.S. according to the National Association of Realtors.

"All the positives in the NBA seem to far outweigh the negatives in the minds of collectors," says Beckett Price Guide analyst Keith Hower. "There's a real powerful combination of great young players and established stars in the league right now. The tremendous demand we're seeing for basketball cards suggest that despite some negative stories this year, collectors -- who are a pretty good gauge of general fan interest -- think the future of the NBA is pretty bright. At least that's how they're voting with their wallet."

Here's a look at this season's top five players in terms of average trading card value:

     1.   LeBron James
          Number of cards produced: 572
          Value of all cards: $19,637.50
          Average card value: $34.33

     2.   Kobe Bryant
          Number of cards produced: 353
          Value of all cards: $9,636.50
          Average card value: $27.30

     3.   Dwyane Wade
          Number of cards produced: 452
          Value of all cards: $6,673
          Average card value: $14.76

     4.   Carmelo Anthony
          Number of cards produced: 627
          Value of all cards: $8,045.50
          Average card value: $12.83

     5.   Shaquille O'Neal
          Number of cards produced: 407
          Value of all cards: $4,686.50
          Average card value: $11.51

* Beckett Basketball does not price cards that are sequentially numbered to 25 or less.

Based in Dallas, Beckett Media LP, an Apprise Media company, is the leading publisher of sports and specialty market collectible products in the U.S. Beckett operates ( and is the premier publisher of monthly sports collectibles magazines. Beckett, considered the world's most trusted source in collecting, currently publishes 14 magazines.

Source: Beckett Media LP
Date: June 17, 2005

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