When Larry Bird basketball cards first saw the light of day, the hobby (and the world!) was a very different place than it is today.

After all, in the fall and winter of 1980-81, when Bird’s rookie card(s) was first popping out of wax packs, baseball cards ruled the roost completely, with football a distant second in the fight for collector hearts … and dollars.

Basketball? If it weren’t for the safety net provided by hockey cards (non-Wayne Gretzky division), hoops cards would have been hobby cellar-dwellers.

But the times, they were a’changin’!

For one thing, Topps would be joined by Fleer and Donruss in the spring of 1981, casting a new light on the hobby overall and starting to heat things up.

For another, the baseball strike in the summer of 1981 dented the Grand Old Game’s reputation and gave the other sports a chance to get a stronger toehold.

And, for another another, Bird and college rival Magic Johnson had brought their blood battles to the NBA, trading Indiana State and Michigan State, respectively, for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

It was ready-made drama as the young bucks sought to bring those storied franchises back to the center of the hoops world, especially if it meant clawing over each other to get there. And, boy, did they succeed!

From their first season in the league, 1979-80, through Bird’s retirement in 1992, Magic and Larry met in the NBA Finals three times, with the Lakers taking two titles and the Celtics, one.

Beyond that, though, L.A. made the Finals nine times those seasons, winning five titles.

Bird’s Celtics, meantime, made it to the last series of the season five times, copping three championships along the way.

Not surprisingly, the Bird-Magic rivalry captivated fans and collectors alike and helped pave the way for the high-octane era of NBA basketball heralded by the arrival of Michael Jordan in 1984.

And, even when Bird hung up his sneakers after the 1991-92 season, he still had something left in the tank, and in store for fans — namely, Kodak played a key role on the 1992 USA Olympic Dream Team that rolled to a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics.

That team — and Bird — appeared on everything from magazine covers to medallions to cereal boxes … to, of course, basketball cards.

And, today, Larry Bird basketball cards rightly sit among the hobby royalty, and continue to draw plenty of collector interest, as evidenced by the below list of the most-watched Larry Legend cards on eBay right now (and check back often, as these listings are updated continuously).

(NOTE: The section below contains affiliate links to eBay listings for the card shown.)

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HUGE Sports Card Collection Lot Rookie #’d AUTOS Patches & MORE PSA READ!

Watchers: 96  
# of Bids: 35
Current Bid: $2900
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 00:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1980-81 Topps Basketball LARRY BIRD MAGIC JOHNSON ERVING Rookie Card BVG 7 NM!!

Watchers: 71  
# of Bids: 34
Current Bid: $810
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 00:06
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Larry Bird CELTICS HOF Signed Autograph 1980 Topps RC Rookie Card 34 PSA 10 AUTO

Watchers: 68  
# of Bids: 24
Current Bid: $310
Auction Ends: 28-Jun-2022 01:06
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2021-22 PANINI NOIR Larry Bird CELTICS AUTOGRAPH AUTO 75TH ANNIVERSARY Card /75

Watchers: 66  
# of Bids: 24
Current Bid: $275
Auction Ends: 29-Jun-2022 18:06
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PSA/DNA 10 GEM MINT AUTO 1981 Topps LARRY BIRD SIGNED Basketball Card Celtics

Watchers: 51  
# of Bids: 25
Current Bid: $118
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 01:06
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2021-22 Impeccable Larry Bird Illustrious Ink On Card Auto 4/35 Celtics

Watchers: 49  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $194.5
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 01:06
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1980 LARRY BIRD MAGIC JOHNSON JULIUS ERVING ROOKIE CARD RC CENTERED BVG 7

Watchers: 47  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $790
Auction Ends: 29-Jun-2022 01:06
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1980-81 MAGIC JOHNSON / LARRY BIRD / JULIUS ERVING RC CSG 1.5 ROOKIE CARD

Watchers: 43  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $110.98
Auction Ends: 03-Jul-2022 00:07
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Julius Erving Jersey Card Patch Relic Swatch Memorabilia /10 ABA Merger! 1976 🔥

Watchers: 37  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $51
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 00:06
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VTG 90s Lot Basketball Cards Rookies Inserts Jordan Stockton Iverson Shaq Malone

Watchers: 32  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $26
Auction Ends: 28-Jun-2022 21:06
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2009-10 Larry Bird Hall of Fame Panini Dream Team Jersey Card Patch Relic Magic

Watchers: 31  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $20.5
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 03:07
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2014-15 PANINI NOIR Auto Noir Color Gold LARRY BIRD ON CARD AUTO 3/5 SSP HOF

Watchers: 31  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $78
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 04:07
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1981-82 Topps #4 Larry Bird Lot of 3 Boston Celtics Solo Rookie Card Nice Look

Watchers: 31  
# of Bids: 10
Current Bid: $26
Auction Ends: 29-Jun-2022 21:06
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2012 PANINI CONTENDERS LARRY BIRD/25 SUBSTANTIAL SIGNATURES AUTO/PATCH CARD NM+

Watchers: 28  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $88
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 01:07
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2021-22 Impeccable Larry Bird on card auto 7/10 BOSTON CELTICS

Watchers: 28  
# of Bids: 24
Current Bid: $115.5
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 21:07
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1980-81 Topps #139/31 Magic Johnson/Larry Bird Rookie Cards!

Watchers: 27  
# of Bids: 17
Current Bid: $16.5
Auction Ends: 28-Jun-2022 23:06
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2014-15 PANINI SPECTRA BASKETBALL SUPERSTAR LARRY BIRD AUTO ON CARD 28/35 NM

Watchers: 25  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $157
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 03:06
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2004 Larry Bird Upper Deck SP Auto Signed Card /100 Significance SIG-LA Celtics!

Watchers: 23  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $51
Auction Ends: 30-Jun-2022 03:06
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Giannis Antetokounmpo 2013-14 Panini SELECT ROOKIE CARD RC BGS 9 MINT 2 9.5

Watchers: 22  
# of Bids: 9
Current Bid: $89
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 04:07
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1986/1987 Fleer Basketball #9 Larry Bird 86/87 Set Break Card NM/MT Condition

Watchers: 22  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $49
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 00:06
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1980-81 Topps Larry Bird Rookie Card / Bill Cartwright / John Drew PSA 6 EX-NM

Watchers: 21  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $54
Auction Ends: 27-Jun-2022 01:06
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LOT OF (4) LARRY BIRD CARDS, 1986 & 1988 FLEER, 1987 STICKER, 1993 TOPPS FINEST

Watchers: 21  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $5.5
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 02:07
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1981 Topps LARRY BIRD Basketball Card #4 ~ NM-MT+ ~ HOF Celtics ~ ((BEAUTY!!))

Watchers: 20  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $28
Auction Ends: 01-Jul-2022 01:07
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2021-22 Panini Contenders: Larry Bird - Playoff Ticket On Card Auto /49 SP

Watchers: 20  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $56.59
Auction Ends: 03-Jul-2022 00:07
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Huge Basketball card Lot Rookies Inserts Patch Kobe Jordan Steph LeBron Dr. J

Watchers: 19  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $173.27
Auction Ends: 02-Jul-2022 23:07
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)