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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1988-89 Fleer Basketball Complete Set Jordan Cards Rookie Pippen More

Watchers: 57  
# of Bids: 24
Current Bid: $124.5
Auction Ends: 08-Dec-2023 17:12
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2022-23 Panini National Treasures Larry Bird Penmanship Auto /49 On Card

Watchers: 26  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $87
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2023 02:12
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LARRY BIRD 2021 2022 PANINI IMPECCABLE IMMORTAL INK ON CARD AUTOGRAPH AUTO # /35

Watchers: 25  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $102.5
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2023 01:12
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(8)1986 Fleer Sticker Card Lot w/Ewing, Thomas, Wilkins RC's + Bird, Magic, Dr J

Watchers: 22  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $112.5
Auction Ends: 09-Dec-2023 03:12
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2020-21 Panini Immaculate Larry Bird Marks Of Greatness Auto On Card /49

Watchers: 16  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $41
Auction Ends: 09-Dec-2023 04:12
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1981 TOPPS LARRY BIRD #4 PSA MINT 9 FIRST SOLO CARD

Watchers: 16  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $31
Auction Ends: 11-Dec-2023 02:12
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2020-21 Panini Flawless LARRY BIRD USA Basketball On Card Auto /25 BGS 9 10 Auto

Watchers: 15  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $41
Auction Ends: 12-Dec-2023 01:12
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larry bird Impeccable Autograph Card 07/25

Watchers: 15  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $62
Auction Ends: 11-Dec-2023 17:12
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LARRY BIRD TRADING CARD PSA/DNA CERTIFIED AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH

Watchers: 15  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $61
Auction Ends: 07-Dec-2023 03:12
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DAVID STERN PSA DNA Autographed Auto HOF UNIQUE Custom Card w/ Larry Bird

Watchers: 14  
# of Bids: 14
Current Bid: $44
Auction Ends: 12-Dec-2023 02:12
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Larry Bird Celtics #95W 1985 / 86 Star Co. Company White NBA Basketball Card

Watchers: 14  
# of Bids: 12
Current Bid: $31
Auction Ends: 06-Dec-2023 05:12
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1988-89 Fleer Scottie Pippen Rookie Card RC #20 Chicago Bulls HOFer

Watchers: 14  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $17.5
Auction Ends: 09-Dec-2023 05:12
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1984 STAR - LARRY BIRD BOSTON CELTICS - 18 CARD FACTORY SEALED BAG/SET

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 8
Current Bid: $33
Auction Ends: 11-Dec-2023 04:12
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Larry Bird 1981 Topps #4 Card SHARP 2nd Year Rookie Card HOF Boston Celtics

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $4.25
Auction Ends: 10-Dec-2023 04:12
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Larry Bird CELTICS HOF Signed Autograph 1991 Upper Deck Card # 344 PSA 10 AUTO

Watchers: 13  
# of Bids: 10
Current Bid: $102.5
Auction Ends: 12-Dec-2023 03:12
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1981-82 Topps - #4 Larry Bird Card

Watchers: 12  
# of Bids: 6
Current Bid: $15.5
Auction Ends: 07-Dec-2023 02:12
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LOT OF (2) 1980 TOPPS LARRY BIRD / BILL CARTWRIGHT / JOHN DREW ROOKIE CARD LOT

Watchers: 12  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $40.72
Auction Ends: 07-Dec-2023 01:12
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1981 Topps Larry Bird Card #4 1st Individual Rookie Card

Watchers: 11  
# of Bids: 16
Current Bid: $34
Auction Ends: 07-Dec-2023 23:12
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1993-94 SKYBOX NBA HOOPS MAGIC JOHNSON/LARRY BIRD SIGNED AUTO CARD SGC AUTHENTIC

Watchers: 10  
# of Bids: 2
Current Bid: $20.5
Auction Ends: 12-Dec-2023 02:12
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NBA 30+ Card Graded, Auto, Patch, Rookie, Inserts, And Stars Lot! Big Name Hits

Watchers: 10  
# of Bids: 2
Current Bid: $10.5
Auction Ends: 09-Dec-2023 01:12
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2017-2018 PANINI NOIR RICHARD HAMILTON ACETATE ON-CARD AUTOGRAPH AUTO /99 READ

Watchers: 10  
# of Bids: 7
Current Bid: $10.5
Auction Ends: 11-Dec-2023 01:12
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1986-87 Fleer #9 Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Larry Bird BEAUTIFUL CARD GRADABLE

Watchers: 10  
# of Bids: 4
Current Bid: $3.58
Auction Ends: 10-Dec-2023 02:12
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)