Believe it or not, there was a time when rookie basketball cards were about as exciting to your average hobbyist as that checklist they pulled from their last wax pack.

Indeed, back in the 1980s, during the original hobby boom, it was tough for even the hottest of basketball players to make much noise in a market dominated by baseball cards. Heck, even football was a distant, distant second to the diamond when it came to capturing collector hearts … and dollars.

It took a good long while, and some of the most exciting stars in NBA history, but the tide slowly began to turn.

A large part of the credit for that has to go to Michael Jordan (who else?), whose first Threepeat with the Chicago Bulls elevated him to basketball legend status. Even then, though, Jordan’s 1986-87 Fleer rookie card didn’t sell for much more than the RCs of the latest baseball phenom.

Upper Deck issued a baseball card of Jordan in 1991, though, and it instantly became a hobby favorite and began to shine light on other hoops cards.

When Jordan retired from baseball in the mid-1990s and headed to the diamond, his star — and his basketball cards — rose even further.

By the time Air Jordan returned to the court a year later, Shaquille O’Neal and other young stars were really starting to light up the hobby with their own rookie cards.

The 25+ years since have seen hoops continued to eat into baseball’s hobby market share, with huge names like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, and many others flooding the buckets with their shots and the market with their rookie cards.

Today, you can pretty much count on every basketball product yielding a crop of new rookie cards that continue to drive the market forward.

And you can find nearly all of those cards for sale through various online venues … but, of course, there’s still one leading marketplace when it comes to where collectors turn to find our next cardboard conquests.

Yeah, it’s eBay, no doubt.

And, as you can see from the 25 most watched rookie basketball cards on eBay right now (down below), the hoops market shows no signs of slowing down. For further proof, check out these other basketball cards setting fire to the market:

Check back often, too, as these listings are updated on a continual basis.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ebay_market_182x76.gif

1984-85 Star Michael Jordan XRC RC #101 BGS 8 Rookie Card (7.5,8,9,9.5) Subgrade

Watchers: 204  
# of Bids: 47
Current Bid: $16000
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2009 Topps Chrome #101 Stephen Curry Refractor #'d 395/500 Rookie Card PSA 8.5

Watchers: 125  
# of Bids: 38
Current Bid: $4350
Auction Ends: 27-May-2024 03:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1996-97 Flair Showcase KOBE BRYANT SSP Row 0 Rookie Card #31 PSA 8 NM-MT RARE RC

Watchers: 96  
# of Bids: 31
Current Bid: $280
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 01:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Victor Wembanyama 2023-24 TOPPS NOW AUTO 11/49 Basketball Card 1000 Point VW-1B

Watchers: 93  
# of Bids: 36
Current Bid: $1422
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 01:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Lebron James 2003-04 Upper Deck Box Set Signed Auto Rookie Card Beckett BGS (RC)

Watchers: 88  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $1136.11
Auction Ends: 21-May-2024 18:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

🔥 1986-87 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN ROOKIE CARD RC #57 BECKETT BGS 7 w/ (2) 8 & 8.5

Watchers: 88  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $2450
Auction Ends: 21-May-2024 00:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

CAITLIN CLARK 2023-24 Bowman U Best Greatness Awaits ON CARD Auto RC 72/75

Watchers: 73  
# of Bids: 20
Current Bid: $406
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 00:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

LUKA DONCIC BGS 9 2018-19 PANINI OPULENCE #106 ROOKIE ON CARD AUTO RC MAVS 33/99

Watchers: 71  
# of Bids: 18
Current Bid: $1000
Auction Ends: 22-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

🔥 1986-87 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN ROOKIE CARD RC #57 BECKETT BGS 8.5 *LOOKS MINT 9

Watchers: 71  
# of Bids: 51
Current Bid: $5400
Auction Ends: 21-May-2024 00:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Topps Now 1000th Point VICTOR WEMBANYAMA On Card Auto RC 42/99 🔥🔥🔥

Watchers: 70  
# of Bids: 22
Current Bid: $1246
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

VICTOR WEMBANYAMA 2023-24 TOPPS NOW ROOKIE ON CARD AUTOGRAPH RC BLUE /49 Q0569

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 51
Current Bid: $830
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1986-87 Fleer #57 MICHAEL JORDAN Chicago Bulls Rookie Card BGS BCCG 9 NEAR MINT

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 25
Current Bid: $3391
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 05:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023-24 CAMERON BRINK 41/50 Bowman Best U True Gold Buckets ON CARD AUTO RC SP

Watchers: 63  
# of Bids: 35
Current Bid: $70
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 00:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1992 Upper Deck #1b Shaquille O'Neal PSA 10 GEM MINT Rookie RC Trade Card HOF

Watchers: 62  
# of Bids: 26
Current Bid: $202.5
Auction Ends: 19-May-2024 17:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2003-04 Topps Lebron James Rookie Card RC #221 PSA 9 Cleveland Cavaliers MINT

Watchers: 62  
# of Bids: 27
Current Bid: $210.5
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2017-18 Immaculate Jayson Tatum RPA RC Rookie Patch ON CARD AUTO 45/99 Celtics

Watchers: 61  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $1175
Auction Ends: 21-May-2024 03:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

VICTOR WEMBANYAMA PSA 10 2023 PANINI PRIZM #136 RED SEISMIC ROOKIE CARD RC /299

Watchers: 59  
# of Bids: 15
Current Bid: $1310
Auction Ends: 22-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan ROOKIE CARD - PSA VG-EX 4

Watchers: 59  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $2375
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 01:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

1997 Bowman's Best TIM DUNCAN Atomic Refractor SSP Rookie Card #106 PSA 9 MINT

Watchers: 57  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $135.5
Auction Ends: 27-May-2024 00:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

JALEN BRUNSON 2018 Panini Encased 138 RC Rookie On Card Auto 48/75 BGS 9.5/10

Watchers: 56  
# of Bids: 29
Current Bid: $247.5
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2023 Prizm #136 Victor Wembanyama Silver Rookie Card PSA 10 GEM MINT Low POP

Watchers: 56  
# of Bids: 28
Current Bid: $851
Auction Ends: 19-May-2024 18:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

LEBRON JAMES PSA 8 2003 UD BLACK DIAMOND TRIPLE JERSEY GOLD ROOKIE CARD RC 20/50

Watchers: 53  
# of Bids: 35
Current Bid: $327.88
Auction Ends: 20-May-2024 02:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

2018-19 Luka Doncic Panini Immaculate Moments Rookie Auto Card #IM-LDC4 75/99

Watchers: 53  
# of Bids: 21
Current Bid: $2005
Auction Ends: 22-May-2024 03:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)

Cason Wallace Courtside True Gold Select Rookie card 1/10 Ebay 1/1

Watchers: 53  
# of Bids: 11
Current Bid: $205.5
Auction Ends: 19-May-2024 13:05
See full listing on eBay (affiliate link)