A rare trading card of NBA great LeBron James' 2003-04 rookie campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers fetched $1.84 million at auction over the weekend, the league has said.
Bidding for the Upper Deck card, signed by the 35-year-old who now plays for Los Angeles Lakers, began at $150,000 before it became the most expensive basketball card purchased in the modern era - those produced in 1980 or later.
"Only 23 versions of the Patch Autograph Parallel collection for James were ever produced. The rare card received a 9.5 mint gem grading from Beckett grading service," the NBA said.
"Numbered 14 of 23, the card attracted 34 bids over the course of the 26-day auction."
This LeBron James card just sold at @GoldinAuctions for $1.8 million, the record for a modern day card.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 19, 2020
Winner is @LeoreAvidar, who says purchase is part of strategy to "bring something big to the collectibles and alternative asset business in the coming months." pic.twitter.com/rN9lepvVpE
Darren Rovell of sports media company Action Network said the winning bidder was Leore Avidar, the CEO and co-founder of a San Francisco-based company.
James is a three-times NBA champion (2012, 2013, 2016) and twice Olympic gold medallist (2008, 2012). He has won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award four times.
In May, Michael Jordan's autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season fetched $560,000 in an online auction.