There was a time when old basketball cards weren’t an afterthought in the sports collecting hobby. They weren’t a thought at all.
Up until the late 1980’s, you could barely give them away. Baseball was a clear number one, football a distant second and basketball and hockey occupied some dark corner of the hobby shop and the bottom of a show dealer’s case.
The tide shifted when Michael Jordan became a star and while the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson show was in full bloom. It didn’t hurt that the hobby began to wake up to how hard some of those early hoops cards were to find.
Basketball still isn’t a huge seller, but prices for iconic rookie cards have earned a measure of respect. Nice cards of George Mikan, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and a few others may now be out of the reach of many collectors but that doesn’t mean you can’t build a fun collection of great names on a limited budget.
Check out this list of five cool cards to consider.