Its rare I talk about basketball cards on this site, but today is a big exception. Not only did the biggest player in the hobby, LeBron James, sign with a new team, but he signed with a team he was with prior. As a result, a ton of cards that had lost some luster are now relevant again, which is a huge deal. Over the course of 2003 until the end of their license, Upper Deck produced close to 1000 different James autographs under their exclusive deal. Those cards just became the most important ones in basketball.
Check out the recent listings:
Although James is about as controversial a player as there is in Basketball, he is easily the best. Aside from two rings, he also has 4 MVPs and a handful of reasons why no one else in the league is as valuable a name as he is. He became a hated figure for his decision back in 2010, but seems to have gained some of that back as of late. UD may have had an exclusive with James that ran throughout the time he was on the Miami Heat, they were prevented from making his licensed cards due to Panini's NBA exclusive.
Upper Deck Authenticated had produced some pieces that were NBA licensed, but nothing in terms of cards. Now that he is back on the Cavs, its almost like its okay to all those collectors who werent able to buy his Miami cards. They strived to find substitutes as we saw with prices on rare Panini issues, but nothing like autographs.
Dont get me wrong, I cannot stand exclusives in any way, shape or form, but Basketball suffers more than most because of all the major players signed to deals. James is an autograph only topped by Jordan, and collectors will be waiting to get his new Cavs stuff for a long time. Love him or hate him, James is the best of the best, and the hobby is happy to have him in the news. Trust me on that.