The LeBron Angle


I was talking to a Jordan collector this morning, about the rage against Jordan cards, sellers and my blog on Blow Out Cards.

Over on Freedom Card Board, it is more of the same.  Then I hopped over to Sports Card Forum and the debate spilled over there as well.

Well, amid the discussion of what was being said over there, this collector brought up and interesting theory on why prices are escalating on Jordan cards.  The theories I have heard so far, which I believe, may have some truth behind them are:

1 – Panini has terrible designs, and the value per box is not equal to their pricing, so collectors have not been putting money into buying newer cards

2 – Veteran collectors are thus, appreciating the technology and designs that defined the 90’s inserts era

3 – Foreign collectors are participating more, and the devalued US Dollar is making purchasing easier by collectors overseas

4 – The lack of Exquisite is diverting those who previously spent big dollars onto Jordan cards

5 – The lockout is making some collectors hesitant to buy current players, as they believe an extended lockout will drop prices on ebay more, and they’ll be able to pick up cards for a cheaper price  over the future weeks/months.

6 – There is a group of buyer/sellers (for which I have been accused by several people of being a part of) that is manipulating the Jordan market.

Well, a new theory that this collector brought up is the LeBron James Theory.  He believes that last June’s NBA Finals was a big tilt against the legacy of LeBron James.  Had LeBron won the title, some collectors would have put money into LeBron cards, as the title could have been a sign of dominance from Miami for the next five years.  Instead, the NBA Finals loss, validated some collectors skepticism that LeBron was on pace, or on caliber, with Michael Jordan.  Thus, instead of putting their money into LeBron cards,  they instead are choosing to go with the proven cards of Michael Jordan 90’s inserts.

Michael Jordan 90’s inserts have always stood above any other player’s inserts during his playing career.  That cannot be denied.  During his playing days, his card values were seemingly always double of Kobe cards, and usually triple or more of the other superstars of the era (Pippen, Rodman, Shaq, Malone Stockton, Robinson, Ewing, Barkley, Kemp, Payton, Mourning, Hill, Hardaway, Mullin, Garnett, Iverson, Kidd, Webber, etc)

So now, if that theory is at all slightly correct, you have LeBron investors/collectors who are joining the already-crowded, higher demand Jordan market.  With serially numbered cards commanding premiums on the rare occasions they do pop up on ebay, there is the newer influx of bidders who possibly would not have been around had LeBron come through with an NBA Championship.  Add to that, people are scooping up the mid-tier Jordan cards at higher prices, because the serially numbered stuff isn’t appearing often, so they are picking up the ones that are available.

What do you think?

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