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Hello! If you’re looking for a list of the best LeBron James basketball cards of ALL TIME, then you’ve come to the right place.
Given that LeBron has been in the league for two decades, the guy has a ton of cards on the market and it can be extremely difficult to navigate.
The experts here at Sports Cards Sharks have sifted through the cards from each and every year to compile this list of what we consider to be the best LeBron James basketball cards ever.
We've chosen 2-3 cards from each year that LeBron has been active in the NBA, so needless to say, the list is lengthy and COMPREHENSIVE.
We sincerely hope you find value in our list. Please don't hesitate to use those affiliate links because it helps us keep the lights on. Enjoy!
The rookie cards we select for our lists are judged based on 3 criteria:
- Design / Aesthetics
At Sports Card Sharks, we tend to go against the grain. We typically aren’t buying what everyone else is buying when everyone else is buying it, so if you’re moving with the masses this may not be the right list for you. Adios!
Our Founder is an 80's baby that grew up in the 90's collecting sports cards during the junk wax era.
While card collecting when on hiatus for a couple of decades, that passion was re-sparked in 2020 and we haven't looked back since.
We spend countless hours researching each player and constructing these posts to help you save time and energy so that you can focus on the fun part which is collecting!
Our List of the Top LeBron James Cards Ever
1. 2003-04 LeBron James Topps Chrome Rookie Card #111
Arguably his most iconic rookie card, the Topps Chrome is a thing of beauty.
Also Check Out: Best LeBron James Rookie Cards
2. 2004-05 LeBron James Bowman Chrome X-Fractors Card #23
As you'll see throughout this post, LeBron has some of the best dunking cards in the basketball cards scene. This is an incredible 2nd year card for those that can't quite afford the price tag of his rookies.
Also Check Out: Best Michael Jordan Cards Ever
3. 2004-05 LeBron James Fleer Authentix Show Stopper Card #4
Sometimes we just can't help but be into quirky cards. We love this insert from the 2004 Fleer Authentix set.
Also Check Out: Best Jalen Green Rookie Cards
4. 2005-06 LeBron James Topps Finest Silver Refractor Card #85
There are a few different parallels of this Topps Finest LeBron card from 2005, but we felt like the Silver Refractor was the cleanest and best looking.
Also Check Out: Best James Wiseman Rookie Cards
5. 2006-07 LeBron James Upper Deck "The LeBrons" Cards
Speaking of quirky, in 2006, LeBron decided to put his lighter side on display in this insert series called "The LeBrons." There are a number of different cards to collect including Wise LeBron, All Business LeBron, Athlete LeBron, and more.
Also Check Out: Best Darius Garland Rookie Cards
6. 2006-07 LeBron James Topps Chrome Refractor Card #67
MOAR DUNKS. Honestly, how many guys do you think LeBron has posterized in his career?
Also Check Out: Affordable Ja Morant Rookie Cards
7. 2007-08 Upper Deck Employee Card - Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan & Kevin Durant
Such a sick card. 2007 was Kevin Durant's rookie season and it's honestly pretty incredibly that he was featured with the likes of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant.
Also Check Out: Affordable Zion Williamson Rookie Cards
8. 2007-08 LeBron James Topps Letterman Cards
This series of LeBron cards is nearly impossible to find on the major marketplaces which makes them extremely rare. It would be pretty sweet to own the whole set and be able to display it in your house.
Also Check Out: Best Draymond Green Rookie Cards
9. 2008-09 LeBron James Topps Chrome Chalk Toss Card #23
This is another one of LeBron's most iconic basketball cards. This is the first time his infamous "Chalk Toss" was captured and then featured on a card.
Also Check Out: Best Marcus Smart Rookie Cards
10. 2008-09 Kobe Bryant Topps Chrome featuring LeBron James Card #24
While this is technically a Kobe Bryant card, you'll notice that it include a very rare feature of LeBron James playing defense on Kobe. Two of the greatest to ever do it.
Also Check Out: Best Victor Oladipo Rookie Cards
11. 2009-10 LeBron James Panini Crown Royale Card #38
This card really needs no explanation. A King and his crown.
Also Check Out: Best Andrew Wiggins Rookie Cards
12. 2009-10 LeBron James Bowman '48 Blue Card #14
Yes, we know it's not the prettiest card in the world but 2009-10 is when Stephen Curry burst onto the scene which makes this Bowman set very popular with collectors.
Also Check Out: Best Robert Williams III Rookie Cards
13. 2010-11 LeBron James Panini Threads Century Proof Platinum Card #138
2010-11 was the year of the infamous "The Decision" - arguably something that tarnished LeBron's legacy at the time. It was also an odd time because the NBA Lockout occurred starting in July 2011. This really shook up the basketball card market and the Topps brand stopped producing card and so there simply weren't many options for cards at this time.
Also Check Out: Best Kyle Lowry Rookie Cards
14. 2011-12 LeBron James Fleer Retro Big Man on Court Card #2
The oddness of 2010-11 carried over into 2011-12 as well. You'll noticed that LeBron is almost exclusively featured in his high school uniform this season.
Also Check Out: Best Grant Williams Rookie Cards
15. 2011-12 LeBron James Fleer Retro Jambalaya Card #2
Here is another cool card featuring LeBron in his Fighting Irish gear.
Also Check Out: Best Evan Mobley Rookie Cards
16. 2012-13 LeBron James Panini Prizm Silver Prizm Card #1
In 2012, Panini came through and changed the game in the basketball card world by introducing the Panini Prizm set, and the rest is history...
Also Check Out: Best Scottie Barnes Rookie Cards
17. 2012-13 LeBron James Panini Innovation Stained Glass Card #99
2012-13 was the first time that Panini introduced the "Stained Glass" concept which has once again become popular in more recent years.
Also Check Out: Best Cade Cunningham Rookie Cards
18. 2013-14 LeBron James Panini Innovation Kaboom Card #18
2013-14 was the first time that Panini introduced the "Kaboom!" inserts which have become some of the most sought-after basketball cards in the industry.
Also Check Out: Best Desmond Bane Rookie Cards
19. 2013-14 LeBron James Gold Standard NBA Finals MVP Card #1
This card is a short print of /10 which makes it extremely rare. It features LeBron James after winning the 2013 Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals.
Also Check Out: Best Bam Adebayo Rookie Cards
20. 2014-15 LeBron James Panini Gala Card #78
In 2014, after winning a couple championships in Miami, LeBron decided to take his talents back to his hometown of Cleveland in hopes of bringing them an NBA Championship.
Also Check Out: Best Tyrese Maxey Rookie Cards
21. 2014-15 LeBron James Panini Select Blue/Silver Prizm Team USA Card #212
This is the only card on our list featuring LeBron James in a Team USA jersey. We love the design of this card and the color scheme is absolute perfection.
Also Check Out: Best Jaylen Brown Rookie Cards
22. 2015-16 LeBron James Panini NBA Hoops Gold Card #14
Here you have the second rendition of LeBron's "Chalk Toss" featured on this Gold parallel from the 2015-16 NBA Hoops basketball set.
Also Check Out: Best Jalen Brunson Rookie Cards
23. 2015-16 LeBron James Panini National Treasures Card #25
Believe it or not, this is the only National Treasures card featured on our list of the greatest LeBron James cards of all-time. National Treasures is an ultra-premium set printed on thiccc card stock and every card is a short print.
Also Check Out: Best Tyler Herro Rookie Cards
24. 2016-17 LeBron James Donruss Optic Holo w/Kobe Trailing Card #15
Here you have the opposite of card #10 on our list. A rare instance of Kobe Bryant trailing on defense and watching LeBron glide in for the lay-up. Much like Michael Jordan, Kobe was never featured on another player's card.
Also Check Out: Best Deandre Ayton Rookie Cards
25. 2016-17 LeBron James Panini Select Courtside #289
More LeBron doing MVP caliber things.
Also Check Out: Best Jaren Jackson Jr Rookie Cards
26. 2016-17 LeBron James Panini Studio From Downtown Card #FD7
In 2016, the Panini Studio set introduced the "From Downtown" insert. Since then, the card has simply become known as "Downtown" and is also one of the most coveted basketball card inserts by collectors.
Also Check Out: Best Klay Thompson Rookie Cards
27. 2017-18 LeBron James Panini Crown Royale Mamba's Choice Card
Yes, we know, another LeBron card that also features Kobe Bryant. The fact of the matter is that Kobe is one of the best to ever do it, and with his passing (RIP), has come an immense demand for his card. Collectors want anything that features these two legends of the game.
Also Check Out: Best DeMar DeRozan Rookie Cards
28. 2017-18 LeBron James Panini Cornerstones Downtown Card
The Downtown designs just hit different. No other real explanation needed.
Also Check Out: Best Jordan Poole Rookie Cards
29. 2018-19 LeBron James Donruss Optic Purple Card #94
The 2018-19 Donruss Optic was actually LeBron's first card in a Laker uniform. There is a base plus and number of different parallels, but we prefer the "Purple" due to the color-match of the Lakers uniforms.
Also Check Out: Best Chris Paul Rookie Cards
30. 2018-19 LeBron James Panini Cornerstones Downtown Card #2
More Downtown because why not? Gotta have LeBron in a Lakes uniform.
Also Check Out: Best Nikola Jokic Rookie Cards
31. 2018-19 LeBron James Panini Kaboom Card #1
You're going to start noticing some patterns the rest of the way but there is simply no denying that inserts like Kaboom and Downtown are consistently the best LeBron cards released year in and year out and their demand remains extremely high.
Also Check Out: Best James Harden Rookie Cards
32. 2018-19 LeBron James Panini Court Kings Aurora Card #35
Court Kings is one of our favorite basketball card sets here at Sports Card Sharks. The artwork and bright colors just really stand out in comparison to other sets. We love these Aurora inserts due to their rarity.
Also Check Out: Best Jimmy Butler Rookie Cards
33. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini Noir Sneaker Spotlight Card
We're honestly surprised that this never happened sooner. The sport of basketball basically created sneaker culture so it only makes sense that Panini would feature alongside his shoe.
Also Check Out: Best Jayson Tatum Rookie Cards
34. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini Crown Royale Kaboom Card
While there were other LeBron James Kaboom cards before this, we would definitely argue that this one is by far the best.
Also Check Out: Best Devin Booker Rookie Cards
35. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini Donruss Net Marvels Card
Panini knew they had a slam dunk with the Kaboom cards and the Downtown inserts so why not take it a step further. Professional athletes are basically looked at as superheroes in the eyes of many so why not combine the two worlds?
Also Check Out: Best Trae Young Rookie Cards
36. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini Court Kings Blank Slate Card
We told you that Court Kings is fire. These Blank Slate inserts bring a minimal design and are just so damn clean. It really doesn't get any better than this in our opinion.
Also Check Out: Best Joel Embiid Rookie Cards
37. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini One & One Downtown Card
The sports card scene absolutely exploded during the 2019-20 basketball season. Partially due to Covid-19 but also due in part to Ja Morant and Zion Williamson entering the league. You also had LeBron and Anthony Davis in their first full season together.
The One & One set probably made the biggest splash of that year and collectors were happy to see the Downtown inserts be transitioned over.
Also Check Out: Best Luka Doncic Rookie Cards
38. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini Mosaic Genesis Card
2019-20 was also the first year that Mosaic was featured as a standalone set without the "Prizm" brand accompanying it.
The set was hugely popular for awhile until the print runs really shot up due to Panini making a money grab with the rise in popularity of sport cards.
Also Check Out: Best Steph Curry Rookie Cards
39. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini NBA Hoops High Voltage
While some may not agree, we really loved the High Voltage inserts and we hope they're something that collectors will seek out far into the future. The print runs on these actually weren't that huge and eventually collectors will thirst for that rarity.
Also Check Out: Best Kevin Durant Rookie Cards
40. 2019-20 LeBron James Panini Mosaic Stained Glass Card
Ah yes, the Stained Glass inserts make an appearance once again. These basketball cards are truly a thing of beauty and this card is easily one of our favorites in more recent history.
Also Check Out: Best Shaquille O'Neal Rookie Cards
41. 2020-21 LeBron James Panini Spectra Color Blast Card
As you can probably see, Panini really stepped things up from a design perspective starting around 2018-19. Another reason for the rise in popularity for sure. We love these Color Blast inserts from the Panini Spectra set.
Also Check Out: Best LaMelo Ball Rookie Cards
42. 2020-21 LeBron James Panini Prizm Purple Kobe Dunk Tribute Card
The more we think about it, the more likely it might be that this is our favorite LeBron James card ever produced.
The photography is insane. The fact that the dunk is a tribute to Kobe Bryant during the year of his death... and that purple color-match.
The card is simply unbelievable. Kudos to the team at Panini.
Also Check Out: Best Anthony Edwards Rookie Cards
43. 2020-21 LeBron James Panini One & One Downtown Card
The One & One set continuing to bring the heat with the Downtown inserts.
Also Check Out: Best Kobe Bryant Rookie Cards
44. 2020-21 LeBron James Panini Crown Royale Kaboom Card
Say what you will about LeBron James but the guy brings energy and we love that his excitement was featured on this 2020-21 Kaboom insert.
Also Check Out: Best Michael Jordan Rookie Cards
45. 2020-21 LeBron James Panini NBA Hoops Slam Card #2
Slam magazine is iconic in the basketball world and Panini once again had a slam dunk by integrating the magazine design into one of its inserts from the 2020-21 NBA Hoops set.
Also Check Out: Best Allen Iverson Rookie Cards
46. 2021-22 LeBron James Panini Prizm 75th Anniversary Edition Card
The 2021-22 season was officially the 75th year anniversary of the NBA and Panini took the opportunity to integrate this milestone into many of its releases this year. It only seems right that LeBron was featured on this card.
Also Check Out: Best Giannis Antetokounmpo Rookie Cards
47. 2021-22 LeBron James Panini Court Kings Blank Slate Card
More Blank Slate goodness to add to your collection.
Also Check Out: Best Zion Williamson Rookie Cards
48. 2021-22 LeBron James Panini Donruss Net Marvels Card
More Net Marvels as well.
Also Check Out: Best Ja Morant Rookie Cards
49. 2021-22 LeBron James Panini Photogenic Diamond Anniversary Card
Panini released a new basketball card set in 2021 called Photogenic and once again pulled in the 75th anniversary elements.
Also Check Out: Coming soon
50. 2021-22 LeBron James Panini Court Kings Aurora Card
As you can see, the Aurora inserts continue to showcase phenomenal designs.
Also Check Out: Coming soon
51. 2021-22 LeBron James Panini NBA Hoops Slam Holo Card #93
More "Slam" goodness. He truly is the King, isn't he?
Also Check Out: Coming soon
52. 2021-22 LeBron James Photogenic Unforgettable Card
Mama, there goes that man. The Photogenic set also brought this incredible throwback to LeBron's early years with the Cavaliers. Just look at the extension on that dunk. Absolute perfection.
Also Check Out: Coming soon
So What Did We Miss?
Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts. Maybe we'll add your recommendation to our list.
Affiliate Disclaimer: The links in the article contain affiliate links and we receive a small commission for any purchase made on eBay. We appreciate your support!
Financial Disclaimer: If you investing in sports cards as an alternative investment, please do your own research and do so at your own risk. We are not financial advisors and this is not financial advice.
About the Author:
Trevor Weitzel is the founder of Sports Card Sharks. His pro sports teams are the Timberwolves, Vikings and Twins (which is rough). If we’re talking college then we’re only talking the University of Arizona Wildcats – BEAR DOWN! He is also an avid reseller, crypto enthusiast, and digital marketer.