The Beckett Blog


Obscure LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh Card Enjoys 500% Increase by Tracy Hackler

Leave it to Miami’s men of the moment – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – to transform an utterly forgettable 6-year-old eyesore into the single hottest basketball trading card on the market.

Indeed, while South Florida’s hoops-collecting populace was waiting impatiently for the first cards featuring James, Wade and Bosh together, those with a little more market savvy and a lot more memory began scouring their 2003-04 Topps Rookie Matrix stashes for the one that already existed.

Last week that card was valued at $20. Today it’s valued at $100. And when the new issue of Beckett Basketball hits the market later this month, the convoluted Rookie Card will also be No. 1 on the Hot List, ahead of key Rookie Cards of five-time NBA champion and 2010 Finals MVP Kobe Bryant and 2009-10 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans.

For those counting at home, that virtually-overnight ascension from $20 to $100 represents a 500 percent increase. Not bad for a set that was an afterthought not long after it was released in April of 2004.

Simply put, the 2003-04 Topps Rookie Matrix product was a conflicted mess whose one redeeming quality – this card – has perhaps forever changed the set’s legacy for the better.

The product spread 33 rookie players in various combinations across 110 perforated Rookie Cards, a nod to the famous 1980-81 Topps Rookie Card of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson that also included Julius Erving. It also utilized a design that wasn’t well-received among veteran collectors.

Original promotional material for Topps Rookie Matrix billed the product’s aesthetic as a “trendy, ultra-modern videogame-like design that is sure to be a slam dunk among young collectors.”

It wasn’t much of a slam dunk among anyone. For the record, Topps officials shelved the product after one year, but not before it could produce one bona fide keeper of a card that took six years to mature.

Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at thackler@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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3 Comments so far
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[…] but not before it could produce one bona fide keeper of a card that took six years to mature. Obscure LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh Card Enjoys 500% Increase The Beckett Blog __________________ Shop for Sports Cards and Trading […]

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I bought a lot of it … because I love minis! (One per pack.) The minis were smaller than tobacco size minis, though …

Comment by chrisolds

It’s the modern day Bird/Magic/Dr J card from 1980 Topps except it’s the RC for all 3 guys instead of just 2. Wish I’d have bought some Topps Matrix boxes from the clearance bin a while back.

Comment by Anonymous




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