When it comes to collecting, the two things that instantly get my attention are refractors (or refractor-like) cards, and serial numbered cards, the lower the serial number the better. The problem with the current hot hot basketball card market is there are plenty of like-minded collectors who also gravitate to the cards I like.
However, I recently discovered the 2003-04 SPX SPXcellence cards which have a refractor-like element on part of the card and are serial numbered, with the general base card numbered out of 3,999. That is easily one of the highest numbers I’ve seen for a serial number, but it also means there are a decent amount of these ungraded cards floating around on eBay.
I think all cards should be serial numbered. If all cards were serial numbered, it would give the average collector a better shot of coming across a common card with a special serial number and I think this would also help cut down on the massive reprint market – which would make grading agencies (like PSA) jobs a bit easier.
With this post, I’ll highlight three of the cards I like most in this set and touch on the ungraded price available on eBay as well as what the top graded slabs for these cards have sold for in 2021.
Kevin Garnett #128
Nearly every 2003-04 SPX SPXcellence card serial numbered to 3,999 can be easily purchased on eBay for $10 or less, so if you have a favorite player from this era and like the look of this card, its an easy one to add to your collection. You’d think that a Kevin Garnett ungraded SPXcellence card would be plentiful on eBay and easy to find for $5-$10, however the only one I could find was a Buy It Now listing for $18.
Anyone interested in buying the Garnett card at that price may want to think twice, as the PSA 9 Gernett SPXcellence card only sells for around $15. At $15 for a PSA 9, the Garnett SPXcellence isn’t even worth sending in for grading.
Kobe Bryant #92
The Kobe Bryant SPXcellence card is a great looking card in the set and as you’d image, there aren’t too many available on eBay. However, the ungraded Kobe SPXcellence card is probably cheaper than you’d think. Right now, there is a Kobe SPXcellence card listed with a Buy It Now price of only $25, but they are also open to entertaining offers.
I sent the seller an offer of $13 so this may soon be my card, but if you like the look and want a serial numbered Kobe card in your collection at a very reasonable price, keep a lookout for this card.
In January, 2021 there were two PSA 9 Kobe SPXcellence card sales, the first sold for $47 and the second sold for $66. The most recent sale of a PSA 10 card took place in November, 2020 and went for $180. So if you have what looks like a top graded card, it may be worth it to send it in for grading.
Michael Jordan #93
Easily the best SPXcellence card in the set goes to the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan. I’m really looking to get my hands on one of these cards because I think it looks great, and I don’t have any serial numbered Jordan cards in my collection. The Jordan SPXcellence cards, despite there being nearly 4,000 of them, rarely come up for auction on eBay. As of March 19, 2021, there are three listed with Buy It Now prices from $70–$125.
The PSA Jordan does not see much of a premium from graded copies. As recently as February 22, 2021 a PSA 9 sold for only $50. There have been three GEM Mint PSA 10s Jordan SPXcellence card sales going back to November, 2020 listed on the PSA site. The PSA 10 has sold for $250, $200, and the most recent PSA 10 sale went for $359 on February 22, 2021.
The three cards listed above just happen to be the three in this set I like most. There are a few other really nice looking cards featuring some of the greatest players from the early 2000s, including Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce (you can get The Truth for $2!), Shaq, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Karl Malone (as a Laker), Tracy McGrady, and a bunch of other great players.
Given this was the 2003-04 set, there are also some unreal rookie cards, including the Lebron James autograph rookie patch serial numbered to 750. That card is in a league of its own, and a BGS 9.5 graded card is currently selling on eBay for $125K!