'The holy grail': 1-of-1 LeBron James card – pursued by Drake – goes to auction; will fetch millions

·2 min read

In the sports collectible and trading card industry, scarcity and authenticity are the main drivers of value.

Any 1-of-1 (meaning no other card exists) card involving LeBron James would garner attention. One featuring game-worn jersey patches from his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers would be highly coveted.

But that's what Panini, the NBA's exclusive card producer, released in its Flawless set earlier this year. Just one, though.

The chase for the 2020-21 Panini Flawless LeBron James triple logoman captured the attention of Drake. Champagne Papi didn't reel in the triple logoman, but now is his chance – the card will go up for auction on Wednesday, when it could become the most expensive modern-day trading card.

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Although the Honus Wagner T206 card went for $6.6 million last August, the James triple logoman is in the same stratosphere and is valued between $3-5 million, according to reports. Goldin, a collectibles marketplace, will handle the auction.

“The LeBron James Triple Logoman card is the undisputed holy grail of modern cards,” said Goldin founder and executive chairman Ken Goldin.

Why is LeBron James triple logoman so rare?

Panini created five triple logoman cards as part of the 2020-21 "Flawless" collection. They are authentic patches of the NBA logo, hence the name "logoman."

Those cards typically feature the patches from multiple players. But one of those cards featured three patches from a single player: LeBron James.

The LeBron James "triple logoman" is expected to sell for $3-5 million dollars but could come close to the Honus Wagner T-206 record of $6.6 million.
The LeBron James "triple logoman" is expected to sell for $3-5 million dollars but could come close to the Honus Wagner T-206 record of $6.6 million.

That sent the sports collectibles market enthusiasts into a frenzy. Whatnot, a live online community marketplace where sports cards are bought by those watching and opened by the individuals streaming, became a popular destination for hunters.

In early May, Whatnot put a bounty on the card: if someone "pulled" (slang for opening the card from the case/pack) the James triple logoman on their platform, they'd buy them a Lamborghini Huracan.

The LeBron James "triple logoman" features three NBA logo patchecs from his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.
The LeBron James "triple logoman" features three NBA logo patchecs from his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.

Finally, on May 6, a "breaker" (someone who opens cards via a live stream for people who have bought in) named JMo from Backyard Breaks discovered it.

James doesn't sign autographs for Panini, meaning these "logoman" cards are as exclusive as it gets when it comes to the King.

The card currently belongs to three Whatnot users who purchased a stake in the pull and have opted to auction it off – and maybe Drake will get in on the action again.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LeBron James Panini triple logoman card could fetch $5M in auction

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