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LeBron James Remains King at PSA, but Victor Wembanyama Is Closing In

Set to start his 20th All-Star Game, LeBron James is also the most popular active NBA player in terms of PSA submissions since early 2023.
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LeBron James is the most popular active basketball player and it’s not really close.

If you’re going by PSA submissions, at least.

Set to start in a record 20th All-Star Game on Feb. 18, James has also been, by far, the most submitted NBA player to PSA since early 2023.

According to data provided to Sports Illustrated by PSA, collectors have submitted over 76,000 James cards since February 2023 — over 25,000 more than the next active player.

Among all basketball players, James comes in third since the start of 2023 behind Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Collectors have submitted over 82,000 Bryant cards to PSA during that period and just over 208,000 Jordan cards.

PSA President Ryan Hoge isn't surprised that the trio of Jordan, Bryant and James has floated to the top.

“Our latest card submission data shows how the demand for top stars’ cards tends to build steadily over time," Hoge said. “The GOATs never get old with basketball collectors. It speaks volumes that Jordan, Kobe and LeBron lead the way as the most-submitted basketball athletes since the start of 2023.”

Most-submitted NBA players since the start of 2023:

  1. Michael Jordan: 208,409 cards
  2. Kobe Bryant: 82,177 cards
  3. LeBron James: 76,451 cards
  4. Victor Wembanyama: 49,391 cards
  5. Stephen Curry: 38,367 cards

Though Jordan's playing career ended over two decades ago — before James' professional career even started — he's remained a heavy favorite among collectors.

Along with his key 1986 Fleer rookie, Jordan's 1989 Hoops (30,250 examples) and 1990 Fleer (54,445) have been extremely popular submissions over the years.

“Michael Jordan is the gold standard in NBA card submissions, with nearly triple the amount in the last year of Kobe at No. 2,” Hoge said. “It will be interesting to see how the LeBron market shakes out in these coming years as his career winds down — similar to the GOAT debate, we’re likely to see Jordan and LeBron consistently at the top of the card submission list for the long-term.”

Likely a surprise to some collectors, James’ most graded card by PSA isn’t even a rookie — it’s actually his 2019 Prizm Base with nearly 24,000 total graded examples. That card is his first appearance in the flagship Prizm set wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.

James’ second-most graded card by PSA, his 2019 Revolution Base, is his first appearance with a Lakers jersey in any Panini product. That card has over 19,000 graded examples.

While James may currently be on top of the active player list, San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama has been closing in fast.


According to Hoge, Wembanyama's surge has been the biggest surprise from the submissions over the last year.

“What’s fascinating is the rise of Victor Wembanyama so quickly, landing at No. 2 on our most-submitted NBA player list, even surpassing established stars such as Steph Curry,” Hoge said. “It especially stands out since so many of Wemby’s flagship rookie cards like Prizm and Optic have yet to truly hit the collecting market. An impressive start to his career will only boost demand and submissions for Wemby rookie cards all the way up into the start of next season.”

Wembanyama’s signature Prizm rookie is currently available to collectors, but that’s because retail configurations for 2023-24 Prizm Basketball are already on sale. Prizm’s Hobby configuration isn’t scheduled for release until Feb. 21 and Fast Break isn’t available until March.

For now, Wembanyama’s most popular graded cards beyond on-demand releases like Topps NOW and Panini Instant are from sets like NBA Hoops, Bowman University and even S.I. for Kids.

Expect the gap to close as the current NBA Rookie of the Year favorite eventually has cards from more popular sets like Prizm, Donruss, Optic and Select submitted. 

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