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LeBron long ago carved out his place on basketball's Mount Rushmore, but his legacy became even more intriguing when he joined one of basketball's most popular franchises: the Los Angeles Lakers. The team assembled a roster tailored to LeBron's talents, most notably by adding Anthony Davis. AD officially joined the Lakers in July of 2019, and by August, the LeBron Chrome PSA 10 had surged to $2,400, doubling its July value. Once the season began, it didn't take long for the Lebron-led Lakers to take a narrow lead over the Clippers and Bucks to become Vegas favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA title. Before the suspension of league play due to COVID-19, Lebron was leading the league in assists--a testament to his ability to dominate the floor in whatever fashion he'd like. In January, 2020, as LeBron's chances of adding a fourth ring became increasingly palpable, the LeBron Chrome PSA 10 RC doubled its December, 2019 value, reaching a new all time high value of $4,000. By early March, with the playoffs a mere month away, the card began selling for nearly $8,000. After the NBA suspended its season, the card retreated to $5,000, but is now creeping back up again, hovering around $6,000 as of mid-April, 2020.
Topps Chrome is perhaps the most important product in the history of modern basketball cards. It debuted in 1996-97, featuring an elegant, chromium, silver-bordered base set. Originally seeded at 1:12 packs, the now legendary Topps Chrome Refractor parallel--which utilizes the refractor technology that Topps first experimented with three years earlier in 1993-94 Finest--would become a hobby staple, supplying a perennially coveted rookie card for thirteen seasons. 2003-04 Chrome bisects Chrome's NBA card tenure, which came to an end in 2009-10 due to Panini securing an exclusive license to produce NBA cards.
Even after its discontinuance, Chrome cast such a long hobby shadow that Panini created its own heir to Chrome--Prizm--in 2012. 2003-04 Chrome contains one of the most widely sought after rookie cards of all time: #111 LeBron James. Emblematic of the historically talented 2003-04 rookie class, the set also boasts rookie cards of Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. There were only four base parallels: the refractor, black refractor /500, x-fractor /220 (seeded one per box), and gold refractor (/50 for rookies, /99 for vets).