When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this site may earn a commission from the eBay Partner Network. Thank you.

Michael Jordan rookie cards are some of the most sought-after items for sports card trading and collection.

This is because Michael Jordan is regarded as the greatest basketball player ever. He won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the Finals all six times.

Why are MJ Rookie Cards So Desirable?

  • GOAT Status: As we stated, he will forever be the GOAT (Greatest of all Time).
  • ESPN Awards: ESPN named Jordan the greatest athlete of the 20th century in front of Babe Ruth and Ali.
  • Money in the Cluth: MJ was the king of last-minute heroics. Jordan was clutch when it mattered and led the team to six NBA championships (1991–93, 1996–98)
  • Not Afraid: He was a hell of a gambler, and not even a lefty could hold a candle to how much money he would wager. Bulls players fondly remember Jordan betting $100 on whose bag would come out first of the plane when arriving in a new city.
  • Rarity: You won’t find many with a PSA 10 grade, in particular the Fleer.

But what makes this feat all the more remarkable is Michael Jordan and his teammates achieved two separate three-peats. MJ and the Chicago Bulls won the NBA title thrice from 1991 to 1993 and from 1996 to 1998.

In addition, Michael Jordan is seen as the pioneer for endorsement deals with professional athletes. Nike and Jordan ushered in a highly lucrative era of collaboration between brands and sports stars.

In-Demand Air Jordan 1 Low Colorways to Buy Now
CJ Stroud Rookie Cards: Top Picks, Most Valuable, & Checklist

Putting pen to paper on a five-year, $2.5 million endorsement agreement with Nike paved the way for a revolution in the sneaker industry. The iconic Air Jordan 1 silhouette featuring Nike’s now familiar swoosh logo was released in 1985. It took the entire market by storm. The coordinated color blocking and perforated leather toe box offered fantastic ventilation.

Quick Picks

  • Top Overall ROI: 1986 Fleer RC (Shop eBay)
  • Best Budget Pick: 1985 Star Gatorade Basketball RC #7 (Shop eBay)
  • Best Design: 1985 Nike Promo RC/1985 Prism Jewel (Shop eBay)


favorite michael jordan rookie cards to invest in

Any collectors interested in trading cards or sports memorabilia will recognize that Michael Jordan’s legacy will live for generations. Picking up a card or two to remember his incredible sporting journey is worthwhile for sentimental and monetary reasons.

Below, we will comprehensively break down the best Michael Jordan rookie cards. Please email any questions regarding the below list to [email protected]. You can also visit the Cardboard Nerds Facebook page.

Let’s get started!

1. 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Card #57

1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Card

  • PSA 10 Avgerage Price: $155,950
  • Ungraded Avg Price: $2,500 to $5,000
  • PSA 9 Average Price: $15,808.78
  • Supply at PSA 10 grade: 321`

The 1986 Fleer issue of Michael Jordan rookie cards symbolizes how much of an enigma the player was, even in the formative years of his career.

Its front design illustrates Jordan acrobatically towering above the opposition to score what would be one of 12,192 baskets over his time in professional basketball.

What makes this card unique is its colorful red, white and blue border, symbolizing the so-called “American dream”.

Many aspiring athletes look up to Michael Jordan and want to emulate his incredible consistency and success in professional sports, so combining those colors is quite significant.

Conversely, the flip side of this card is relatively standard in appearance. You’ll see the Chicago Bulls logo at the top, Michael Jordan’s personal information (i.e., date of birth, height, weight, etc.), and performance statistics from his first two seasons in the NBA.

2. 1985 Michael Jordan Interlake RC #1

1985 Michael Jordan Interlake rookie card

Here is a Michael Jordan rookie card that is quite different from the others. It’s slightly oversized – measuring 5″ x 7″ – and is not an officially licensed NBA product.

Issuance by the Boy Scouts of America and the Interlake Youth Initiative in Chicago meant that these cards were not too popular outside of regional distribution back then.

Appearance-wise, the card is not too colorful outside of the image, which showcases Michael Jordan in his legendary red, black, and white Air Jordan 1 getting ready to dribble past a defender.

Another thing that captures the eye on this one is Jordan sticking his tongue out as he handles the ball. It’s a peculiar habit, to say the least.

Funnily enough, the reverse end of the card is blank, which is strange as you’d expect the rear end to have a bit of biographical information about the player, along with some performance statistics for the season.

All in all, you can see why this card never really earned mainstream rookie card status.

3. 1984 Michael Jordan Star Rookie Card #101

1984 Michael Jordan Star Rookie Card

The 1984 Star #101 is regarded as Michael Jordan’s “true” rookie card. This is because it dates back to when the Chicago Bulls first drafted him in Round 1 as the third overall pick.

However, this card is not as popular as the 1986 Fleer, which was available for distribution on a national scale.

Even though Star was the NBA’s official licensee for card production, the company limited the distribution of this particular card to team promotions and hobby channels, so much so that they’re now firmly in the category of novelty extended rookie cards (XRC).

The front design of the card has a red border identical to the red shade on the iconic Chicago Bull logo. It also pictures Jordan coming down with the ball following a rebound from the rim.

On the flip side, the card contains Jordan’s personal details and collegiate record from his time at North Carolina.

Meanwhile, in the upper right corner, there’s an NBA logo that brands Star as the official licensed distributor, and down at the bottom are several copyright notices that add validity to the card.

4. 1985 Michael Jordan Nike Promo Rookie

1985 Michael Jordan Nike Promo Rookie

This card should be worth a fortune when you consider the historical and cultural significance of the image depicted on it.

With Jordan attempting a slam dunk in front of a Chicago skyline backdrop, it doesn’t get better than that. The picture became the face of the Air Jordan product line, used as promotional material for Nike’s popular sneaker range in the 1980s.

The front of the card doesn’t have any information about Jordan printed on it, nor does it contain any colorful borders on the edges. You’ll only notice a small Nike logo with an accompanying swoosh in the bottom left corner and the Air Jordan logo sitting nicely on the upper left.

On the other hand, the reverse design offers a unique take on Michael Jordan’s basketball statistics. It presents his impressive resume by listing Jordan’s top nine career highlights, which include feats such as:

  • First rookie since 1982 to be named to NBA All-Star starting line-up;
  • Co-captain of the 1984 United States Olympic team that won the gold medal in Los Angeles and
  • Leading scorer on the United States Pan American team that won the gold medal in Caracas, Venezuela, 1983

5. 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Sticker Rookie Card #8

1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Sticker Rookie Card

This 1986 Michael Jordan #8 card holds plenty of significance and value.

Fleer included 11 stickers of the biggest NBA stars in their 1986 release, with Michael Jordan’s card being the pivotal one to own amongst a host of well-known names like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird.

The front of the card pictures a young Jordan attempting to drive past New Jersey’s Otis Birdsong opponent toward the basket.

You’ll laugh when you notice Jordan performing his signature tongue flash at that moment, which tells you how he made moves look easy on the court as if he was always finding opportune moments to toy playfully with the opposition.

The yellow nameplate on the left side makes the front design stand out from his other rookie cards. It includes his name, team and position, and the Fleer logo at the top.

Finally, the back of the sticker doesn’t include any statistics. Instead, it features a very touching write-up about Jordan’s professional accomplishments in the formative years of his career, mentioning his time in the collegiate league (NCAA).

6. 1986 Michael Jordan Star Best of The New Old Basketball #2

1986 Michael Jordan Star Best of The New Old Basketball

Next, we have Star’s ’86 Michael Jordan “Best of the New” card, which embodies the meaning of a limited-edition collector’s item.

To begin with, Star decided to give this card a front-facing light blue color wrapped around the edges to make it stand out. You also have the official NBA logo printed on the bottom left corner for greater authenticity.

The picture shot is even more impressive, showcasing Jordan going for the jugular in an intense game against the Detroit Pistons. He attempts to make a shot amid three opposition players, including two-time NBA All-Star Kelly Tripucka and Basketball Hall of Fame nominee Bill Laimbeer.

Lastly, the back side of this card points out Jordan’s impressive career achievements and includes different copyrighting at the bottom for greater validity.

7. 1986 Michael Jordan Star Basketball RC #6

1986 Michael Jordan Star Basketball

Star decided to release a tribute card set dedicated to the legendary Michael Jordan, one of five produced for player commemoration.

According to release information published by Star, this set was limited in number as there were 3000 or less estimated to have been produced.

The front side has the symbolic red color and black border lines that we’ve grown to associate with Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, with a front and center picture of a composed Jordan warming up for a game.

What’s quite interesting is that the back of the card contains a checklist for the rest of the 10-card set, which chronicles Jordan’s early career to that point in 1986.

By then, he had already been a part of the United States Olympic team, won a Rookie of the Year award, had an All-Star nomination, and been part of an NBA playoff run.

8. 1984 Michael Jordan Star Rookie #195

1984 Michael Jordan Star Rookie #195

Here we have a card that epitomizes just how good a player Michael Jordan was, even in his rookie years.

The 1984 Star #195 indicates that Jordan was already a 1984 Olympic Gold medalist at 21. That’s just one in a long list of professional accomplishments for the man widely regarded as the greatest of all time.

This card differs from the others, showing Jordan playing for the United States Olympic Team instead of the Chicago Bulls. The card’s front face also pictures Jordan donning a red jersey with the number nine, caught in what appears to be a moment where the ball is up in the air, possibly traveling toward the rim.

Meanwhile, the reverse end expounds on his Olympic accolade, mentioning his gold medal award at the 1984 Summer Olympics. It also has the usual copyright signatures printed on the bottom for greater authenticity.

9. 1986 Michael Jordan Star Court Kings Basketball #18

1986 Michael Jordan Star Court Kings

This is one of the larger Star subsets containing 33 cards full of the NBA’s top athletes. Michael Jordan (#18) is the most valuable card in the set, estimated to have a production run of about 5000 units.

At first glance, you’ll see how the front side of this card looks different. It has a bright yellow color around the edges and a sharp red font. Jordan’s full name and title, “1986 Court King” run along the bottom. Additionally, the NBA logo features prominently on the front, sitting nicely in the bottom left corner.

The design on the reverse end is relatively simple, as it lists Jordan’s numerous accolades from 1983 to 1986. Some of these achievements include:

  • 1985 NBA Rookie of the Year;
  • Recipient of the 1985 Schick Pivotal Player Award; and
  • 1985 NBA All-Rookie Team Inclusion

10. 1991 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Baseball RC #SP1

1991 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Baseball RC #SP1

We all remember the time when Michael Jordan sought a career change. On February 7, 1994, Jordan decided to try his hand at baseball, which brought lots of press coverage.

Historically, Jordan played baseball until high school, after which he focused on basketball, where he’s regarded as the most prominent legend.

For one year, he played baseball for the Chicago White Sox. That move presented an opportunity for a fresh spin on Michael Jordan sports trading cards and collectibles.

Upper Deck took advantage of this chance and released the 1991 Michael Jordan (#SP1). This baseball card was one of the most coveted cards anyone could acquire during those days.

The card’s front side shows Jordan going through batting practice at Comiskey. MJ is decked out in a red and white uniform neatly tucked in at the waist and held together by a black belt.

Conversely, the reverse end has a nice image on the right of Jordan in baseball action, looking to secure a catch. The left side has a brief write-up that mentions Jordan’s professional baseball exploits.

11. 1985 Michael Jordan Star Gatorade RC #7


The 1985 Michael Jordan Star Gatorade card is a highly sought-after and valuable collectible in the sports card market. This card features Michael Jordan during his early years with the Chicago Bulls and is part of the Star Company’s basketball card set from that era. The card is notable for its association with Gatorade, a popular sports drink.

Collectors often value this card for its rarity and significance in basketball history. The exact value of the card can vary based on its condition, authenticity, and market demand. If you’re interested in buying, selling, or learning more about the 1985 Michael Jordan Star Gatorade card email us at [email protected]. You can also consult with reputable sports card dealers, auction houses, or online platforms that specialize in sports memorabilia.


Honorable Mentions

MJ Rookie Card Honorable Mentions

Beyond the top 10 Michael Jordan rookie cards outlined above, there are a few hidden gems worth discussing.

1985-86 Merchante Blue Michael Jordan #173

This one is arguably the rarest of all the Jordan rookie cards, as they were distributed in Spain in the mid-’80s.

It showcases Jordan in his United States Olympic Team uniform, attempting to make a basket during the 1984 Olympics. As the team won the gold medal, this card is quite a fitting memory of that time, as the front has star-shaped borders.

Its retro look and feel are aided by the reverse design, which interestingly comes in two red and blue variations. Both variations feature advertisements for popular Spanish yogurt, although each contains different wording and accompanying imagery.

1986 Michael Jordan Star Collegiate Stats #2

Last, we have the second card, part of a 10-card Star Jordan set issued in 1986. It was a tribute card to the player, released in limited numbers versus your typical base set.

The front pictures Jordan in a white number 23 jersey, preparing to drive toward the basket, although it could be argued that he was scoping out a forward pass toward a teammate in a better shooting position. This card is bordered by a signature black and red color, giving you that traditional Chicago Bulls feel.

On the back, you’ve got a simple table outlining Jordan’s record in collegiate basketball, starting from the 1981-1982 season and going all the way to the 1983-1984 season. Accompanied by those statistics are your usual copyright notices, which give more credence to the card’s authenticity.

1986-87 MJ Marketcom Sports Illustrated Test RC #16

The 1987 Marketcom/Sports Illustrated cards were a well-thought-out advertisement as part of a sales promotion.

A four-digit code was used to order each poster, and that code appeared on the card. Jordan’s card code was 4465, adding to the nostalgic feel of this collector’s item.

The front has a memorable picture of Jordan completing a dunk at the rim with his tongue sticking out. It also has the instantly recognizable Chicago Bulls logo on the top right. On the other hand, the back side is blank, which is one of the oddities we’ve come to expect on sports trading and collector’s cards.

Getting your hands on one today may prove difficult, as the population at Beckett for Marketcom Jordan cards is low and likely produced in limited quantities.

1985 Star Slam Dunk Supers 5×7 Group Photo CL w/ Michael Jordan RC #1

This card is all the more unique because it doesn’t just feature Michael Jordan but all the other participants of the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest.

Jordan was going up against some prestigious basketball names, which included:

  • Clyde Drexler;
  • Julius Erving;
  • Darrell Griffith;
  • Larry Nance;
  • Terence Stansbury; and
  • Orlando Woolridge

What’s particularly funny about this picture is how focused Larry Nance is on the basketball. He doesn’t even smile for the camera!

Anyway, this card presents a distinctive memory of Jordan’s early career, and the fact that he’s posing with other NBA superstars helps drive up its value.

1985 Michael Jordan Star Last 11 Rookies of Year’s #1

Finally, we have a popular Star subset of cards that includes the last 11 NBA Rookie of the Year winners. The card is dated in reverse chronological order from 1985 to 1974. Because Michael Jordan was the most recent winner from that period, he got the #1 card number.

The front features a non-conventional white color around the edges. Jordan is pictured in a traditional Chicago Bulls kit, catching his breath after a play in an NBA game.

On the flip side, the reverse end features his performance statistics at the collegiate level when he played for North Carolina. The card details the 1981-1982 season to the 1983-1984 campaign.

It’s also worth noting that this card is trendy and heavily counterfeited in equal measure.

Michael Jordan Rookie Card Values

What is the most valuable Michael Jordan card?

The most valuable Michael Jordan rookie card is the 2006-2007 Fleer #57 Buyback Authentic Autograph /23, which sold for a staggering $1,008,000 million at Christie’s auction house in June 2022.

The backstory behind this is quite interesting, as Upper Deck scoured the secondary market and purchased 23 Fleer 1986 Jordan rookies, which Jordan himself then went on to autograph personally. So, the card showing his signature flight comes with his authenticated signature, which is why it commands a very high fee.

His other top rookie cards in terms of value are as follows:

  1. 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan #57 that sold for $645,000 in February 2021;
  2. 1986-1987 Fleer Michael Jordan #57 valued at $304,979 (PSA Grade 10); and
  3. 1986-1987 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan #8 Rookie that sold for more than $100,000 several times.

What is the most iconic Michael Jordan card?

The answer to this question is bound to be subjective, as it’s a matter of personal opinion.

Everyone has their own opinion on what Michael Jordan’s rookie card is the most iconic. Their opinion is bound to be influenced by their fondest memories of that famous era in basketball history.

If we had to pick one particular card?

It must be the 1986-1987 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57. This rookie card perfectly encapsulates the magnificent player Jordan was. He was an unstoppable points scorer full of acrobatic flair who could tower above anyone on the court.

1985 Prism Jewel Michael Jordan Vender Sticker Card Worth?

1985 Prism Jewel Michael Jordan Vender Sticker Card

I love this sticker slash card. Some hobbyists consider it a legit MJ rookie card. It is more of a sticker, but I can see why some would consider it a card.


Super expensive. A PSA 3 (VG) grade of the 1985 MJ Prism Jewel card sold on eBay auctions for $4,572. A raw (ungraded) card sold for $430 on 12/31/2023. Both auctions were popular, having more than 30 bids.

Michael Jordan Rookie Card Checklist

  • 1986 Fleer RC #57
  • 1986 Fleer Sticker #8
  • 1985 Nike Promo RC No Number
  • 1985 Star All-Rookie Team #2
  • 1984 Star RC #288
  • 1984 Team USA Captain Card
  • 1986 Super Canasta NBA Stickers
  • 1985 Star Lite #4
  • 1984-85 Star Court Kings 5×7 #26
  • 1986 Merchante Spanish #163
  • 1984 Supermini Chicago Bulls NO 1986 Fleer
  • 1993 Stadium Sports Gold Rookie of the Year Michael Jordan, Baseball
  • 1984 Michael Jordan Rookie RC Chicago Bulls 8-Bit NO 1986 Fleer
  • 1985 Prism Jewel Vender Sticker Card

Best MJ Quotes

  • “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.”
  • “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  • “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”
  • “It’s heavy duty to try to do everything and please everybody. My job was to go out there and play the game of basketball as best I can. People may not agree with that. I can’t live with what everyone’s impression of what I should or what I shouldn’t do.”

Are Michael Jordan rookie cards a good investment?

As with any collector’s item, timing a purchase is so important. You must note the buying trends and look carefully at the lulls and spikes in consumer demand for the card you want.

  • Long-Term Rating: 9.99 out of 10
  • Ownership Disclosure: 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57 x2 PSA 9, PSA 8
  • Best Card: 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57 (consider buying grades PSA 10 to PSA 6)

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t a good time to pick up Jordan’s 1986 Fleer rookie cards. Values were highly inflated, like many things at that time.

Ultimately, regarding investment, the Michael Jordan rookie cards have fantastic long-term potential. If possible, avoid purchasing ungraded Jordan cards and seek PSA 10, PSA 9, or BGS 9.5 grades. Some more expensive Jordan cards can be bought at a PSA 8 or 7 grade.