Key Rookie Cards From the Boston Celtics Dynasty

by Todd Neikirk

053023B-1024x536 Key Rookie Cards From the Boston Celtics DynastyWith 17 World Championships, the Boston Celtics are one of the NBA’s most legendary teams. Most impressively, Boston has had few dry spells, regularly putting together quality teams. One of the biggest reasons for the continued excellence is the team’s players. Below are some of the most collectible first-year cards of renowned Celtics.

Bill Russell 1957 Topps 

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Image via PSA

Bill Russell is not only one of the greatest NBA players of all time, he may also be the sport’s greatest winner. The center played 13 seasons in the NBA and won the NBA title in 11 of them. Over the course of his legendary career, Russell was the league MVP 5 times and an All-Star 12 times. In 1968, while still playing, he became a player-coach and won two titles in that position.

Russell’s first trading card came in the 1957 Topps set. The set is both old and rare, so the card is quite expensive in higher-end condition. Even a PSA 3 copy of the card is going to cost collectors close to $5,000.

John Havlicek

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Image via PWCC

In 1962, the Celtics had Bob Cousy who was nearing the end of his legendary career. They also had Bill Russell in the middle of his prime. During that year’s draft, they were able to select Ohio State’s John Havlicek, who would become another Boston legend. Havlicek would make 13 All-Star games and win 8 titles with the Celtics.

There weren’t many basketball cards made during the 1960s, so Havlicek didn’t get his first issue until the release of the iconic 1969 Topps tall boy set. Hondo’s first card, number 20, sells for around $1,300 in PSA 8 condition.

Larry Bird/Magic Johnson/Julius Erving 1980 Topps 

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Image via PSA

Larry Bird, who joined the Celtics in 1979, is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of All Time. The small forward appeared in 12 All-Star games, won 3 NBA Championships and was the MVP of the League 3 separate times. If not for chronic injuries, his list of accomplishments would only be more impressive.

Bird’s chief rival in his career was Magic Johnson. So it is only fitting that the men share a rookie card. The scoring leader card also features the legendary Julis Erving. Collectors can nab a PSA 8 copy of the card for a little more than $4,500.

Robert Parish

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Image via PSA

The Celtics had Larry Bird in 1980 but wanted to build around him. In one of the most lopsided deals of all time, they traded the number 1 overall pick and a future draft choice to Golden State for Robert Parish and the number 3 overall pick which they used on Kevin McHale. The immensely athletic Parish would become the anchor of what many consider to be the NBA’s best-ever frontcourt (along with Bird and McHale).

Affectionately known as Chief, the Hall of Famer would make 9 All-Star teams and win 4 titles (the last came as a member of the Chicago Bulls). Parish’s 1977 Topps Rookie sells for close to $700 in a PSA 9.

Paul Pierce 1998 Topps Chrome 

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Image via PSA

The 1990s were a bit of a dry period for the Celtics. Bird, Parish, and Kevin McHale had all retired or moved on to other teams, and all of a sudden, the Bulls, Heat, Knicks, and Pacers owned the NBA’s Eastern Conference. In 1998, the Celtics drafted Paul Pierce out of Kansas and he would go on to reverse the team’s fortune.

During his career, Pierce was a 10-time All-Star and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. During the 2008 season, Pierce teamed with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to deliver Boston’s first title since 1986. His key card, the 1998 Topps Chrome issue, can be had in a PSA 10 for $300.

AAA-Sports-Card-Footer Key Rookie Cards From the Boston Celtics Dynasty*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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