Bill Russell rookie card sells for $660k at auction, third most expensive vintage basketball card ever

Photo of author

A 1957 rookie card from the great Bill Russell sold at an auction Thursday for $660,000. PWCC Marketplace,

Russell's card through the card ladder went for the third most money among pre-1980 vintage basketballs ESPN, The other cards are the 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie card, which sold for $800,000 in March 2022, and the 1961 Flair Wilt Chamberlain rookie card, which sold last June for $670,000.

Bill Russell is one of, if not the most, respected NBA players of all time. (Photo by Mike Lowry / Getty Images)

Russell died on July 31, 2022, at the age of 88. He is perhaps the greatest player of all time after winning 11 NBA championships, five MVPs, one Olympic gold medal and making 12 All-Star appearances over the course of 13 seasons. The Boston Celtics from 1956–1969. Russell served as coach of the Celtics for the last three years of his career – becoming the first black head coach in NBA history.

The league retired his No. 6 jersey after his death.

Russell auctioned off his NBA memorabilia in 2021, which included trophies, rings, basketballs, jerseys, letters and photographs from his time in the league. The collection sold for nearly $9 million, per ESPNAnd Russell donated a portion of the proceeds to two nonprofits in Boston: preacherwhich Russell co-founded, and Boston Celtics United for Social Justice.