The Most Expensive Joe Montana Cards of All-Time

So, you’re wondering what the most expensive Joe Montana cards of all-time are? Let’s get in to it!

Joe Montana is one of few NFL players to leave a truly indelible mark on the game’s history. A four-time Super Bowl Champion, “Joe Cool” was instrumental in some of the most treasured moments in all of American sports. He was the generational quarterback of the 1980s, and he has garnered immense fandom from 49ers and Chiefs fans alike.

Related: The Most Expensive Bo Jackson Cards of All-Time

No matter who you asked, Montana would likely find a spot on the quarterback Mount Rushmore. His poise and success in big moments keep him in every GOAT conversation; in turn, he is one of the most collected names in all of sports. Additionally, Montana’s rookie year predates the Junk Wax Era, so many of his early cards have retained great value. 

Today, we will take a look at some of those rookies and other jaw-dropping pieces. To keep the list fresh, we are only allowing each individual card to appear once. Let’s dive right in and highlight the most expensive Joe Montana cards!

10. Joe Montana 2019 Panini Absolute Kaboom! Gold /10 PSA 10 – $12,000

The Kaboom case hit has quickly become one of the most desired ultra-modern trading cards. While it’s more popularly associated with today’s rookies and stars, the set also showcases all-time greats as well. This Montana Kaboom is limited to just 10 copies, and it also achieved a perfect PSA 10 grade.

9. Joe Montana / Tom Brady 2004 SP Game Used Authentic Patches Autograph /5 BGS 9.5 – $12,600

Here is a Brady/Montana dual auto featuring a stunning four-color jersey patch from TB12’s Pats uniform. Today, game-worn memorabilia is hard to come by, so seeing patches like these are refreshing and highly desirable for collectors. Also, this is the newest addition to the list, as it just recently sold for over $12,000 in May 2023.

8. Joe Montana / Tom Brady / Terry Bradshaw 2009 Topps Triple Threads Patch Autograph Sepia /12 BGS 9.5 – $13,530

Topps Triple Threads football was one of the preeminent products of the late 2000s, bringing big-name signatures at an affordable price point. Even recently, these boxes were up for grabs in the $150 range. We imagine the person who pulled this was pretty happy with their result. With three bolded autographs and three game-worn relics, it’s no surprise why this went for over $13,000 during a Goldin auction in August 2021.

7. Joe Montana / Tom Brady / Terry Bradshaw 2016 Panini Impeccable Triple Auto /2 BGS 9.5 – $15,100

Three generational gunslingers. Three distinct eras of football. 15 combined rings. One card. Newer high-end products like Panini Impeccable do a great job of blending the past with the present, and this triple autograph is a prime example. Serial numbered to just two copies, this marvel notched a BGS 9.5 grade on the way to a $15,000 sale in 2021.

6. Joe Montana / Tom Brady 2007 Topps Co-Signers Dual Autograph Gold /25 BGS 9.5 – $15,600

Our next Brady/Montana dual comes from the 2007 Topps Co-Signers set, which paired comparable players on the same card. In a set where you could find Manning/Harrison duals and Bart Starr/Brett Favre duals, this card stands above all else. It features a unique design and concept; maybe Topps should bring back a product that specializes in dual autographs. We will have to wait and see.

5. Joe Montana 1981 Topps Rookie Autograph PSA 9/AUTO 10 – $17,400

Pack-issued autographs were not yet in circulation during Joe’s early years. So, seeing his Topps rookie with a sweet signature is super neat. When paired with a mint PSA 9/AUTO 10 grade, you have a grail card for any Montana collector. This is something we see often in the hobby, especially with a wildly popular vintage rookie.

4. Joe Montana / Tom Brady 2004 SP Game Used “Extra Significance” Dual Autograph /25 PSA 10 – $30,600

You cannot beat two bold signatures of GOATs in a PSA 10 holder. This card oozes greatness and a “passing of the torch” sentiment. Growing up in California, Tom Brady famously idolized Montana as a kid. To see him side-by-side on this card speaks volumes about the greatness these two achieved. It last sold for over $30,000 in 2022.

3. Joe Montana / Tom Brady 2005 Topps “Then and Now” Dual Autograph 1/1 – $31,799

This neat insert autograph from Topps contrasts two generational talents while also adding two signatures into the mix. The card came sealed and uncirculated from Topps, and it’s also a hand-numbered 1/1. While Brady and Montana certainly have several dual autographs with each other, you likely won’t beat the aesthetic appeal with this one. It last sold for nearly $32,000 in a May 2022 eBay auction.

2. Joe Montana / Tom Brady 2004 Skybox LE “Legends of the Draft” Dual NFL Shield Patch 1/1 BGS Authentic – $68,880

The NFL Shield patch is undoubtedly the most coveted memorabilia piece in football cards. Collectors rip new products each year in search of NFL Shield patch autographs. It just so happens that this card has a shield patch of the two best quarterbacks to ever play the game. Interestingly enough, this comes from the “Legends of the Draft” insert set. Neither Montana nor Brady were draft day heroes, as they were taken in the third and sixth round, respectively. However, that didn’t deter the pair from becoming undeniably seminal sports figures.

1. Joe Montana 1981 Topps Rookie PSA 10 – $114,000

Finally we come to the most expensive Joe Montana card ever sold, and it’s one of the most iconic football cards of all time.

Montana was drafted by the Niners in 1979, but his first trading card appearance didn’t come until this 1981 Topps rookie. The neon green outline and sleek design give this card some allure over 40-years after its initial release. It encapsulates a young gunslinging QB on the brink of championship contention.

Since this card trades on a semi-regular basis, several six-figure price tags have popped up. The biggest sale comes from an April 2022 PWCC auction, where the classic ‘81 Topps reached an all-time high of $114,000


Ballon d’Or Winners With the Most Awards

Ballon d’Or winners receive a different level of respect from those in the football world, and this year’s award will soon be announced.

For players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Ballon d’Or titles have helped solidify their careers as two of the greatest players that have ever graced the pitch.

[ MORE: Meet USMNT Midfielder Malik Tillman ]

25 players have been lucky enough to be named Ballon d’Or winners throughout the years, including Eusebio, Ronaldinho, and Zinedine Zidane. Today, we’ll look at the players that boast the most Ballon d’Or wins and how the process works.

What is the Ballon d’Or?

Since 1956, the Ballon d’Or has been given out to the top men’s player in football.

Stanley Matthews won the first-ever Ballon d’Or during his days with Blackpool, and since then, many other legends have taken home the honor.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

After merging with FIFA’s World Player award, the Ballon d’Or became the biggest individual status symbol a player could win. The award is now open to players competing on all continents. However, no player outside of European football has ever earned the accolade.

When is this year’s Ballon d’Or?

The 2023 Ballon d’Or winner will be named on October 16th. The shortlist for the candidates eligible to win has not been announced, but a few frontrunners have emerged, including Lionel Messi (PSG), Erling Haaland (Man City), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), and Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

Who has won the most Ballon d’Ors?
1. Lionel Messi
7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021)
FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Messi has finished on the Ballon d’Or podium 13 times during his storied career. That includes seven victories, most notably during his incredible run of play from 2009 through 2019.

The Argentine has won almost every trophy imaginable, and this year, he’ll look to win his first World Cup with his native country.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo
5 (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo’s five Ballon d’Ors puts him second all-time behind Messi.

Ronaldo was dominant in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League during his time at Real Madrid. He even helped Portugal win Euro 2016 after winning the Champions League and the Club World Cup with Madrid.

T-3. Michel Platini
3 (1983, 1984, 1985)

Platini is responsible for one of the greatest Euro performances of all time in the 1980s. The Frenchman scored nine goals at the 1984 Euros, which still stands as the record for one competition.

T-3. Johan Cryuff
3 (1971, 1973, 1974)
FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Cruyff was regarded as one of the great creators in Dutch football history. He has the ‘Cruyff Turn’ aptly named after him, which was his patented move throughout his career.

The Dutchman starred at Ajax and Barcelona before eventually landing in the United States.

T-3. Marco van Basten
3 (1988, 1989, 1992)
OLAF KRAAK/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Van Basten is an Ajax and AC Milan legend after scoring over 200 combined goals for the clubs. The Dutchman comes in a long line of accomplished goal scorers from the Netherlands.

Players like Robin Van Persie, Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy all hailed form Van Basten’s nation.

T-6. Franz Beckenbauer
2 (1972, 1976)
VOISHMEL/AFP via Getty Images

Beckenbauer is widely considered a top defender in football history and that’s why he won the Ballon d’Or on multiple occasions. It’s rare for a center back to take home this type of honor. However, Beckenbauer graced the pitch with Bayern for over a decade.

He also was capped for West Germany over 100 times and won the World Cup as both a player and manager.

T-6. Ronaldo Nazario
2 (1997, 2002)

Ronaldo was an absolute menace in front of the goal and finished his career as one of the great strikers in the sport’s history. He was an accomplished attacker for his native Brazil and won the 2002 World Cup with his country.

He starred for the biggest club’s in Europe, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.

T-6. Alfredo di Stefano
2 (1957, 1959)
Real Madrid via Getty Images

Di Stefano was an original Galactico for Madrid and set the tone for Madridistas of years to follow. He totalled over 200 goals for Real during his time with the club, including 216 in La Liga. The Argentine was a decorated champion with five European Cup trophies to his name as well.

Di Stefano actually played for three national teams during his career, including his native Argentina, Colombia and Spain.

T-6. Kevin Keegan
2 (1978, 1979)
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Keegan was a Liverpool and Newcastle great before eventually getting into the managerial side of the game. He took home back-to-back Ballon d’Ors in 1978 and 1979 after tremendous success in the Bundesliga with Hamburg.

T-6. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
2 (1980, 1981)
Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Rummenigge is currently an executive for Bayern Munich, but his career as a player was quite decorated. He spent years at Bayern as a goal scorer, as well as with Inter Milan and Servette.

The German was part of back-to-back runners up places at the World Cups in 1982 and 1986.


Most Tennis Grand Slams: Who Rules the Court?

Winning majors in tennis are amongst the most prestigious victories in all of sports. Today we’re looking at which players have the most tennis grand slams.

RELATED: Who has the most Wimbledon titles?

On the men’s side, the sport has been dominated by a trio of superstars; Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Combined, the three men have over 60 grand slam titles, with Nadal and Djokovic boasting an amazing 22 of their own.

Meanwhile, the women’s side has their own legendary trio, with Australia’s Margaret Court (24) leading the way, followed closely by Serena Williams (23) and Steffi Graf (22).

Before we get into who has the most tennis grand slams, let’s first discuss what makes up the grand slam:

What are the four Grand Slam tournaments?

The ATP and WTA Tours both mirror their schedules around four major tournaments on their calendars; the grand slams.

The Australian Open kicks off the year in January, with the best players in the sport competing in Melbourne.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

That’s followed by the French Open, where Nadal has dominated the clay court surface for over a decade.

Wimbledon is the third major, which is held at the All-England Club in London. It’s the only grass surface of the major tournaments.

The major seasons concludes in the early fall with the U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.

Who has won the most tennis Grand Slams?

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal lead the way for the men after playing a massive role in the growth of the sport since the turn of the century. They have the most tennis grand slams by a wide margin.

Nadal and Federer have been dubbed kings of their respective best surfaces, with the Spaniard (Nadal) dominating clay and the Swiss (Federer) excelling on grass.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

Out of the bunch, Djokovic has become the most well-rounded player over the years by winning multiple majors at every location. These three players have all had rivalries with one another and countless incredible matches across the world.

Prior to their arrival, Pete Sampras carried the torch for the United States and the men’s side of the game with 14 titles.

Serena Williams (23) has been knocking on the door of the all-time women’s record, which currently belongs to Margaret Court (24). There are seven women with 10 or more major championships, as I will illustrate below.

Most Grand Slam titles – Men’s Singles

Rafael Nadal (Spain) – 22 majors

Australian Open: 2 (2009, 2022)

French Open: 14 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022)

Wimbledon: 2 (2008, 2010)

US Open: 4 (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) – 22 majors

Australian Open: 9 (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023)

French Open: 2 (2016, 2021)

Wimbledon: 7 (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)

US Open: 3 (2011, 2015, 2018)

Roger Federer (Switzerland) – 20 majors

Australian Open: 6 (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018)

French Open: 1 (2009)

Wimbledon: 8 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017)

US Open: 5 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Pete Sampras (USA) – 14 majors

Australian Open: 2 (1994, 1997)

French Open: None

Wimbledon: 7 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)

US Open: 5 (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002)

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

Roy Emerson (Australia) – 12 majors

Australian Open: 6 (1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)

French Open: 2 (1963, 1967)

Wimbledon: 2 (1964, 1965)

US Open: 2 (1961, 1964)

Rod Laver (Australia) – 11 majors

Australian Open: 3 (1960, 1962, 1969)

French Open: 2 (1962, 1969)

Wimbledon: 4 (1961, 1962, 1968, 1969)

US Open: 2 (1962, 1969)

Bjorn Borg (Sweden) – 11 majors

Australian Open: None

French Open: 6 (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)

Wimbledon: 5 (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)

US Open: None

Bill Tilden (USA) – 10 majors

Australian Open: None

French Open: None

Wimbledon: 3 (1920, 1921, 1930)

US Open: 7 (1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1929)

Jimmy Connors (USA) – 8 majors

Australian Open: 1 (1974)

French Open: None

Wimbledon: 2 (1974, 1982)

US Open: 5 (1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983)

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

Fred Perry (England) – 8 majors

Australian Open: 1 (1934)

French Open: 1 (1935)

Wimbledon: 3 (1934, 1935, 1936)

US Open: 3 (1933, 1934, 1936)

Andre Agassi (USA) – 8 majors

Australian Open: 4 (1995, 2000, 2001, 2005)

French Open: 1 (1999)

Wimbledon: 1 (1992)

US Open: 2 (1994, 1999)

Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia & USA) – 8 majors

Australian Open: 2 (1989, 1990)

French Open: 3 (1984, 1986, 1987)

Wimbledon: None

US Open: 3 (1985, 1986, 1987)

Ken Rosewall (Australia) – 8 majors

Australian Open: 4 (1953, 1955, 1971, 1972)

French Open: 2 (1953, 1968)

Wimbledon: None

US Open: 2 (1956, 1970)

Most Grand Slam Titles – Women’s Singles

Margaret Court (Australia) – 24 majors

Australian Open: 11 (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973)

French Open: 5 (1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1973)

Wimbledon: 3 (1963, 1965, 1970)

US Open: 5 (1962, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1973)

Serena Williams (USA) – 23 majors

Australian Open: 7 (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017)

French Open: 3 (2002, 2013, 2015)

Wimbledon: 7 (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)

US Open: 6 (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

Steffi Graf (Germany) – 22 majors

Australian Open: 4 (1988, 1989, 1990, 1994)

French Open: 6 (1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999)

Wimbledon: 7 (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)

US Open: 5 (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996)

Helen Wills (USA) – 19 majors

Australian Open: None

French Open: 4 (1928, 1929, 1930, 1932)

Wimbledon: 8 (1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1938)

US Open: 7 (1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931)

Chris Evert (USA) – 18 majors

Australian Open: 2 (1982, 1984)

French Open: 7 (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986)

Wimbledon: 3 (1974, 1976, 1981)

US Open: 6 (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982)

Martina Navratilova (USA) – 18 majors

Australian Open: 3 (1981, 1983, 1985)

French Open: 2 (1982, 1984)

Wimbledon: 9 (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990)

US Open: 4 (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)

Billie Jean King (USA) – 12 majors

Australian Open: 1 (1968)

French Open: 1 (1972)

Wimbledon: 6 (1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1975)

US Open: 4 (1967, 1971, 1972, 1974)

Maureen Connolly (USA) – 9 majors

Australian Open: 1 (1953)

French Open: 2 (1953, 1954)

Wimbledon: 3 (1952, 1953, 1954)

US Open: 3 (1951, 1952, 1953)

Monica Seles (Serbia) – 9 majors

Australian Open: 4 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996)

French Open: 3 (1990, 1991, 1992)

Wimbledon: None

US Open: 2 (1991, 1992)

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

Suzanne Lenglen (France) – 8 majors

Australian Open: None

French Open: 2 (1925, 1926)

Wimbledon: 6 (1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925)

US Open: None

Molla Mallory (Norway) – 8 majors

Australian Open: None

French Open: None

Wimbledon: None

US Open: 8 (1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1926)

What is a Golden Slam?

Grand slams are tough enough to win as it is, but a Golden Slam is even more challenging. It requires players to win an Olympic gold medal on top of all four major titles in the same calendar year.

Steffi Graf is the only female to complete this feat in 1988.

Diede de Groot and Dylan Alcott were able to complete the Golden Slam in the wheelchair singles and wheelchair quad singles divisions, respectively.

Meanwhile, Bob and Mike Bryan won the ‘Golden Bryan Slam’ with five consecutive titles from 2012 to 2013, which included the London Olympics.

Has anyone won all four Grand Slams in the same year?

Six players have won all four Grand Slams in the same calendar year, but nobody’s done it since Steffi Graf in 1988. Meanwhile, Rod Laver is the only player to complete this amazing feat on two different occasions.

Don Budge – 1938

Maureen Connolly – 1953

Rod Laver – 1962 and 1969

Margaret Court – 1970

Steffi Graf – 1988


The 15 Most Expensive Magic The Gathering Cards of All-Time

Are you wondering what the most expensive Magic The Gathering cards of all-time are? Let’s get in to it!

Magic The Gathering, created by mathematician Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast, has redefined the landscape of collectible card games since its inception in 1993. With its rich lore and strategic gameplay, MTG has captured the hearts of millions of players worldwide. But it’s not just the gameplay that draws us in; it’s the allure of rare and valuable cards that hold immense worth in the MTG community.

Related: The 31 Most Expensive Pokemon Cards of All-Time

There are dozens of beloved TCGs worldwide; however, Magic The Gathering stands alone in many regards.

For starters, Magic institutes a Reserved List, which is an officially sanctioned list of cards that can never be reprinted. This is a unique concept that we rarely see in the sports card hobby or in other popular trading card games.

Consequently, what sets these cards apart is their rarity. Some cards are so scarce that their prices skyrocket, turning them into coveted artifacts for collectors and players seeking an edge in their decks.

Today, we delve into the realm of the most valuable MTG cards ever printed. After we are done, you may want to go check the attic and see if you have any of these iconic gems in a shoebox or a binder.

For the sake of this list, we are only allowing each individual card to appear once. Without further ado, let’s dive right in and highlight the 15 most expensive Magic The Gathering cards of all time!

15. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Dual Land Underground Sea BGS 9.5 – $36,100

To kick the list off, we have a very important piece used in many tournament decks. The Underground Sea/Land dual belongs to the blue and black color combination, allowing players to tap it for either blue or black mana. This gives it unparalleled value and usage for gameplay purposes, but it is also a great collector’s piece in a higher grade like this BGS 9.5.

T-13. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Emerald PSA 10 – $37,200

The Mox Emerald marks the last member of the Power Nine and last Mox Cycle piece on this list. This green mana-producing card is one of five known PSA 10s, and it last sold for $37,200 during a PWCC auction.

T-13. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Ancestral Recall PSA 10 – $37,200

According to the MTG Wiki, Ancestral Recall “allows the player to use one card to draw three more at an extremely low mana cost. It originated as part of the “booncycle, one of each color, which gave three of something (e.g. mana, life, damage) for the cost of one mana.” Interestingly enough, this is the only card of the original Power Nine to never be reprinted in any fashion, making it one of the rarest TCG cards you’ll ever come across.

12. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Birds of Paradise BGS 9.5 – $37,877

Birds of Paradise is another MTG card that has become revered based on gameplay usage and striking visual appeal. Mark Poole illustrated the vibrant birds shown above, and this card is pivotal in many deck strategies. Additionally, it is a grail for many MTG enthusiasts, earning a $37,877 price tag during a 2019 auction.

11. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Ruby PSA 10 – $39,600

Here we have another piece of the Mox cycle, the Ruby. This is the only gem on the list that notched a PSA 10 grade, selling in March 2023 for nearly $40,000. Mox Ruby also belongs to the Power Nine, so it will always be one of the more heralded artifact cards in MTG.

10. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Nightmare BGS 9.5 – $42,877

This is a dark and haunting card, so it remains very popular for those who revel in the darker aesthetic of MTG. Nightmare is a powerful addition to any deck, but it’s unlikely that you’ll find it in as flawless condition as this one. The BGS 9.5 copy shown above recently closed at just shy of $43,000, so you may want to check your childhood binders and try to find this one.

T-8. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Chaos Orb PSA 10 – $44,400

With artwork reminiscent of Goosebumps’ The Blob That Ate Everyone, Chaos Orb is threatening both visually and in battle. By flipping the Chaos Orb into the air and letting it fall onto the playing surface, players can destroy any non-token permanent it touches. The affected cards are removed from the game, providing a powerful and unpredictable tool for strategic maneuvering. This makes it banned in most competitive formats, yet it is still a very valuable and sought-after piece in the MTG lore.

T-8. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Shivan Dragon BGS 9.5 – $44,400

When it comes to TCGs, this may not be the first dragon creature that comes to mind. Pokémon’s Charizard and Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Blue Eyes White Dragon are both highly collectible in their respective franchises, but this Shivan Dragon BGS 9.5 Gem Mint is a stunner. It has sold for as high as $44,400 during a November 2022 PWCC auction.

7. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Sapphire PSA 9 – $46,800

At #7, we have another Power Nine member and a wildly rare component of the original Alpha set. Mox Sapphire performs similarly to the Mox Jet, and both subsequently became highly contentious in competition. Many collectors try to assemble all three of the gems together, but that comes at the wallet’s expense.

T-5. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Vesuvan Doppelganger BGS 9.5 – $63,000

Illustrated by Quinton Hoover, the Vesuvan Doppelganger card is another rare piece from the 1993 Alpha set. On a card like this (or any TCG for that matter), you have to examine centering, surface, edges, and corners when grading. The fact that this rare shapeshifter obtained a 9.5 grade 30 years after printing is truly astounding, so it’s no wonder why it reached a sale price of over $60,000.

T-5. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Time Walk PSA 10 – $63,000

Another Power Nine member, Time Walk grants the player an additional turn during a match. And just like pretty much all of the Power Nine, this high-octane MTG card is banned in most formats. Time Walk features both remarkable artwork and stunning coloration, yet this is one of only ten PSA 10s ever cataloged. 

4. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Mox Jet BGS 9.5 – $65,100

The MTG Mox gems are instrumental cards in a player’s deck, and it just so happens that three of the original Mox cards belong to the Power Nine. Consequently, they provide immense power in a game and real monetary value to collectors. This Mox Jet is overwhelmingly pivotal in a match because it adds more mana for a player and provides a loophole for the “one land per turn” rule. This card is valuable in a Gem Mint condition like this one, yet it is banned in most competition formats.

3. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Timetwister PSA 10 – $84,000

The impeccable artwork on this Timetwister Alpha card is second to none. Illustrator Mark Tedin weaved an intricate picture that visually highlights the immense power that the Timetwister possesses. Timetwister belongs to the original limited edition “Power Nine,” and many of the others appear on this list as well. This gem sits as one of three PSA 10s in existence, with one recently selling for $84,000. 

2. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Alpha Lord of the Pit BGS 10 – $105,000

It is estimated that just over 1,000 of these copies exist, making it one of the rarest MTG cards in existence. Furthermore, it achieved a BGS 10 Pristine grade, which is one of the most exclusive grades in all of trading cards. The artwork on this card is some of Mark Tedin’s best, and the black bordering gives this one even more visual appeal. It last sold for $105,000 during a January 2023 PWCC auction.

1. 1993 Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus Limited Edition Artist Proof Autograph CGC 8.5 – $800,000
Heritage Auction

To end this list of most expensive Magic The Gathering cards, we have one of the most iconic TCG cards in existence. There are several iterations of the Black Lotus, but this white back, artist proof arguably takes the cake as the rarest.

This particular Black Lotus doesn’t even stem from the original Alpha set, but rather a later Limited Edition Beta set. However, it contains a crisp autograph of the illustrator’s autograph at the bottom of the copy. This particular copy recently closed at $616,000 during a Heritage auction in March, making it the most expensive MTG card ever sold at public auction.

However, singer and noted MTG collector Post Malone confirmed during a 2022 interview with Howard Stern that he paid $800,000 in a private sale for one.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>

Which on our list of most expensive Magic The Gathering cards is your favorite? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter!

Popular Culture

YuGiOh Card Value and Price Guide: How Much Are Your Cards Worth?

So you’re curious about your YuGiOh Card Value?! No worries… we’re here to help!

The collectible trading card market has been heating up, and YuGiOh trading cards have been gaining a lot of traction in the space of late. Collectors and investors are watching their collections of these cards pick up momentum, with valuations reaching new levels as the audience for the game gains new followers. The YuGiOh trading card game was launched in 1999 in Japan and reached North American in 2002 with the release of the first set, Legend of Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

Related: The 26 Most Expensive YuGiOh Cards of All-Time

While breaking the Guinness World Record of having over 22 billion cards worldwide by 2009, buyers should have an understanding of supply and demand and how to appraise cards before they make any purchases.

What Makes a YuGiOh Card Valuable?

Three main factors apply when trying to determine the value of a Yu-Gi-Oh! card. Understanding the rarity of the card (population) is the most important thing to consider. Each pack has a different subset of rarities. Generally speaking the more foiling or holographic highlights the card has, the rarer the card is. 

For more specific information on YuGiOh Rarities see here.

In any given pack there are going to be cards that are more common and less likely to carry significant value. 

The condition will also have a significant impact on the overall value of the card. As a general rule of thumb, the older the card, based on when the card was printed, the lower the population of top graded cards in the market. A more detailed discussion on conditions is provided below.

Scarcity, while the last of the 3 main drivers of value in a YuGiOh card, is often the most important. For example, a Beckett (BGS) 4.5 of the 1st Edition “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” from the 2002 Legend of Blue Eyes set sold in May of 2021 for $5500. 

Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

When collecting YuGiOh cards, it is important to understand the difference between raw and graded cards.

“Raw” means that the card is loose and has not been officially authenticated and graded by a company like PSA, BGS, or SGC on a scale of 1-10 based on its condition. The risk is much higher for raw cards, but if you find one in great shape, the upside can be much greater than buying a graded card. Cards that are already graded command a premium on the open market as you know exactly what you are buying.

With a raw card, the same conditions apply for determining how valuable that specific card is worth relative to the population of those cards made. The four main factors to look out for when buying a raw card include centering, surface, corners, and edges.

Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Certain YuGiOh cards have more value because they are just harder to come by.  The first main set of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards, the Legend of Blue-Eyes White Dragon is a scarce set, and top conditions of those cards are becoming more and more scarce.  

Given that YuGiOh is a trading card game, players actually need to use their cards in matches at their friend’s house or local game stores. When playing with cards, trading them, or just transporting them, inevitably they can get damaged. Each time a card gets damaged, a mint copy of that card becomes more scarce.

YuGiOh has had many other avenues for releasing cards, including prize cards for their special Shonen Jump and YuGiOh Championship Series tournaments. Many of these tournaments had thousands of participants, and only the top 1-3 players received cards. In any given year, as few as a couple hundred of these cards were produced and released to the public via prizing for the top competitors.

How To Find the Value of Your Cards

Finding your collection of YuGiOh cards that were stored in your parents’ basement is one of the ways many collectors are finding their way back to the game. When trying to figure out a card’s value, make sure to follow these steps:

Step 1: Look at the name of the card on the very top, note that many cards have very similar names.

Step 2: Find the set the card belongs to. The set has a 3-4 letter abbreviation followed typically by letters and/or numbers. For example LOB-000 or DLCS-EN137.

Step 3: Determine if the card is 1st edition or limited edition (typically in the same line as the set numbering or at the bottom of the card). If there is no 1st Edition or Limited Edition on the card, it is an unlimited version.

After figuring out exactly which cards you have, you can search for their values on eBay by searching for the card and filtering the results by “sold items”, which will give you a range of what similar examples have recently sold for.

Valuable YuGiOh Cards & Sets to Look Out For
1. Legend of Blue-Eyes White Dragon (“LOB”)
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • This was the first set released in North America. As the name of the set, the 1st edition Blue-Eyes White Dragon is one of the most coveted cards in the game with a high sale of $55,100.
  • Print run on this was limited as the game was just beginning, and collector demand for these cards continues to grow.
  • Print runs of these come in “Wavy” or “Glossy” holographics. Wavy was the first print run as even more rare than glossy. These are a huge target for high-end collectors.  
  • Though “unlimited” prints of the Legend of Blue-Eyes White Dragon have some value, the valuations fluctuate when more packs are released into the marketplace.
2. Champion Packs Games 1-8
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • These were the very first set of local tournament store participation packs. The first pack came out in November of 2006, with the last one of the series (Champion pack 8) coming out in January 2015.
  • The packs contained two common cards and one “rare,” “super rare,” or “ultra-rare.” These cards were very popular at the time but typically weren’t held as an investment, resulting in a low population of near-mint copies. 
  • Due to a popular, player-formed version of an older “format” of YuGiOh (Goat format), a lot of these Champion Pack cards have increased in value immensely. For example, Metamorphosis (CP01-EN003) from the very first Champion Pack is now selling for as much as $2,000.
3. Dark Duel Stories
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • Video games for YuGiOh came with a pack of 3 promo cards that had a special kind of prismatic secret rare foiling that was unique to the promos. Dark Duel Stories is one of the holy grails in Yu-Gi-Oh! collecting.
  • This game was released for the Nintendo GameBoy in March of 2002 and came in two separate runs. The first run contained three promos–Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician, and Exodia the Forbidden One. The second run contained Seiyaryu, Acid Trap Hole, and Salamandra. 
  • Raw examples of Blue-Eyes White Dragon (DDS-001) currently sell for as much as $3,500-5,000
  • Raw examples of Dark Magician (DDS-002) currently sell for as much as $1,500-$3,000.
  • Raw examples of Exodia the Forbidden One (DDS-003) currently sell for as much as $500-$1,000.
  • There are currently none of these sealed games with the original three promos on eBay, but in a recent auction, a graded one (WATA 9.6) sold for $21,334.
  • A sealed example of the second run sells as much as $1,500-$2,000.
4. Sealed Booster Boxes
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • Booster boxes (excluding a few sets) were released as 1st Edition and had reprint boxes that were called “Unlimited”. This inevitably caused a scarcity in sealed 1st Edition boxes. This scarcity became much more impactful when Konami announced that booster boxes would no longer contain “Ultimate” or “Ghost Rare” cards.
  • The value of booster boxes depends on the particular cards you could get inside them, not just their age. “Strike of Neos” came out in February of 2007 and is currently being sold for around $3,000 on eBay for a sealed 1st Edition box, whereas “Rise of Destiny”–which came out in December of 2004–only goes for around $1,500 for a 1st Edition box. 
  • The collectible value of booster boxes is only increasing over time as I find them to be the most aesthetically pleasing thing to collect. Yu-Gi-Oh! always released boxes in a certain color scheme and the card in front always represented the most impactful card in the set from the Anime itself.
5. Retro Pack 1/2
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • Retro Pack 1 came out in July 2008 with Retro Pack 2 coming out in July 2009. Retro pack 1 came in mini boxes containing 3 booster packs, while Retro Pack 2 came in the same kind of mini box but also had a blister pack (3 packs and 1 promo card).The promo card varied between the North American run and the European run.  
  • Excluding LOB, the Retro Packs may be the most challenging product to find sealed.
  • Retro Pack 1 mini-boxes sell for about $1,500, while a sealed case of Retro Pack 2 mini-boxes is currently listed for $30,000! There is one listing for the blister pack asking for $1,000. These items are so hard to come across and contain some of the most expensive collectible cards in the game within them. A Cyber Harpie Lady PSA 8 from Retro pack 1 sold for $1,924 in Febraury. A raw Blue Eyes Shining Dragon from Retro Pack 2 sold for $2,000 in March.
6. 5D’s Era Unlimited Only Boxes
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • From August 2008 – November 2009, The Duelist Genesis, Crossroads of Chaos, Ancient Prophecy, and Stardust Overdrive were never released as 1st Edition booster boxes, and 1st Edition packs could only be received through sneak peak events (pre-release events a week before the actual release) or through the collector tins of that year.
  • Most notably, The Duelist Genesis contains the ghost rare of Stardust Dragon, which is the most sought after “Ghost Rare” in the TCG with raw near mint versions selling for as much as $3,000.
  • Crossroads of Chaos contained Stardust Dragon’s anime counterpart, Black Rose Dragon. Raw examples of Black Rose Dragon sell for as much as $1,500-$1,800.
7. Starlight Rares/Collector Rares
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • Starting in 2019 with Rising Rampage, Konami announced that five cards in every main set would now have a new rarity called Prismatic Rare (soon to be changed to Starlight Rare). The ratio on these cards was about one Starlight Rare per every 1-3 cases (12-36 booster boxes) and was not guaranteed.
  • One rare, super-rare, ultra-rare, and secret-rare would be given the Starlight rare treatment. The fifth card would be a variant card that was not actually in the set itself.
  • The average price of “Starlight Rares” is around $250-$500, with some of the original ones selling for as much as $1000.
  • Toon Chaos introduced a new rarity called “Collectors Rare” in 2020, that would be applied to new side sets that only featured rare and holo cards (no commons). Collectors Rares were not as difficult to pull, with a pull rate of around 3-4 per case. 
8. Promo Cards
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
  • SJC/YCS events are part of the competitive circuit in Yu-Gi-Oh! and the prizes for these events are promo cards exclusive to the winners. 
  • Crush Card Virus (SJC) is possibly the most memorable prize card as it defined a format and was a Kaiba favorite in the anime. There is currently a PSA 10 listed for $150,000 on eBay, a BGS 8.5 for $50,000, and a PSA 4 was sold on May 20th (best offer, was listed for $19,000). 
  • Minerva the Exalted Lightsworn (YCS) was one of the most popular prize cards due to the fact that it was very competitive. A raw super rare sold for $5,900 in February of this year and there are currently no ultra-rare variants listed. 
  • “The Seal of Orichalcos” was given to a select few Upper Deck employees and judges. There are currently none listed as these are extremely rare, but when they do pop up every now and then they go for around $10,000- $20,000 depending on the condition. 
What Are The Most Expensive Yugioh Cards of All Time?
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Tournament Black Luster Soldier – $2,000,000* 

The most expensive card (reportedly) ever sold was the one of one Black Luster Soldier, which was an exclusive prize card awarded at the first-ever YuGiOh tournament in 1999. It was printed on stainless steel. There have only been rumors about the sale price of this card, as it’s never come to public auction. However, it’s said that the original owner originally listed it for $10 million, ultimately settling for $2 million dollars. If you love YuGiOh and have millions of dollars to spend, this is THE Holy Grail.

2002 Blue Eyes White Dragon 1st Edition PSA 10 – $85,100 (10/28/20)

This sale is confirmed and is arguably the most iconic card associated with the entire Yugioh franchise!

Blue-Eyes White Dragon is popular not only for its strength in the trading card game — fusing three of them together will produce Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon — but also its powerful appearances in the original anime and manga. The first of these cards were released in Japan in 1999 and the United States soon after, and mint condition first editions are skyrocketing in value. (One father even went viral for selling a few of his to pay for his daughter’s education!)

For a complete list of the 26 most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards ever sold, check out this article!

What’s Next for the YuGiOh Card Market?
Yugioh / Konami

It’s very possible for the value of the YuGiOh market to start booming, as it is only in its early stages compared to other TCGs. The one factor that separates YuGiOh from its competitors is how much value players put into the game, not regarding the anime.

The TCG itself had a different cult following as there were many players that did not even indulge in the anime to the degree that you would expect. These players are all grown up and now they want to go back and invest in the things that made them feel such joy when they were younger. There is already such a scarcity of items, and some prices have already jumped. 

It is not just the “Dark Magicians” and “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” cards that are going up; it’s also the cards that made formats what they are. Collectors want the cards that players consider “high rarity.”

It’s not hard to see that YuGiOh is growing rapidly and presenting some interesting investment opportunities. It’s just important to do your research and have a full understanding of what to collect and what to invest in before you buy. 


The Last 12 NBA Finals MVPs, Ranked

So, you’re wondering who the recent NBA Finals MVPs are? Let’s get in to it!

The NBA Finals are the pinnacle of basketball. The final series, following the grueling 82-game regular season schedule and a full playoff tournament. Winning an NBA championship is the greatest accomplishment an NBA player can achieve.

Related: The NBA Teams with the Most Championships

Today, we take a look back at the last 12 NBA Finals MVPs. From the Slim Reaper to Iggy, here’s a definitive ranking of some of the best players on the NBA’s biggest stage:

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed12. 2015 Andre Iguodala","subhed</code>
12. 2015 Andre Iguodala
  • Beat Cavaliers 4-2
  • Stats: 16.3 PPG, 5.8 REB, 4.0 AST

What should have been a great battle between the up-and-coming Warriors and the Lebron-led Cavs was reduced to a six-game series that was not very close, due to injuries.

Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were both sidelined this series so Lebron was left with no supporting cast. It’s astonishing that the Cavs were even capable of winning two games. Steph Curry should have been the MVP after averaging 26/6/5, but instead Iggy was handed the trophy for his defense on Lebron. Iguodala had a stellar series, but Steph was the best player on the Warriors, so this Finals MVP is pretty weak. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed11. 2014 Kawhi Leonard","subhed</code>
11. 2014 Kawhi Leonard
  • Beat Heat 4-1
  • Stats: 17.8 PPG, 6.4 REB, 2.0 AST

This was another series that did not quite live up to the hype. 2014 gave us the Heat vs Spurs part two, a rematch of the previous year’s finals, which went 7 games. The Spurs completely dominated the Heat from the rip.

Kawhi played lockdown defense on Lebron and it launched him into superstardom. With that being said, he was far from the best or most dominant player on the Spurs. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were playing some of their most efficient basketball. They simply knew how to go out and win together and it showed this series.

This is a weaker finals MVP because it really could have gone to any of these players, but like the previous year, locking down LeBron will certainly help earn you the nod as finals MVP. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed10. 2019 Kawhi Leonard","subhed</code>
10. 2019 Kawhi Leonard
  • Beat Warriors 4-2
  • Stats: 28.5 PPG, 9.8 REB, 4.2 AST

In his one year with the Raptors, Kawhi capped off one of the best individual playoff runs in NBA history with a championship. They took on a Warriors team with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson sidelined.

With a fully healthy squad, this series likely has a different result. A huge factor into the Raptors closing out this series was also Kyle Lowry, who holds a number of records for the Raptors and will have his jersey in the rafters one day. I think that this Raptors team was really underrated and is going to be fun to look back on.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed9. 2011 Dirk Nowitzki","subhed</code>
9. 2011 Dirk Nowitzki
  • Beat Heat 4-2
  • Stats: 26.0 PPG, 9.7 REB, 2.0 AST

This series can be defined as maybe the greatest Davis and Goliath story in NBA history. This was the Heat’s first year together as the big three with Lebron, Wade and Bosh and they plowed through the East. They hit a roadblock in the Finals against the big man from Germany, Dirk Nowitzki.

I vividly remember watching Dirk hit clutch bucket after clutch bucket almost every game though, and he did almost single-handedly elevate the Mavericks to the Larry O’Brien trophy. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed8. 2013 Lebron James","subhedBeat Spurs 4-3</code>
8. 2013 Lebron James
Beat Spurs 4-3
  • Beat Spurs 4-3
  • Stats: 25.3 PPG, 10.9 REB, 7.0 AST

The first matchup of the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs in the Finals was unforgettable. This was a seven-game series that looked to be over in game 6. Many Heat even fans left the arena before Ray Allen hit his famous shot from the corner.

Lebron was incredible this series, despite missing the game-tying three in game six. He made up for it with a dagger to close the series in game seven. This was LeBron’s second consecutive Finals MVP and was the second most physically dominant season of his career. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed7. 2018 Kevin Durant ","subhed</code>
7. 2018 Kevin Durant
  • Beat Cavs 4-0
  • Stats: 28.8 PPG, 10.8 REB, 7.5 AST

This was easily the most mismatched Finals we saw in the last decade. LeBron carried a questionable Cavs roster to a fourth consecutive NBA Finals. The 2018 Conference Finals saw the Warriors and Cavs both stretched to seven games, so both teams were coming in battle tested.

The Warriors were playing their best basketball ever in the Finals and the whole team just dominated. There was no question who was winning this championship and Kevin Durant could not be stopped. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed6. 2012 Lebron James","subhed</code>
6. 2012 Lebron James
  • Beat Thunder 4-1
  • Stats: 28.6 PPG, 10.2 REB, 7.4 AST

The 2012 season ended with LeBron James finally capturing his first NBA championship. This was easily the most physically dominant season of Lebron’s career. He punished opposing players on both ends of the floor and was relentless. Facing off against the baby Thunder was no challenge for the Heat. You could see the vengeance in LeBron’s eyes all series from losing the prior year against the Mavs. I like to call this the Supervillian era of LeBron’s career.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed5. 2016 Lebron James","subhed</code>
5. 2016 Lebron James
  • Beat Warriors 4-3
  • Stats: 29.7 PPG, 8.2 REB, 5.4 AST

In LeBron’s own words, capping off the 3-1 comeback against the Warriors propelled him to the ‘GOAT’ of basketball. This was without question the greatest NBA Finals of the last ten years, and possibly ever.

This was a matchup of a stacked Warriors roster that just had the best regular season of all-time, against Lebron and one of the most efficient offensive teams ever. Even though Kyrie Irving hit the game-winning shot in game 7, LeBron was omnipresent on both ends, doing everything needed to win. This game gave us the most famous Lebron block ever and one of Mike Breen’s best calls. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed4. 2020 Lebron James","subhed</code>
4. 2020 Lebron James
  • Beat Heat 4-2
  • Stats: 29.8 PPG, 11.8 REB, 8.5 AST

One of the most telling moments I remember from “The Last Dance” documentary about the 90s Chicago Bulls dynasty was when it was said that Michael Jordan was at his deadliest in 1993 because he simply knew how to go in and win games. I think the same will be said about LeBron’s 2020 campaign.

This will be remembered as the bubble NBA finals in Orlando amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, but LeBron’s command of this series cannot be overlooked. Nearly averaging a 30 point triple-double, I think this was LeBron’s most dominating NBA Finals performance of all time.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed3. 2017 Kevin Durant","subhed</code>
3. 2017 Kevin Durant
  • Beat Cavs 4-1
  • Stats: 35.2 PPG, 8.2 REB, 5.4 AST

Taking the number 3 spot in our rankings is Kevin Durant’s 2017 NBA Finals campaign. In his first year with the Warriors, Durant was playing the best basketball of his life. He seemed happier than ever and looked like he was genuinely having fun. It’s not hard to have fun when you average 35 points while shooting 55% from the field, 47% from three and 92% from the free-throw line.

This was the most dominant performance I have ever witnessed live in an NBA Finals game. No matter who the Cavs threw at Durant, he just pulled up and hit insane shots. KD gets a lot of hate for his move to the Warriors, but looking at the numbers he was putting up and the result, I really can’t blame him for making the move.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed2. 2022 Stephen Curry</code>
2. 2022 Stephen Curry
  • Beat Celtics 4-2
  • Stats: 31.2 PTS, 5.0 AST, 6.0 REB

Despite being the greatest shooter and changing the way basketball is played, before the 2022 offseason Stephen Curry was highly criticized for never winning a finals MVP trophy. He had won three finals yet never took home MVP.

After going down 2-1, Curry willed his Warriors back with some of the greatest finals performances ever. Notably, Steph had an incredible 43-point scoring outburst in game four which saw the Warriors win by ten points.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed1. 2021 Giannis Antetokounmpo","subhedBeat Suns 4-2</code>
1. 2021 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Beat Suns 4-2
  • Beat Suns 4-2
  • Stats: 35.2 PPG. 13.2 REB, 5.0 AST

In the 2021 offseason, Giannis took an different route than most superstars take when he re-signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. Some said that he couldn’t win without a super-team, and others said nobody would want to play with him in a market like Milwaukee.

Now at the young age of 27, Giannis has completed his hall of fame resume. I would say this is one of those rare championships like Dirk’s in 2011 when it really felt like one guy carried an entire city on his back. I don’t think there is any player as deserving of this spot than Giannis.


The Most Expensive Shaq Cards of All-Time

So, you’re wondering what the most expensive Shaq cards of all-time are? Let’s get in to it!

Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq. The Big Diesel. Big Aristotle — one of the most dominant big men in NBA history and one of the most entertaining faces on TV today. O’Neal’s pure athleticism and poise were unheard of for a 7’1” giant, yet he consistently gave jaw-dropping performances during a 19-year career.

Related: The Most Expensive Michael Jordan Cards of All-Time

Shaq is one of the most beloved names in American pop culture. He was a role model and an inspiring player on the court. He’s a known philanthropist who connects with many charities and outreach programs. And currently, he is one of the most dynamic personalities in sports media.

His reach definitely extends to the trading card industry, as he remains one of the most collected and marketable players in all of sports. Additionally, his NBA tenure coincides with some of the most heralded basketball card sets to date. 

Today, we are scanning through the most expensive Shaq trading cards of all time. To keep the list fresh, we are only allowing an individual card to appear once. Let’s dive right in and look at some incredibly valuable trading cards of an all-time great!

1. Shaquille O’Neal 1997-98 Skybox Metal Universe PMG Red /100 BGS 9 – $39,600

Since its inception, the Precious Metal Gems (PMG) insert has been a favorite of many modern basketball collectors. The inaugural 1997 set has become iconic in sports card collecting, with many of its cards reaching record prices.

This Shaquille O’Neal PMG shows the young Lakers star posterizing Arvydas Sabonis. It notched an impressive BGS 9 grade and sold for just shy of $40,000 in September 2022, and is the current leader in the clubhouse on the “most expensive Shaq cards ever sold” list.

2. Shaquille O’Neal 1999-00 Flair Showcase Masterpiece 1/1 BGS 8.5 – $34,800

We began seeing serial-numbered 1/1s for the first time in the late 90s, so these “masterpieces” have become iconic staples within the Hobby. This Shaq ‘99 Flair Showcase is a true grail for any high-end collector of The Big Diesel. Just like the PMG shown above, it last sold in 2022 during a Goldin auction.

3. Shaquille O’Neal 1998-99 Skybox Molten Metal Fusion Titanium /40 PSA 9 – $28,800

We are willing to wager that you cannot find a more aesthetically pleasing card than this one. The bright yellow Lakers jersey fuses perfectly with the gold backdrop, and the old-school “19 OF 40” stenciled numbering is super neat. These cards are metallic and nearly 25 years old, so they just don’t earn high grades often. Seeing this in a PSA 9 holder is a real treat, and it’s a phenomenal card from one of the best sets of the 1990s.

4. Shaquille O’Neal / Kobe Bryant 2012 National Treasures Dual Autograph /15 PSA 10 – $27,600

Shaq and Kobe are likely the greatest duo in NBA history, as the two combined for three straight Finals victories in 2000-2002. In turn, the pair have become some of the most revered Lakers of all time. They also have very few dual autographs together, so that makes this stunner from National Treasures even more appealing. If you’re a lifelong Lakers fan, we doubt this is one you’d easily let go from your collection.

5. Shaquille O’Neal 1997-98 Metal Universe Champions PMG /50 PSA 7 – $26,549

Here is another PMG from the late-90s, and this one features a close-up of Shaq at the rim. The backdrop from this PSA 7 copy showcases a glimpse of the Los Angeles skyline, and it’s one of the most uniquely designed cards ever. It last sold in August 2022 during a Goldin auction.

6. Shaquille O’Neal 2012-13 National Treasures NBA Logoman Signatures /2 BGS 9 – $26,400

The NBA Logoman has become one of the most desired memorabilia pieces in the hobby, so this patch autograph commands both striking appeal and a big price tag. The patch is an embroidered NBA logo from a game-worn Shaq jersey, and there aren’t too many of those lying around. The 2012 Panini National Treasures set is loaded with valuable autographs, and this one would make any fan’s day if they pulled it from a box. It last sold for $26,400 in November 2022.

7. Shaquille O’Neal 1998-99 Metal Universe PMG /50 PSA 8 – $24,600

This is the last PMG on our list, and it features a shot of the big man duking it out against his former team, the Orlando Magic. While the 1998 PMG set doesn’t typically hold as much value as the iconic 97-98 cards, they are still passionately collected by fans and hobbyists all over the world. This PSA 8 copy is no exception to the rule, and it traded for just under $25,000 in May of 2022.

8. Shaquille O’Neal 1997-98 Skybox E-X Century Essential Credentials Now /14 PSA 7 – $24,000

The Skybox E-X Century sets were some of the most futuristic and avant-garde sports cards ever produced. Brandishing an acetate finish and colorful design, this Shaq “Credentials” parallel is limited to just 24 copies. Because these cards are printed on a thick, clear stock, it is very easy for them to yellow over time. However, this copy has held its shine over time, and it’s worth well over $20,000 today.

9. Shaquille O’Neal 2017-18 Immaculate Logoman Autographs 1/1 BGS 8.5 – $20,400

Here is another Logoman patch autograph that comes from the Panini Immaculate product. Panini does a commendable job of fusing previous generations with new rookies in their high-end products. Just think: you would probably open this 2017-18 box looking for Jayson Tatum or Donovan Mitchell. Pulling this card would be a happy surprise, and it would seem to pay for the box and then some.

T-10. Shaquille O’Neal 2002-03 Topps Jersey Edition Logoman Patch 1/1 BGS 9 – $19,200

This is yet another elusive Logoman card, but it was pulled from a 20-year-old Topps box. The card boasts a patch from a game-worn road jersey, so Shaq donned this one while dominating the paint in enemy territory. We’re not sure if Topps knew how popular these patches would be in 2023; nonetheless, this is still a remarkable card for any collection.

T-10. Shaquille O’Neal / Yao Ming / Andrew Bynum 2009-10 Exquisite All-NBA Access Triple Logoman 1/1 BGS 8.5 – $19,200

Shaq and Yao Ming were two of the most dominant big men during the 2000s, and Andrew Bynum had some promising young seasons as well. While the trio may not be the most likely combo, it is one of the few times we will see a triple Logoman of three seven-foot giants. It sold just shy of $20,000 in 2022 and remains one of the most unique basketball cards we have ever highlighted.

12. Shaquille O’Neal 2012-13 Panini Prizm Gold /10 BGS 9.5

Few modern sets have rivaled the relevancy and importance of 2012-13 Prizm Basketball. The product generated rookies of stars Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving, all while introducing a now-iconic set design. In turn, the silver and gold Prizms have become a mainstay in card collecting. This Shaq Prizm Gold blends well with the purple and gold Lakers uniform, and it is undoubtedly one of his best modern cards.

13. Shaquille O’Neal 2015-16 Immaculate Logoman 1/1 BGS 7.5 – $16,800

This is O’Neal’s final Logoman card on the list, but it contains what may be his earliest game-worn logo patch to date. Shaq only played for the Magic from 1992-1996, so securing a game-used jersey from this era is no easy task. This card encapsulates an iconic piece of sports memorabilia that won’t be resurfacing very often.

14. Shaquille O’Neal 1992 Stadium Club Beam Team “Members Only” Rookie PSA 10 – $16,323

At #14, we have the only Shaq rookie card on this list. The “Beam Team” insert from Topps Stadium Club was rolled out in 1992 (O’Neal’s rookie year), and it is still iconic and beloved today. The “Members Only” variant was reminiscent of Topps Tiffany parallels from the late 80s, making this card even more exclusive. This PSA 10 is one of 58 in existence, and it has sold for over $16,000 during a 2021 PWCC auction.

15. Shaquille O’Neal 1997 Skybox E-X2001 Jambalaya PSA 10 – $14,760

To round our list of most expensive Shaq cards off, we have this Jambalaya insert. This was yet another innovative byproduct of Skybox’s designs, and it’s one of the most sought-after die-cuts in all of sports cards. The black border and rounded edges make this card extremely condition sensitive, so a PSA 10 grade is nearly impossible. In fact, this is one of seven known Gem Mint 10s, and it is one of the most visually striking cards you will see.

Which one of the most expensive Shaq cards was your favorite? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter!

Popular Culture

The 19 Most Expensive Tennis Cards of All-Time

Are you wondering what the most expensive tennis cards of all-time are? Let’s get in to it!

Tennis is one of the most widely popular and recognized sports in the world. Just last year, the 2022 U.S. Open averaged 1.21 million users across the two-week tournament, marking a 50% increase from the previous year. Fans relish in the competitive back-and-forth between some of the greatest athletes in the world. In today’s game, there are several household names that have a wide following and a large collectibles market.

Related: The 68 Most Valuable Trading Cards Ever Sold

We’ve talked extensively about the history of NetPro Trading Cards, which has produced a large number of tennis sets and products. However, it’s important to note just how valuable some of these rookie and autographed cards are. Several tennis cards have broken the six-digit threshold, and we intend to highlight these alternative assets.

For the purposes of this list, we will only be allowing each individual card to appear once. Without further ado, let’s dive right in and showcase the 10 most expensive tennis cards of all time.

1. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro International Series Authentic Apparel Patch Autograph PSA 8/AUTO 10 – $266,400

Date of Sale: 5/22/22

2003 was a year in the hobby where we saw the origins of many generational athletes. In basketball, we got our first cards of LeBron James.  In soccer, we got RCs of Cristiano Ronaldo.  And in tennis, NetPro produced the first licensed rookies/autographs of Serena Williams. She is one of the most influential athletes ever, and this rare rookie patch autograph is a grail for many trading card collectors.

2. Roger Federer 2003 NetPro International Series Authentic Apparel Autograph /25 BGS 9.5 – $181,200

Date of Sale: 5/24/21

That same 2003 International Series also contains the first patch autograph of Roger Federer, a player whose name is etched on 20 Grand Slam trophies. The Swiss-born pro was once at the top of the world rankings for over 237 straight weeks, which speaks to his level of domination. This stunning Beckett 9.5 copy reached a final auction price of over $181,000 in 2021, and it is the definitive holy grail piece of one of the most recognizable names in tennis.

3. Serena Williams 1999 Sports Illustrated For Kids Series 4 Rookie PSA 10 – $117,000

Date of Sale: 3/21/22

Serena’s first-ever appearance on a card stems from the Sports Illustrated For Kids cutout section. Because these cards have perforated edges and are placed in a magazine, they are notoriously difficult to grade.

This PSA 10 copy is a rare anomaly, and there are only eight of these Serena rookies to achieve gem mint status. It sold for as high as $117,000 during a 2022 PWCC Premier auction but the most recent one sold for $32,400 in September of 2022.

4. Serena Williams NetPro Elite Glossy Rookie /100 PSA 10 – $96,000

Date of Sale: 1/24/22

Many collectors consider this to be Serena Williams’ “true” rookie card, as it is the first one to come from a pack-issued set. The 2003 NetPro Elite set features some of the most iconic players of all time, including Williams, Federer, and Nadal. The glossy parallel is also only limited to 100 copies, making it one of Serena’s rarest cards in existence. This POP-29 rookie sold for as high as $96,000 in January 2022.

The most recent copy sold in April of 2023 for $16,500.

5. Novak Djokovic 2006 Ace Authentic Center Court Stars Rookie Autograph PSA 10 – $65,000

Date of Sale: 9/22/22

Novak Djokovic is a Serbian-born tennis star who has certainly carved out a spot in the Mount Rushmore of the men’s circuit. His dominance atop the ATP’s World #1 ranking is one of the most remarkable feats in all of sports, and he has been instrumental in historic matches versus Federer and Nadal. This rookie autograph is a POP 8, and it’s undoubtedly Djokovic’s best trading card in existence.

6. Roger Federer 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy Rookie /100 PSA 10 – $52,127

Date of Sale: 2/5/22

Federer’s NetPro Elite rookie comes from the same set as Serena Williams’. The card showcases an iconic pose of the Swiss legend mid-serve, and the glossy backdrop gives this card unparalleled aesthetic appeal. Interestingly enough, this $52,000 rookie is #1/100, meaning it was the first card in the print run. Sometimes, the first or the last card in a print run will give the card a value boost, which works out in the seller’s case for this stunner. 

7. Naomi Osaka 2020 Topps Transcendent Hall of Fame Collection Autograph 1/1 BGS 9 – $40,590

In recent years, Naomi Osaka has emerged as one of the brightest stars in tennis. While she’s taken a break from the courts in the last few major circuits, her accomplishments and victories are extremely impressive for someone who just turned 25. This autographed card of Osaka comes from the Topps Transcendent set, which is one of the most prestigious in all of the Hobby. It’s a red 1/1 parallel, and it fetched a five-digit price tag in 2021.

8. Carlos Alcaraz 2022 NetPro International Series ‘03 Retro Rookie Patch Autograph PSA 8/AUTO 10 – $32,400

Date of Sale: 9/24/22

Carlos Alcaraz is a 19-year-old tennis phenom from El Palmar, Spain. He signed with NetPro as an exclusively licensed athlete in 2022, and he now has several collectible RPAs. This ‘03 throwback is seemingly his best, as it sold for a record $32,400 after Alcaraz won the 2022 U.S. Open.

T-9. 2016 Serena Williams Leaf Metal Superfractor National Pride Auto PSA 10 ($25,000)

Date of Sale: 2/17/22

This card is a 1/1, meaning they only made one of them. Making it even more special is the fact that it was graded a PSA 10, and the auto also received a 10. Leaf cards are not traditionally the cards to collect in the major sports, but this card is absolutely beautiful. It should be interesting to see what this card sells for if/when it comes back up on the market.

T-9. Rafael Nadal 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy Rookie /100 PSA 10 – $25,000

Date of Sale: 1/13/22

Much like the Roger Federer NetPro Elite card, this Rafael Nadal features the young star mid-serve with a gray backdrop. Just like his rival, this is another extremely valuable card, selling for $25,000 during a 2022 eBay auction.

11. Serena Williams 2018 Upper Deck Employee Exclusive Patch Autograph PSA 9/AUTO 10 – $22,800

Date of Sale: 1/9/22

Here we have a 2018 Upper Deck Employee Exclusive Serena Williams autograph. This card draws inspiration from the iconic 2003 Exquisite Basketball set, which has proved to be one of the most valuable in the Hobby. Over the years, other athletes have gotten their own ‘03 Exquisite patch auto, including Tiger Woods and Connor McDavid. Obviously, Serena deserves one as well, and it’s no surprise that this one sold for just shy of $23,000 in 2022.

12. 2003 Serena Williams Netpro PSA 10 ($14,483)

Date of Sale: 2/15/21

Here is another stunning sale that seemed at the time, at least on the surface, to be extremely confusing and almost too good to be true. This is the base Serena NetPro PSA 10, not the more rare glossy version. The print run on this card was relatively large. There are a ton of raw examples out there selling for around $25 at the time.

On the Card Talk Podcast (@cardtalkpod), a few days after this sale, the hosts speculated that it’s possible the buyer misunderstood what they were buying and thought they were getting the glossy version. However, all we can go on is the information presented, and it appears that this sale went through.

With that said, the last example of this card was sold on May 7, 2023 for just $56.20.

13. 2018 Naomi Osaka Sports Illustrated For Kids PSA 9 ($13,400)

Date of Sale: 2/24/21

When I originally wrote this article in late 2021, I had this to say:

“A PSA 9 SI For Kids card of Naomi Osaka selling for $13,400 is probably the most stunning sale on this entire list. Honestly, it makes no sense to me. While the future is bright for Osaka, she is not Serena… at least not yet… and she has quite a long way to go.

Serena’s PSA 10 SI for Kids sold for thousands less than Osaka’s PSA 9 in an apples-to-apples comparison. Somebody has to explain this purchase to me and why it makes sense in comparison to the rest of the cards I mentioned.”

Turns out I was right. A PSA 9 sold at PWCC on May 7th for $93.60, one of the more eye-popping percentage losses I have ever seen in sports cards.

T-14. 2008 Serena Williams Topps Allen Ginter Mini Frame Auto PSA 10 ($9000)

Date of Sale: 2/10/21

This card came in the 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball set, with the Serena Williams being part of the “framed autos” inserts that came in 1/277 packs. There were 37 athletes in “group A” of this insert, giving you about a 1/10,294 chance of getting one of these Serena cards in a pack.

This card is graded a PSA 10, and the auto also received a 10. The $9,000 price tag may seem like a lot of money at first glance, but in comparison to much less rare NetPro base cards, it may have been an absolute steal.

T-14. 2003 Roger Federer Netpro Elite /2000 PSA 10 ($9000)

Date of Sale: 2/19/21

This card was serial-numbered to 2000, but amazingly, there are only 214 of them that have been graded PSA 10’s in the population (194 PSA 9’s).

Even with the relative rarity of this card, the value has pulled back dramatically since this $9000 sale, with recent copies going for around $500-600.

16. 1966 Arthur Ashe Ruiz Romero PSA 5 ($5000)

• Date of Sale: 12/12/20

Arthur Ashe is the only black man to win the singles titles at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open, He was also the first to be selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team. Ashe retired in 1980 after a legendary career that saw him peak at number 2 in the world in May of 1976.

Sadly, he is also well known for contracting the HIV virus from a blood transfusion in 1983 and died in 1993 due to AIDS-related pneumonia.

There are only 3 of these cards in the entire world that are graded by PSA, and this PSA 5 has the highest grade of them all (the other two are PSA 2’s).

T-17. 2003 Venus Williams Netpro Elite Event Edition PSA 10 ($2000)

• Date of Sale: 2/16/21

The PSA graded population on this card is just 25. When you have a population this low, prices can get a little crazy when markets heat up. However, the price of this card is way down since this sale, with one most recently selling for just over $50.

There are actually two Venus Williams cards in this set, the base, and the “event edition.” The base is almost equally as rare, with only three PSA 10’s in the population.

T-17. 2005 Roger Federer Ace Signature Moments Auto PSA 10. ($2000)

Date of Sale: 1/31/21

Roger Federer. Rafael Nadal. Novak Djokovic. Pretty much every list of the “best male tennis players of all time” has these three at the top.

The PSA population of these cards is wildly low, with only 3 graded versions out there, and this being the only PSA 10. With that kind of rarity, this is another card that I believe could have a big run in the coming years.

19. 1991 Andre Agassi NetPro Tour Stars BGS 10 ($1500)

Date of Sale: 2/23/21

Some of the younger people who are reading this article won’t understand what a cultural icon that Andre Agassi was in the 1990s when his Nike sneakers were almost as popular as the Air Jordans, and his list of endorsements seemed never-ending.

The eight-time Grand Slam champion and 1996 USA Olympic team gold medalist had a legendary rivalry with Pete Sampras that was must-watch television, even for those who weren’t exactly huge tennis fans.

I would not be surprised if Agassi cards go on a big run in the coming years. Whoever bought this card for $1500 got a steal, in my opinion.


Bones in the Octagon: The Top Jon Jones Fights

Are you wondering what the top Jon Jones fights of all-time are? Let’s get in to it!

While issues outside of the Octagon have tarnished Jon ‘Bones’ Jones’ legacy in the eyes of some, there is little debating Jones’ place in UFC history as one of the pound-for-pound best fighters of all-time. He has dominated his way through two light-heavyweight title runs, and most recently has obtained heavyweight gold.

The only defeat on Jones’ record comes via disqualification from illegal strikes back in 2009. Currently the record holder for most title defenses, most wins, and longest winning streak in UFC light heavyweight history, here is a look at where Jones’ 21 UFC wins rank in order. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed21. Jon Jones vs. Andre Gusmao - UFC 87","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
21. Jon Jones vs. Andre Gusmao – UFC 87
Unanimous Decision

Jon Jones made his UFC debut at age 21 against Andre Gusmao. While there were some good back and forth moments early in this fight, this was also an incredibly raw version of Jones who was still learning to become a striker on the feet.

Jones used his advantage as a wrestler to take Gusmao down several times. Watching this back is pretty fun to see just how much Jones’ repertoire grew in a short period of time until his reign as champion.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed20. Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko - UFC Live","subhedTKO Round 1 (Elbows)</code>
20. Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko – UFC Live
TKO Round 1 (Elbows)

Jones barely broke a sweat securing Matyushenko to the mat before landing vicious elbows in a crucifix position for the first-round stoppage. From this fight going forward, Jones has only fought on UFC PPV events, a span of nearly 13 years.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed19. Jon Jones vs. Jake O’Brien - UFC 100","subhedSubmission Round 2 (Guillotine Choke)</code>
19. Jon Jones vs. Jake O’Brien – UFC 100
Submission Round 2 (Guillotine Choke)

At UFC 100, Jones secured his first victory inside the distance in the UFC over Jake O’Brien. Jones displayed good takedown defense in round one with the fight mostly staying on the feet.

In round two, Jones connected on a spinning elbow and locked in a guillotine choke when O’Brien attempted a takedown. Jones switched hands several times before securing it at an odd angle for his first UFC finish and submission. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed18. Jon Jones vs. Stephan Bonnar - UFC 94 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
18. Jon Jones vs. Stephan Bonnar – UFC 94
Unanimous Decision

In just his second UFC fight, Jones took on the late Stephan Bonnar. Jones connected on a spinning back elbow early in the fight and would secure seven of his ten takedown attempts to earn a unanimous decision victory over the veteran Bonner. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed17. Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera - UFC Live ","subhedTKO Rd 1 (Elbow)</code>
17. Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera – UFC Live
TKO Rd 1 (Elbow)

This was another relatively uneventful fight, as Jones quickly gets Vera on his back and begins to unload ground and pound. The fight ended midway through the first as Jones connected on a nasty elbow, scoring his first TKO victory in the UFC. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed16. Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen - UFC 159 ","subhedTKO Rd 1 (Punches)</code>
16. Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen – UFC 159
TKO Rd 1 (Punches)

Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter helped build momentum for this one, as Jones took on UFC veteran trash talker Chael Sonnen. Sonnen landed just six significant strikes and was taken down three times in round one. Jones rained down elbows and strikes from top position to earn a first round TKO in this one-sided beatdown. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed15. Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith - UFC 235 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
15. Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith – UFC 235
Unanimous Decision

This fight was controlled by Jones from start to finish, connecting on a staggering 238 of 287 total strikes thrown. Jones was able to use all of his weapons to dominate the fight however he wanted to. Jones mixed in front kicks, spinning body kicks, elbows, and takedowns to make it look easy against Smith. A two-point deduction for an illegal knee at the end of round four was irrelevant as Jones still won 48-44 on all three scorecards. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed14. Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader- UFC 126 ","subhedRound 2 Submission (Guillotine Choke)</code>
14. Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader- UFC 126
Round 2 Submission (Guillotine Choke)

With the hype beginning to grow, this was viewed by many as the first difficult test for Jones, taking on an unbeaten Ryan Bader at UFC 126. Jones nearly ended this fight on several occasions in round one via north-south choke and later with elbows and strikes. Bader survived to the bell, but could not escape a round two guillotine choke and was forced to tap.

Jones earned his first title shot following this dominant performance.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed13. Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gane - UFC 285 ","subhedRound 1 Submission (Guillotine Choke)</code>
13. Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gane – UFC 285
Round 1 Submission (Guillotine Choke)

This fight may not have been that eventful in terms of action, but the build up following a three year layoff, and a move to the heavyweight division, made this a special fight for Jones and many MMA fans. Jones entered this fight as a betting underdog, but quickly emerged as a favorite as the fight drew closer. J

ones easily finished Gane with a guillotine choke in round one to further his claim as the best pound for pound fighter in the UFC.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed12. Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux - UFC 197 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
12. Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux – UFC 197
Unanimous Decision

With over a year out of the octagon, Jones displayed some ring rust while still controlling this fight from start to finish. Jones won all five rounds on each of the judges’ scorecards, keeping Saint Preux at distance while mixing in spinning kicks, elbows, and takedowns.

Saint Preux connected on some right hands throughout the fight, but Jones always had a response and did enough to easily earn the unanimous decision.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed11. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 - UFC 232","subhedRound 3 TKO (Punches)</code>
11. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 – UFC 232
Round 3 TKO (Punches)

Five years after their epic first fight, Jones and Gustafsson met again with a bit more build up. Jones had clearly gone to school, correcting many of the openings that Gustafsson capitalized on in their first fight.

While this fight lacked the back and forth of their first meeting, this was also a reminder of why Jones is so great. Jones dominated and scored the TKO finish with heavy ground and pound in round three.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed10. Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson - UFC 135","subhedSubmission Round 4 (Rear naked choke)</code>
10. Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson – UFC 135
Submission Round 4 (Rear naked choke)

This was the first title defense for Jones against UFC legend Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Jones fought a technical fight early, staying at distance and avoiding big shots from Rampage. As Rampage began to slow down, Jones secured a takedown in round 4 which led to a rear naked choke submission for the win.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed9. Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes - UFC 247 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
9. Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes – UFC 247
Unanimous Decision

Dominick Reyes entered this contest as an undefeated fighter and landed more significant strikes than Jones in each of the first three rounds. Reyes was ahead on two of three scorecards after three rounds, but Jones was able to score takedowns and outstrike Reyes in each of the championship rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed8. Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira - UFC 172 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
8. Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira – UFC 172
Unanimous Decision

It is easy to forget this fight with so many big names on Jones list of title defenses. Glover Teixera was an absolute warrior through five rounds, making this one an instant classic. Teixera absorbed 138 significant strikes, including an uppercut that sent his mouthpiece flying, and three takedowns, to go the distance with Jones.

A bloodied and battered Teixera managed to respond each time he was hit with haymakers of his own all the way through the final bell. Although Jones was never really in danger of losing on the scorecards, Teixera made it an exciting five round fight with his willingness to trade shots while on the losing end of most exchanges. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed7. Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos - UFC 239","subhedSplit Decision</code>
7. Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos – UFC 239
Split Decision

Thiago Santos displayed a tremendous amount of heart after injuring his knee early in this fight. Described by Jones as a “high level chess match,” both fighters connected on several big leg kicks and punches throughout five rounds. Jones threw only 90 total strikes, shattering his previous low of 163 in any five-round title defense.

While the volume wasn’t there, Jones was accurate and efficient, connecting on 59 of those 90 with knees, elbows and kicks. In spite of one judge giving the fight to Santos, Jones did enough in the championship rounds to secure 48-47 victories on two scorecards for only split decision win of his career. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed6. Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans - UFC 145 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
6. Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans – UFC 145
Unanimous Decision

Jones handed Rashad Evans just his second loss in the UFC, in what was Jones’ third title defense. The fight took place primarily standing up with Jones using his ten inch reach advantage to control most of the action. Evans tried to secure a takedown later in the fight but was unsuccessful. Jones staggered Evans on several occasions and landed 116 total strikes to Evans 49 in a dominant display from Jones on the feet.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed5. Jon Jones vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua - UFC 128 ","subhedTKO Round 3 (Knee)</code>
5. Jon Jones vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua – UFC 128
TKO Round 3 (Knee)

Jones became the youngest UFC champion in the promotion’s history (23) with his victory over Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 128 in 2011. The fight was completely one-sided as Rua landed only 9 significant strikes. Jones thoroughly dominated this fight against a UFC legend, with big moments in round one. By the middle of round three, Rua was slowing down and eating big shots on the ground. Jones connected on a knee to the body and uppercut which backed up Rua to the fence, before a final shot to the body and devastating knee put Rua down just as referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop the fight.

It appeared that Rua was in the process of tapping when he hit the mat due to the accumulation of strikes. A flawless performance and display of greatest from the new 23-year old light-heavyweight champion. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed4. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 1 - UFC 182 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
4. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 1 – UFC 182
Unanimous Decision

Jones vs. Cormier moves up the chartsi because of the pure hatred throughout the length of their rivalry. If you are looking for entertainment, go back and watch all of the interviews and press conferences leading up to both fights between these two. Jones would go on to thank Cormier after their second fight (a Jones third round KO) as being his greatest “rival and motivator.” 

While the second fight was eventually overturned after Jones’ positive test for a banned substance, both fights produced moments for each fighter and plenty of excitement. In their first meeting, Jones began to wear down Cormier midway through the fight and slowly took control. Jones controlled Cormier for nearly seven minutes on the ground and landed 34 more significant strikes to win all but one round on each of the three judges’ scorecards. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed3. Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort - UFC 152 ","subhedSubmission Round 4 (Keylock)</code>
3. Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort – UFC 152
Submission Round 4 (Keylock)

Jones faced true danger for the first time in his UFC career, surviving a first-round scare after Vitor Belfort locked in an arm bar. “I’ve never had my arm popped like that before… I was waiting for it to break. I was not going to tap. I’ve never felt that before,” Jones said after the fight.

Jones bounced back to secure a submission of his own in the first minute of round four and retain his light heavyweight title. 

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed2. Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida - UFC 140 ","subhedTechnical Submission Round 2 (Standing Guillotine)</code>
2. Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida – UFC 140
Technical Submission Round 2 (Standing Guillotine)

Jones was rocked several times by Machida in round one before opening a cut above Machida’s eye in round two which seemed to swing the fight. Near the end of round two, Jones had Machida against the cage and began working a modified standing guillotine choke.

The awkward angle put Machida out hard, with little that referee John McCarthy could have done to prevent Machida from hitting the canvas face down as Jones dropped him. By far the most brutal finish of Jones’ career.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed1. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 1 - UFC 165 ","subhedUnanimous Decision</code>
1. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 1 – UFC 165
Unanimous Decision

After finishing eight of his previous nine nights via finish, the expectation was a similar fate for Gustafsson heading into Jones’ 7th consecutive title defense. Gustafsson surprised many with his ability to push the pace forward and land strikes on Jones in a way no other fighter had consistently done previously. Jones was cut in round one and even taken down for the first time in his career. Gustaffson was up by one round on two of three scorecards heading into round four.

A theme throughout Jones career in later fights was his ability to win the championship rounds, and his first true back against the wall moment to do that was against Gustaffson. Jones responded in rounds four and five to earn the unanimous decision victory.


Every LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Set, Ranked

So you’re wondering what the best LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy sets of all-time are?! Let’s get right in to it!

With the conclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy upon us, I thought it’d be fun to take a walk down memory lane and revisit every LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy set that’s been released to date!

Related: Every LEGO Black Panther Set Ranked

LEGO has given us a ton of sets based off of these intergalactic heroes, so to help set some rules, this list will only contain sets directly tied to the Guardians of the Galaxy films and sets that primarily center around Guardians characters. 

22. The Guardian’s Ship Polybag (30525)

This set was released during the Avengers: Infinity War wave, which if you were a Marvel fan at the time, you’ll recall how hyped that summer was. Personally, I was buying everything from LEGO and Marvel that I could at the time, and this polybag was no exception. It’s nothing to write home about, but definitely emblematic of a great summer to be a fan! 

21. The Milano Polybag (30449)

Similar to the last entry, this was a simple little build to whet your appetite for the bigger builds from Volume 2. While not particularly rare or valuable, this set was a little difficult to find in stores back in the day. 

20. Teen Groot Keychain Polybag (5005244)

Keychains are often a point of conversation between completionist Lego collectors. Do you need every keychain on every variant packaging for a complete collection? That could be an entirely separate argument, but for brevity, I’m counting this one on the list since it came in a unique polybag packaging as opposed to the usual hangtag that keychains come on. This one is also unique in that it has an exclusive face print for Groot compared to the minifigure released in the Infinity War sets. 

19. Rocket Raccoon Polybag (5002145)

This polybag is often considered a grail amongst Lego customizers, not for its rarity, but rather for Rocket’s printed arms. These arms look great on most Iron Man armors as well as Star-Lord minifigures! It came with a sticker sheet, too, that could be used to upgrade your Milano set (which we’ll cover a little further down on this list.) 

18. Mighty Micros Star-Lord vs Nebula (76090)

Newer collectors may not remember the short-lived Mighty Micros theme, but the Guardians had one entry in the kid-geared line of mini cars. This one had a carbonized Star-Lord and Nebula facing off in their mini racers, and I particularly liked the inclusion of the printed cassette piece! 

17. Guardians of the Galaxy Headquarters (76253)

Released as the least expensive set in the Volume 3 wave, this $10 set packed a lot of punch. Including an exclusive Groot minifig and a new Star-Lord, this was a neat entry-level set that doesn’t leave a ton to talk about, but definitely had a lot of heart with the few pieces it has to offer. 

16. The Collector SDCC 2014 Exclusive Minifigure

Released as an exclusive to lucky attendees at SDCC 2014, this minifig represents The Collector from the first Guardians film. This was limited to about 1,000 in circulation, making it one of the toughest to get minifigures in the entire Marvel theme. 

15. Baby Rocket’s Ship – Vol. 3 (76254)

Another set from Volume 3, this was the sole set to include Rocket Raccoon – and it even included him twice! One version is the adult Rocket, while the other is a Baby Rocket, which is totally adorable and makes the set very memorable. Unfortunately, with just two minifigs (both representing the same character) there wasn’t a ton of story or play value attached to this set. 

14. Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar (76231)

This was a creative way for LEGO to offer a “set” for the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special released on Disney+ in 2022. This gave a Guardians twist on the classic LEGO advent calendar, offering several neat builds and even a few exclusive minifigures. 

13. Guardians of the Galaxy BrickHeadz (41626, 41606 & 41607)

It’s hard to rank the BrickHeadz since they’re all relatively similar and open to subjectivity when it comes to favorites. Personally, I like the Rocket build the best, but since he comes with Groot in the same set, it’s easier just to put all four BrickHeadz on the same ranking! 

12. Ravager Attack – Vol. 2 (76079)

This was a neat set that throws back to the “Southern Nights” scene from Volume 2, but unfortunately it wasn’t super accurate. It did include two exclusive minifigures in Taserface and Mantis, which definitely scored this set some points back in the day. 

11. Rocket Raccoon’s Warbird SDCC 2014 Exclusive

Similar to The Collector mentioned before, this was an exclusive that some lucky SDCC attendees obtained at the 2014 convention. This was a neat miniaturized build of Rocket’s warbird, which also contained the same Rocket minifigure from the polybag earlier on this list (except without the tail, since he wouldn’t be able to fit in the cockpit with the tail on!) 

10. Thor’s Weapon Quest – Infinity War (76102)

This is one of my favorite sets from the entire Infinity War wave in terms of nostalgia. It’s hard to believe that for $20, you got Teen Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Thor along with a small forge side build and the escape pod from the film. Keep this set in the back of your mind as we continue the list… 

9. Ayesha’s Revenge – Vol. 2 (76080)

Another entry from Volume 2, this was a neat set that included a scaled-down version of Yondu’s mining ship from the finale of the second Guardians film. The inclusion of the exclusive Ayesha and Yondu minifigs make this set a standout, however, it does sit a little ill with LEGO fans because it started a trend where the Guardians’ Lego sets neglect to include the main villain of the film (in this case, Kurt Russell’s Ego) 

8. I Am Groot – Infinity Saga (76217)

I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of this set, but I know a lot of LEGO collectors enjoy this set and I wanted to take that into consideration when compiling this list. This is a buildable figure of everyone’s favorite baby tree, and while it looks pretty good on a shelf, I find that the balance is a little off and doesn’t quite fit with the aesthetic I enjoy having on my LEGO shelves. It’s a nice set, just not my favorite of all-time. 

7. Starblaster Showdown – Vol. 1 (76019)

The cheapest set from the first Guardians film, this was a neat set to get us interested in the Guardians sub-theme back in 2014. I remember getting this set and building it at the kitchen table of my parents’ house a week or two before leaving for college and enjoying the finished product a lot. As fate would have it, I started MiniSuperHeroesToday just a few months later… who could’ve ever known! 

6. Thanos: Ultimate Battle – Infinity War (76107)

This set was a fan favorite from the Infinity War wave if for no other reason than the debut inclusion of the Thanos MCU-style big fig. The sets from this wave each included an Infinity Stone, which prompted collectors to get every set from the wave to complete Thanos’ gauntlet. The build itself was a massive orange spaceship that could be attached to the escape pod mentioned earlier in the list, making it one of the very few LEGO Marvel sets that is directly compatible with another set from the theme. This was definitely a cool feature, and something I wish LEGO would offer more often. 

5. Knowhere Escape Mission – Vol. 1 (76020)

The most memorable element in this set is the buildable Groot figure, who by today’s standards is honestly a little odd. The set also included Rocket Raccoon in his orange jumpsuit as well as Nebula and a Sakaarian to battle against, and was definitely one of the better location-based sets ever offered from the Guardians theme. 

4. The New Guardians’ Ship – Vol. 3 (76255)

The most expensive set from the Volume 3 wave was almost a perfect set! The unique blue and pink color scheme makes this one stand out, not to mention the massive amount of space it commands on collectors’ shelves. Pair that with the wide array of Guardians minifigs included and the exclusive Adam Warlock minifig, this makes for a great set to represent the closing chapter of the franchise. That said, a lot of fans (myself included) were disappointed that it did not include Gamora or the High Evolutionary, both of which are pivotal characters in the film and who were not included in any other set from the wave. 

3. The Milano vs Abilisk – Vol. 2 (76081)

The opening of the Volume 2 film is among the most memorable of any Marvel film to me. Set to Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” having Baby Groot dance around while the team does what they do best is iconic, and this LEGO set throws back to that scene perfectly. The Milano included here is scared down compared to the next entry on this list, but it still delivered big time and made for a memorable set back in 2017. 

2. The Milano Spaceship Rescue – Vol. 1 (76021)

I think this set is massively underappreciated in the LEGO Marvel theme, meaning it definitely deserves some love here. It included almost entirely exclusive minifigures, a huge build, and a detailed interior, all for just $75! To put it in context, can you imagine this set releasing exactly as it is shown here in the present day for $75? There’s absolutely no way, and that makes this set a massive win in my book. 

1. The Guardians’ Ship – Infinity Saga (76193)

Building off of the last point, this set shows exactly what LEGO can do when given a larger budget and piece count to work with. This set’s price was double the last entry’s price, clocking in at $150, but it is hands-down the best Guardians of the Galaxy set to ever hit store shelves. It included almost every member of the post-Endgame team, had a detailed interior, great scaling, and it even included a stand to help display it flying above the other sets on your LEGO shelf. This one was an absolute masterpiece, and definitely one of the strongest LEGO Marvel sets ever!