The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving might make the news due to his love of conspiracy theories, but there’s no denying his on-court abilities.
A seven-time All-Star and three-time member of the All-NBA Team, he won a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.
Here’s a rundown with five of the best Kyrie Irving rookie cards to collect, from base cards to the rarest RPAs.
The Best Kyrie Irving Rookie Cards
Kyrie Irving rookie cards were released in 2012-13. He was included in most sets after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
(The delay was due to a lockout shortening the 2011-12 NBA season, so there was a double rookie class the year after.)
5. 2012-13 Panini Prizm Kyrie Irving RC #4 (eBay)
2012-13 Panini Prizm is always going to be popular with rookie card collectors, and this Kyrie Irving auto is no exception. (Irving was named as the Rookie of the Year in 2012.)
The card features a simple action shot of Irving for the Cavs, with a stickered auto and a detailed chromium finish. There’s a sole Silver Prizm parallel limited to 25 copies, which works out to be reasonably valuable.
- Parallels: Silver Prizms #/25 (Hobby)
4. 2012-13 Panini Flawless Kyrie Irving RC #2 (eBay)
2012-13 Panini Flawless features a range of ultra high-end Kyrie Irving rookie cards, such as this option found in the Rookie Autographs subset. (Boxes originally retailed for $1,250, and this was a decade ago.)
An on-card auto and a minuscule print run of 25 make it the rarest on the list overall. Then there are the parallels, including a Gold version numbered to 10 copies.
- Parallels: Ruby #/15, Gold #/10, Emerald #/5, Platinum 1/1
3. 2012-13 Panini Prizm Kyrie Irving RC #201 (eBay)
Back to Panini Prizm, and the 2012-13 base set. The chromium finish makes the set instantly recognisable, and the Prizm parallels have proven to be especially popular. (You’ll see an example of the Silver version above.)
Despite the lack of a serial number or an autograph, these are some of the more collectible Kyrie RCs you’re likely to find.
- Parallels: Silver (2 per Hobby box), Green (1:10 Retail packs), Gold #/10 (Hobby)
2. 2012-13 Immaculate Collection Kyrie Irving RPA RC #KI (eBay)
The 2012-13 Immaculate Collection is where you’ll find various premium Kyrie Irving RPAs that are worth large amounts when graded. Limited to only 100 copies, the Patch Autographs subset is a great place to start.
The debut for a brand that primarily focuses on swatches, the clean design includes acetate stock, and full-bleed corners. Befitting the premium price tag, the auto is on-card, and it would compliment almost any Kyrie collection.
1. 2012-13 Immaculate Collection Kyrie Irving RPA #KI (eBay)
Sticking with the 2012-13 Immaculate Collection, this jumbo patch is arguably the top pick overall when looking at Kyrie RCs.
In fact, the patch is so large that it gives the rest of the card a slightly cluttered design, as it uses a landscape layout to fit everything.
The on-card signature, patch piece and low print run (75) make it one of his most valuable options.
Kyrie Irving Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide
What do we think of the current market for the best Kyrie Irving rookie cards?
There are lots of affordable Kyrie RCs that can be grabbed for cheaper prices, even 10 years after their original release date. For example, here are a few PSA graded base cards that have recently sold for next to nothing:
As we’ve already noted, Irving was the first pick in 2011, so he was featured on numerous base cards and inserts when the season restarted after lockouts.
The Immaculate RPAs have proven to be some of the most valuable options on the market as of 2022. It’s easy to forget that they were released over a decade ago, and prices are beginning to creep up past the four figure mark.
Kyrie Irving Rookie Cards: Final Thoughts
Irving is a big character, and recently opted into the final year of his deal with the Nets, despite being the frequent subject of trade rumors during the offseason.
The moment Irving refused the COVID-19 vaccine and made himself ineligible for every home game, his team was always going to run into issues. However, the NBA announced in a league-wide memo that it will not have a vaccine mandate next season.
It’s fair to say that he can be polarizing. He does have a large number of fans who are willing to collect his very best rookie cards.