In 1891, James Naismith nailed a pair of peach baskets to the opposite walls of a gymnasium at Springfield College in Massachusetts and invented the forerunner to what we know today as basketball. Despite these 19th-century roots, the National Basketball Association didn’t come into existence until 1948, and the NBA did not merge with its rival American Basketball Association until 1976. Still, there’s no shortage of collectible vintage basketball memorabilia.

Unlike other popular American sports such as baseball, football, and hockey, which require a great deal of space and equipment, basketball can be played by just about any school child, which is what’s made it so popular in the United States and throughout the world. The game’s global and mass-appeal makes memorabilia associated with many of the game’s biggest stars among the most sought-after items in all of sports collecting. Indeed, the player who’s widely considered the greatest athlete in all of American sports—Michael Jordan—was a basketball player.

Beyond the obvious appeal of Jordan, basketball has thrived thanks to its fierce rivalries. In college it’s North Carolina versus Duke, while in the NBA it’s the Boston Celtics versus the Los Angeles Lakers. Combined, those two teams have won more than half of all NBA championships (33) and account for quite a laundry list of memorable, and collectible, players. Bill Russell, John Havlicek, and Larry Bird, to name but a few, have all called Boston home, while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and, more recently, Kobe Bryant have shot jumpers and played defense for L.A.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Remember the ABA

Remember the ABA

Remember the ABA chronicles the colorful history of the NBA’s short-lived competitor, the American Basketball Ass… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Michael Jordan 2008/09 Ud Black Nba 50 Greatest On Card Autograph Sp Auto #14/50Michael Jordan 98-99 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gem #40/50! Bgs 8.5! Sp! Wow!1986-87 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Rc Rookie Hof Bgs 9.5 W/ 10 Centered2008-09 Exquisite Enshrinements Michael Jordan Lebron James Dual Auto 12/232009-10 Exquisite Exclusives Michael Jordan Lebron James Auto Patch 15/23 Bgs2004-05 Upper Deck Spx Winning Materials Michael Jordan Autograph Auto Jersey1998-99 Fleer Tradition Michael Jordan Playmakers Theatre #9 Bgs 8.5 W/ 9.5 /1001997-98 Ud Game Jersey Michael Jordan - Psa 9 - Low Pop Report2015 The Bar Hardcourt Artistry Michael Jordan Letter Patch Cut Auto 1/1 Bgs 9.51996-97 Topps Finest Gold Refractor Kobe Bryant Rc Psa 10 *rare*Michael Jordan 05/06 Ultimate Collection Signatures Bgs 9 Mint 10 Auto !!1987-88 Fleer Basketball Unopened Wax Pack Box Sealed1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Hof Bulls Psa 8 *569005Jabari Parker 2014-15 National Treasures Nba Logoman Rookie Card #4/5 Sick Card!Rare Champion Nba Reggie Miller Indiana Pacers Authentic Jersey 442002/03 Sp Game Used Kobe Bryant/kevin Garnett Dual Auto Autograph 3/61986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Rookie Rc #57 Of 132! Rare Psa 9 Mint2009-10 National Treasures Blake Griffin Rc Nba Logoman 1/1 Clipper Logo #'d 5/5Tim Hardaway Champion 1992 Nba All Star Game 42 +2 Pro Cut Jersey Shorts WarriorMichael Jordan 1986-87 Fleer Bgs 8 Nm-mt Rookie Card Great Subgrades 2-9 Grades 1986 Fleer Basketball #57 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Rc Rookie Hof Psa 7 NmMichael Jordan 96-97 Fleer Thrill Seekers 3d Very Rare Insert Card1999 Ud Mj Master Collection Michael Jordan Bulls Hof Auto 28/50 Psa 10 Gem Mint1986 Fleer Psa 5 #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Unreal Grade For The Condition.Rare Nike Nba Rasheed Wallace Portland Trail Blazers Authentic Jersey 442000 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Final Shot Game-used Floor Auto 60/100 - Bgs 9/101986 - 87 Fleer #57 Michael JordanChampion Nba 1993-94 Chris Webber Golden State Warriors Game Jersey Sz 52 +31957 Topps Basketball #77 Bill Russell Rc Rookie Hof Psa 8 Oc " Sharp Corners "Michael Jordan Uda Autographed Nike Rare Air Playoff Bred 11 (sample Pe Og Ds)2006-07 Sp Authentic Michael Jordan Lebron James Dr. J Jersey Auto 7/15 Bgs 9.5Michael Jordan Signed /autographed Spalding Nba Game Basketball Uda Upper Deck Michael Jordan Autographed Signed Auto Spalding Nba Official Game Basketball Coa2007-08 Ultra Se Michael Jordan Autographics #aumj Auto Bgs 9.5/10 On CardMichael Jordan Signed / Autographed 8x10 Photo Slam Dunk Gatorade Framed Uda Coa2014/15 Panini Flawless Larry Bird Gold Greats Dual Patch Auto 02/10 2colShaquille O'neal 1998-99 Spx Grand Finale Gold Die-cut Insert 9/50 LakersAdidas Swingman Nba Jersey Lakers Kobe Bryant Gold Sz M1986-87 Fleer # 57 Michael Jordan Rookie Bgs 9.5 Plus 10 Edges2007-08 Exquisite Collection Kobe Bryant Lakers Quad Jersey Auto 2/102006 E-x Essential Credentials Now Kobe Bryant Bgs 9.5 Rare! 07/17Rare Champion Nba Keith Van Horn New Jersey Nets Authentic Jersey 441986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rc Rookie Hof Sgc 92 Nm-mt+ 8.5 " Looks Nicer "2007-08 Ultra Se Michael Jordan Autographics #aumj Auto Bgs 9.5/10 On CardKobe Bryant 98-99 Fleer Ultra Platinum Medallion 97/991999-00 Upper Deck Ionix Kobe Bryant Ud Authentics Auto Card Sp Rare1988-89 Fleer Basketball Unopened Wax Pack Box Sealed1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card Sgc 92 Nm/mt+ 8.51996-97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Rc Rookie Psa 10Draymond Green Championship Bobblehead, Lakers Game 11/24/20151997-98 Ultra Star Power Supreme #sps3 Kobe Bryant Super Rare Mint $$$Vintage Authentic Julius Erving Dr. J 1978 Nba All Star Game Sand Knit Jersey 441997-98 Z-force Big Men On Court Michael Jordan Bgs 8.5 #9Michael Jordan Autographed Signed Ncu Chicago Bulls Rare Jersey Xl Coa1999 Upper Deck Century Legends Kareem Abdul Jabbar Auto Card 41/1001986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card Rc Sgc 92 (8.5) Nm/mt+Michael Jordan Auto Bird Malone Rodman Allen Kidd Lot Of 6 All-time GreatsKobe Bryant 99-00 Ud Gold Reserve Ud Authentics Signature Auto1986 Fleer Sticker #8 Michael Jordan Psa 10 Gem Mint Rookie Rc2008-09 Ud Premier Kobe Bryant Marquee Stars Auto #03/10 Bgs 9.5 Auto 10