Kyrie Irving Rookie Cards Checklist and Guide
It was a long time coming for official Kyrie Irving rookie cards. With the lockout shortening the 2011-12 NBA season, Panini opted to go with a double-rookie class in their 2012-13 products. That meant an extra year for the first Kyrie Irving rookies to hit the market.
And now they're here.
The first pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Irving was the league's Rookie of the Year. In his first season, the guard averaged 18.5 points per game. He's the Cavaliers' cornerstone as they look to rebuild following the free agent departure of LeBron James.
Collectors can expect to see Duke alumnus as a centerpiece in all of Panini's 2012-13 products. By season's end, there will likely be Kyrie Irving rookie cards at all price points, including autographs and memorabilia cards. Irving does have a couple of cards produced in 2011-12, although they are not considered official rookies. These are highlighted below along with all of the official Kyrie Irving rookie cards.
We will continue to update this page as more Kyrie Irving rookie cards are released.
Kyrie Irving Rookie Card Guide
Please note, this is an ongoing list that will be added to as more 2012-13 basketball card sets are released and Kyrie Irving has more rookie cards.
The first official Kyrie Irving rookie card on the market, it will also be one of the most affordable. 2012-13 NBA Hoops is an entry-level brand aimed at broad audiences. While the card may never bring huge dollars, it still boasts an attractive design with a nice action photo. For those looking for a chase, the 2012-13 NBA Hoops Kyrie Irving autograph parallel moves very well on the secondary market.
Like NBA Hoops, 2012-13 Panini offers a straight-forward option for collectors. Although printed with a little higher quality than the Hoops card, prices should remain fairly low.
Headlined by an on-card signature and a low print run, the 2012-13 Panini Absolute Kyrie Irving rookie card will likely be one of his most popular. Like several of his rookie cards, it is available via redemption.
Although 2012-13 Panini Contenders Basketball abandoned the Rookie Ticket concept, one of the set's highlights remain the abundant rookie autographs. Although inserted in packs as a redemption, it didn't take too long for redeemed cards to surface.
The main draw on the 2012-13 Panini Elite Kyrie Irving is its serial number. Limited to 599 copies, it hovers in that nice area of being available but not too readily so. The lack of autograph should keep the price reasonable over the long-term. It's one of the better options for those who don't have the budget or desire to chase after high-end rookie cards.
The 2012-13 Panini Limited Kyrie Irving rookie card comes in packs as a redemption. When ready the final card will feature a die-cut acetate design meant to look like the NBA's Rookie of the Year trophy. The unique design, on-card autograph and low numbering combine to make one of Irving's top rookies.
2012-13 Panini Marquee Basketball has no shortage of rookie cards. Kyrie Irving has five different base cards in the set, all of which are distinct from one another. Card #161 uses an effect Panini dubbed Swirlorama. #241 is done on Black Holoboard. Die-cut lettering is the highlight of #321. The most popular cards in the set are the Leather rookies. Irving is #401. Finally, there's #471, which uses a plastic card stock.
As the name suggests, 2012-13 Panini Past & Present gives off a retro vibe. For Kyrie Irving collectors, that means his rookie card is about as straightforward as it comes. As a result, it's a sharp-looking but very affordable option.
The 2012-13 Panini Prestige Kyrie Irving rookie card is another simple but attractive option. It doesn't rely on numbering, an autograph, memorabilia swatch or other selling points. Rather, it's all about the clean design and popularity of the set itself. It will likely never command huge sums, making it accessible to collectors with any budget. Like NBA Hoops, autographs and rare parallels provide the chase.
Most are likening 2012-13 Panini Prizm as the company's spin on Topps Chrome. The chromium design is the star here. This should be one of the top Kyrie Irving rookie card options outside of the high-end autographs and low-numbered cards. Refractor-like Prizms parallels are also popular.
The 2012-13 Panini Threads Kyrie Irving rookie card comes autographed. What makes it more unique is that it's printed on wood card stock. The result is a striking look unlike any of the guard's other first cards.
Part of the Glass Rookies subset in 2012-13 Panini Timeless Treasures, Kyrie Irving's rookie comes numbered to 399. Although it's a bit of a short print, it's still one of his more plentiful autographed rookies. The autographed sticker is displayed with a clear window, making it visible from both the front and back.
Totally Certified's etched foil design is definitely one of the hobby's most distinct. It might not be for everyone, but it has a strong following. Without the inclusion of a signature, memorabilia swatch or serial number, the card should remain affordable for the foreseeable future.
Other Early Kyrie Irving Cards of Note
Because Panini opted not to include rookies in their 2011-12 products because of the lockout-shortened season, Kyrie Irving's only somewhat widely available card from his first season was a promo. Given to attendees at the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention, it was part of Panini's VIP set. The sets were included in goodie bags given to those who paid for the premium admission. Usually, these convention promos are met with mixed results on the secondary market. But because of the lack of rookie options in 2011-12, this Irving card has really caught on.
The 2011 Panini Rated Rookie Kyrie Irving wasn't available to the general public. Rather, it was handed out at an Ohio basketball camp the guard hosted in November, 2011. The card is extremely rare and will likely be considered one of Irving's most important cards.
Rookie redemptions came inserted in boxes of 2011-12 Panini Gold Standard Basketball. Redemption cards were not assigned a name until a random draft.
Like the Gold Standard card, 2011-12 Panini Limited autograph redemptions randomly assigned at the start of the 2012-13 NBA campaign.