Carmelo Anthony rookie cards have been a fixture in the hobby spotlight since his NBA debut and his cards remain popular with collectors. While the individual accolades were there for Anthony, team success has been a struggle.
This lack of titles is the main reason why Carmelo Anthony rookie cards have not approached the same levels as his fellow 2003 NBA Draftees, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Still, many cards regularly see big values, especially his high-end rookies.
The following list includes the best Carmelo Anthony rookie cards. While geared toward his earliest autographed options, it includes some of his more mainstream rookie cards, as well.
Top Carmelo Anthony Rookie Cards
10. 2003-04 Bowman Chrome Carmelo Anthony RC #140
This rookie card from Bowman Chrome represents one of the cheapest options for collectors to own a top Carmelo Anthony rookie card. As expected, Bowman Chrome is more about the parallels. Popular options include Refractors (#/300), X-Fractors (#/150), and Gold Refractors (#/50).
9. 2003-04 Topps Chrome Carmelo Anthony RC #113
2003-04 Topps Chrome Basketball offers a key Carmelo Anthony rookie card for collectors. Higher-value parallels include Refractors, Black Refractors (#/500), X-Fractors (#/220), and Gold Refractors (#/50).
8. 2003-04 Bowman Signature Edition Carmelo Anthony RC #77 Autograph Jersey #/1,170
A high print run and sticker autograph make the Carmelo Anthony rookie card in Bowman Signature Edition a strong option for collectors looking for a more affordable autograph card. A gold parallel, numbered to 99, commands slightly higher values.
7. 2003-04 Topps Contemporary Collection Carmelo Anthony RC Autograph #/499
Featuring a huge signature area, appealing design and mid-level print run, the Carmelo Anthony rookie card in Topps Contemporary Collection represents the best overall value for collectors. There is also a red parallel that is limited to 50.
6. 2003-04 Topps Finest Carmelo Anthony RC #163 Autograph #/999
Another autographed Carmelo Anthony rookie card with a high print run, collectors are drawn to the bright colors and the Finest brand recognition. Despite the sticker autograph, values remain strong for this 2003-04 Topps Finest Basketball card. Collectors have also shown great attention to the Refractor (#/250) and Gold Refractor (#/25) parallels.
5. 2003-04 Hoops Hot Prospects Carmelo Anthony RC #95 Autograph Jersey #/400
These cards don't seem to pop up as often as other Carmelo Anthony rookie cards, so the awareness factor is likely lower than you might expect. With a small jersey piece, trapped autograph and a print run of 400, they represent another solid value for collectors.
4. 2003-04 SPx Carmelo Anthony RC #153 Autograph Jersey #/750
Like a prototype that was never meant to leave the lab, Carmelo Anthony's SPx rookie card seems like the rough draft of a final product. The busy layout is very similar to the Hoops card above, but a little more choppy. Despite these deficiencies and a higher print run, these cards still carry strong values.
3. 2003-04 SP Authentic Carmelo Anthony RC #150 Autograph #/500
SP Authentic is another great option for collectors. The bronze background is a little distracting but a nice on-card autograph and mid-level print run still make it a solid rookie card. Limited parallels (#/50) command a premium when they surface.
2. 2003-04 Ultimate Collection Carmelo Anthony RC #129 Autograph #/250
Ultimate Collection will never surpass Exquisite for top rookie honors, but this Carmelo Anthony rookie might be the best-looking card on the list. Serial numbered to only 250 copies, this appealing card is a great consolation if can't afford the Exquisite Collection rookie.
1. 2003-04 Exquisite Collection Carmelo Anthony RC #76 Autograph Jersey #/99
2003-04 Exquisite Collection Basketball is always home to the top option for any rookie fortunate enough to be a part of the inaugural release. This is doubly true for a superstar player like Carmelo Anthony. Limited to only 99, this top Carmelo Anthony rookie card features a nice on-card autograph and jersey patch.