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Bill Russell rookie card sells for $660K at auction, third-most expensive vintage basketball card of all time

A 1957 rookie card of the late, great Bill Russell sold for $660,000 at an auction Thursday, according to PWCC Marketplace.

Russell's card went for the third-most money of all time among pre-1980 vintage basketball, according to Card Ladder via ESPN. The other cards are a 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie card, which sold for $800,000 in March 2022 and a 1961 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain rookie card, which sold for $670,000 in June 2022.

Bill Russell is one of, if not the most, decorated NBA player of all time. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Bill Russell is one of, if not the most, decorated NBA player of all time. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) (Mike Lawrie via Getty Images)

Russell died on July 31 at the age of 88. He is perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time after he won 11 NBA championships, five MVPs, an Olympic gold medal and made 12 All-Star appearances during his 13 seasons for the Boston Celtics from 1956-69. Russell served as the Celtics' coach for the final three years of his career — becoming the first Black head coach in the history of the NBA.

The league retired his No. 6 jersey after his death.

Russell auctioned off most of his NBA memorabilia in 2021, which included trophies, rings, basketballs, jerseys, letters and photos from his time in the league. The collection sold for around $9 million, per ESPN, and Russell donated a portion of the proceeds to two nonprofits in Boston: MENTOR, which Russell cofounded, and Boston Celtics United for Social Justice.