Game programs are one of the biggest bargains in sports memorabilia. The vast majority are budget priced, even those from many years ago. None may offer as much value in a publication, though, as NBA All-Star Game programs.
The league's greatest players convene but once a year. The 1950s gave us George Mikan, and later Bill Russell and Bob Cousy. The '60s had Wilt and Oscar. The '70s brought us Pistol Pete, Clyde the Glide and the'80s launched the Jordan/Bird/Magic era. The NBA All-Star Game is a showcase for greatness. The one constant from a collecting standpoint have been the ticket stubs and programs that attendees brought home.
Keep in mind that the number of fans in attendance pales in comparison to baseball's annual Midsummer Classic. While 45 or 50,000 may see baseball's All-Star Game, NBA arenas usually didn't seat that many back in the early days. Most times, the NBA All-Star Game is played in front of less than 20,000. At times through history, attendance was much less than that. That means there aren't that many surviving programs left from those early days. In later years, the print run has increased a bit, keeping values lower--but there still aren't that many around. In our humble opinion, the program is better than a trading card which has just a front and a back. The program tells a story. Who played. Where the game was. The history. Ads that take us back in time. If the program is scored, it might even tell the story of the game.
The first NBA All-Star Game was played in 1951. It's a rare one, but we do see 1952 and '53 programs on eBay sometimes. A '52, signed by Cousy and Mikan recently sold for $610. Two '53 programs from the game in Fort Wayne (that's where the Pistons played prior to moving to Detroit) sold for $867 and $1,052 a week apart.
The '59 program in Detroit? Worth about $300-400. The 1965 NBA All-Star game was in St. Louis, home of the Hawks. Three programs from that game sold in a short period of time for $200-250.
Only about 12,000 attended the 1969 game, but that program is worth a little less.
The real bargains in NBA All-Star programs are in the '70s and '80s. The' 73, '76 and '77 editions are very common. Too many were made and you can find them for less than $50, sometimes much less. They're still cool, even if they'll not likely gain a lot of value in the coming years.
Even programs from Michael Jordan's first NBA All-Star game or those from the early Bird/Magic years are cheap...less than $20 for most. It's a great niche to start collecting. You can build quite a collection of little conversation pieces for not that much money.
1982 NBA All Star Game Program (nm) with Official Press Pass
Time Remaining: 12h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $95.00
1988 (2/6-7) NBA All-Star Weekend Basketball Program, Chicago Stadium ~ unscored
Time Remaining: 12h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
1994 NBA ALL STAR WEEKEND OFFICIAL 206 PAGE GUIDE WITH 4 COLLECTIBLE CARD SHEETS
Time Remaining: 17h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $27.99
1998 NBA All Star Basketball Game Program NEW YORK JORDAN KOBE SHAQ
Time Remaining: 17h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $22.00
NBA Summer All-Star Game Program 1985 with Roster
Time Remaining: 18h
Lot of (2) Different NBA Basketball All-Star Programs-1995 & 1998-NM
Time Remaining: 19h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $55.00
SEATTLE CENTER COLISEUM 1974 NBA ALL-STAR GAME PROGRAM January 15th 1974
Time Remaining: 22h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $40.00
nba commemorative program 2004 all star game Shaq Kobe LeBron Carmelo Garnett+++
Time Remaining: 23h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $8.95
1989-90 OFFICIAL NBA ALL-STAR HOOPS PROGRAM with CARDS JORDAN AND MORE
Time Remaining: 1d 6h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $35.00
1990 NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND PROGRAM MIAMI FLORIDA MINT W/CARDS INSIDE 7114
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $7.99
NBA ALL-STAR GAME PROGRAM 1973
Time Remaining: 1d 12h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $95.54
1974 (Jan. 15) NBA All-Star Basketball Program, Seattle Center Coliseum ~ Fair
Time Remaining: 1d 16h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $29.99