Going into the 2018-19 NBA season, PSA 10 copies of the 2013-14 Giannis Prizm RC were readily available for $150. Despite averaging 27 PPG, 10 RPG, and 5 APG over the 2017-18 season while leading the seventh seed 44-38 Bucks to the playoffs and nearly beating the Boston Celtics in a closely contested first round series, the hobby was reluctant to go all-in on Giannis. To be sure, the $150 valuation heading into the 2018-19 season was a noteworthy increase from the $100-$120 range the card was selling for during the summer--an indicator that hobbyists were at least somewhat enthusiastic about Giannis. But by the time Giannis and the Bucks went up 2-0 on the Raptors in the 2018-19 Eastern Conference Finals, the card had gone up in value by a multiple of 4, peaking north of $650. The card temporarily retreated to the $400-$450 range during the summer of 2019. But by the time the first month of the 2019-20 season had been completed, the card was selling in the $500-$600 range again. By February, 2020, it was consistently selling for north of $1,000. Then, in early March, anticipation for the 2020 playoffs amid what appeared to be a second consecutive MVP performance from Giannis coincided with this card selling for more than $2,000. COVID-19 and the suspension of league play pushed the card back down to $1,500 range towards the end of March. Now, at the end of April, it is once more flirting with $2,000.
The 2013 NBA draft was pretty unremarkable. The top 5 picks, in order, were Anthony Bennett, Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, Cody Zeller, and Alex Len. But something fateful happened in the middle of the first round. With the 15th pick, the Bucks selected Greek prospect Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis took his time, developing, over the course of his early career from a backup averaging 7 PPG, 4 RPG, 2 APG, and 1 BPG (2013-14), to an all-star putting up 23/9/5/2 (2016-17), to a perennial MVP candidate putting up 30/14/6/1 (2019-20) and earning the seventh best single-season PER of all-time (2019-20). 2013-14 Prizm basketball--the brand's sophomore year--largely rides off the strength of Giannis' all-world basketball talent. Panini expanded Prizm's production run substantially with 2013-14 Prizm. The inaugural Prizm product had only three parallels--silver, green, and gold /10. 2013-14 Prizm marked the advent of the Black 1/1 and Black Prizm Mosaic 1/1 parallel. It also added purple /49, orange /60, light blue /199, blue, red, and red/white/blue pulsar. While Giannis is the main attraction, the second-year Prizm base cards of transcendent stars like Lebron James--who is depicted in an attractive action shot--now command premiums as well.