NBA Top Shot: NFT Trading Cards Explode in Popularity

NBA Top Shot: NFT Trading Cards Explode in Popularity

If you’re an NBA fan, you may have heard someone say, “put that on Top Shot!” and wondered what they were talking about. NBA Top Shot is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace where fans can buy, sell, and trade digital collectibles of their favorite NBA moments. As the NBA seeks to capitalize on the explosive popularity of NFTs, Top Shot is its answer. Based on early numbers, the NBA’s NFT wager is paying off.

Since the NBA Top Shot marketplace opened to the public in October, fans have spent over $230 million on this blockchain-based trading card system. NBA fans’ enthusiasm doesn’t end with digital collectibles, though. Many put their basketball knowledge to the test by betting on their favorite teams throughout the season. Checking the latest NBA betting odds is another way in which fans get a leg up on the competition.

NFT Trading Cards

Top Shot was born from a licensing agreement reached between Dapper Labs and the NBA Players Association in 2019. Dapper Labs digitizes NBA highlights to make a limited number of NFTs of some of the league’s greatest moments. An NFT’s value comes from their scarcity; thus, Dapper Labs only produces a small number of these moments as NFTs. Some Top Shot NFTs feature artwork, while others feature highlights from various angles.

Instead of swapping NBA trading cards, collectors are swapping digital images, with the most expensive selling for thousands of dollars. Unlike traditional trading cards, fans don’t have to worry about their NFTs getting stolen or damaged. Like with traditional trading cards, the law of supply and demand determines a card’s worth. The more unique the NFT, the more it’s worth.

Industry experts believe NFTs will be as valuable as rare trading cards are today. A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantel card recently sold for $5.2 million, and analysts say that, by 2051, today’s rarest NFTs could be worth that much or more. NFT trading cards are built on the blockchain, allowing their authenticity to be easily verified and making them almost impossible to copy.

Fetching Top Dollar

Top Shot cards sell for top dollar, with two moments listed for $1 million each on the Top Shot marketplace. Lebron James and Derrick Rose have the Top Shot moments some sellers believe are worth a million dollars, but that’s not all; several more Top Shot moments are listed for hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the NFT excitement continues, they’re sure to go up in value.

A few Top Shot moments have already sold for thousands of dollars. Lebron James currently holds the title for the highest-selling Top Shot moment, with one of his dunk highlights selling for more than $200,000. He holds the number 2 spot, and he’s tied for the number 3 spot with Ja Morant and Zion Williamson. After that, the selling prices dip below $100,000, but they aren’t cheap. If demand continues to be high, more Top Shot moments could sell for even higher prices.

Mobile Game

Building on the success of Top Shots, Dapper Labs plans to release a mobile game that allows fans to build rosters mimicking NBA teams with their NFT moments. They can then compete in online tournaments to win rare NFTs that can go up in value. The target audience for this game is technologically savvy NBA fans who want to combine their love for the game with cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Who’s Buying Top Shot NFTs?

A large part of Top Shot’s base comes from NBA fans who already trade traditional basketball cards. They’re collectors who understand the value of rare cards and how that could be translated into the digital landscape. Many have sold and traded cards on eBay, and some belong to the Top Shot Discord and its subreddit.

Many of them got in on the ground floor when Top Shot began selling NFTs to the public in October, tracking the values of the NFTs closely. They say the NFTs are appealing because they don’t have to deal with the problems of physical cards. After all, with a click of the keyboard, they can trade or sell their NFTs to someone across the world. Given the current enthusiasm, NBA NFTs will continue to grow in popularity.


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