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Thanks to strong support from NFT collectors, investors, and trading card enthusiasts, NBA Top Shot holds immense significance. It played a major role in bringing blockchain and NFTs to the mainstream. The numbers from 2021 tell the story well – over 1.1 million users engaged on the platform, trading NFTs worth around $800 million.

This makes it impossible to discuss the NFT boom without talking about NBA Top Shot. It stands as one of the most influential projects in the NFT space and shows how sports can become a major player in Web3.

NBA Top Shot, a partnership between the NBA and Dapper Labs, the creators of CryptoKitties NFTs, has seen remarkable growth since its launch in 2020. The reason is simple: it created a space where people interested in NFTs, collectibles, and basketball could come together to trade pieces of sports history. This allowed fans to get closer to their favorite teams, players, and memorable sports moments.

Whether you’re new to NBA Top Shot or a seasoned NFT collector, here’s everything you need to know to join in and make informed decisions about your collecting journey.

So, what exactly is NBA Top Shot?

NBA Top Shot is a virtual trading card platform based on blockchain technology. It results from a collaboration between the NBA, the NBA Players Association, and Dapper Labs. The platform operates on the FLOW blockchain, which Dapper Labs designed to be user-friendly and capable of supporting the next generation of games, apps, and digital assets.

Here’s how it works: NBA Top Shot resembles traditional trading cards, but it adds a unique twist by combining NBA highlights with digital art. The NBA grants licenses for video footage to Dapper Labs, who then transforms these clips into what they call “Moments.” These Moments are video highlights linked to NFTs. 

Each Moment comes with its own one-of-a-kind digital serial number, ensuring its authenticity and indicating its rarity. Moments form the core of the NBA Top Shot ecosystem.

Similar to physical trading cards, NBA Top Shot only produces a limited number of NFTs for each Moment, creating scarcity. This scarcity boosts the rarity of specific Moments and, consequently, their financial value.

NBA Top Shot introduced its platform to a select group of early supporters for beta testing in June 2020. It became available to the general public by October of the same year.

How does NBA Top Shot work?

NBA Top Shot is the real deal, officially licensed by the NBA, the NBA Players Association, and Dapper Labs. This operation runs on the FLOW blockchain, which Dapper Labs designed to be super friendly for developers and ready to support the “next big things” in games, apps, and digital assets.

So, let’s break it down. NBA Top Shot operates much like traditional trading cards. It all started when the NBA gave Dapper Labs the green light to use their video clips and digital artwork. Then, Dapper Labs takes those clips and crafts them into what they call “Moments,” turning them into NFTs.

Each Moment gets its unique serial number, proving it’s the real deal and telling you how rare it is. And, they don’t make an unlimited bunch of these NFTs; they deliberately keep the numbers low to make them rare. That’s why some Moments are worth more than others – it’s all about that rarity factor.

Now, these Moments come packaged up in what they call “Packs,” just like how regular sports cards come in sets. These Packs are part of a larger series  that launches alongside the NBA season. This means fans can snag fresh Packs filled with NFT moments featuring the best highlights from the current season.

But that’s not all – fans can also collect Moments from the past, depending on their availability. For example, you can grab a piece of history like Magic Johnson’s dunk from May 16, 1980. It’s like having a little piece of basketball history right in your digital collection.

NBA Packs and Moments Explained

When you’re collecting NBA Top Shot Moments, it’s not like picking specific cards. You buy packs, and what you get inside those packs is a surprise. What you receive depends on the type of pack you choose.

Types of NBA Top Shot Moments

There are four main categories of Moments:

Common Moments (96.6%): These are the most common Moments, making up a significant portion of the collection. They’re designed to be shared by fans worldwide, making them easy to find and widely available. 

For example, you can find Moments like Carmelo Anthony’s three-pointer, with about 40,000 of these NFT Moments in circulation. Surprisingly, some Common Moments can be quite valuable even though they are common—for instance, a Common Moment featuring Fred VanVleet’s three-pointer sold for a remarkable $140,190.

Fandom Moments (Variable): Fandom Moments don’t have a set percentage because they’re tied to special real-life experiences at specific events. For instance, you might come across a Fandom Moment from a game you attended in person. An example is the Killian Hayes Assist, with 2,776 NFTs created exclusively for fans at the arena.

Rare Moments (2.25%): Rare Moments are rare! They make up a smaller portion of the collection and are harder to come by. Usually, they showcase historic plays from NBA legends. An example is Trae Young’s shoulder shimmy three-pointer, with only 750 of these Moments in circulation.

Legendary Moments (0.11%): Legendary Moments are incredibly rare and challenging to acquire. They represent iconic highlights from the NBA. For instance, there are just 120 Moments of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s block in the NBA Finals. Collectors highly seek after these Moments.

Pack Types and Sets

Dapper Labs, the creator of NBA Top Shot, organizes Moments into Packs and Sets. Here’s how they work:

Base Sets: These packs focus on Common Moments and are released in a series. For example, series 1 had 12 releases. Each pack contains three basic Moments, making them ideal for beginners.

Non-Base Sets: These sets are more varied. They come in different versions and include at least one Common Moment and a Rare or Legendary Moment. Non-base sets are more expensive but offer more excitement for collectors.

So, when collecting NBA Top Shot Moments, you can choose different packs and sets depending on your budget and what kind of Moments you hope to add to your collection. It’s like opening surprise boxes of digital basketball memories!

How to Purchase NBA Top Shot Moments

If you’re a basketball enthusiast or a collector of digital treasures, buying NBA Top Shot Moments can be an exhilarating journey. With the surge in popularity of NFTs, Dapper Labs has crafted a user-friendly experience for those eager to dive into the world of NBA highlights and legendary moments.

Here’s a straightforward step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Setting Up an Account: First, head over to the official NBA Top Shot website and create your account. This is your entry point into the realm of digital NBA highlights.

Browsing the Marketplace: The NBA Top Shot Marketplace is the central hub to explore the available NBA Top Shot Moments. Whether you’re interested in common moments capturing regular game highlights or the highly sought-after legendary moments, you’ll find various options.

Choosing Your Pack: NBA Top Shot offers different types of packs. A starter pack containing common moments is a good starting point for newcomers. However, if you’re hunting for rarer moments, you might opt for legendary packs, although these can be pricier and more elusive.

Payment: Once you’ve selected your desired moments or packs, you can proceed to the checkout. Most major credit cards are accepted, making the process convenient and accessible.

Enjoying the Moment: After your purchase, these moments will be added to your digital collection. You can relive iconic plays, like those of Michael Jordan, or enjoy recent game highlights whenever you like.

Mobile Game Integration: Dapper Labs is taking the experience to the next level by planning to integrate NBA Top Shot Moments into a new generation of games and mobile platforms. This means you can use your moments in various interactive ways, making your collection even more engaging.

Advantages of NBA Top Shot

User-Friendly: NBA Top Shot is designed to be incredibly user-friendly, especially for those new to cryptocurrencies and NFTs. You can be something other than a blockchain expert or a crypto investor to navigate the platform. All it takes is a passion for basketball and a basic understanding of supply and demand.

Exceptional Collecting Experience: Unlike traditional physical trading cards that require careful preservation and storage, NBA Top Shot Moments are digital and stored online. They can’t be damaged, stolen, or deteriorated over time like physical cards. Their authenticity is already confirmed on the blockchain, eliminating the need for costly authentication processes.

Protection Against Oversupply: NBA Top Shot takes a proactive approach to controlling the supply of Moments in the marketplace. By minting and licensing all the Moments they create, they prevent the market from being flooded with duplicate products. This strategy helps avoid the kind of oversupply that plagued the baseball card market in the 1990s.

Accessible Entry to NFT Collecting: The prices of collectibles, including NFTs, have significantly increased in recent years, making them less accessible to many collectors. NBA Top Shot, however, offers a solution by making NFT collecting more approachable. It allows individuals to start their NFT collections without breaking the bank.

Drawbacks of NBA Top Shot

Lengthy Verification Process: NBA Top Shot’s verification process, conducted by Dapper Labs, can be quite time-consuming. This might pose challenges for collectors looking to make quick sales and capitalize on changing Moment values. Since Moment values can fluctuate rapidly, delays in the verification process could potentially result in financial losses.

Risk of Financial Loss: Just like any investment, there’s a risk of losing money when dealing with NBA Top Shot’s NFTs. Some collectors have experienced situations where they purchased packs only to find that the Moments inside were worth less than the pack’s cost. Additionally, there are no guarantees that a seller will find a buyer willing to pay their desired price for a Moment.

Value Depends on Market Demand: The value of NBA Top Shot Moments, like all NFTs, is determined by market demand. These Moments don’t have inherent, intrinsic value; the preferences of basketball fans and collectors drive their worth. The unpredictable nature of market fluctuations can lead to Moments that were once valuable, becoming significantly less so.


NBA Top Shot presents a unique and accessible entry point into the world of NFT collecting, particularly for basketball enthusiasts. Its user-friendly approach, digital nature, and controlled supply offer several advantages, making it an appealing platform for collectors of all levels.

However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks, including the lengthy verification process, the risk of financial losses, and the dependence on market demand for NFT values. Like any investment, NBA Top Shot carries uncertainties and requires careful consideration.

Ultimately, NBA Top Shot opens up exciting opportunities to own and trade digital representations of iconic basketball moments. Still, participants must approach it with a clear understanding of both its benefits and risks, ensuring a rewarding and informed collecting experience.