What is NBA Top Shot? Everything you need to know


NBA Top Shot is currently sweeping the nation. However, a lot of people still don’t know what the phenomenon is. Think of the concept as a mix of collecting cards, gambling, DFS, and the stock market, with a bunch of strategies involved.

“Moments” are virtual sports cards that embed short NBA highlight clips into a package with player stats and 3D animations. The company has a licensing deal with the NBA and NBPA, thus they can recreate these moments and put them onto their platform.

The product was developed by Dapper Labs, a company also known for their once popular Cryptokitties game. Dapper Labs utilizes blockchain technology to ensure transparency in production. Blockchain also helps to verify the authenticity of these digital collectibles which are known as non-fungible tokens (NFT’s).

Many people ask, “can’t I just watch this dunk on my phone?” The answer is yes. But to create scarcity, the company gives each moment a serial number, which helps you understand how many are produced. Now the lower the serial number, the more valuable that moment. Serial numbers that match a player's jersey number (No. 23 for LeBron James, for example) are also worth more.

There are also different levels of the collectibles. They have been given names like “Holo” and "Cosmic". There are also tiers like “Common”, “Rare”, “Legendary”, and “Ultimate.”

To make it easier to understand, think of it like when we were growing up and collecting baseball cards. Remember when we used to open packs? You could either hit on those rare cards that were worth a lot, or get a bunch of common cards that were worth just pennies. Same concept here.

They have an entire marketplace where people can buy and sell moments. You can also purchase packs. I can’t lie, when I landed a pack a few weeks ago, the anticipation while opening one had me feeling like a kid again.

And, if all of that didn’t make sense, just watch this 3-minute clip by Jacob Eisenberg, NBA Top Shot’s Community Lead.

Others in the media space also seem to be getting in on the NBA Top Shot fun. Matt Moore of the Action Network, who joined the You Better You Bet crew, appears to be enjoying the platform.

“If you are just an NBA fan, these things are just really fun as this allows you to not only pick a player but a moment,” Moore said. “There are legitimate concerns with some of the platform issues, but if you just take it as something that is fun to do for NBA fans, it is pretty fun.”

Whether you believe in the concept or not, the demand for NBA Top Shot is through the roof. Case in point, during today’s Rare pack drop there were nearly 200,000 people waiting in line.

“It’s going to be profitable for early adopters and less so the further you go along,” Moore said.

My parting shot is this: If you collected sports cards as a kid, give it a try. Check out the website and go to their marketplace. Watch some of their videos to learn about the concept and how it all works. You never know, that Zion moment you buy might end up being the digital age version of the elusive Honus Wagner card.