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What Is NBA Top Shot

Non-fungible tokens, better known as NFTs, come in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to technology, every asset on the blockchain can become an NFT. We are all familiar with pictures such as CryptoPunks or the Bored Aped Yacht Club, but there is much more possible. 

The explosive growth of NFTs shows us that we are massively craving a unique asset on the blockchain and that we are also willing to pay for it, whether or not monster amounts.

This development is no different in the sports industry. Sports clubs are increasingly seeing the possibilities of crypto, such as the use of social tokens, but NFTs are also conquering their position here. 

What Is NBA Top Shot And What Are NFTs In The Sports World? Find out in this article!

Sports and crypto

The acceptance of crypto is growing, you may have noticed. Advertising from various exchanges and/or cryptocurrencies is popping up in more and more major competitions. In 2021 we saw how Max Verstappen became Formula 1 world champion while crypto.com.

Social tokens

More and more clubs are embracing the use of crypto and are also launching their own social token. This is to build their community thanks to blockchain technology and to attract fans. These tokens, which are fungible by the way, give token holders voting rights in the future of the club. But thanks to the technology of these non-fungible tokens, we are going one step further.

What is NBA?

One of the biggest sports in America is, of course, basketball. Every year, all of America’s dribbling moves back to the most prestigious basketball league in the world, the National Basketball Association (NBA). The NBA consists of 30 teams, which together are worth more than $50 billion according to various sources.

That such a large industry decides to enter the NFT market is a good sign. Thanks to the freedom of the NFT concept, the NBA can also participate in this new development. They do this thanks to what they call ‘top shot’.

What is NBA Top Shot?

NBA Top Shot is an NFT marketplace, launched in October 2020, where you can buy your favorite video clips from basketball history as a digital collectible, these NFTs they call ‘Moments’. Collect Moments from your favorite player and/or club and receive even more valuable NFTs as a reward. Let’s see exactly how NBA Top Shot works.

Flow blockchain

NBA Top Shot is an NFT marketplace built on the Flow blockchain. The team deliberately chose this because Flow is a developer-based blockchain with a view to developing Apps and digital assets. The blockchain is designed to be easily scalable for millions of users so that everyone can access NFTs in an easy and efficient way.

The blockchain was designed by Dapper Labs, which is also the team behind NBA Top Shot. So it’s no surprise that they chose Flow. Nevertheless, you can also trade for Ethereum, and for dollars. We also do not often see the latter at NFT marketplaces.

NBA Top Shot Marketplace 

‘NBA Top Shot’s NFT marketplace is the core of the platform. Here you can search for your favorite moments of different basketball players. At any time, you will get details about the video clip. For example, think of the result of that match in question, but also data about the player.

For example, we see that Jordin Canada was born on August 11, 1995, in Los Angeles and that he is 5’6” tall and weighs 135 lb, as well as his sports results in previous competitions. All are collected in this NFT.


NBA Top Shot has different tiers. This is a category in the NFT’s rarity. They have the following tiers here, based on how many collectibles can exist. The edition size determines how many people can buy and own this NFT.

  • Common: + 10,000 minutes of video material
  • Fandom: dynamic offer
  • Rare tier: 150 minutes of video material
  • Legendary: 25 minutes of video material

The Common NFTs are very accessible and for a few dollars, you can already have your own NBA NFT at your disposal. With Legendary, this is a different story. The most expensive currently for sale is Zion Williamson’s with an average selling price of nearly $70,000.


Each moment is divided into different categories. You can filter per player, but you can also search per set. For example, specifically on the 2020 NBA finals. You can also search per player or per team. This way you can collect your favorite moments from only your favorite team. Every moment comes from a pack. And each pack is part of a particular set. That way you can collect entire packs or even series.

How much do NBA TopShots Packs

A pack is a collection of 3 unknown moments that you can purchase at a certain price. The cheapest pack is currently $9, but the most expensive is the Holo Icon, which you can buy for $999. You can compare this with the packs of Pokémon cards that you can buy. You pay a certain price, but you don’t know exactly what’s in it. It is possible that for this price you have a very rare NBA Top Shot, which is worth much more than your purchase price. In this way, the platform aims to boost the trading of their NFTs.

Starter Pack – 8$ Holo Icon – 999$ Premium 89$
4 Common 7 Common 5 Common
  1 Rare 1 Rare
  1 Legendary  

When you own different moments or even packs, you can create your own collection and showcase it on the platform. This is a showpiece to show the community which NFTs you own. We can compare this with the trends of Pokémon. Everyone knows which unique cards exist, but having one in your possession is the goal. Here too it is about collecting and obtaining the most unique collectibles.

Starter Packs NBA Top Shot


A set is a collection of certain packs. This can be about several Top Shots from one game, or players from one team. Between sets, there is also a distinction between a base set and a non-base set.


These base sets have large editions, are released with some regularity, and are for sale at very affordable prices. You can get a starter pack for just 8 dollars. These also come in series and release orders. Series 1 had 12 releases, series 2 has more than 40. These always fall into the ‘Common’ category and contain 3 or 4 basic top shots.


Non-base Top Shots are much more diverse. Packs that are part of a non-base set contain both Common top shots as well as NFTs from the Legendary category. These are also more expensive to purchase, but the chance that you will receive valuable NFTs for them is greater.


Thanks to these challenges you can collect even more NBA Top Shots moments. This requires you to complete several tasks in a certain time period to receive additional NFTs. Examples include creating a showcase with 5 players who made the most attempts to score on a particular day or match. But as a reward, you will receive certain Moments for that. In the example below you will receive a Series 2 Base Set Pack.

How do you buy an NFT on NBA Top Shots?

Unlike NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, NBA Top Shot does not use a software wallet. Before you can trade these NFTs, you need an account. You can create this via your e-mail account, or your Dapper account. You have several options to buy your NBA Top Shot:

  • Credit card
  • Crypto
  • Dapper balance

Dapper wallet

NBA Top Shot exists on the Flow blockchain, made by Dapper Labs and therefore uses a Dapper wallet. The dapper wallet is a smart wallet that supports both ERC721 tokens, the token standard of NFTs on Ethereum’s network, as well as a range of ERC20tokens.  This is a software wallet as we know it at Metamask, based on a chrome extension. Several NFT marketplaces are accessible thanks to your private software wallet, which is decentralized and where you have more control.

Dapper wallet aims to make blockchain technology accessible to everyone. This makes the registration process easier than with MetaMask, for example, where you immediately have to write down and keep track of the seed phrases. In the Dapper Wallet, you simply create your own account with an email and a password. It has the advantages of decentralization where you have control over your own personal data, but the ease of use of other standard login procedures.


Before we can call the NBA Top Shot NFT marketplace successful, it is always appropriate to look at statistics. Via statisa.com we can consult the number of buyers and the corresponding volume from July 2020 to December 2021. We see that the first quarter of 2021 was very successful. During the months of February and March, the total volume was above $200,000 and there were never as many buyers as in March 2021.

When we go to compare this to competitors like OpenSea, we see that this is only a fraction of the total trading volume during that period. And this is very logical to explain. A typical NFT marketplace as we know has a wide range of different types of NFTs. For example

  • Collectibles
  • Digital art
  • Photography
  • Music
  • Game NFTs

Critical note

NBA Top Shot Marketplace exists exclusively around the historical video fragments of the American NBA. This gives you a very clear niche. The number of users is therefore rather limited. Keep in mind that only a fraction of NBA enthusiasts have even heard of crypto and/or NFTs, let alone that they will trade in them en masse. Because if you don’t understand the importance of NFT, it’s random video clips that are traded for thousands of dollars.


With the development and applications of NFTs, we also see more opportunities. The crypto market is still very young, but due to the increasing interest, there are always new opportunities. The sports industry is a multi-billion dollar industry where players not only earn millions but have also built a rock-solid community. We see this in the success of social tokens at football clubs, among others.

However, using an NFT marketplace built solely on one specific sport is new. NBA Top Shot is one of a kind. Loyal supporters who are already present in the crypto market, and who understand the importance of NFTs, will therefore invest in NBA Top Shot NFTs.

The flip side of the coin is that, thanks to its distinct niche, the marketplace has significantly fewer users than competitors such as OpenSea and Rarible. We see that at the time of writing, the hype around NFTs is mainly in the eccentric collector cards that are traded at record prices. This is a very different angle from NBA Top Shot’s NFTs. This is also reflected in the statistics and trading volume. Nevertheless, we should not underestimate the power of the sports industry and it may just be that within a few years, NBA enthusiasts will be lining up to invest in these historic video clips.

Josephine Tsang

Josephine Tsang

Software Engineer, Blockchain enthusiast, Bitcoin miner, gamer and anime fan. Love to share knowledge on the web (on my own blog, for immla, on twitter or reddit). Always on the look for the coolest and newest Web3 updates. Hope you guys enjoy my writing!

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