Trading Cards Rumors
NBA Top Shot — the official league highlights with blockchain technology that have turned into the latest sports collecting craze, don’t worry we explain it all for you here — continues to generate a ton of money in sales whether it’s people buying “packs” or purchasing rare cuts in their marketplace. We’ve seen a few highlights sell for $100,000, and now there’s a record-breaker that sold for $208,000 (!!!). It’s a moment in which LeBron James dunked all over Nemanja Bjelica as the Sacramento Kings forward attempted to take a charge back in 2019.
Currently, NBA Top Shot is the highest-selling collectible and has made $78.9 million USD in sales from 993,815 transactions since the company first began. In the last four months, NBA Top Shot has generated $11 million USD from packs alone. To top it all off, within the past week, NBA Top Shot received over $19.4 million USD in sales with more than 220,000 transactions occurring on the digital marketplace. To put into perspective the immense interest these digital highlights trading cards have garnered, a specific LeBron James dunk highlight sold for over $71,000 USD while another sold for $38,000 USD not too long ago. Additionally, a Ja Morant highlight card showcasing his monstrous dunk over Aron Bayes from his Rookie of the Year season was lobbied for $100,000 USD on the open marketplace.
Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum expressed his intent to get into NBA Top Shot and wants to learn more about the blockchain-based platform. New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart came down as a blessing from the heavens, as he offered to help the Blazers guard in understanding how NBA Top Shot actually works.
McCollum also seems genuinely interested in the cryptocurrency space, as he continues to rehab from his fractured foot. Hart looks like he’s the right man to learn from. The 25-year old appears to be already knee deep into the game, as he is already selling his first card. He also discussed the growing platform on his Twitch account and even interviewed the CEO of Dapper Labs, the company that created and developed NBA Top Shot.
Last month, after word got out in the Top Shot community that Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic had paid $2,300 for the jersey-matching No. 13 serial of one of his own moments in the marketplace, his other moments immediately skyrocketed in value. Bogdanovic had collected soccer cards growing up in Serbia, but when a friend told him about Top Shot, the concept resonated with him as a gamer. “In video games, you put money into your character in the game,” Bogdanovic tells B/R. “With this, you put your money in and you might get lucky and get some super-rare card that somebody wants to buy. These highlights have value online. You wait for the player to get better and it could be worth a lot.”
Bogdanovic now owns 46 moments, but he says he’s never going to sell his own. That’s the other part of this phenomenon that will be fascinating to watch develop: What will be the value in holding onto moments you aren’t intending to sell? How many people are paying for a moment because it’s a cool play, and how many are just investing in something they think will be valuable in the future because other people have collectively decided they’re valuable? “It’s certainly speculative,” says Peter Jennings, Bales’ FantasyLabs co-founder and a co-owner of his Morant moment. “There are a lot of bubbles out there right now, and it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. If you’re buying one of these moments, you’re basically making a bet on Top Shot succeeding.”
According to NBA associate vice president of global partnerships Adrienne O’Keefe, the league began exploring avenues to utilize blockchain in 2018 and signed a multiyear licensing agreement with Dapper in 2019. (Both the NBA and Dapper declined to share specifics of their financial arrangement, but O’Keefe says the league gets royalties from all Top Shot sales.) “Sports cards are already moving so digital,” Dapper CEO Roham Gharegozlou tells B/R over Zoom. “Pack breaks are happening on YouTube, sales and trades are happening on StockX. People are storing their stuff in vaults.”