How ‘Put that on Top Shot!’ It became a new NBA mantra

At the end of the third quarter of a March game between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans, Rudy Gobert, the Jazz’s 7-foot-1 center, caught a pass and scored a dunk as the Pelicans’ Josh Hart jumped to contest the threw. .

As the two National Basketball Association players ran across the court again, television viewers could see Mr. Gobert barking something at Mr. Hart.

Speak bad? Something like.

“As he ran backwards on defense, I told him it would be a good top shot moment,” Gobert said in an interview. Hart said he had responded with a four-letter word that was not suitable for printing.

The fleeting interaction showed how strongly a new cryptocurrency trend, NBA Top Shot, has taken hold. Top Shot, an online marketplace where sports fans can buy and sell featured videos of basketball players, became so popular this spring that the players themselves have joined in, collecting “Moments” on video and persuading fellow players. team to buy into the cryptocurrency craze.

Unlike the highlights on ESPN or YouTube, Top Shot Moments is on a blockchain, a digital ledger that records cryptocurrency transactions, making it possible for people to own and trade them as if they were business cards. A LeBron James reverse windmill dump Top Shot, for example, sold for $ 210,000 in March.

Nearly four dozen NBA players have created Top Shot accounts, from All-Stars like Mr. Gobert to officials and rookies. Some have collected only a handful of clips, while others own dozens or hundreds.

The trend is an attractive, albeit expensive, way for fans and players to celebrate exciting basketball plays. It’s also a source of income for the NBA, which lost about $ 1.5 billion in revenue last season between the emptying of the pandemic sands and China’s hiatus from broadcasting basketball games over a geopolitical dispute.

The NBA has long been one of the most innovative leagues in the search for ways to make money. It ended its 2019-20 season in a Disney World bubble and squeezed into a condensed All-Star weekend in March to make up for some lost revenue. But now that stadiums are slowly filling up, Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, recently told Time magazine that the league would still lose 30 to 35 percent of revenue this season.

Top Shot is a small way to help close that gap.

Part of a larger online frenzy for cryptocurrencies and NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, the Top Shot market has generated $ 589 million in sales since it opened in October, according to Dapper Labs, the company working with the NBA to produce. the viral trend.

Dapper and the league make money from the sale of Digital Moments, which are given serial numbers and released in occasional “drops” that attract tens of thousands of people hoping for a chance to purchase digital Moments packages. . Dapper and the NBA also share a 5 percent cut in profits each time a Moment is resold.

The NBA declined to say how much money it has made through this deal, but Roham Gharegozlou, Dapper’s founder and CEO, said his company had made $ 45 million from package sales alone. Players also earn money for appearing in featured videos, but the National Basketball Players Association declined to say how much.

In the past, dozens of NBA players spent their millions on risky investments, but the league has lobbied in recent years for its young stars to educate themselves financially.

Top Shot is risky too, because the price of highlights could plummet at any moment if people decide they’re no longer interested. One red flag: Top Shot sales last month, $ 82 million, were down from $ 208 million in March and $ 224 million in February, according to CryptoSlam, an NFT tracker. Dapper said the market was still growing and the April numbers were more normal after a brief NFT boom.

“It’s a market that obviously is built purely on demand and scarcity,” said Darren Heitner, an attorney and professor of sports law at the University of Florida. Between the shifting interests and the disappearance of the pandemic, he said, “there are many reasons why you could see this market being depleted and find people sticking with the bag.”

So is buying Top Shot Moments another worthless investment? Or could it be a shrewd financial gamble?

Some gamers were drawn to Top Shot for the lure of owning the largest and rarest collections, but many say they have grown up to believe in cryptocurrencies and think that Top Shot highlights could add value for years to come.

Gobert said he thought Top Shot had “unlimited potential” because the market could take advantage of highlights, current plays and future clips, and because young players’ moments could gain value as they became stars.

He said he had tried to buy the best of himself and his teammates, betting the Jazz will make a splash in the playoffs and those Moments will be worth more money.

For wealthier players, Heitner said, there is little risk in investing even a large amount of money in Top Shot. Gobert, for example, will earn $ 205 million over the next five years.

“I am much less concerned with someone like LeBron James injecting hundreds of thousands of dollars into NBA Top Shot than I am with minimum wage players doing the same,” Heitner said.

Players with reputations for financial savvy, such as Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant, have invested in Dapper, which was valued at $ 2.6 billion in a recent funding round. In April, The Information reported that Dapper was raising another round that would value him at more than $ 7.5 billion.

Iguodala, who plays for the Miami Heat, said he thought sports-related memories, even in a volatile industry like the NFTs, were a safe bet. For example, he said, “Michael Jordan will always be considered one of the greatest of all time, so his shoes will stand the test of time.”

Others, like Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic, got into Top Shot for the fun of it. He now believes in his longevity, he said, and has invested in Dapper.

“Right now, I’m riding the wave, and we’re going to see where it stops,” said Ross, who said Top Shot reminded him of collecting stickers as a kid. He often goes live on YouTube while opening Top Shot packages.

Of course, it’s still the NBA, and the Top Shot fan fraternity engages in a lot of antics and inside jokes.

In the locker room and on team air rides, Ross and his teammates Cole Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams answer questions from curious coaches and debate which classic basketball game would be the best Top Shot.

“We’re making jokes, just like in the game,” Ross said. In a game against the Washington Wizards, for example, Ross made an impressive dunk, and Carter-Williams told him as they ran down the court that he hoped it would turn into a Top Shot.

In San Francisco, Golden State Warriors guard Damion Lee, also a Dapper investor, is trying to start a new tradition: having players trade Moments instead of jerseys after games.

The king of Top Shot, however, is Sacramento King: rookie shooting guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Bored one day in February, Mr. Haliburton checked Top Shot and saw that the value of a Moment featuring it had risen by $ 600. He posted about it on Twitter and immediately saw another rise, sparking his interest.

“From there, I got really into Top Shot,” said Haliburton, owner of 163 Moments and has spent months urging other players to get involved.

During a post-game interview, he even urged Sacramento reporters to pool their money to buy a $ 10,000 highlight from his 6-foot-4 teammate Buddy Hield by dumping on the New Knicks’ 7-foot Mitchell Robinson. York.

“There are only 50, and you will never see Buddy do that again,” he said. They laughed at the advice; Haliburton, who makes $ 3.8 million this season, clearly didn’t know how little journalists make, they said.

The following day, the Hield Moment rose to $ 50,000 in value.

Haliburton, who also invested in Dapper recently, has persuaded at least four other Kings to join Top Shot, including Harrison Barnes, who was “hooked.”

Barnes, secretary-treasurer of the players association, is another veteran with a reputation for being financial savvy. He owns 242 Top Shot Moments, the most of any player.

Haliburton believes that Top Shot bets will pay off.

“I have the real belief that this is the future of our world,” he said. “I’m just going to keep collecting.”

The entry How ‘Put that on Top Shot!’ It became a new NBA mantra, it was published first in Es de Latino News.

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