What is NBA Top Shot?

NBA Top Shot is one of the most popular NFT platforms. Read more to learn about the rise of NBA Top Shot, how it works, and why it matters.

What is NBA Top Shot?

NBA Top Shot has become one of the most popular NFT platforms in the world. According to the Financial Times, $40 Billion was spent on NFTs throughout 2021. There are many different NFT use cases across digital art, gaming, collectibles, and more. NBA Top Shot is a platform that sells NBA video highlights as a kind of digital trading card, using pieces of NBA history to create a compelling and innovative experience for collectors.

What is NBA Top Shot?

Dapper Labs is the company that created NBA Top Shot.NBATopShot.com is home to a marketplace where you can buy, sell, trade, and explore video highlights from NBA history. These pieces of NBA history are formed into NFTs and are called ‘moments.’ These ‘moments’ are video highlights of specific players and minted as NFTs on the Flow blockchain. Since its launch in October of 2020, NBA Top Shot has remained one of the most active NFT marketplaces in terms of the numbers of traders and total trading volume.


By September of 2021, less than a year after launch, the platform had more than a million registered users. While market dynamics have decreased the overall sales of NBA Top Shot, they were still able to generate $47.5 Million in monthly sales in February 2022.

How does NBA Top Shot work?

Like any collectible, the value of a NBA Top Shot moment is primarily tied to two things: cultural relevance and scarcity. The trading card industry has existed since the early 20th century and NBA Top Shot is a natural progression of that trend. With NBA Top Shot, instead of a physical trading card, you own a digital collectible and an ownership certification. That highlight and your certificate of ownership exist on Dapper Lab’s Flow Blockchain.

How are moments minted on the Flow Blockchain?

NBA Top Shot works as a partnership between the NBA and Dapper Labs. First, the NBA creates the video highlights, where they choose particular plays for specific players. Next, Dapper Labs decides how many issues or editions each of these ‘moments’ gets. Dapper Labs has carefully crafted an ecosystem that allows both collectors and investors to play a role.


Similar to traditional sports cards, these NFTs get dropped in packs that contain several moments. Since the marketplace is entirely owned and curated by Dapper Labs, you can trust that all of these moments are authentic, unlike buying physical cards on other online marketplaces.

How often do Top Shot packs drop?

Top Shot keeps its customers engaged by dropping regular content, but sets and packs are less frequent. If you want to cop a Top Shot drop, you’ll have to stay engaged with the brand. Usually, pack drops coincide with moments in the NBA such as the NBA Draft and the beginning of the NBA Playoffs.


If you subscribe to the NBA Top Shot newsletter, you’ll be notified about upcoming drops. On the day of the drop, there is a window of a few hours where you can hop in line for the queue. Your spot in the queue is randomly assigned and is not attached to how early you entered.

Each drop is slightly different and once you have the ability to purchase, you’ll be notified and have a limited amount of time to complete your purchase. Depending on the drop, you may only be allowed to purchase a designated amount of packs.


Packs range in price and availability as well. If you are a beginner, you’ll usually only have access to basic packs, which usually cost about $19. Once you’re more experienced and meet the collector's score requirements, you have exclusive access to packs with more Rare Moments.

There are also opportunities to cash in unwanted NFTs for a new Locker Pack. Locker Packs are cards that went unsold in the initial drop and you can exchange these cards for trade tickets. The number of trade tickets needed for a Locker Pack depends on the set that’s dropping. It could be as few as 4 and as many as 100. It is important to keep in mind that each NFT exchanged is worth 1 trade ticket.

How do you know how much a Top Shot moment is worth?

Within the Top Shot universe, you can explore the Marketplace that shows what 'moments' people are buying and selling. When shopping for your favorite player’s Rookie Moment, you’ll be able to compare and contrast its recent sales, view its entire sales history of one or all editions, and view the price in USD, ETH, and FLOW.


How do you start on NBA Top Shot?

If you want to join the NBA Top Shot crowd and be part of the growing community, you’ll need to open an NBA Top Shot account. Registering is a very simple, straightforward process and the NBA Top Shot website will walk you through the necessary steps. Additionally, you’ll need to set up a Dapper Wallet, which can also be done through their website. Finally, you’ll need an initial deposit of fiat or crypto in your wallet. This deposit can be done in several ways, you can connect it to your bank, do a wire transfer, or do a deposit from a different crypto-wallet.


Once you have a Dapper Wallet, you can then purchase moments through a credit or debit card or through one of the accepted cryptocurrencies (e.g. ETH, BTC, USDC).

Who is Dapper Labs?

Dapper Labs is a Vancouver-based blockchain company that created the well-known early NFT game called CryptoKitties in 2017. CryptoKitties is a game that was one of the earliest examples of using blockchain technology for fun. People could buy, sell, trade and breed unique virtual cats in the form of NFTs. This game became so popular that it disrupted the Ethereum network, causing a major lag due to the record number of transactions. It’s widely accepted that CryptoKitties was one of, if not the first, NFT projects to breakthrough and achieve mainstream popularity.


Dapper Labs noticed the success of CryptoKitties and recognized the flaws existing blockchains presented (clogging, lack of scalability, etc.). After years of research and development, Dapper Labs created its own blockchain, Flow, to launch NBA Top Shot. Flow aims to be user-friendly and support high-performance ecosystems of apps and games, without compromising decentralization. If Bitcoin and Ethereum showed how crypto could make the world of finance more open and transparent, Flow would aim to do the same for consumers of entertainment and culture. Using a modified version of the proof-of-stake methodology, Dapper Labs created a minting technology that emits less carbon than social network posting, making it one of the most environmentally friendly Web3 platforms.


Dapper Labs has been recognized by CNBC as one of the top companies on CNBC's Disruptor 50 list. Dapper Labs have landed deals with the NBA (Top Shot), UFC (Strike), NFL (All Day), and La Liga (Golazos --the premier men’s professional soccer division of Spain. Dapper Labs' initial partnership with the NBA has since served as a blueprint for other sports leagues to get into NFTs as many other leagues and teams are now using NBA Top Shot as a model for their own NFT plans.

How rare are NBA Top Shot Moments?

Dapper Labs segments their NFTs into different types with differing levels of rarity. NFT ‘moments’ come in three main tiers of rarity:

  • Common (96.6%) - Since common ‘moments’ takes up 96.6% of all ‘moments,’ each common moment has thousands of editions.
  • Rare (2.25%) - Each ‘moment’ in this tier has between 150-999 editions.
  • Legendary (0.11%) - Each Legendary ‘moment’ will have between 25 - 99 editions. These 'moments' are of the highest caliber players, the most important games and the most exciting plays.


Some other qualifiers exist too. You may see the following these categories when exploring the Top Shot Marketplace:

  • Fandom - This category varies in edition sizes. Fandom ‘moments’ could be super common or have fewer editions than the Rare tier. These are focused on celebrating your fandom and are centered around special circumstances - such as purchasing moments from a live game or a drop for a special event.
  • (Platinum Ice) Ultimate - Edition size of only three. These ‘moments’ are minted for every single play added to the Top Shot universe and completed before they’re assigned to any particular set.
  • (Genesis) Ultimate - One of only 150 total in existence, these were the first ‘moments’ ever minted; five ‘moments’ per team, with minting done in alphabetical order of team’s city. This means that the very first moment ever minted was from the Atlanta Hawks, and is a Trae Young 1/1 Genesis Moment.

You can also consider certain badges that a ‘moment’ has attached to it. Badges include a player’s first ‘moment’ on Top Shot, a ‘moment’ that is from a player's rookie year, a ‘moment’ that was minted during their rookie year, and a ‘moment’ from their debut game. Rookie Moments with all three badges are especially attractive for collectors.

What is an NFT?

If you’d like an in-depth analysis as your answer, check out our Neustreet Learn content library, where we produce breakdowns of several NFT topics.

To summarize, an NFT (non-fungible token) is essentially a unique piece of metadata stored on the blockchain that proves ownership of a digital asset. In the case of NBA NFTs, the tokens are referred to as ‘moments.’ Ownership of these ‘moments’ is stored on your Dapper Wallet, safe from any manipulation or damage. So long as you can access your digital wallet, your NFTs are safe.


Is NBA Top Shot a good investment?

Only you can decide whether or not NBA Top Shots are a good investment for you. Due to this company’s success, its partnership with the NBA, and the ever-growing NFT industry, it is worthwhile to consider the long-term success of NBA Top Shot. Additionally, the NBA and Dapper Labs both have leaders committed to social issues (such as green energy, social justice reform, and women’s equality) and have been known to challenge the status quo. Since Dapper Labs is constantly pushing itself to evolve and innovate, NBA Top Shot potentially carries more opportunities than traditional trading cards.

What utility does NBA Top Shot have?

Aside from having complete ownership of an NBA Moment, Dapper Labs is continuously trying to bring even more excitement and value to their product. NBA Top Shot has sent Moment owners to the Finals, All-Star Games, and even to meet and greet players. We can expect Dapper Labs to continue creating new real world benefits for NBA Top Shot owners.


Recently, Dapper Labs has revealed ‘Flowty,’ a Peer-to-Peer lending program that allows borrowers to access liquidity using Flow-based NFTs as collateral. Here’s how it works:

  • Borrower Creates A Listing - The listing includes an NFT, loan amount, duration, and rate.
  • Lender Funds Listing - After considering the risk/reward the listing provides, a lender will give the borrower the requested amount of funds.
  • Loan Maturity - If the loan is paid before expiration, the borrower keeps their NFT. If the loan is delinquent or goes unpaid, the NFT used as collateral becomes the property of the Lender.


NBA Top Shot - Your New Favorite Pastime Or Potential Investment?

The world of NFTs has opened doors for collecting and investing that nobody had previously dreamed of. The NBA has been experiencing growth as a league and so has the NFT market, both capturing the attention of new audiences worldwide.

Happy collecting!



Q: What are NBA Top Shot Collectors Points?
A: Collectors Points are awarded based on your collection of moments. Scores vary depending on the number of moments you have and the rarity of those moments. Higher collector scores open the door to exclusive drops and challenges.

Q: What is an NBA Top Shot drop bonus?
A: Challenges that can help add to your collector score. For example, completing the ‘Favorite Team’ set challenge can add 100 points to your collector score.

Q: What makes an NBA Top Shot moment valuable?
A: In short: rarity. The rarer a card is the more valuable it will be. Also, badges (introduced in 2021) can add value to moments as well. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun too, so collect your favorite players!