What is NBA Top Shot?

NBA Top Shot has generated over 230 million dollars in transactions since it commenced in 2020. Cryptocurrencies and other digital assets have become more popular, so the NBA is getting into action. 

What is NBA Top Shot?

It’s an online marketplace where users can buy and trade NBA video highlights. These highlights, called “moments,” shows the video of an NBA player’s major move in a game. The moments can be bought in packs similar to sports cards or thru Top Shot’s marketplace.

There are many different types of moments you can buy.  From a Lebron James slam dunk to a Steph Curry 3 pointer, you will be able to create a collection of moments thru NBA Top Shot. Now, you won’t own the actual rights to the video but think of these moments in terms of sports cards. They create a certain amount of moments that can be bought, sold, or traded.


How can NBA Top Shot Moments be Bought?

All NBA top shot moments have to be bought on their website. NBA Top Shot moments can be bought in digital packs or individually in the Top Shot marketplace.  

Back in July 2019, the NBA partnered with Dapper Labs to create these highlights to be bought and sold on nbatopshot.com. Dapper Labs creates the highlights and determines how many of them are to be sold. Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitty, a collectible digital art form of non-fungible tokens (NFT), makes a five percent fee for every transaction. In general, the company specializes in blockchain and the development of NBA Top Shot. There is no physical card in this context, strictly videos of NBA players in their “moment of bliss.” You can only view these highlights on the NBA Top Shot official website. These highlights are entered into a personal encrypted wallet based on blockchain technology.

So, after a user buys a moment, it is stored in a Top Shot digital wallet. Blockchains are linked databases of information used to record transactions or ownership of a product. A user cannot gain control of the whole network because of its ledger system. Of course, blockchain technology is popular due to the increased use of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin. I am sure most of you reading this even have a blockchain wallet.

There are two ways to purchase these highlights. One of the ways is buying a pack of digital highlights.  There are a limited amount of packs offered on each release. It is still in Beta version, but if you are lucky enough to have an account you will receive an email letting you know when the next pack drop will be.  Once you have made a purchase, open the pack of highlights or resell on the digital marketplace.

The second way is to purchase highlights is through the marketplace. People buy and sell what they have received in their digital packs in the marketplace. It is possible to filter your search by player, team, or by tier.  You can also see all of the sales of a moment which really helps to see if prices are going up or down on a moment. Some of these packs are in limited quantities, so it is always better to buy them when they are released.  You can also buy and sell the Top shot packs instead of opening them.  

This is my collection to date.  Times are tough.

How Much Does an NBA Top Shot Pack Cost?

NBA Top shot packs have a large range in pricing.  The most common pack pricing starts at $9.99, mid-range packs are priced up to $249.00, and limited edition packs go for $999.00.   

Below you can see what a pack opening would look like if you were to buy an NBA Top shot pack.

Once you open a pack the moments inside maybe be worth $5.00 or thousands of dollars.  This is based on the players, what the highlight is, and how rare this moment is.

How Many NBA Top Shot Tiers?


There are four tiers of highlights on NBA Top Shot. The common tier, the rare tier, the legendary tier, and the ultimate tier.


NBA Top Shot


The common tier: As the name implies, this is the lowest tier of the NBA Top Shot. It is denoted by CC. This tier the moments will continually be created. The CC denotes how many highlights are being made at any point in time. In the common tier, you also have limited editions denoted by LE, which indicate a final amount of highlights to be made. In the common tier, about a thousand to twelve thousand highlights are available.

The rare tier: This is the next tier after the common tier. The limited-edition is also available in the rare tier. But it contains a smaller amount of highlights, ranging between 150 – 999.

The legendary tier: It also has a limited edition with a much less available amount of highlights. It is from ninety-nine to twenty five.

NBA Top Shot

The ultimate tier: This is the last tier of the NBA Top Shot is the ultimate tier. It is broken down into two categories; the genesis and the platinum ice categories.

  • The platinum ice category shows only three highlights.
  • The genesis provides only one highlight to be bought.

Why pay for an NBA Top Shot highlight when you can watch it Online?

This is a very valid question. In fact, it is one of the frequently asked questions.   You can get the moments you bought for free online.  True.  But you can go online and print a giant-sized picture of the Mona Lisa and keep it in your bedroom. You can tell people I have the Mona Lisa at my house, but it’s just not the same.  People collect a lot of different things, so why not video highlights of their favorite players.  These moments take time to find and create so you don’t have to go through video after video to find that exact highlight from a particular game. 

One of the best aspects of NBA Top Shots is transparency.  You can find out anytime who is buying or selling a moment.  Is someone trying to corner the market by buying up a particular player?  You will be able to see it coming and know exactly who it is that is doing it.   

As of right now, there are only two series for NBA Top Shot series so far. One started in October 2013 and ended in October 2020. The other series started in December 2020 and is still ongoing. 

Have more questions?  Please comment below!  Also, if you haven’t done so already check out my podcast – SVA Card Collector’s Podcast!


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