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NBA Top Shot A to Z: An encyclopedia on everything Top Shot

NBA Top Shot is taking over the blockchain. The newest NFT (non-fungible token) platform, licensed by the NBA and the NBPA has exponentially grown this calendar year and, with the rate it’s going, it seems that we’re just skimming the surface.

Ever since Dapper Labs launched the project in mid-2020, the platform has amassed almost $500,000,000 worth of sales and counting (via CryptoSlam) while its website is still in beta. Thousands of collectors buy, sell and trade in-game plays from the NBA in the website’s 24-hour Marketplace on a daily basis with hundreds of thousands of users queue for pack drops just to try and get their hands on these different digital collectibles called Moments.

Slowly (but surely), NBA Top Shot is taking center stage as players from all over the league have also been joining the platform to trade their own Moments and get in while it’s early. Players like Andre Iguodala and JaVale McGee have invested in the project while other stars like Tyrese Haliburton and Terry Rozier have been all-in, too.

Dapper Labs did also get a new round of investments recently with the likes of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson betting on the company while a certain Michael Jordan also got his feet wet and sprinkled on a little GOAT powder. That being said, it seems that it’s just a matter of time before NBA Top Shot becomes a household name and #NBATopShotThis becomes the go-to hashtag every time a highlight goes viral on social media.

But before you join NBA Top Shot’s mission towards the moon, it might be best to make sure you know as much as you can before signing up. Here’s a quick A to Z of the NBA Top Shot universe. Also, you’re welcome.

NBA Top Shot Basics from A to Z:


Obviously, the first thing you have to do is to create an Account.  You can simply go to the website and sign up. Thing is, the influx of thousands of users on a daily basis has forced the hand of the website to suspend sign-ups from time to time. If and when you decide to create an account and sign-ups are off, you can simply put in your email address to join the mailing list so you can get notified when new sign-ups are already open.

B – Base Set

The most common category or set of digital collectibles in the platform is under the Base Set category. Under this category, you can find the most common Moments in the Top Shot ecosystem. These Moments are usually the easiest ones to snag and are readily available in the Marketplace for cheap (relatively).

C – Challenge

NBA Top Shot also comes up with Challenges to help users build their portfolios. To join an active challenge, users would have to collect a certain number of specific Moments available in the Marketplace for a specific amount of time. Once a user is able to successfully acquire all the necessary Moments before the challenge timer ends, then the user will automatically be eligible for a reward. Challenge rewards are usually special Moments that have yet to be in circulation meaning completing a challenge gives you first dibs on that particular Moment.

D – Dapper Labs

NBA Top Shot is the brainchild of a company called Dapper Labs. After the success of their first major NFT project called CryptoKitties, the imaginative minds of Dapper Labs slowly built the NBA Top Shot platform to cater to the league’s massive market. The company came into an agreement with the NBA and the NBA Player’s Association which helped launched the blockchain-based project and made things official.

E – Evaluate.Market

For those who have already started trading and growing their NFT collection, you might want to take a look at this third-party website called evaluate.market. EM is a useful resource that gives users information about different account valuations, account history, and, more importantly, nitty-gritty details about a particular player or Moment.

F – Flipper

There are creatures lurking on the Top Shot platform who are in it to make a quick buck. These are called Flippers. These users buy Moments for cheap and sell them for profit. Don’t get me wrong, profit is profit, and making money is cool but sometimes joy flippers tend to adversely affect the market and create downtrends.

G – Gifting

Users are allowed to send any Moment from their personal collection to another user via Gifting. 


HODL is crypto’s version of the term ‘hold’ which translates to ‘holding on to dear life’. We have all seen how volatile the market is which prices shooting up and crashing down in mere weeks so if you believe in the space then best to strap your seat belts and enjoy the ride.

I – Investment

All these NFTs we’re all trading in the Top Shot platform should be considered investments. Investments always have the potential to grow but, at the same time, they also have a huge potential to bust. Only put in what you’re willing to lose, as the experts would say. This isn’t a sure thing right now but it sure looks to be fun in the long run.

J – Join every drop

The best way to start your Top Shot journey is by grabbing a pack. Packs are relatively cheap and the Moments inside would usually give you a 2x or 3x return on your purchase. Easy money. But, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Pack drops (so far) have been one of the crazier events that have been happening within the platform – especially the Rare ones. Hundreds of thousands of users all line up for a chance to grab one of the thousands of packs available in every drop and these packs are sold out in a matter of hours. Our advice? Join every drop and test your luck.

K – KYC 

To be verified in the Top Shot platform, a user shall undergo a KYC process. Currently, it takes users as fast as a couple of weeks to be verified but it can also take a couple of months as Dapper Labs continues to work extremely hard to perfect the process. Only verified collectors will be allowed to withdraw from their accounts.

L – LE

LE stands for Limited Edition. Moments that are tagged under the LE category certify that there is only a limited number of these Moments in circulation. All LE Moments have already been capped meaning Top Shot will not be producing any more of these Moments in the future, unlike Moments tagged under CC which is a circulation count that may increase as the seasons go by.

M – Marketplace

All Moments being sold on the platform can be found in the website’s official Marketplace. The Marketplace is a 24-hour peer-to-peer secondary market where users are allowed to list their own Moments for sale as well as buy any Moments that have previously been listed by other users.

N – Serial Number

One key and identifiable aspect of each Moment is its Serial Number (SN). Depending on the number of mints per Moment, each play will have a certain amount of Moments in circulation which all have a unique serial number. Obviously, Moments that have a very low serial number will be valued way up while Moments that have a higher serial number will be lower in terms of value. This is also where a certain player’s jersey number comes into play. If you’re sitting on a LeBron James Moment with a #23 serial number then congratulations.

O Own The Plays

‘Own The Plays’ is the line that’s bannered all across NBA Top Shot’s platform. Through the website, users are able to ‘own’ specific in-game plays that have been licensed by the NBA.

P – Packs

One of the easiest ways to grab a handful of Moments for (relatively) cheap is through buying a Pack. Depending on the type of pack that is scheduled to be released, users have a chance to acquire three or more Moments inside one pack that go for as cheap as $9 and as high as $999. The price of each pack will depend on the pack category, which will also determine what Moments will be inside the said pack. Packs are usually sold out in a matter of hours.

Q – Queue

The dreaded pack drop Queue is where hearts are broken and dreams are fulfilled. When a pack is released on the website, users all line up in a queue system that usually opens a few minutes before the actual schedule. Users who are able to fall in line and join the drop prior to the line opening get a random number assigned to them once selling is open. And yes, the numbers have been and will continue to be (at least for now) given at random. If there are 30,000 packs up for grabs and you receive a random number of 30,000 and below then it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to snag an elusive pack.

R – Rare

Rare is a Moment category which falls under the mid to high category. There are different edition sizes when it comes to these Rare Moments and, obviously, prices also do vary depending on the actual play and the player.

S – Series

The Series number pertains to the NBA Season in which the Moment was released. Since the platform only began in 2020, Moments released within the 2019-2020 NBA Season are all considered Series 1 Moments. Moments that are released within the 2020-21 NBA Season are subsequently tagged under Series 2. You get the picture.

T – Token

These digital collectibles are considered as NFTs or Non-fungible Tokens. NFTs are quickly taking over the digital space with different industries like sports, music, and art all going all-in on the tech.

U – Undercutting

Undercutting is the tedious task of selling a particular Moment below its ‘Lowest Ask’ price. Careful with this one, it can be bloody especially when the market is dipping.

V – Valuation

Each Moment will have a particular price or Valuation. The value of each Moment is completely determined by the market. Though users are allowed to put their own valuation on the Moments they want to list, all Moments available in the Marketplace will show the ‘Lowest Ask’ meaning the lowest value the Moment is going for all the way up to the highest. The ‘Lowest Ask’ of a particular Moment you’re holding is a good way to gauge the dollar value of that particular Moment although keep in mind that this isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to its overall value.

W – Wallet

Users store their money in their Wallet, under their Dapper Labs account. You can put money in your wallet through a Credit Card swipe or through certain cryptocurrencies. Once you have money in your wallet, you can easily buy any Moment from the Marketplace and even purchase packs. You can also directly pay for these purchases through upfront payments meaning the platform doesn’t require users to have a minimum amount in their wallets. Any profit from any of your sales will also go directly to your wallet.


Given that we’re dealing with real money here, you need to know when to exit. It’s obviously all up to you. Some have been frustrated with the growing pains of the beta version of the platform and have cashed out. Most, including myself, are here for the long haul and are optimistic about the platform’s overall success and growth. X this one out – we’re heading towards the moon.

Y – Your money, your call

As Top Shot purveyors and early adopters always mention, all the advice being thrown around isn’t expert financial advice. At the end of the day, it’s Your Money, Your Call. Different players approach the platform differently and it’s important to have specific goals in mind when you finally decide to invest your dollars in NBA Top Shot. Are you a fan looking to collect long-term or are you an investor looking to do short trades and simply make money? Again – your money, your call.

Z – Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson is one of the hottest names when it comes to the NBA Top Shot platform. Of course, there are other big names out there like LeBron James, Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, etc., but Zion has been able to hold his own amongst these giants in terms of the valuation of his Moments. Plus, it was hard to think of another word that starts with Z. Jokes aside, Zion’s Moments have been beating in the Top Shot ecosystem. This Zion Block went viral earlier in January when a collector bought it for $100,000. A few months after in March, a user reportedly offered $1 million for it which the owner turned down.