The NBA Top Shot guide for the clueless

Update – March 19, 2021 – First “rare” moment grab!

In my first successful pack drop, I was able to get a Limited Edition “Seeing Stars” Rudy Gobert moment. I was a bit impatient to let it sit around and rise. Finally, I lowered the price on it and sold it for $250. Now I had a significant amount of money left in my Dapper account.

Later the night of selling the Gobert moment, NBA Top Shot announced an All-Star pack drop that would include a “rare” moment from the 2021 NBA All-Star game.

I waited in the line and the most unbelievable thing happened once the queue opened up at 12:00 PM EST. The blue lightning line zipped through and took me to a pack! I suppose I became one of the lucky “VIP” entries. My rare pull? A Julius Randle dunk.

Update – March 5, 2021 – snagged my first pack!

After carefully following all the notifications and assistance from fellow NBA Top Shot fans I have arrived at securing my first few moments. I attempted two drops.

Overall, the experience was seamless and I was able to use my iPhone to log in and “wait in line” for the drop I was successful on. The queue runs quickly now.

From joining the line at 7:45 PM EST I spent an hour waiting, checking out, and securing my 3 moments below. There is an option to enter in your email for notifications. There is the disclaimer to be aware emails could be delayed, go to spam/junk, or not come at all so don’t blame NBA Top Shot folks. However, my email notifications are actually what drew me back right into my opening the pack moment!

Drop 1 – March 5, 2021 at 12 PM EST (9AM PST). Seeing Stars common pack drop. I was placed in line at around 117,000 while the available packs were about 61,000.

Result: Unsuccessful

Drop 2 – March 5, 2021 at 8 PM EST (5 PM PST). Seeing Stars common pack drop. I was placed in line at around 17,000 while the available packs were about 61,000.

Result: Successful

Original article

I’ll admit, I gave NBA Top Shot two minutes of my time, some quarantine time last year mid-summer? Facebook advertisements were on point. I thought it was some cool tangible product I can add to my newly minted work from home office.

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However, when I couldn’t understand too much of what was being marketed to me. Like an old person, I dipped out. Sadly, I ended up purchasing some fan gear that could be shipped to me instead.

Lesson learned, don’t be old and ignore possible virtual investments! Even if the website still refers to this platform in its BETA stage.

Here is a quick guide to help you understand what it is and how it can be a source of investment income!

What is NBA Top Shot?

Now you can visit the official website and get an explanation but you’ll be bombarded with a really cool-looking front page. A clean front page and the flashing advertisements to jump out at you don’t explain much. You can tell its associated with the NBA and NBA Players.

In simple terms, NBA Top Shot is a virtual format of highlights (or “moments”) sold in a virtual format. So basically, NBA Top Shot is a form of selling digital highlights that only you and a certain amount of people have access to on the NBA Top Shot platform.

You’re kidding me? Virtual highlights?

No, I’m not kidding. If you’re my age or older you probably have heard of Pokemon cards and Beanie Babies right? Stuffed animals and paper printed with holographic material made it big right?

The “moment” is broken down to about a 10-second clip similar to if you follow the NBA on Instagram or Twitter and watch the short clips there. You get a breakdown of the date, player name, and “pack” that the highlight is a part of. A final distinction is a serial number linked to your moment in which helps solidify you’re one of the random people who own this limited “product”.

NBA Top Shot is a first-of-its-kind collectible game that allows people to collect, trade, and sell their favorite NBA highlights as digital tokens. These highlights can be collected to complete timed challenges, arranged into showcases, and eventually carried over into the forthcoming game experience!


How can I buy some NBA Top Shot at this time?

The best way to secure a moment is by securing a “pack drop”. Likewise physical trading card NBA Top Shot offers releases of moments in a pack. A pack can vary between 3-7 moments and include rare or limited edition moments. One day I attempted a pre-order pack. However, the preorder page currently has notified us, “Time’s up! You can’t join this queue at this time.”

One option is to stay up-to-date within the social media channels for NBA Top Shot. Pack drops can randomly be announced by the platform and you’ll need an account to even get your place in line. I advise it is best to get the account created as soon as possible. It is common for new sign-ups to be placed on hold often and what seems only available during the downtime in low traffic hours. With the increase of attention multiple Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms have been created by fans to inform others. However, NBA Top Shot’s own social media accounts are fully transparent on drop dates and times.

What if I can’t get a pack?

Well, technically there is another way to purchase and become an official NBA Top Shot owner. The Marketplace! Visiting the Marketplace allows for you to purchase moments that you actually want to own versus having to accept what you get once you open a pack.

Want a LeBron James dunk? That’s gonna cost you around $250,000 USD. Let me write that one more time. The current asking price is $250,000 USD. Although, this may have been a more premium piece and the original buying price could have been from a more expensive pack. Therefore not only because it is LeBron James but the buying price from the jump may have been a little more money than a $9 pre-order.

Now if you’re like me and a Magic fan there is some good news. I can purchase a Markelle Fultz jump shot for $23 USD. If you know a thing or two about the stock market this is a similar concept. A rare and popular NBA Superstar is valued more than the current injured Markelle Fultz who doesn’t hold the same market value

I bought or planning to buy a moment. Now, what do I do with a moment?

Once you own a moment you have an opportunity to hold on to it as an official NBA Top Shot owner or resale the moment in the NBA Top Shot Marketplace.

The Marketplace will show you the lowest and highest asking price range plus the most recent sales of the moments that you’re looking to buy or sell. Your moment will come with a serial number. Having a lower serial number of a moment usually means a good thing. I will explain next.

Let’s say there are 10,000 moments and you’re one of the 10,000 lucky owners of that same moment. An example is, you may have moment number 2,500 out of 10,000. Typically, the lower the serial number you have the higher value that moment will be vs the same moment at serial number 8,000.

This is where the profiting comes in. The idea is like the stock market. Resell a moment at a higher price than what you bought the single moment or pack. An example of this is let’s say I just spent $14 on the Seeing Stars pack. I have a lower number serial number of the Rudy Gobert dunk that is currently on the market for about $500. This is my opportunity to profit after spending $14 on the Seeing Stars pack I was lucky to get!

How is the value of a moment determined?

The value of a moment is determined by a few things:

  • Serial number – higher the serial number the lower it may be worth. The lower the serial number the higher it may be worth
  • Player – of course, the best players usually are more sought after versus having a bench players moment
  • Rare editions – NBA Top Shot is dropping packs continuously and advising how some moments are one-of-a-kind. If a certain moment only has 2,000 produced on the platform this means it is obviously a limited edition that is hard to get a hold of, thus the value can increase
  • Market influencers – NBA Players, Mark Cuban, and social media can cause an influx of panic to either sell moments or buy moments (remember this might work like the stock market!)


I’m interested so how I sign-up?

  1. Create an account via NBATopShot.com
  2. Set-up your profile and even pick your favorite team!
  3. Add payment information since you intend on buying/selling (cryptocurrency accepted!)
  4. Purchase a pack (if available) or buy a moment on the Marketplace
  5. Once you purchase a pack or single moment enjoy ownership!
  6. Watch the value rise and list it on the Marketplace for sale
  7. Profit for a higher resale than what you bought your pack/moment for!
My homepage upon first signing up for an account

A sustainable market?

For a platform in its BETA stage, you have to wonder what else they can fine-tune besides creating more of an opportunity to allow more people to buy their moments. Some people have waited hours in a “virtual queue” in order to receive a pack.

This new concept is acknowledged up by NBA Players who also shared their thoughts about NBA Top Shot. Mark Cuban is on record saying there is a “real market” for the virtual highlight trading platform.

NBA Top Shot is a legitimate online trading forum. Towards the bottom right of the website, it reflects the NBA logo and NBPA logo. Both links to the respective websites of the NBA and NBPA. NBA Top Shot also proudly advertises that they are licensed by each party.

For now, Dapper Labs seems committed to their creation as updates happen around the clock. They are still listing the platform in a BETA stage and have yet to announce an official “hard launch”. More pack drops are happening and more people are signing up to get their hands on moments. I would assume long-term sustainability is still in question. For the short game, we’re here trading moments and people are making money.

NBA Players like Josh Hart and Tyrese Haliburton are also two players who are appearing in support of NBA Top Shot on Twitch live streams or other media channels. This is positive to help guide the platform more in its BETA stage.

Final thoughts

The platform is controlled to where there is a community, marketplace, and opportunity to purchase directly from the seller in one place. There are warnings not to conduct business outside of the platform as you risk losing your investment.

The visual delivery of the content is exciting, flashy, and modern. The website is easy to navigate and friendly with cryptocurrency so perhaps if you’re already investing down that avenue you can redirect some of that to NBA Top Shot.

The website runs without issues and even last week I attempted to sign up. I received a message telling me that new sign-ups were currently paused due to high demand. However, the front page and other sections of the website had no changes. I still could navigate the website to feel out what this NBA Top Shot thing is. Loved that! The next day I was able to finally create my account. I’m ready to purchase a moment or wait for another pack drop!

Hopefully, now you’re ready to trade some NBA Top Shot! If you’re like me and like tangible products you can always visit our partners at FOCO.com for some unique licensed sports gear!

Want to hear more? A podcast you can enjoy being educated about NBA Top Shot. Listen to Friends With Boredom with NBA Top Shot expert Adam Papageorgiou.

Follow me on Twitter @BaselineChevy

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