NBA Launches 18,000 Dynamic NFTs Dubbed ‘The Association’

April 21, 2022, 11:15 AM AEST (updated April 22, 2022)

The US National Basketball Association (NBA) this week began minting its Ethereum NFT collection of 18,000 assets, imaginatively titled ‘The Association‘.

Each Association NFT represents a real NBA player in this year’s playoffs, with 75 NFTs of each player from the 16 NBA teams participating. NFT traits will evolve over the course of the playoffs based on each player’s actual performance, meaning that the associated number of dunks, blocks, three-pointers, rebounds or assists will change that player’s image. NFT backgrounds and “frames” will also change based on the player’s team’s performance.

NFTs Free But Gas Fees Apply

According to the NBA website, the NFTs will be free to mint but interested collectors will foot the bill for gas fees on Ethereum. That said, the NBA is reserving some assets for holders of NBA Top Shot NFTs, with a maximum of one per wallet.

Fans qualify on a first-come, first-served basis by joining the NBA Discord group and connecting their digital wallet to the initiative’s website. However, the list is already full.

After the presale minting, the NFT art will be revealed on April 22 and viewable on NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.

Not every basketball fan is impressed by these developments, with some taking the launch team to task on Twitter:

Others claimed The Association NFTs were already “overallocated”:

NFT Bubble Fit to Burst

Controversy over the NBA’s Association collection echoes the disgruntlement of Australian Football League fans, who this week also took to Twitter to deride the launch of the indigenous code’s NFT marketplace.

Has the NFT bubble burst? Though there are sporadic signs of life in the sports sphere, the consensus is that non-fungible fatigue has well and truly set in.

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