NFT studio House of Kibaa has announced an auction of three “Legendary” NBA Top Shot nonfungible tokens depicting slam dunks from renowned professional basketball player LeBron James.
The auction will be hosted in partnership with Heritage Auctions and will run from May 6 until May 20. The three NFTs will be auctioned off as a single collection. Each of the tokens was released during the first season of NBA Top Shot, and all of them are of Legendary scarcity — the rarest tokens that NBA Top Shot collectors can own.
NBA Top Shot has exploded in popularity since launching its closed beta in June 2020 and transition to open beta three months later.
By March 2021, NBA Top Shot had generated more than $230 million in gross sales. According to Cryptoslam, NBA Top Shot’s secondary peer-to-peer marketplace hosts more than $1.8 million worth of trades daily, according to a 30-day rolling average, with Legendary tokens having fetched six-figure prices in recent months.
House of Kibaa spokesperson T.C. Lau described the offering as “the largest auction sale in NBA Top Shot history,” noting that each of the tokenized moments has serial numbers that “hold a great significance to the late Los Angeles Lakers star, Kobe Bryant.” The tokens to be auctioned boast the serial numbers #26, #41 and #42.
The #26 token depicts James’ iconic “Kobe Bryant Tribute Dunk” on Feb. 6, in which James performed the same “break away, reverse windmill, two-handed slam dunk” popularized by Bryant roughly 19 years beforehand in the same arena.
The #26 serial number also invokes the date of Bryant’s death — Jan. 26, 2020. The announcement notes the #26 serial number will never again exist in circulation for a Kobe Tribute NBA Top Shot moment.
A #3 serial Legendary token depicting the same tribute dunk from the same series set a new record for the most expensive NBA Top Shot moment sold after it was auctioned for $387,600 on April 16.
The #42 NFT depicts James leading the Lakers to their 17th championship in the 2020 NBA championship finals. The win saw the Lakers secure their first championship since Bryant won his fifth and final NBA title with the team roughly a decade beforehand, with James having promised to deliver the victory in honor of Bryant’s legacy. Bryant would have been aged 42 at the time, adding significance to the NFT’s serial number.
The last token up for auction boasts the #41 serial number and was the first Legendary LeBron James NFT minted by NBA Top Shot. The NFT depicts a dunk performed by James two days before he and Bryant were photographed together at the following Lakers game. Bryant was aged 41 at the time the dunk was performed.
The auction will be ongoing during the May 15 ceremony for Bryant’s posthumous induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.