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Grind Money

The Best NBA Top Shot Resources To Explore

It’s been about a week since our last article at One37pm on NBA Top Shot and boy have some major things happened. At the time that article was posted, the record for sales in one day on NBA Top Shot peaked at around $6 million on January 24th.  

One month later, all previous records have been absolutely shattered.  Check out the new sales data on the official website.

Evaluate.market

The new record high for sales in one day peaked at over $40 million (!!) on February 23rd, 2020.  

But what has led to the parabolic rise? Well, a lot. NBA Top Shot is everywhere on the internet these days. Barstool Sports, ESPN, Social Media Influencers, and even NBA players themselves have joined in on the hype. 

We have seen NBA players including LaMelo Ball, Josh Hart, Damion Lee, PJ Washington, Cole Anthony, and more talking about NBA Top Shot on Twitter. Watch this clip from Sacramento Kings star rookie, Tyrese Haliburton, talking Top Shot in a post-game presser.

For people reading this article and hearing about NBA Top Shot for the first time, I imagine there are a ton of missing pieces.  In case you need a refresher, I broke it down here: What is NBA Top Shot?  

The industry is flooding with thousands of new users every day, so it may be hard to find the best tools and resources to stay up to date and educated on what’s happening with NBA Top Shot. We have you covered.

NBATopShot.com

This may seem like an obvious resource, but there are some important aspects to be aware of when navigating the NBA Top Shot website. New Top Shot users should navigate to the ‘Community’ tab, where they can find two key resources. The first resource is the ‘Getting Started Guide.’ 

NBA Top Shot

Using this resource, new users are able to read about the product basics of NBA Top Shot. The ‘Getting Started Guide’ includes information on:

  • Explaining the queue
  • The Official NBA Top Shot Challenge Guide
  • A guide to challenges
  • The Xs and Os of retired moments
  • The Codex
  • Fees & Finances
  • Welcome to The Beta

All of this information that is provided to you directly by the official website, is a great way for a new user to dip deeper into the water that is NBA Top Shot.

NBA Top Shot Discord

The second key resource provided by NBA Top Shot’s “Community” tab is the official Top Shot Discord. For those of you new to Discord, it is an instant messaging platform that is specifically designed for building communities. The Top Shot Discord has a lot of channels to it, so I will highlight what I have found to be the most useful.

Stress-testers-announcements: The primary function of this channel is to communicate ‘Stress Tests’, which are pack drops. Pack Drops are great ways to start building your collection at a low cost and are critical for new collectors to be a part of.

Site-status-issues: The Top Shot website is still in beta, so maintenance is regular. This channel lets users know when the marketplace is live. During maintenance, users are not able to buy, sell, or gift moments.

General: The general channel can be used to communicate with tens of thousands of other Top Shot users in an open forum. As you may expect, things become a bit toxic from time to time. I avoid this channel for the most part but check in every once in a while for entertainment.

Buying/Selling/Marketplace-chat: This is one of my favorite channels to hang out in. A user can post moments that are for sale or even inquire about a specific moment they are looking to purchase.  Often in these channels, you may be able to strike a deal for a moment if you reach out to users via Discord DM.

Top Tools for Market/Moment Analytics:
Crypto Slam

Cryptoslam is one of the simplest tools for analyzing the Top Shot market. The information is provided in a straightforward and easy-to-digest format for users. The four charts on the top show users’ data and trends that are key when evaluating the market.

CryptoSlam

Today’s Sales Volume: The number shown in USD is the value of all marketplace sales over the past 24 hours.  

Today’s Market Buyers:  The number of users making a purchase on the marketplace over the past 24 hours.

Today’s Market Sellers:  The number of users selling a moment on the marketplace over the past 24 hours.

Today’s Mints: The number of newly minted moments over the past 24 hours.

Also included on Crypto Slam, are the latest sales, listings, and moments minted.  This is all provided to the user in real-time.  

Crypto Slam is one of my staple NBA Top Shot tools to form an analysis on the current market state.

Evaluate Market

Evaluate Market is my personal favorite tool to use for all things NBA Top Shot. On the website’s homepage, users can see a snapshot of total market sales in terms of dollars and volume. I spend the majority of my time on Evaluate Market in ‘Moments,’ ‘Account Value,’ and ‘Market Movers.’

Moments

On the moments’ page, users are able to do a deep dive into the analytics on an individual moment. Users enter the name of the player and the moment (Set/Series) they are looking to analyze.  

For example, check out the analytics on the LeBron James, Base Set (Series 2) 3 Pointer.

Evaluate.market

Users are able to see all relevant data points related to the specific moment in a one-stop-shop. Market Cap, % of Packs/Owned, Average Sale Price Trend, and Volume Trend are just a few of this useful tool’s offerings.

Account Value

I hate to admit it, but the Account Value page is one of the resources on Evaluate Market I find myself using most often.  There’s just something about hitting the F5 button on this page and watching the value of your account move.  

The Account Value tool allows users to search any username on NBA Top Shot and see what their account is worth using current marketplace lows. 

Evaluate Market

Also, when searching an account name, users are able to see details on each individual moment owned.  Included features are lowest ask, purchase price, moment, category, set, and serial.  Also, by clicking on the moment icon, users are taken to the moment evaluation page I highlighted above.

Market Movers

Last but not least, we have the Market Movers feature.  This tool allows users to filter by ‘Avg Floor Today’, % Change (24 hr), and Floor Volume.

Evaluate Market

This can be used to identify moments that are trending down or up, which is very useful when making a decision whether or not to invest in a moment.

Twitter accounts to follow:

Twitter is one of the best places to stay up to date on everything happening NBA Top Shot. I listed a few of my favorite Twitter accounts (including mine) that I recommend following.

@NBA_TopShotThe Official NBA Top Shot Account

@TheFirstMintThe First Mint was one of the first NFT / Top Shot accounts I followed.  They cover everything NBA Top Shot and provide some of the best real-time info on Twitter. Be on the lookout for their new website coming soon!

@OwnTheMomentNFTOwn The Moment provides in-depth analysis and strategy on how to succeed as a collector on NBA Top Shot.

@PeterOverzetWelcome to the CLUB! The world’s first NBA Top Shot comedian who hosts a live stream called ‘Club Top Shot’ on Youtube (most recently featuring Warrior’s Damion Lee.)

@Bobby2NiceeMy Twitter account where I drop tidbits on my NBA Top Shot thoughts/experience.

Bobby’s Best Buy

Spencer Dinwiddie 

Layup – Base Set (Series 2)

Lowest Ask: $24

Brooklyn Nets guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, is currently out recovering from a partially torn ACL.  Recently an article was published where Dinwiddie expressed his desire to return to the action this season and how his recovery is ahead of schedule.  Presumably, any return to action would happen during a Brooklyn Nets playoff run.  IF Dinwiddie does return, and IF the Brooklyn Nets win the championship, this could be the only moment we see Dinwiddie in a championship-winning season. At $24, he would be a bargain.

NBA Top Shot

Conclusion

NBA Top Shot has solidified itself in the NFT and NBA world as a product that is here to stay.  These resources will help you stay up to date and educated on all things NBA Top Shot and allow you to become sharper as a collector and/or investor.  Stay tuned for more content coming soon around NBA Top Shot!

Categories
Sports Strength

I’m Matt Sponhour, Here Are 4 NBA Trades I’d Like to See

This has been an already turbulent NBA season for trades, so I wanted to take a stab at a few potential options that we might see some time this year. I followed a few criteria for making this list. First, I wanted to make sure these were trades that were beneficial to both teams and actually made sense. Bradley Beal to the Nuggets for Bol Bol is a fun idea but certainly wouldn’t happen. Second, I used ESPN’s trade machine to calculate the financial aspect of the trades, confirming that they’re actually possible from a logistical perspective. 

I’m not saying that these trades will happen, but these are some well-calculated possibilities that could make the league even more competitive. The season is just starting to really heat up, and a boon to, say, the 76ers or Nuggets roster could absolutely change the playoffs landscape. So, without further ado, here are four potential trades for this NBA season.

1. Kyle Lowry to the 76ers
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

For Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle, and one 1st round pick

The Raptor’s 2019 Finals victory cemented Lowry as a player who could play a key role for a championship team. There are rumors floating around that there’s a decent possibility that the Raps might be looking to move on from him. Personally, I want Lowry to stay on the Raptors and end his career there. On top of that, the Raptors have already started to turn their season around, which might mean that they chose not to blow their roster up. That being said, if they do move him, this is what I’d want to see. 

Going to the 76ers would make sense for a few reasons. One, this would give Philly another shot creator on the perimeter, something they definitely could use. This would give them the option to put out an unreal starting five with Simmons, Embiid, Harris, Curry, and Lowry all on the floor. However, it might be in their best interest to have Lowry run the bench unit instead, which I think could also work well. The flaw of this trade would be that it would leave the 76ers very shallow on the bench, but I think they can swing deals to help their 2nd unit out and make this work. Simply put, this is a win-now move for a team that should be serious contenders

As far as the Raptors go, if they make this move, they’re going to be in a period of rebuilding. The reason why I think this trade works is because I seriously believe in Maxey as a player. Frankly, I’m higher on him than I should be, but he has the potential to turn himself into a serious offensive threat. That means that if the Raptors are trying to reset, I’d love for them to pick Tyrese up. Danny Green is a veteran who can space the floor. He’s pretty much just in this trade to make the money match, but I could see a scenario where the Raps involve a 3rd team to flip him for another pick (probably a 2nd). Even if they can’t, he’s on an expiring deal, so it’s not going to affect them long term. This trade would give the Raptors a very solid young core and an extra pick which is about the best they could do in a Lowry trade.

Overall, I think this trade would benefit the Sixers hugely for this season and the Raps down the line. It works for both teams if the Raptors decide to go this route. 

2. Bradley Beal to the Nuggets
Patrick Smith / Getty Images

For Michael porter Jr, Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton and two 1st round picks

Truth be told, Beal probably won’t get traded.  The Wizards have been bad this year, but they’re on a nice winning streak right now, so they might be turning the corner. Nonetheless, this would be a good possibility for him if that ever seems to no longer be the case. The Wizards totally botched this offseason. Westbrook isn’t necessarily better than Wall, and they’re the ones who gave up the pick to make the swap. They’ve had major defensive problems up to this point, and their salary cap isn’t due to clear up any time soon. It’s hard to imagine this team could put the pieces around Beal to make the Wizards contenders.

I think if they do decide to blow it up and start over, this trade will give the Wizards a good start, netting them a young star in the making with MPJ. on top of that, you’ve got some solid prospects and FRPs to make a reasonable package. I thought about giving Washington an AD/Harden level return for Beal, but I don’t know if he’s quite at that level, even with the season he’s having.

The Nuggets’ side is simple; they add a 3rd star. I understand if they want to wait for MPJ to develop; in fact, I might if I were them. He’s got the potential to be a top 10 player in this league if everything goes right. That being said, there’s a real chance they get impatient and pull the trigger.

3. Khem Birch to the Nets
Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

For Landry Shamet and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot

If you’ve watched a Nets game since the Harden news, you know two things are clear. One, these cats aren’t playing defense, and two, they really need another center. Deandre Jordan, at this point in his career, can only do so much. Losing Allen clearly altered their roster more than they anticipated. Birch has been great rotationally for the Magic; he’s good with pick-and-rolls and doesn’t need to take a ton of shots to make an impact. The last thing the Nets need is another shot-taker. While I don’t think he would be a game-changer for them, he’s a center who can play a role and give some solid minutes, which is exactly what they need. I’m sure Drummond is their first choice but that’s gonna be hard to pull off without a buyout.

Losing a rotational big wouldn’t hurt the Magic too much, as they have Mo Bamba on their roster who has been getting very few minutes. Moving Birch not only lands them a few young players with potential but also opens up playing time for Bamba, a player who I still believe in. Shamet is the main asset they’d get back in this move. He’s been slumping recently, but a change of scenery might get him back to shooting like we know he can. The Nets could also throw in a 2nd to sweeten the deal if need be.

4. PJ Tucker to the 76ers
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

For two 2nd round draft picks

The NBA’s resident sneakerhead would be a great fit for the already booming 76ers for a few reasons. First, undoubtedly PJ has looked rough to start this year, but I still think that he could provide value as a 3 and D player. I’m a big believer in getting energy bench guys, and he’d be exactly that. The 76ers’ biggest need might be scoring off the bench, but because this trade is so cheap, I think they could still look into it. Tucker just seems like the type of guy who will play his best with limited minutes on a contender. 

For the Rockets, I don’t know if PJ Tucker really fits the direction of the team anymore. Two second-round draft picks might not seem like much, but Tucker isn’t clicking with the team, so offloading him for some potential benefits in the future is actually a pretty strong move. There have been rumors he could get bought out, so getting 2 picks instead would be a win for them.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

Mark Cuban Talks With ONE37pm About The National Anthem, New Ventures, And More

During the week of February 9th, Mark Cuban made headlines after a story was released by The Athletic revealing that the Dallas Mavericks were not playing the national anthem before home games and didn’t plan to move forward.

“It was my decision, and I made it in November,” Cuban told Marc Stein of the NYT.

Cuban’s actions caused the NBA to release a statement on the matter, which read:

“With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” said NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass.

Not one to take things sitting down, Cuban issued a response::

“We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart — no matter where I hear it played. But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them. We feel they also need to be respected and heard because they have not been heard. The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them.”

Cuban spoke with ONE37pm to discuss his new partnership, his thoughts on TikTok, and if his stance on playing the Anthem had changed  following the blowback. 

ONE37pm: A week later, how do you feel about your stance on the anthem?

Mark Cuban: Nothing has changed. There are a couple of things, and I am a national anthem guy. That is just the way I was raised, and it is a habit more than anything else. And over time, I have learned that not everyone looks at the national anthem the way I do. When that starts happening, you start doing your homework, and you read about Francis Scott Key, the second, third, and fourth verses; and, understandably, there is a reference to free men, slaves, and you can see how it makes people uncomfortable. With that being said, people have habits, and for me, for 20 years with the Mavs, I would be out there [on the floor] or even in my office bunker; I would stand and put my hand over my heart. During the anthem the stands were not full, people walked around on the concourse, and I did see their response to the anthem; some stopped, but most didn’t. And it is not important to them that they are on time for it. It is not important to stop on the concourse. For some, they will not stop and put a beer down, while some won’t even take their hats off. That always bothered me; if this was so important to us, and it is to me. My dad was military and fought in two wars, and was wounded. My uncle was in the Air Force and fought in two wars. If it was so important, then why do we disrespect it like that? It always bothered me, and then over the last couple of years, The anthem has gotten weaponized, and certain people felt their form of patriotism was the only form of patriotism. If you didn’t do it their way, you are not patriotic, and you didn’t love this country, and to me, that was wrong. There is no one way to love this country other than the definition of liberty.

You get to love this country or not. I truly believe 99.99 percent love this country; there are no ifs and about it. Some don’t, but 99.99 percent do. There are people now that feel like their way of honoring our amazing country is the only way. They try to weaponize it, and we saw that with our players. So, going into the season, they had come out of the bubble where there were many messages and emotions. I was like, one: people don’t fully respect it initially, which really bothered me; two: everybody watched what people did with the anthem in those first couple of games; three: we weren’t going to have fans, so let’s see what happens if we didn’t play it. That is actually what I did, and after the lineup, I went over to our PR guy Scooter and said, “Has anybody said anything? Not a word. “Did you tell the other team  and their media what was going on?” Told everybody, not a word, and it continued until the 13th game. A reporter said something, and then that’s when everybody found out. It was never going to be a situation where we weren’t going to play the anthem. It wasn’t a situation where I was against playing it. It was more of a situation where let’s see what happens.

The Mavericks host an event called Seats for Soldiers every year except for Covid. We celebrate more than 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and veterans from the Adaptive Training Foundation, and reserve troops from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 

ONE37pm: It was recently announced that you partnered with a company by the name of Fireside. Can you share with our audience what the company entails?

Cuban: It’s called FireSide Chat, and it is not going to be out for a couple of months, but effectively it’s podcasting 2.0, and what it says is, if you go to a conference, and you sit down, there is a moderator people asking questions or a keynote speaker then they open it up for questions. We will enable that using audio, and you can invite whoever you want to your keynote or podcast. You will be able to take questions from them, interact with them, and they will have the features applaud and make noise to get feedback, but they will also be able to tip you, and you will also be able to save it. Clubhouse is meant to be in the moment, and that’s great, but with FireSide Chat, you will be able to have that entire conversation and then save it. So, people can download it and listen to the whole thing. That is what I think is missing as much as anything. So, you want that interaction, and you want it to live forever. Instead of it being in one spot like Clubhouse is. 

ONE37pm: What are your thoughts on TikTok?

Cuban: I think the cool part about being a tech geek I look at the tech side, and I think it has many other content applications. In traditional social media, it is driven by advertisement first. It used to be about who you follow and follow somebody. It would be in chronological order. Then artificial intelligence started jumping in like Facebook. They will optimize for what you like to hear but maximize their ad revenue, wherewith TikTok doesn’t appear in any way that it is an ad maximization strategy. It looks like it showcases more of those videos, even if it is not someone you follow. So, I watch a lot of basketball highlights, and so does my son. He also likes to watch business-related stuff, which is crazy for an 11-year-old. So, his feed is different from mine, which is different from my daughter, who knows every dance, but they get a separate feed. I have shared with the NBA that kids might not sit and watch an entire game. So, we might have to deliver our games more like a Tik Tok presentation. Where instead of the entire game, if it is someone that likes dunks? Then every dunk is coming from the Mavs versus the Blazers. If somebody likes Luka, every possession with Luka is coming nonstop, and so on. 

The Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star finished the interview by sharing that he was excited for things to come in the tech space. 

Cuban has never been one to shy away from sharing his thoughts, regardless of the topic, and it’s clear that he has a strong opinion on the National Anthem. Whether you agree with him or not is another issue, but it’s safe to say that Cuban is going to speak his mind, and we’re here for it.

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Sports Strength

The 25 Best Defenders in the NBA Right Now

The responsibilities of a defender in today’s NBA are taxing. With the rise of three-point shooting and modern rules which favor offenses, NBA defenses have more responsibility than ever. Defenders have to be able to excel in different defensive schemes. Versatility is paramount, and the best defenders are the ones that show up at the most important times.

Apologies go out to Jonathan Isaac and Klay Thompson, who would probably make this list any other year, but Isaac and Thompson are out for the season due to injury. There were also other defenders worthy of recognition, but the NBA is filled with players who have a case to make this list. From Rudy Gobert to Giannis Antetokounmpo, here’s a look at the best defenders in the NBA right now.

1. Rudy Gobert

A two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert has been patrolling the paint for the Utah Jazz for several years now. Teams at this point are afraid to even step in the paint with the Stifle Tower. Gobert has averaged at least two blocks per game for seven consecutive years. His mere presence alters what shots opponents take. Gobert’s ability to cover a lot of ground and to wall up the paint makes him one of the best defensive centers of all time already.

2. Anthony Davis

Davis put on a defensive showcase last season as he went on to win his first NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. The ultimate weapon on both ends, Davis’s ability to guard all five positions, is the key to Los Angeles’s number-one ranked defense. The seven-time All-Star can excel in any defensive scheme, and his offensive versatility combined with his defensive capabilities makes for a lethal talent. It’s a surprise that Davis still has yet to win a Defensive Player of the Year Award.

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo

The reigning two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, receives an exhaustive amount of attention for his rim runs and fascinating forays into the paint on offense. He is also a fearsome defender. With his 7-foot-3 wingspan and quickness, Antetokounmpo covers so much ground and is the perfect help defender. His abilities on defense led to his first Defensive Player of the Year Award this past season.

4. Myles Turner

The Indiana Pacers rely heavily on Myles Turner to protect the rim and clean up any drives from opposing offenses. A six-year vet, Turner led the NBA in blocks two seasons ago and is headed to another blocks crown this season. He’s swatting nearly four shots a game. Though Turner hasn’t been decorated with any defensive awards, he’s been consistent, blocking at least two shots a game in four of the last five seasons. With his recent block party, Turner just might get that Defensive Player of the Year award soon.

5. Ben Simmons

A 6-foot-10 point guard is an extremely unique weapon to have. Ben Simmons gets some flack for his lack of perimeter shooting, but he does everything else well. Defense is where Simmons’ is such a nightmare to deal with. He can guard all five positions and can excel in any scheme. Just recently, Simmons at the top of a 2-3 zone defense disrupted the Indiana Pacers into just six points in the final eight minutes. Just last year, Simmons led the NBA in steals and earned his first berth on the NBA’s All-Defensive First team. It probably won’t be his last.

6. Kawhi Leonard

Nicknamed “the Claw,” Kawhi Leonard’s hands and wingspan are a problem for any offensive player. A two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Leonard has never averaged less than a steal a game in a season and he’s always put on the best offensive players. As he has gained more attention for his rise as an offensive superstar, it can be easily forgotten how difficult Leonard’s made it for offensive players with his standout defense.

7. Marcus Smart

Smart is the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics. Though he’s solid on offense, Smart makes his most significant impact on the defensive end. For the Celtics, Smart usually will check the toughest perimeter assignment all while providing the proper help defense for his teammates. A notable flopper, Smart has also been able to turn that display of trickery into a work of art.

8. Bam Adebayo

The Miami Heat found a gem late in the lottery of the 2017 NBA Draft with the selection of Bam Adebayo. The former Kentucky product’s ability to switch on to smaller guards and contain larger centers makes him a unique feature piece in Miami’s defensive scheme. Adebayo made huge play after huge play in Miami’s run to the NBA Finals in the bubble. His game-saving block on Jayson Tatum is up there as one of the best moments in the playoffs from last season.

9. Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid’s seven-foot, 280-pound frame makes it nearly impossible to enter the paint as an offensive player when he’s patrolling. Embiid has made the NBA’s All-Defensive second team on two separate occasions. A dominant presence, Embiid has averaged at least 1.3 blocks per game throughout his career.

10. LeBron James

Even at the age of 36, LeBron James is still the GOAT of the league. His offensive abilities are unquestioned, but the four-time champion and three-time MVP also gets the job done on the defensive end. At 6’9”, and 250 pounds, James can guard multiple positions and create havoc.

James is the perfect example of All-Defensive teams being a regular season award. He hasn’t been named to an All-Defensive team since 2014. James routinely saves his energy for the postseason, where he dials up his defensive aggression on the biggest of stages. James’ ability to read opponents play calls and study the tendencies of opponents is bar none.

11. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler is the ultimate competitor. Picking his spots on offense and worming his way to the basket stand out. On defense though, Butler’s always up for the toughest assignment. His fiery personality and two-way excellence certainly helped Miami to their NBA Finals berth in the bubble. Though Butler and the Heat have gotten off to a slow start due to injuries and a string of COVID-related absences, you can be sure that they are not going down without a fight.

12. Patrick Beverley

One of the most fiery competitors in the league right now, Patrick Beverley’s path to the NBA is one of hard work. A second round pick, Beverley played in the Ukraine and Greece before making it in the league. The guard brings it every night with elite level rebounding for a guard, hustle and that sticky defense. A three-time All-Defense player, opponents go into games concerned at the damage Beverley does as an on-ball hound.

13. Eric Bledsoe

It’s hard for any guard to shake off Eric Bledsoe’s strong defense. Bledsoe made the NBA’s All-Defensive first and second teams in the past two seasons. A part of two teams in Milwaukee that had great defenses, Bledsoe’s aggressive ability to read passing lanes, contain drives on the perimeter and gum up offenses makes him special on the defensive end.

14. Paul George

Though he might get clowned from time to time by the NBA Twitter brigade for a failed nickname (See: Playoff P), there’s no denying what Paul George brings to the table. One of the best two-way players of this current NBA generation, George’s ability to contain guards and other wings on the perimeter combined with his slithery ability on the offensive end to nail shots all over the floor has made him a six-time All-Star. George’s partnership with Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles makes for a special combination on the defensive end.

15. Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday is probably your favorite player’s favorite player. Respected for his abilities on both ends of the floor, Holiday has done a great job in his first season with the Milwaukee Bucks. A one-time All-Star, Holiday is one of the best one on one defenders in the league and he’s able to get the job done. An NBA All-Defensive team member in 2018 and 2019, the crowning moment in Holiday’s defensive highlight reel was when he—and the Pelicans’ trapping scheme—held Portland’s Damian Lillard to 18.5 points and 35 percent shooting in a 2018 first round series.

16. Draymond Green

Not the same athlete he was a few years ago, Draymond Green is still one of the tougher defenders in the NBA. Arguably the smartest player in the game right now, Green has helped propel the Golden State Warriors into a top-10 defensive team this season. 

The defensive anchor of three Warrior championship teams, Green does all of the little things to help his team win. A former Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Defensive team member, Green might be able to earn more plaudits if he can get the Warriors to the playoffs despite being without Klay Thompson.

17. Brook Lopez

Early on in his career, Brook Lopez was known more for his offensive contributions in the low-post, but he revitalized his career through developing the long distance shot and utilizing his large stature as a deterrent at the rim. Lopez earned his first All-Defensive team nod and has been top-five in blocks the past two seasons. A former one-time All-Star, Lopez also might be on the list for biggest NBA player Disney Fan.

18. PJ Tucker

The NBA’s resident sneaker king, PJ Tucker has made a living doing the dirty work. Last year was a testament to Tucker’s sacrifice. After the Houston Rockets traded center Clint Capela for forward Robert Covington in a four-team deal, the 6-foot-5 Tucker became the team’s starting center. 

Matched up at times with behemoths like Steven Adams and Rudy Gobert, Tucker was at a height and weight disadvantage much of last year. Now, back into his regular role as power forward this season, Tucker is still making the hustle plays on defense, taking charges and diving for loose balls.

19. OG Anunoby

Though Anunoby is just 6-foot-7, he’s able to guard everyone from wings to strong centers. In his fourth NBA season, Anunoby is tied for the lead in steals in the NBA this season. Though the Raptors have had a rough start to their 2020-21 season, Anunoby’s development as a solid two-way player has been a bright spot. If he keeps it up, he might be able to make his first All-Defensive team.

20. Dejounte Murray

A long-armed guard on the perimeter for the San Antonio Spurs, Dejounte Murray is one of the brightest young defenders in the NBA. An All-Defensive team member in 2018, Murray finished top-10 in steals last season (1.9 steals). Recovered from a torn ACL suffered two years ago, Murray is a very strong defensive rebounder for a guard, and his stock is going up.

21. Luguentz Dort

A one-man wrecking crew on the perimeter, Dort emerged last year out of seemingly nowhere. He gained some notice around the league for the job he did sticking like glue to star James Harden in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first round series against the Houston Rockets. 

Even in the series loss, Dort’s defense propelled him into a starting spot during this current season. Bolstered by an improved jump shot, Dort still has that same invasive, gnat-like defensive pressure. It’s led to a more crystallized view of what the 21-year old Dort can become in the future.

22. Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown is one half of the Boston Celtics’ star tandem with Jayson Tatum. A lock to make his first All-Star team this season, Brown is the complete package. Defensively, Brown is one of the better on-ball defenders and can switch and guard four different positions. Brown’s capabilities have been a huge factor in the Celtics having a top-10 defense over the past three seasons.

23. Clint Capela

A known impact player on defense from his days with the switch-heavy Houston Rockets, Clint Capela has played a part in the Atlanta Hawks’ solid start early this season. The center recently had a 10-block game and has swatted at least two shots a night on 10 different occasions. Atlanta might’ve had one of the worst center rotations last season, but Capela has provided a huge upgrade with mobility, rim protection and elite defensive rebounding.

24. Larry Nance Jr.

One of the best low key defenders in the league is the second coming of his father, Larry Nance. With his ability to switch and guard multiple positions, Nance has contributed to the Cavaliers’ rise to top-10 in defense this season. He leads the NBA in deflections so far this season and is tied for the lead in steals. Between Nance’s improved skills as a defender and his improved three-point shooting, he’s established himself as a top notch role player in the NBA.

25. Pascal Siakam

The former Most Improved Player, Siakam is able to use his length and mobility to make plays on the floor defensively. A wiry athlete, Siakam can switch on to waterbug point guards, but also mix it up in the paint. Siakam’s 7-foot-3 wingspan wrecks the schemes of opposing offenses and is a luxury for a Toronto Raptors team that plays small in the backcourt with Kyle Lowry and Fred Vanvleet.

Categories
Sports Strength

Memphis Hustle’s Christian Vital Talks Hoops, Chess, and Spreading Positivity

After four years at the University of Connecticut, NBA player Christian Vital, unfortunately, went undrafted in last November’s draft. 

However, unlike other ex-Huskies from this year’s draft class, he had an opportunity to play in the G League. Vital was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies last month only to be waived after they signed Shaq Buchanan.

Per Rob Joyce of Radio.com, Vital was signed to an Exhibit 10 deal, so he will start the season in Orlando with the Memphis Hustle, as he looks to showcase his talents in the NBA G League. 

Vital recently spoke with ONE37pm about preparing for this upcoming season with the G League’s Memphis Hustle, expectations, and how he wants to use his platform for positivity. 

ONE37pm: Can you share with us how UConn helped prepare you for the NBA?

Vital: U Conn helped me prepare for the NBA in many ways. If you have any hopes of playing basketball at the next level, you want that next step to be the league. When you go on a recruitment trip and walk into the Gample Pavilion & Werth Champions Center, you see where guys like Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler, Kemba Walker, Shabazz Napier, Andre Drummond, Rudy Gay, and Emeka Okafor walked before you. You see the university’s history and you’re working towards that as a player. So, when attending UConn, thinking of playing in the NBA is part of the process. It’s not reinventing the wheel; there is a tradition at UConn, and you try to create a space within that tradition for yourself.

ONE37pm: Your final season with the Huskies was cut short due to this pandemic. During your time in quarantine, what did you learn the most about yourself?

Vital: I learned that I have a lot more time outside of basketball. I did a lot of soul-searching because you are so used to hopping on planes and getting on buses, so you rarely reflect on how much time has passed. When I first came to UConn, I was a teenager, and I left as a young man. This unique time period has helped me better understand the world and focus on what it truly means to play basketball at the professional level.

ONE37pm: How often did some of the UConn Alumni come back while you attended the university?

Vital: NBA players have a rigorous schedule, so it was not all the time. But, I was able to cross paths with Shabazz Napier, Kemba Walker was in attendance for the first night of my senior year, Ray Allen came by, and I got to see Rudy Gay. Those guys would come in and out if they had the time or get in some offseason workouts. I would ask questions and learn from them. They say there is no such thing as a dumb question, so I was trying to learn and obtain as much information and knowledge as possible to make myself a better player. Also, I learned that it is my duty to pay it forward and come back to mentor younger players in the future.

ONE37pm: You are gearing up to head to Orlando to play in the G League. How have you been preparing for this upcoming season?

Vital: It has been different, and it has been the craziest offseason I have had in my life. I have just been prepping, and usually, when you are preparing for the NBA, they have you flying and working out for different teams. However, during quarantine, you must depend on yourself because you don’t have the same routine in place. You need to make sure you’re eating the right things and doing your best to stay in shape. It’s tough to replace playing five on five at full speed, but you try to get with a trainer that you trust, someone that knows your game, your body, and try to establish a routine that will stick.

ONE37pm: What are some of your expectations for this season?

Vital: When I arrived at UConn, I got caught up in expectations, and it didn’t go too well for me. I expect to take advantage of every day and opportunity before, during, and after the bubble. I hope and strive to be the best that I can be every day that I step on the court and be a true professional. Early in my college career, I focused on things I couldn’t control or didn’t have complete control over. I believe that was the wrong approach and the wrong mindset because it left me open for disappointment. I want to take advantage of the G League bubble and showcase the best of my abilities. There was an NBA bubble, but never a G League bubble. So, just seeing the difference and knowing some of my friends in the league and their experiences, it will be slightly different, but an experience that I will take advantage of and not let a day slip away.

ONE37pm: Did they have to go through the bubble experience last season? If so, did they share any advice with heading into this season?

Vital: The NBA Bubble will be a little bit different because of the budget, and that is just how it goes. So, the experience may be slightly different in regards to the time frame and resources. They shared their experiences and made sure to remind me to only control what I could control; that includes what I eat, my sleep schedule, the amount of film I watch, and my recovery routine. Coming into the NBA, you get the opportunity to play basketball, but it is also your career. Displaying professionalism is the top priority for me while being my authentic self.

ONE37pm: I heard that you play a lot of chess. How does the game help you mentally on the basketball court?

Vital: In the game of chess, you must think at least three moves ahead. At the same time, elite players can think five, seven, or ten moves ahead. Like basketball, chess is a game based on runs and momentum; you need to be aware of when you have the momentum and knowing what to do with it. On the court, especially as a point guard, I need to consider everything; what offensive set to run, what shots to take, how the defense will react to a pick and roll, and making sure my big man gets touches so he stays engaged on both ends. Chess is only a two-person game, but basketball requires you to take into account nine other people, not including the referees. It is a constant reminder that you are not out there alone, and it’s my job to execute and get everyone involved.

ONE37pm: Is that something you would consider pursuing professionally after your basketball career is completed or in the offseason?

Vital: I have not thought about it. I have been recently watching Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, but I forgot that people still take chess very seriously. I have been so caught up in basketball and put everything else aside, but it is a great hobby for me. It forces me to think and use my mind, which is essential in all aspects of life. Your body can shut down, but as long as you have your mind, anything is possible. So, do I see myself doing that? I would not be opposed to it. I would love to find a way to include chess and basketball in the future, possibly at youth camps or events. It gives the youth a chance to discover new hobbies and show them different possibilities outside of basketball. So, we will see what happens down the line.

ONE37pm: Athletes are using their platforms to speak up for things that they believe in. What do you want to use your platform for?

Vital: Post-2020, I want to use my platform for positivity. The decade started with a lot of negativity. It was even tough for me; I did not get drafted. I played well, and I felt like it was some of my college career’s best basketball. However, when the pandemic started, I never got the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament. I had a goal, and it was on my checklist for this season; I believe we were approaching a berth into the conference tournament.

So, as we transition into a new year and as I begin my professional career, I want to use my platform for positivity because there have been a lot of things going on. For example, what happened on Capitol Hill earlier this month, which was crazy to see because it has you wondering what would happen if that was people who look like me engaging in that type of activity on federal property. But, I think it gets lost that we are all just people despite what color we might be.

We are all the same. It isn’t easy to look past all that has happened, but it is also a moment where we can educate ourselves. Many people have platforms, and that is the one thing about this country, it is a democracy, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Still, we must educate ourselves fully before using our platforms to say how we feel. We need to make sure what is said is accurate and not something to spite others.

Categories
Sneakers Style

The 5 Biggest NBA Sneaker Free Agents In 2021

Basketball is the only sport where sneaker culture is nearly as prodigious as the actual games played on the court. In the NBA, the sneaker game is usually super competitive with numerous shoe companies competing to sign some of the top players. However, this year is different. Sneaker companies like Nike and Adidas were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lower sales numbers have limited the market for sneaker free agents. According to The Undefeated, 175-200 players are expected to play without a shoe deal this season. 

With honorable mentions like Goran Dragić, Andre Iguodala, Derrick Jones Jr. and practically the entire 2020 draft class without shoe deals, this was a deep pool of players to select from. Here’s a look at the top sneaker free agents in the NBA right now.

Bam Adebayo

Notable Shoes Worn: Jordan React Elevation, Jordan XIV Retro “Candy Cane,” Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Kay Yow,” Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Bruce Lee,” Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Alternate Bruce Lee”

The anchor of the defending Eastern Conference champs, the Miami Heat, center Bam Adebayo is a rising star. At the age of 23, Adebayo has the offensive skills of a guard and can defend all five positions. An All-Star last season, Adebayo spent much of Miami’s Finals run in the NBA bubble in Kobes. He’s continued that trend this season while blending in a few Jordans, old and new.

Prediction: Adebayo has worn Nike throughout his entire pro career. He’s one of the top players in the league playing for one of the more respected franchises in a great market. Adebayo would be a great addition to the Jordan Brand with his athleticism and penchant for highlight-reel plays on both ends of the floor. Remember the game-saving block on Jayson Tatum in the Conference Finals? Hopefully, we get some Flintstones-themed ideas for Bam down the road.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Notable Shoes Worn: Nike Zoom Rize 2 PE, Nike Hyperdunk X PE, New Balance OMN1S “White/Gold”

A two-time All-Star, Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the best players in the league. A multi-skilled big man that can dominate in the post but can also step out and knock down a three with extreme accuracy, Towns is an intriguing sneaker free agent. 
A Nike brand athlete since he signed on as the first overall draft pick in 2015, Towns was spotted in New Balance last month and in Adidas last summer. However, Towns has yet to wear a new brand in an actual game. He’s stuck to various PE colorways of the Nike Hyperdunk X in the four games he’s played so far this season. Towns wore a PE of the Nike Zoom Rize 2 in the preseason.

Prediction: Towns would be a great addition to the Adidas roster that currently features Kristaps Porzingis as it’s primary big man. As long as we see some of the custom collabs that Towns and Kickstradomis cooked up a few years ago in the near future, it doesn’t matter what brand the All-Star center wears.

John Wall

Notable Shoes Worn: Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Bruce Lee,” Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Alternate Bruce Lee,” Nike Kobe 5 Protro “PJ Tucker,” Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Grinch,” Nike Zoom LeBron 3 “Houston Oilers”

Wall made it clear earlier this year that he probably won’t be signing a big shoe deal at this stage of his career. His play on the court has been a pleasant early surprise. A deal with Nike would make sense as he re-establishes himself as a star again. Also, if he’s going to bring this heat on a nightly basis, Nike makes the most sense.

Prediction: It’s been a winding road of a sneaker career for Wall. He started with a signature shoe with Reebok before heading over to Adidas. Wall eventually received another signature line with the three stripes before leaving, coming back and now reaching free agency yet again after his sneaker contract buyout.

Lonzo Ball

Notable Shoes Worn: Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Chaos”

The only player to make this list from last season, Ball has stuck with the tried and true Kobe Protro line. In fact, Ball has only worn the Chaos colorway of the Kobe 5 Protro line this season. A former Big Baller Brand signee with his family, his large social media following doesn’t hurt either. Teamed up with young stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram in New Orleans, Ball has a bright future.

Prediction: Ball has entered his second season without a shoe deal, but it seems like he’s comfortable wearing the same exact model and colorway all season. He’s worn Nike every single game post-BBB. I predicted Nike last year, and I’m sticking with it.

James Wiseman

Notable Shoes Worn: Nike Kobe AD Mid “Andre Iguodala PE,” Nike KD 12 “Don C”

The second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, James Wiseman, is off to a solid start to his NBA career. Wiseman has donned Nike so far, wearing an old team PE of the Nike Kobe AD Mid in all but one game. Though big men notoriously get the short end of the stick on shoe deals, Wiseman’s quality skill set makes him an interesting young player for brands to look at. He can block shots, handle the ball, run the floor and shoot from the perimeter.

Prediction: Wiseman is playing in a premier market with a team that has some cache. He’s flashed some skill already and looks like he could be the Warriors’ starting center for a very long time. 

Though he’s worn Nike in every NBA game he’s played in, Nike would make a lot of sense for the young center. With Golden State having Stephen Curry (Under Armour), Klay Thompson (Anta) and Draymond Green (Converse), there’s an opening for Wiseman to eventually take on the swoosh.

Categories
Sports Strength

5 Under the Radar NBA Players Crushing It So Far This Season

Much like other sports, the 2020-21 season has been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the NBA to postpone games and sideline players as they await test results and quarantine themselves.

However, with players being placed in safety and health protocol due to contracting COVID-19 or coming into proximity with someone who has tested positive, it has allowed other players to shine in their absence.

Here are just a few of the players succeeding so far this season in their teammates’ absence.

1. Tyrese Maxey

Maxey is off to a hot start through the first 14 games for the Sixers, and he is averaging 11.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. Since the start of the season, he has been able to really showcase his talents, as Sixers’ coach Doc Rivers inserted him in the starting lineup with Seth Curry and others in health and safety protocol. He is averaging 19.4 points and is shooting 48.9% from the floor, and Maxey has even caught the eye of NBA legend Dwyane Wade. Wade shared on his Instagram Story recently that the man can hoop.

2. Shake Milton

Like his teammate Tyrese Maxey, Milton is also taking advantage of his increased playing time due to his teammates being in COVID protocol. Milton is averaging 16.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and shooting 50.7 percent from the field through 11 games.

3. Chris Boucher

Boucher has provided some much-needed scoring for the Raptors this season. He is averaging 16.1 points, 7.0 rebounds,1.1 assists, and shooting 60.3 percent per game. Boucher is not the starting center for the Raptors, but Nick Nurse has him playing starter’s minutes. With the Raptors waiving Alex Len on Wednesday, Boucher will likely benefit immensely and inherit Len’s minutes.

On Tuesday, Boucher played more than half of the game in a 116-93 victory against the Dallas Mavericks, pouring in 21 points (8 out of 12 shots, 3 out of 3 shots), ten rebounds, two assists, a steal, three blocks, and two 3-point shots.

4. Raul Neto

Neto has benefited in Washington due to Russell Westbrook being in and out of the starting lineup this season due to injuries and rest. Right now, he is averaging a career-high in points with 8.9 to go along with 1.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game through 11 games. He also raised his overall field goal percentages to 52.7% and is shooting 42.4% from behind the three-point arc.

5. Cole Anthony

Anthony has been one of the under-the-radar rookies this season, but after hitting the game-winning shot against the Orlando Magic. If NBA fans did not know who he was before, they do now. Anthony is averaging 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Cole was coming off the Magic bench until Markelle Fultz went down with a left ACL injury and will miss the rest of the season.

Categories
Culture Trading Cards

‘Data Debates’: Tim Duncan 1997 Topps Chrome vs. Zion Williamson 2019 Prizm

In the latest installment of our ‘Data Debates’ series, in which we aim to help newcomers understand the process of evaluating supply and demand and identify which cards are overvalued vs undervalued, I put the rookie cards of the legend, Tim Duncan, against those of the young emerging phenom, Zion Williamson.

The Case For Tim Duncan
eBay

Tim Duncan played 19 seasons for the San Antonio Spurs and was one of the famed “Twin Towers,” alongside teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, David Robinson. He is considered by most to be the best power forward in the history of the NBA and a top 20 player of all-time. 

His accomplishments in basketball are eye-popping:

  • 1997 NBA Draft 1st Overall Pick
  • NBA Hall of Fame Class of 2020
  • 1998 Rookie of the Year
  • 5x NBA Champion (1999, 2003,2005, 2007, 2014)
  • 3x NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)
  • 2x NBA MVP (2002, 2003)
  • 15x NBA All-Star (1998, 2000-2011, 2013, 2015) 
  • 10x All-NBA 1st Team (1998-2005, 2007, 2013)
  • 8x NBA All-Defensive 1st Team (1999-2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)
  • USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2003)
  • Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2003)
  • #21 retired by the San Antonio Spurs and Wake Forest Demon Deacons
  • 2× Consensus first-team All-American (1996, 1997)
  • Consensus National College Player of the Year
  • 2× ACC Player of the Year (1996, 1997)
  • 3× First-team All-ACC (1995-1997)

Nicknamed “The Big Fundamental,” his unique skill set for a big man was as understated as it was flawless. After winning their third NBA Championship together in 2005, Coach Greg Popovich said, “Duncan’s complete game is so sound, so fundamental, so unnoticed at times, because if he didn’t score, people think, ‘Well, he didn’t do anything.’ But he was incredible, and he was the force that got it done for us.”

Duncan is one of only four players in NBA history to win three NBA Finals MVP’s, along with Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Magic Johnson. He is a member of the iconic NBA Hall of Fame Class of 2020 and will be inducted this May (after being rescheduled because of the pandemic) alongside two legends, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant. 

The Case For Zion Williamson:
eBay

Zion Williamson was the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after playing only one year at Duke University. However, since his days at Spartanburg Day School, he has been in the public eye, where highlights of his dunks seemed to pop up daily on ESPN and throughout all social media platforms. While in high school, Williamson won three straight South Carolina state championships and was named South Carolina Mr. Basketball after his senior year. 

After his one season at Duke, Zion was named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Athlete of the Year, ACC Rookie of the Year, AP Player of the Year, and Sporting News College Player of the Year before declaring for the NBA Draft.   

Williamson’s rookie year in the NBA was cut short after he tore a meniscus in the preseason, which held him out for the first three months of the season. He wound up playing in only 24 games, averaging 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. 

Off the court, Williamson signed a five-year, $75 million sneaker deal with Jordan brand, which is the second-largest ever of its kind, next to LeBron James’s $90 million rookie sneaker deal he signed back in 2003.

Examining the Data
CardLadder

Tim Duncan 1997 Topps Chrome PSA 10

Pop: 2,330

Last Sold: $2,229.00

Market Cap: $5,356,670.00

Tim Duncan 1997 Topps Chrome PSA 9

Pop: 4,186

Last Sold: $360.00

Market Cap: $1,506,600.00

Zion Williamson 2019 Prizm PSA 10

Pop: 14,860

Last Sold: $664.25

Market Cap: $9,870,755.00

Zion Williamson 2019 Prizm PSA 9

Pop: 11,477

Last Sold: $210.33

Market Cap: $2,407,685.67

Who is the Better Investment?
Getty Images

You might be asking yourself exactly what I am doing here. Obviously, there is no comparing the two players in terms of on-court accomplishments. Duncan is arguably a top 10 all-time player. Zion has only played in parts of two seasons. It’s almost disrespectful to Duncan’s legacy to compare the two… Right? 

Now, let’s go back and look at the numbers of just how many Zion Williamson base rookie Prizms there are in PSA’s population report. With 14,860 of them out there, a number that is sure to rise to around 20-25,000 once PSA gets through their backlog, and who knows how many left inside of packs that have yet to be opened, I would like to reverse that previous question with a question of my own:

“What exactly is the hobby doing here?!”

Zion’s market cap on his PSA 10 ($9.87 million) is already almost double Tim Duncan’s ($5.35 million), and I can’t figure out why. Is there anybody who believes that by the end of Zion’s career, he will have come close to matching Duncan’s accomplishments? Two MVPs? Three NBA Finals MVPs? Five Championships? He would have to, in order to justify the numbers people are currently paying for his cards. 

With that said, is Tim Duncan the most underpriced superstar of all-time? 

In May of 2020, ESPN did a “Top 74 NBA Players of All Time” list, and they placed Tim Duncan at #8, one spot AHEAD of Kobe Bryant and one spot below Larry Bird. 

Larry Bird’s rookie card, the 1980 Topps “Scoring Leader,” is one of the most iconic in the hobby. Since there are so few PSA 10’s (total population: 24) and PSA 9’s (611), let’s use the PSA 8 for comparison since the population is similar to the Duncan PSA 10. 

Pop: 2,714

Last Sold: $7,750

Market Cap: $21,033,500

Here are the numbers on Kobe Bryant’s 1996 Topps Chrome PSA 10 rookie card:

Pop: 830

Last Sold: $25,000

Market Cap: $20,750,000

It’s time we put some respect on Duncan’s name. He is about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with Kobe. He is ranked one spot ahead of Kobe on ESPN’s all-time list, and yet, the market cap on his PSA 10 rookie cards ($5,35 million) is 25% that of Kobe’s? I can definitely see a big bump coming at Duncan’s prices around May, around the time of his induction ceremony.

Was Duncan “boring to watch,” as some fans say? Sure. He didn’t have the highlight reel dunks like Zion, which obviously matters in the current market. Zion is way more marketable and relevant to the modern-day collector. But that only matters until it doesn’t.

As a cautionary tale, let’s compare Zion’s early popularity to that of Derrick Rose, who was also drafted first overall in 2008, was the 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year, and was the youngest player to ever win an NBA MVP in 2011, at just 22 years old. The sky seemed to be the limit for Rose, but injuries took their toll, and his career never was able to take that next step.

I can’t even imagine the prices Derrick Rose’s rookie cards would have been selling for in this current market after his MVP season, but a quick glance at the current market cap for his 2008 Topps Chrome PSA is currently at $39,790. That should scare the hell out of Zion investors, especially with his size, body type, and already have dealt with injuries of his own.

If you think that the stars will align and that Zion Williamson will someday be mentioned in the same breath as Kobe, Magic, Larry, Wilt Chamberlain, and Shaq, maybe you can begin to justify his current prices. However, that is a longshot at best. When this Zion bubble likely bursts at some point, many people will be left holding the bag. 

Zion vs. Duncan = Gambling vs. Investing… and we all know how that Friday night trip to the casino typically ends. I’m playing this one safe, and my money’s on “The Big Fundamental.”

Categories
Grind Productivity

Grayson Allen on Gaming, The Grizzlies and Getting Into Stocks

When you are a member of the Duke basketball team, being on the receiving end of brutal trash talk is just part of the gig. Some players wear it like a badge of honor. 

Now Grayson Allen finds himself dealing with a whole new type of trash talk. In addition to being in front of the eyes of thousands in an NBA arena, Allen now faces the nastiest of nasty in the world of gaming hate. He and ONE37pm’s Tyler Schmitt talk about all of that and more on the latest episode of our series, Huh?

“I think it can be similar, but it is usually in a different context. In sports, it’s usually the opposing team. It is someone you are playing against. With the trolls, it’s usually not the people you are playing against. It is random people hating for no reason. You’re not playing against them. The trolls on twitch are for no reason. There is deeper hate from that part.”

When talking on Huh?, the conversation was a lot less about Allen’s career in the NBA and more about balancing that with his passion for gaming and connecting with a community. 

Schmitt: When you’re gaming, do you get the same juices you do when you are playing hoop?

Allen: Yeah. Close to it. There are some days that are more chill than others and it depends on who is in your lobby. Today was a big tournament day. So the pros aren’t playing ramped right now, so it’s a lighter day. Some days you get every single name that you recognize.

In the gaming world, there are two basic questions that set the tone for the remainder of the conversation:

  1. X-Box or Playstation?
  2. What are you playing right now? 

“Yeah, I just had an X-Box. Because when Halo 3 came out, it was an exclusive. But Playstation has some good exclusives now that I’ve wanted to play. Like seeing some of the Spider-Man clips…” What’s the Grizzlies player streaming right now? “I’ve been playing Apex,” said Allen.

With a busy schedule and not a whole lot of time, it would be understandable if Allen didn’t consume a whole lot of gaming content, but the Memphis Grizzlies’ guard still sneaks it in. 

Tyler asks him how much time if he’s been spending much time consuming content on Twitch. “Yeah I do a little bit. My GF gets a little annoyed at this, but even youtube videos that people put up. ‘Best game from their stream’.” 

Schmitt: Do you have any favorite streamers? 

Allen: The person I check in the most is Courage. Whatever game he is playing, it is super entertaining. Most times I am watching Twitch live, it is for an event. I always catch competitive Apex tournaments. 

There is a difference between enjoying something, having a passion, and having fun, but that isn’t Allen’s M.O.

He wants to be legit.

Schmitt: Do you get the same juices you do when you are playing hoop?

Allen: Yeah. Close to it. There are some days that are more chill than others and it depends who is in your lobby. Today was a big tournament day. So the pros aren’t playing ramped right now, so it’s a lighter day. Some days you get every single name that you recognize. 

Outside of playing in the NBA and gaming, Schmitt wanted to know what caught Allen’s curiosity and attention. Allen didn’t shy away from the conversation and gave a genuine answer. 

“I actually got really into trading stocks about a month or two ago. Because my brain works in that math way, I’ve been watching youtube videos. I’ve been reading different things on how to read stock charts. So the first week I didn’t invest anything. I just drew lines on charts like the youtube videos told me to. It was oddly satisfying. To see on some of them that you predict movement. It becomes super addictive, quick,” Allen explained.

Schmitt: Does it feel like video games, but with real money to you? 

Allen: Yeah, so the craziest thing to me is that when I use to play FIFA ultimate team a lot, there used to be that currency in there. And then there is a market for the cards you have. So no matter what player it was, it was Monday or Tuesday and you could buy a card for cheap and then on Friday sell it for 50 percent more. For me, I didn’t want to put a ton of money in the game so this was the way I had to do it. That’s what it reminded me of. It’s crazy.

Schmitt: Whose content are you watching? 

Allen: Kind of just some random stuff on youtube. And then there are a bunch of Twitter accounts, which I completely found a new side of Twitter where people are talking about stocks all day long.” He goes on: “I have a super addictive personality, so once I figured out the charts I knew I was already hooked into it. 

Schmitt: Any companies that you have been diving deeper more into? 

Allen: When you are going around throughout your day, you see things differently. ‘What’s the company behind that?’ Electric vehicle stocks have been going crazy the past couple of weeks. I was coming back from the gym yesterday and one of the city busses was driving by and the side of the bus said “made with hybrid-electric technology.’ Which surprised me. I was thinking in my head, ‘there is this company called XL fleet that is creating something like that.’ They transform regular cars, trucks, bigger vehicles into electric. I want to get in on them. 

Schmitt: Are you in the crypto world at all? 

Allen: A little bit, but I am not trading crypto. There is a stock called MARA, I’ve been in it for a few weeks. It’s been going up as Bitcoin made its run. 

For Allen, he seems aware that he may not think the way that people expect him to. He’s okay and at peace with that. For the most part, he knows what he likes and tries to trust his innate curiosity to see himself expand outside of his existing passions. 

This episode was recorded on December 5th, 2020.

Since then, Allen has had a good start for the Memphis Grizzlies. He hit a game-winner against the Suns on January 18th. 

He is shooting 36% on three point attempts while averaging eight points a game.

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Culture Trading Cards

‘Data Debates’: Tiger Woods 2001 Upper Deck vs. Luka Dončić 2018 Prizm

In the most recent installment of our “Data Debates” series, in which we aim to help newcomers understand the process of evaluating supply and demand and identify which cards are overvalued vs. undervalued, we break down one of sport’s all-time icons, Tiger Woods and his 2001 Upper Deck Rookie vs. the young phenom, Luka Dončić and his 2018 Panini Prizm Rookie. 

1. The Case For Tiger Woods
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Simply put, Tiger Woods is the type of athlete that only comes around once in a generation. Mentioned in the same breath as icons such as Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, and Joe Montana, Tiger was the type of athlete that was must-watch television. Even people who weren’t fans of golf tuned in on Sundays from the late ’90s through the late 2000s to watch Tiger finish out another major tournament victory in his iconic red shirt. 

His accomplishments in golf are other worldly:

  • 15 Major Championship Wins including:

(5) Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019)

(4) PGA Championships (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007)

(3) US Opens (2000, 2002, 2008)

(3) Open Championships (2000, 2005, 2006)

  • 82 PGA Tour wins
  • 41 European Tour Wins
  • 1996 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year
  • (11) PGA Player of the Year (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013(
  • (10) PGA Tour Leading Money Winner (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013)
  • (9) Byron Nelson Awards (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • (2) FedEx Cup Champion (2007, 2009)
  • Ranked #1 in the world for 264 straight weeks (August 1999 – September 2004) and again for 281 weeks (June 2005 – October 2010). 

After a messy public divorce, Tiger took some time away from golf and saw his ranking slip to #58 in November of 2011 before regaining his #1 ranking from March 2013 – May 2014. However, four separate back surgeries would take him out of contention from August 2015 – January 2018. 

In September of 2018, Tiger took home his first tournament win in years, winning the Tour Championship. A year later, he won his first major tournament in six years, bringing home the green jacket at the Masters for the 5th time in his career. 

His 82 PGA Tour wins tied for the most all-time with Sam Snead, and his 15 Major Tournament wins trails only Jack Nicklaus (18). He is the youngest player to achieve a Grand Slam (winning all 4 majors in the same year) and only the second golfer (again, Jack Nicklaus) to accomplish this feat three times. 

2. The Case For Luka Dončić
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Luka Dončić grew up in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and debuted for the Real Madrid senior team at 16 years old, the youngest player in their history. Two years later, he took home the EuroLeague MVP and Final Four MVP en route to winning the 2018 EuroLeague title. His other accomplishments included winning ACB’s Most Valuable Player, back-to-back Euro League Rising Star awards, and was named ACB Best Young Player. 

Doncic was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018 NBA draft and subsequently traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young and the Mavs 2019 1st round selection. Luka would win the 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year and, in 2019-20, Luka was named to his first All-Star team and All-NBA First Team. 

His sophomore season was incredible, posting 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game, and he owns four of the five triple-doubles ever by a teenager in NBA history. In December of 2019, Doncic signed an endorsement deal with the iconic Air Jordan brand. 

3. Examining the Data
CardLadder

Tiger BGS 10

Pop: 1,797

Last Sold: $1215.75

Market Cap: $2,184,702.75

12/19 $573

Tiger BGS 9.5

Pop: 12,462

Last Sold: $361.33

Market Cap: $4,510,524.00

12/22: $132

Tiger PSA 10

Pop: 9,060

Last Sold: $842.50

Market Cap: $7,634,735.00

12/17: $333 

Luka PSA 10

Pop: 15,207

Last Sold: $1,678.42

Market Cap: $25,805,643.44

Luka BGS 9.5

Pop: 2,484

Last Sold: $1,050.00

Market Cap: $2,620,800.00

4. Who is the Better Investment?
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

To compare the two at this point in Luka’s career is almost insulting to Tiger’s legacy. Tiger’s story has already been written, and the only question that remains is whether or not he will win the 3 more Majors that he needs to tie Jack Nicklaus for most all-time. With just one more victory on any tour event, he will break Sam Snead’s all-time record. Simply put, Tiger is the GOAT, an absolute living legend. Despite Luka’s individual success in his first two seasons, he has yet to come anywhere near an NBA Championship.

An investment in Luka is a speculative play. All of the physical tools are there, but his story is still very much unwritten. We are basically still in chapter one. As we have seen with iconic athletes such as Bo Jackson, all it takes is one major injury to derail a promising career. 

When we look at the total populations of both of these cards, there are actually way more Luka PSA 10’s on the market (15,207) than Tiger PSA 10’s (9,060), yet Luka’s card is selling for 2x that of Tiger’s. The market cap on the Luka PSA 10 is 3x that of Tiger’s. 

I understand that basketball cards are obviously more collectible and in-demand than golf cards. That likely won’t be changing any time soon, but is it possible that golf’s rising popularity combined with the exploding sports card hobby could make this Tiger card a “must-have” for any collector who loves the sport?

It is estimated that 34.2 million people played golf in America in 2019, including 2.5 million that played golf for the first time. With over 10 million “young adults” (18-34-year-olds) playing, that demographic is now the sport’s biggest customer age. According to this survey, an additional 15.7 million people are estimated to be “very interested in playing golf for the first time,” who didn’t play in 2019. 

With the incredible number of people who are playing golf booming, combined with the age of these players growing up at a time when Tiger was at his peak of dominance, I think that there is an excellent chance that despite the relatively large population of this card that is on the market, the number of people looking to get one in their collection could boom. 

Also, we have a ticking time bomb with the Masters coming up in April. What happens if Tiger wins again, breaking Snead’s tour record in the process and getting one step closer to Jack Nicklaus’ all-time Majors record? 

It is my feeling that Luka’s upside has pretty much already been priced in. How much more does that card increase in value if the Mavericks were to win the championship this year, compared to the risk of what could happen if he were to suffer some sort of major injury?

We have seen a big rise in these Tiger cards’ prices in recent weeks, with the PSA 10 hitting $1537 as recently as January 2nd amidst HBO documentary hype, before stumbling back down to its current price at $842.50. However, one month ago, it was selling for $275, so it’s possible that we have now set a new floor with this card.

For my money, if I’m investing in one of these cards, it’s Tiger all day.