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The Best LeBron Shoes: Ranking the King’s Top 15 Sneakers

Twenty years. 2-0. That’s how long it’s been since LeBron James signed his deal with Nike. The same way Bron has given us twenty years worth of epic highlights and dazzling moments, he has also blessed us with some pretty dope sneakers. Since releasing the LeBron Air Zoom 1 in 2003, there have been consistent drops each year, and today we are taking a look at some of the best LeBron shoes to ever grace the court. One of the coolest elements of LeBron’s sneakers is the fact that they tend to be tied to the different eras of his career.

There are colorways that represent his first stint in Cleveland, some that capture his four years with Miami, multiple ones that reflect his second stint in Cleveland where he brought the Cavs their first ever championship in 2016, and newer drops that chronicle his current spot with the Los Angeles Lakers where he has been for the past four years. We’ve got a lot to get to, so let’s get started.

RELATED: The Best Kobe Shoes: Ranking His Top 15 Sneakers

The Best LeBron Shoes at a Glance

LeBron Air Zoom Generation “Debut

Zoom LeBron 3 “Retro Midnight”

Nike LeBron 5 “Black Crimson Metallic Gold

Nike LeBron 8 “South Beach

Nike LeBron 9 Low “LeBronald Palmer”

LeBron 10+ “Pressure

Nike LeBron Celebration Pack 2013

LeBron 12 Team Elite “Ignite

LeBron 13 “On Court

LeBron 13 “Akronite

Zoom LeBron Soldier 10 “Gold Swoosh

LeBron 16 “MPLS Lakers

LeBron 18 “X-Mas in LA

LeBron Witness VI

15. LeBron Air Zoom Generation “Debut”
Release Date: October 29th, 2003
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The “Debut” Air Zooms. It’s easy to forget about these in the grand scheme of things, but they represent the beginning of an era. And what a beginning it was. The “Debut” Zooms were released during LeBron’s first season in 2003-2004, and was his first signature sneaker, making the name fitting. Bron wore these Zooms on the court during his very first NBA game on October 30th, 2003 versus the Sacramento Kings where his statline was 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists.

These sneakers definitely represent a part of NBA history, and there’s still plenty available on the secondary market making them a collectors item.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $227
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14. Zoom LeBron 3 “Retro Midnight”
Release Date: February 28th, 2019 (Original – 2006)
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2006 was an important year for LeBron because the 2005-2006 season was his very first time making the playoffs. It was also the year that he dropped the Zoom LeBron 3 “Retro Midnight.” Despite being released nearly seventeen years ago, the shoe still very much remains current in terms of its look and design. So current that the sneakers were actually re-released during the 2019 season, pretty much blending in with all of the other sneakers that were coming out during that time. This is also a shoe that could serve as another collectors item down the line.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $163
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13. Nike LeBron 5 Black “Crimson Metallic Gold”
Release Date: December 13th, 2007
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StockX

Released in December 2007, the 2007-2008 season did provide us with some standout moments (and sneakers). For starters, LeBron had concluded the previous season leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA Finals appearance after beating the Detroit Pistons in a 4-2 upset (this was also the series where he scored 48 points in that sick double overtime Game 5). 2007 was also the year where his second child Bryce James was born.

And even though the Cavs didn’t make it back to the NBA Finals that year, they did have interesting playoff series against the Wizards and Celtics. There are different colorways available of the Black Crimson 5s, but in our opinion this was the one that stood out the most. The starting price on these bad boys are roughly $1000, and unlike the other two shoes we’ve mentioned so far, not many of these are left. Better get on it if you want a pair.

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12. Nike LeBron 8 “South Beach”
Release Date: July 21st, 2021 (Original 2010)
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GOAT

So now we’re in the Miami era. The era of the Big 3 aka the Heatles. Some may argue that the sneakers Bron put out during his four years in South Beach are among his best, and we can’t disagree because they were next level. Much of LeBron’s sneakers during this time period were tropical themed because, well, Miami, and they were super youthful and fun representing everything twenty-somethings love about the 305 from the clubs to the beach. The “South Beach” iteration of the LeBron 8s was just that. Colorful, young, and fun.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $119
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11. Nike LeBron 9 Low “LeBronald Palmer”
Release Date: May 19th, 2022
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This brings us to the “LeBronald Palmer” Nike LeBron 9s which were finally released this year after nearly a decade of waiting. As you can see, the tropical vibes are in full effect, with the shoes name drawing inspiration from the popular “Arnold Palmer” drink which is made up of half sweet tea and half lemonade. For those who have never tried an “Arnold Palmer,” it’s actually pretty good in our opinion. An even balance of tangy lemonade and sugary iced tea. Just don’t use unsweetened tea. That’s borderline criminal.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $88
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10. LeBron 10+ “Pressure”
Release Date: November 2nd, 2012
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GOAT

Okay, back to shoes that were actually released during 2012. The “Pressure” colorway is iconic for a number of reasons, the first being that 2012 was the year that LeBron won his first championship with the Miami Heat putting an end to all of the speculation on when/if he was ever going win a ring, and providing redemption to that disappointing loss to that 2011 Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

We also can’t forget that legendary ECF Game 6 matchup against the Celtics when Bron put up 45 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists on 73.1 percent shooting (and that iconic staredown). Pressure was definitely a good name for these shoes, which were the first Nike’s to incorporate Nike+ basketball technology.

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9. Nike LeBron Celebration Pack 2013
Release Date: August 10th, 2013
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Not one, but two sneakers make up the Celebration Pack, which remain one of LeBron’s most coveted. Of course 2013 was the year LeBron locked in his second championship when the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in a seven game series that was also a close call with a down to the wire Game 6 that the Heat could have lost had Ray Allen not hit that three to tie the game and send it into overtime, and an equally intense Game 7. The championship celebrations (pun not intended) were also pretty lit (yes we were enviously watching from afar).

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8. LeBron 11 Premium “What The LeBron”
Release Date: September 13th 2014
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GOAT

Okay so now we’re back in Cleveland for LeBron’s second go round with the team. Bron’s return to Cleveland was done in surprise fashion, but for those like myself who are die-hard Cavs fans, it wasn’t completely shocking because we (or atleast I) always knew that he would eventually come back to get Cleveland a championship, which he did. “What The LeBron” was released in September 2014 around the time of the announcement, and included features from previous signature releases, along with the map of Akron, Ohio. 

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7. LeBron 12 Team Elite “Ignite”
Release Date: April 17th, 2015
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GOAT

The “Ignite” LeBron 12s were first worn on foot by James during the Cavaliers playoff opener against the Boston Celtics. That game was significant because it was also both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving’s playoff debut, and Cleveland’s first time being back in the playoffs since 2010, the end of his first tenure with the team where they played… the Celtics. The shoes (and the game they were worn in) would mark the beginning of an interesting playoff run where the Cavs ended up facing the Golden State Warriors for the first of their four year rivalry.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $304
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6. LeBron 13 “On Court”
Release Date: October 30th, 2015
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GOAT

We’re now at the start of the 2015-2016 season, and the Cavs are coming off a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Golden State Warriors during a playoff campaign where they lost both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving (who went down during Game 1 of the Finals). With everybody back healthy, it was time for round two.

Designed by Jason Petrie, the “On Court” LeBron 13s were released at the start of the season, and featured Flywire technology to go along with the red upper, asymmetrical lacing, and the black accents sprinkled throughout the shoe.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $63
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5. LeBron 13 “Akronite”
Release Date: November 21st, 2015
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GOAT

While these were released in November 2015, we still feel that these are the shoes that best represent the 2015-2016 season, which as you guys know, would be the year that LeBron would bring the championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time in history (and Akron by automatic default). Each of the five shades of the Akronite paid tribute to the various different chapters of LeBron’s journey up to that point, including his Akron roots, and his years in Miami.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $99
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4. Zoom LeBron Soldier 10 Gold Swoosh
Release Date: August 22nd, 2016
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GOAT

And if the Akronite 13s sum up the season, then the Gold Swoosh Soldier 10s sum up the postseason. LeBron wore the White Gold iteration during the Cavs Game 6 matchup against the Golden State Warriors where he notched his second 41 point game in a row. Game 6 was the final game at the Cavs home base before Game 7 where they would complete their 3-1 comeback to win the ship. The Gold Swoosh 10s would go on to be released two months later.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $404
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3. LeBron 16 MPLS Lakers
Release Date: April 19th, 2019
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GOAT

And now we get to the current era with the Los Angeles Lakers. For those that don’t know, the Los Angeles Lakers were previously known as the Minneapolis Lakers before being relocated, which this sneaker pays tribute to. The retro old school look makes this one another one

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $244
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2. LeBron 18 X-Mas in LA
Release Date: December 30th, 2020
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Flebron-18-x-mas-in-la-db8148-601%3Futm_source%3DGoogle_Ads%26utm_medium%3Dcpc%26utm_campaign%3D16777478842%26utm_content%3D%26utm_term%3D%7Bad.id%7D%26gclid%3DCj0KCQiAg_KbBhDLARIsANx7wAxteRYo-1dUDiz1pyJmv6cBflpeWA4oK8upCxsXSNxnA41IhrSrzzIaAiMlEALw_wcB
GOAT

With the holiday season around the corner, we thought it would be fun to throw in one of LeBron’s sneakers. Red, fun, and festive.

BUY NOW AT GOAT, $229
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1. LeBron Witness VI
Release Date: 2021
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.academy.com%2Fp%2Fnike-adults%25E2%2580%2599-lebron-james-witness-vi-tb-basketball-shoes%3Fsku%3Dwhite-black-01-m-10-5-w-12-d%26gmc_feed%3Dt%26%26ogmap%3DSEM%257cPLN%257cGOOG%257cSHOP%257cc%257cFW%257cIM%257cNon-Brand-PerformanceMax-Footwear-AthleticFW%257cAthleticFW%257c%257c18343316560%257c0%26gclid%3DCj0KCQiAg_KbBhDLARIsANx7wAxBCVKOJM_DMNEL8U1c3HFwJWDIDcZchIqo46tdXm9eOrfUR25Hbe0aAoJXEALw_wcB%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds
Academy Sports + Outdoors

Simple. We all have been witnesses.

BUY NOW AT ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS
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LeBron obviously has dozens more sneakers that you can check out. Be sure to follow us for more style articles and content. 

And since LeBron is a huge Buckeyes fan, we thought it would also be cool to include this announcement. Ahead of the annual Ohio State versus Michigan showdown, Express partnered once again with their OSU ambassadors to suit the team in custom-fit suits for the walk-in ahead of the big game, because when you look good, you feel good – and when you feel good, you play your best.

Below are some of the behind the scenes pictures from their fittings. Check them out.

Express

Express

Express

Make sure to tune into the rest of Ohio State’s games as it’s going to be a wild ride into the College Football Playoff.

Categories
Music

Wait, Who Has the Most Grammys of All-Time?

Today, we take a dive into a prevalent question in the world of music: who has the most Grammys? Though we’ve covered the most decorated rappers from the Grammys and the ceremony’s most notable performances, it’s time we get down to business, and unearth the winningest creatives of all-time in the Grammy-verse.

RELATED: 11 Rappers with the Most Grammy Awards

The Grammys are one of the most prestigious awards in the music industry. They were first presented in 1959, and since then, they have been awarded annually to musicians in a variety of categories. Over the years, the Grammys have undergone several changes, including the addition of new award categories and the expansion of eligibility criteria. Today, the Grammys are widely considered to be the highest honor that a musician can receive. Past winners include some of the biggest names in music. Every year, the Grammys give us a chance to celebrate the best and brightest in the music industry, highlighting some of the most major accomplishments in this particular creative field.

Being nominated for a Grammy is enough of an honor, forget about winning one. The artists we’re about to put you onto are far beyond that major achievement; one clearly wasn’t enough for them to settle and get comfortable. As difficult as winning a Grammy is, this group of creative masterminds makes it look like a walk in the park. Now, let’s get to it.

10. U2

Total Grammy Wins: 22

First Grammy Win: Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (1987)

At number ten on our list sits the legendary Irish band, U2. This group is the winningest band in Grammy history. Formed in 1976, U2 has come a very long way since their early days. They boast 22 total Grammy wins, and have been nominated for the award over 40 times.

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9. John Williams

Total Grammy Wins: 24

First Grammy Win: Album Of Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special (1975)

Ever heard of Jaws? Star Wars? Schindler’s List? Well, of course you have. This legendary composer has scored some of the most timeless movies ever, and has made them all the more memorable with his unbelievable music-making abilities. At number nine on our list is John Williams, with 24 total wins. Is anybody else having flashbacks to the Whitest Kids U’Know skit about this esteemed producer and his easily recognizable works?

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8. Stevie Wonder

Total Grammy Wins: 25

First Grammy Win: Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male (1974)

Stevie Wonder – isn’t he lovely? Well, with 25 Grammy awards to his name, it’s hard to hate on this soulful staple of the music world. He has set a Grammy record by winning five or more awards on three separate nights. Stevie has inspired generations of people, proving that blindness can’t stop him from becoming one of the top 10 winningest musicians in Grammy history.

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7. Vladimir Horowitz

Total Grammy Wins: 25

First Grammy Win: Best Classical Performance – Instrumental Soloist Or Duo (Without Orchestra) (1963)

From the 1960’s to the 1990’s, there wasn’t a decade where Vladimir Horowitz didn’t win a Grammy. Talk about impressive; as time progressively changed the industry around him, Vladimir Horowitz managed to never lose his Midas-touch. This piano-playing virtuoso has five songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award (1990), not to mention the 25 awards that landed him the number 7 spot on our list today.

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6. Pierre Boulez

Total Grammy Wins: 26

First Grammy Win: Album Of The Year, Classical and Best Opera Recording (1967)

Pierre Boulez is yet another musical visionary who’s made their way onto this list for good reason. With 26 Grammy wins to his name, Pierre Boulez has landed himself at number six on our list. This French composer, conductor, and writer lived a long and extraordinary life, up until his passing in 2016. Utilizing the works of Bela Bartók, Claude Debussy, and Alban Berg as a conductor, he made his name more than known to The Recording Academy. A year before his passing, Pierre Boulez was presented The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

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5. Chick Corea

Total Grammy Wins: 27

First Grammy Win: Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group (1975)

In the realm of jazz music, Chick Corea is nothing short of a superstar. The jazz mastermind has accumulated 27 total Grammy awards thanks to his notable composition skills. To win 27 Grammys is no easy feat, but for the genre of jazz, it’s damn near impossible. Jazz is one of the most complex genres in existence (if not the most), especially due to the improvisation techniques it entails.

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4. Alison Krauss

Total Grammy Wins: 27

First Grammy Win: Best Bluegrass Recording (1990)

Alison Krauss holds the record for the female country artist with the most Grammys, at 27 total wins. With her backing band, Union Station, she garnered 14 of her 27 wins. You might recognize her song “I’ll Fly Away” or “Same Old Train,” which each bear nearly 30 million streams on Spotify alone. Alison Krauss is a shining example for country artists in the world of The Recording Academy.

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3. Beyoncé

Total Grammy Wins: 28

First Grammy Win: Best R&B Song (2001)

Queen Bey is no stranger to the Grammy stage, and in fact, she’s the winningest female act in Grammy history. She’s also actually tied for the most wins in one night for a female act (tied with Adele at 6). As if her amount of wins isn’t impressive enough, Beyoncé has been nominated for 79 Grammy awards. That’s right… 79. Let’s not pretend for a second that this is normal by any means.

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2. Quincy Jones (28)

Total Grammy Wins: 28

First Grammy Win: Best Original Jazz Composition (1963)

Quincy Jones had his hand in some of the most incredible works of musical art in the late 20th century. Thus, that’s how the brilliant musical mind has made his way to number two on our list, with 28 total Grammy wins. Did we mention he’s one of only 15 artists to be awarded the Grammy Legend Award? Quincy Jones played a crucial role in Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, amongst many other notable works. To say he’s a music great would still somehow be an understatement for this generational talent.

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1. Sir Georg Solti

Total Grammy Wins: 31

First Grammy Win: Best Opera Recording (1962)

At the number one spot on this list is the late conductor, Sir Georg Solti, with 31 Grammy wins overall. This is arguably the most impressive feat in music. In 1962, he grabbed his first Grammy award: Best Opera Recording for his rendition of Verdi’s Aida. Though he passed away in 1997, Sir Georg Solti’s legacy will live on forever. It’ll be interesting in years to come to watch as artists try to dethrone Sir Georg Solti and his record of 31 Grammy wins; at this point, if anyone could do it, it’d likely be Beyoncé.

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Categories
Collectibles

Holiday LEGO Sets: The Best for 2022

What are the best holiday LEGO sets to look out for this year?

With the most joyous time of the year upon us, it’s no surprise that LEGO continues to dominate the toy space with more great holiday themed sets!

Related: Best Holiday Themed LEGO Sets of 2021

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The time has arrived for making a cup of hot cocoa and hanging out with family and friends, but why not bring some LEGO fun to the party? Here’s every LEGO Holiday 2022 product on the shelves for you to build this season: 

1. Holiday Main Street
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/holiday-main-street-10308
LEGO

Every year, LEGO offers a Holiday-themed set targeted at advanced builders under the “Winter Village” banner. This year’s build is the instant classic Holiday Main Street – complete with six minifigures, a music store, a toy shop, a Main Street centerpiece and a trolley that can be motorized and run on train tracks (sold separately.) 

2. Santa’s Sleigh
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/santa-s-sleigh-40499
LEGO

At $39.99, this may be my personal favorite Christmas LEGO set of all time. Totaling at 343 pieces, this set gives you four large reindeer, a sturdy sleigh build, and the Kris Kringle himself to steer the sleigh. A perfect set at the perfect price point makes this one an easy purchase! 

3. Wintertime Polar Bears
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/wintertime-polar-bears-40571
LEGO

The perfect stocking stuffer, this $12.99 set offers two adorable polar bears hanging out at the North Pole with a small Christmas tree, a sled, and even a red scarf that might make you thirsty for some Coca-Cola… 

4. Santa’s Visit
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/santa-s-visit-10293
LEGO

Another installment in the aforementioned Winter Village line, this set offers a ton of play value and display value. It’s priced exceptionally well at $99.99 for nearly 1450 pieces, which makes this a great gift for any builder with a little experience under their Santa belt. 

5. Christmas Tree
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/christmas-tree-40573
LEGO

Whether you’re building a minifigure-sclae Rockefeller Center or you want something small to spruce up your home, the 784-piece Christmas Tree is a great way to get festive without dedicating a ton of space to your display.

6. Christmas Wreath 2-in-1
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/christmas-wreath-2-in-1-40426
LEGO

Perfect for hanging on your door or laying on your table as an Advent wreath, this leafy built offers quite a bit for it’s $39.99 price tag. Admittedly, this is not my favorite holiday set, but I do love the fact that it can be hung – a rare feat for a LEGO set! 

7. Penguin and Snowflake Ornaments
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/penguin-snowflake-40572
LEGO

Many years back, LEGO started offering brick-built ornaments, and it’s hard to imagine a better holiday pairing. Who wouldn’t want to build their own ornaments?! 

Let us know which of these set(s) you’ll be building this Christmas, and always, feel free to hit me up on IG for recommendations or suggestions! 

Categories
Style

The Wait is Over: The A$AP Nast x Reebok Zig Kinetica 2.5 Arrives December 2nd

In the unforgettable words of clairvoyant Smash Mouth: “The collabs start comin’ and they don’t stop comin’.” Or something like that. In that vein, Reebok has produced a plethora of eye-catching and hype-inducing releases over the past few years, bringing unexpected artists and collaborators to the halls of the longstanding sportswear giant. The latest such release is the third installment of Reebok’s partnership with rapper—and best dressed man alive, imo—A$AP Nast, invoking the style icon’s keen eye for the current moment wrapped up in an outdoors-inspired silhouette. The A$AP Nast x Reebok Zig Kinetica 2.5 is releasing on December 2nd.

The Reebok x A$AP Nast Zig Kinetica 2.5
Reebok / Shot by A$AP Nast

In typical Nast fashion, the shoes are built on an understated color palette punctuated by unorthodox structural components, like the removable textile shroud and Vibram Ecostep lugged outsole.

Reebok

Since its inception in 2020, the Zig Kinetica ushered in a new era for the Reebok’s ZigTech of the 2010s, before going onto to develop elevated versions of the model: the Zig Kinetica II and Zig Kinetica II Edge. In 2021, A$AP Nast and Reebok joined forces for the first time on the Classic Leather Legacy and then a version of the Zig Kinetica II Edge. On these previous 2021 collabs, Nast commented:


“Reebok is the first and only brand I’ve ever proactively reached out to work with because I knew I wanted to create something special with them to be a part of my legacy. I wanted to create my own version of a Reebok icon.”

Reebok x A$AP Nast Zig Kinetica 2.5 Release Date
Reebok

Reebok

After their reveal this past spring, the Reebok Zig Kinetica 2.5 is the latest evolution of ZigTech, combining the practical aspects of previous models with an aesthetically experimental design style.

Reebok

Reebok

The A$AP Nast x Reebok Zig Kinetica 2.5 ($180, FZ5855) will be available December 2 from Reebok.com and select fashion retailers.

Categories
NFT

How to Create an NFT

What Are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)?

NFTs are a type of token that are going to completely revolutionize entire industries by changing the way we share and consume pretty much everything.

A “fungible” asset refers to something that is interchangeable with another unit of that same asset. A good example of a fungible asset is the US dollar. If I exchange my $1 bill for your $1 bill, nothing really changes. While they are two different pieces of fancy paper, both bills represent the same exact value. That’s fungibility. 

Conversely, a non-fungible asset refers to something of a distinct value. There are no two exactly the same. A good example of a non-fungible asset is a house or a car. 

A non-fungible token is where things get really interesting. We’ll teach you how to create one.

What is ‘Minting’ an NFT?

In essence, minting an NFT means to publish your token to the blockchain. Minting can refer to the creation or buying process. Either way, minting an NFT always results in a transaction on the blockchain. Let’s break down the two minting scenarios: creating and buying.

How Do You Create or “Mint” an NFT?

To create an NFT, you have to go through a publishing process. You can use platforms such as Opensea and Mintable to publish your own NFT creation so that it becomes available for others to buy. This self-publication process is known as minting.

If you are minting on the Ethereum blockchain, then you are also responsible for paying the gas fees to submit the transaction.

Step 1: Set up a Crypto Wallet

First thing’s first, you will need to get yourself an Ethereum wallet to store all your cryptocurrency and NFTs, before creating your OpenSea account. You can view a list of wallets accepted by OpenSea here.

One of the most common NFT wallets that people prefer to use is Metamask.io. If you would like some guidance on how to set up your Metamask wallet, check out this helpful guide: How to Set Up Your MetaMask Wallet.

Step 2: Buy Ethereum/or other cryptocurrency

How to Purchase Ethereum (ETH) on Coinbase And Send it To Your Wallet

  1. Go to Coinbase.com
  2. Sign in, or create an account
  3. Click Buy Sell, and select Ethereum
  4. Click, Preview Buy, to confirm your order and then select, Buy Now, to complete your purchase.
  5. When your ETH is available (up to 15 days), send it from Coinbase to your wallet
  6. Open up your Metamask (or any other acceptable wallet) account and copy your wallet address
  7. Go back to Coinbase and select Portfolio, and choose Ethereum. Click, Send, and then paste your wallet address that you copied into the To field. (Always double check you pasted your full wallet address)
Step 3: Choose an NFT Market Place to Create & List Your NFT

The most popular marketplaces include Opensea, Superrare, Foundation, and Rarible. We will be teaching you how to create an NFT on Opensea, but check out our article for the best 8 NFT marketplaces to explore.

Step 4: Create an Opensea Account

After you create your crypto wallet, Navigate to opensea.io and click the Profile icon. You’ll then be prompted to connect your wallet. You will continue through multiple prompts, finishing with the connection screen. When you see “Connecting…” OpenSea to your wallet, you’re almost done.

If you’d like to change your username, click the three-dot menu on the right side of the screen and select Settings. You will receive an extra security prompt, click Sign and you can begin updating your profile.

Now you can customize your bio, email address, profile photo, and more. 

If you ever have trouble viewing your items, make sure your wallet is connected correctly. OpenSea is a window into your wallet address, showing all the NFTs inside.

Step 5: Create Your NFT
  1. Sign into OpenSea
  2. Go to Create, or choose Collection if you’re minting a collection
  3. Enter the name of your NFT and/or collection
  4. Upload any desired media for your NFT 
  5. Customize your OpenSea URL
  6. Add a description up to 1000 characters
  7. Give your NFT a category to help others find it on OpenSea
  8. Enter in any social and website links
  9. Input a royalty percentage (up to 10 percent)
  10. Choose which blockchain you want to mint on (Ethereum or Polygon)
  11. Select Create

Congratulations, you have successfully minted your first NFT on the OpenSea NFT marketplace. Moving forward, if you created a collection, you can always mint new NFTs into that collection.

Keep in mind that you can not change the metadata of any NFT you mint. The metadata includes everything in the list above. So be sure to double check all of your work before minting your NFT.

Step 6: Determine the Listing & Sales Options

When you go to sell an NFT on OpenSea, you may notice that there are four different types of listing options available for you to choose from:

  1. Fixed price (Buy Now)
    The fixed price listing option will put your NFT on sale for a Buy Now price. This listing strategy is straightforward and good if you have a set price for the NFT you’re selling.
  2. Dutch auction (Begins high, ends low)
    When you list your NFT using the dutch auction strategy, you are simply setting a starting price, ending price, and the duration of the auction. As time progresses, the original price decreases until reaching the set floor price.
  3. Auction (Starting price, or reserve price)
    The Auction listing option is your standard English auction. You simply list your NFT for a minimum price and then you allow buyers to bid on it. You also have the ability to set a reserve price and you can accept any offer you would like.
  4. Bundle (list multiple NFTs as one bundle)
    Bundling your NFTs is a great choice if you are looking to sell more than one NFT to the same buyer. When you bundle multiple NFTs, only one transaction is required as opposed to multiple, meaning you the buyer saves on having to pay numerous gas fees.

There are no costs associated with creating and listing an NFT on Opensea. However, OpenSea takes 2.5% of every transaction involving an NFT that a user chooses to list using OpenSea.

Creators can set a collection-level fee of up to 10%. This means creators can earn revenue every time their NFT is sold using OpenSea. The creator can modify this fee percentage at any time.

Keep in mind that if you are making a collection for someone else or as part of a group, OpenSea does not support contract level splits. So, if you need to split revenue between two parties, you will have to do it outside of OpenSea. You can find more information on Openseas fees via their help center.

To cancel a listing, click on Cancel listing at the top right of your item page. Please note, canceling listings requires a gas fee to make the item unavailable to other users. Gas fees are constantly changing depending on the volume of transactions on the blockchain. You can read more about gas fees here.

Categories
NFT

The 15 Best Metaverse Games

The term “Metaverse” has become more of a constant area of discussion now that the burgeoning Web3 movement has taken hold. And at the heart of that movement is a collection of games that embody the best parts of what the metaverse has to offer. The best metaverse games tend to offer an online multiplayer experience with a constantly evolving universe and even a game of that ilk that also offers play-to-earn mechanics within a world governed by NFTs. Here are 15 worthwhile interactive experiences that will bring you right into the ever-changing metaverse.

RELATED: What is the Metaverse? A Beginners Guide

What Are Metaverse Games?
Sky Mavis

Today’s gaming sphere has been a major part of the metaverse due to the presence of virtual experiences that offer connected digital worlds full of player avatars performing any number of actions. And those actions usually revolve around owning NFTs in the form of assorted items such as plots of land, participating in massive events that bring the game’s vast community together, and more. Metaverse games embody those aforementioned characteristics while also mashing up elements of virtual reality, cryptocurrencies, and a bevy of other interactive activities.

What Do You Need to Play Metaverse Games?
Epic Games

Like most modern-day video games, you’ll need a video game console, PC, or mobile device to play the likes of Fortnite and Minecraft. And of course, you’ll need a stable internet connection to be able to explore the living worlds the best metaverse games are contained within. A few of the games on this list also employ the usage of virtual-reality devices, so copping one of the models developed and released by Valve, Sony, HTC, and HP is a worthy investment. And for the play-to-earn games full of cryptocurrencies or digital money, getting yourself a blockchain wallet is a must.

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1. ‘Fortnite’

Epic Games’ blockbuster battle-royale game has become a mainstream force on the tip of everyone’s tongues whenever video games enter the conversation. To see how far Fortnite has come since its 2017 debut is fascinating – it started out as a tower defense-shooter and survival game, then it threw in a battle royale mode that pushed its popularity to mammoth proportions. The Fortnite we know today is the epitome of a metaverse game – players get to choose from a wide gamut of avatars that are lifted from other games, movies, TV shows, comic books, cartoons, and so much more. And besides all the running, gunning, and building these game entails, Fortnite has been known to throw in universe altring events and even put on concerts that feature some of the most prominent musical artists. Any game that lets you pit Goku against John Wick in an assault rifle battle defines just how wild the metaverse can be in its current state.

Play It Here
https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/download
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2. ‘Minecraft’

Minecraft is another genre-defining experience known far and wide by gamers and non-gamers alike. And as one of the best metaverse games, its primary focus is on allowing players to explore, fight, and create within a world spread across a nearly limitless array of 3D spaces. Minecraft is constantly changing in some manner thanks to the efforts of the players themselves – the jaw-dropping architectural marvels they construct are constant proof of that sentiment. And just like Fortnite, there’s a wealth of customizable avatars that reflect the likeness of popular characters that are pop culture icons. Minecraft’s explorable worlds are full of creativity and unique ways to interact with them all.

Play It Here
https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/get-minecraft
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3. ‘Roblox’

Roblox is more than just a game – it’s an online game platform and game-creation tool that’s attracted so much attention from young impressionable minds. What’s so fascinating about it is the fact that kids who have no idea about what developing games truly entails are getting their first bit of training in that field just by creating simple games of their own through Roblox. We’ve chosen to place it on this list of the best metaverse games due to it offering a healthy online community with several methods of interacting with each other through immersive spaces. Roblox’s world is regularly filled with millions of young players getting their first taste of everything that makes up the metaverse.

Play It Here
https://www.roblox.com/
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oMa8cc6YxSI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed4. ‘Axie Infinity’","buttonTextPlay It Here","buttonUrlhttps://axieinfinity.com/</code>
4. ‘Axie Infinity’

Axie Infinity is certainly the most recognizable and widely played online multiplayer game that employs the implementation of NFTs. The gameplay on offer here is similar to that of Nintendo/The Pokémon Company’s blockbuster Pocket Monster collecting franchise. Players go out of their way to build up an army of digital pets known as “Axies,” which double as the game’s collectible NFTs that can be minted by whoever’s earned them. The metaverse vibes are very strong here as players also have the ability to purchase plots of land and homes that their Axies can inhabit. Axie Infinity’s NFT-fueled economy, play-to-earn gameplay focus, and an online community full of freshman players & experienced “scholars” point to its strong classification as a metaverse game.

Play It Here
https://axieinfinity.com/
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mzT88eN4gts" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed5. ‘Illuvium’","buttonTextPlay It Here","buttonUrlhttps://play.illuvium.io/</code>
5. ‘Illuvium’

Illuvium is a trendsetter within the metaverse gaming space – it holds the distinction of being known as the self-proclaimed “world’s first IBG (Interoperable Blockchain Game).” In simple gaming terms that are easier to wrap your head around, it’s an “open-world exploration, NFT creature collector and autobattler game” that caters to fans of RPGs. Players maneuver through Illuvium’s huge explorable world while capturing “Illuvials,” which can be used for battles within the game’s PvP battle arena. The other actions this game entails are playing to earn crypto in ILV tokens, trading on a thriving virtual marketplace with other players, acquiring land, and more.

Play It Here
https://play.illuvium.io/
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zMuzPnM5RQc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed6. ‘Decentraland’","buttonTextPlay It Here","buttonUrlhttps://decentraland.org/</code>
6. ‘Decentraland’

Back in 2020, Decentraland came to fruition as a virtual world where players have the ability to create, explore, and trade as much as they please. The MANA cryptocurrency is primarily relied upon to make everything move in this game’s expansive 3D plane of existence – that digital currency can be put towards customizing one’s avatar, purchasing a long line of wearable items, and even copping some land. You can get on your landowner vibes by renting out your space or whatever other locales that happen to lay upon it. It’s pretty wild how players can use their land to put on all types of events, such as concerts and digital art auctions, and even earn some money in the process. If that part of the game excites you, be sure to set up a MetaMask ASAP! As the “first fully decentralized world,” Decentraland is a treat for curious onlookers looking to get sucked into one of the best metaverse games.

Play It Here
https://decentraland.org/
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7. ‘Somnium Space’

Remember how we mentioned that some metaverse games immerse you even more into its digital expanses via VR headsets? Now we’re set to speak on one of the best ones out there right now – Somnium Space. While there is a traditional play mode to hop into, it’s best if you get the most out of this game via VR. Every part of this game’s world is created by its thriving community, plus all those in-game assets are representative of players’ true ownership of such goods via the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. Somnium Space will definitely trip you out – being able to dive into all types of movie theaters, parks, schools, and more from a first-person VR viewpoint is mindblowing.

Play It Here
https://store.steampowered.com/app/875480/Somnium_Space_VR/
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8. ‘The Sandbox’

What was originally a mobile-only experience eventually evolved into a PC game that’s a blockchain-based 3D open-world game. The Sandbox’s name should give you a clue about what it has to offer. Players create their own blocky avatars, who then go on to create a litany of things through the blockchain and smart contracts. The game’s marketplace allows you to sell off your many creations, plus you can let your creative instincts run wild as The Sandbox lets you create your very own interactive experiences. Getting your hands on some digital estates and perusing through other players’ wonderfully crafted locales is where most of the joy comes from within The Sandbox.

Play It Here
https://store.steampowered.com/app/265810/The_Sandbox/
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/75FNsrrqejw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed9. ‘My Neighbor Alice’","buttonTextPlay It Here","buttonUrlhttps://myneighboralice.medium.com/our-launcher-has-arrived-5dcef115efdb</code>
9. ‘My Neighbor Alice’

My Neighbor Alice is the perfect metaverse game for anyone that’s poured countless hours into games such as Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and Farmville. You’ll be thrown into a cheerful world that’s home to your very own virtual farming plots and islands, plus you’ll be tasked with selling off the goods produced by your healthy livestock. The presence of NFTs comes into play in the form of sellable houses, animals, house items, etc. that can be sold through the game’s own marketplace and any other participating blockchains. My Neighbor Alice is the type of metaverse game suited towards gamers that enjoy a calm farming/building simulator.

Play It Here
https://myneighboralice.medium.com/our-launcher-has-arrived-5dcef115efdb
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10. ‘Bloktopia’

Taking a deep dive into Bloktopia will introduce you to a world full of expanse and wonder. The cyberpunk vibes are very strong here as the game’s central location is filled with neon colors and “made up of 21 levels to pay recognition to 21 million Bitcoin.” Holding “Blok” tokens within Bloktopia’s world gives you the right to be classified as a “Bloktopian.” As for what your digital duties are, you’ll get the chance to play all sorts of custom games, build networks, activate advertising campaigns via “Adblok,” etc. in a bid to earn yourself real-world revenue. Bloktopia is known as “the home of crypto,” which is certainly a lofty self-description. Based on everything it has in place, it looks as if that statement rings true.

Play It Here
https://www.bloktopia.com/
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11. ‘Alien Worlds’

The inhabitants of Earth have now found a way to explore deep space – by traveling through a wormhole that takes them to “exoPlanets.” The mysterious planets on the other end of that form of interplanetary transport harbor “Trilium” (the official in-game currency), which can be mined, used to vote in Planetary elections, and put towards increasing a planet’s reward pool. The space-themed metaverse at the heart of this game is massive and features NFTs in the form of land, minions, weapons, etc., that match up well with Alien Worlds’ traditional gameplay mechanics.

Play It Here
https://play.alienworlds.io/?_gl=1*1ihgh1h*_ga*MTMxNTMzMzE1OC4xNjY5MTcwNDg3*_ga_L2GPJHYBRV*MTY2OTE3MDQ4Ny4xLjAuMTY2OTE3MDQ4Ny42MC4wLjA.
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PXj7594jgaM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed12. ‘Splinterlands’","buttonTextPlay It Here","buttonUrlhttps://next.splinterlands.com/login/email</code>
12. ‘Splinterlands’

The metaverse at the core of Splinterlands revolves around a community of players fighting for glory during a highly addictive collectible card game. Over 500 collectible cards with 64+ abilities in tow can be obtained here, which also double as NFTs. You’ll get to participate in some hard-fought battles with your deck of battle-hardened cards, trade them with the rest of the game’s community, and earn cryptocurrency credits just for winning as much as possible.

Play It Here
https://next.splinterlands.com/login/email
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13. ‘Star Atlas’

Another one of the best metaverse games on this list also happens to take place in the stars above. Star Atlas is themed around extensive space exploration, fighting for territories, and making careful political moves that can either benefit you or hamper your progress. What’s in place here is a hardcore strategy experience that gives its players true ownership over their assets, such as spaceships, various structures, vast resources, and more. Star Atlas’s metaverse endears itself well to fans of Star Wars and Star Trek.

Play It Here
https://play.staratlas.com/
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14. ‘Gods Unchained’

If Splinterlands caters to your collectible card game tendencies, then you might also want to take a deep dive into this next pick, Gods Unchained’s gameplay should become a favorite of Magic The Gathering: Arena fanatics (which makes all the sense in the world since this game is led by the former game director of Magic, Chris Clay). The play-to-earn portion of this game comes in the form of sellable cards (which are NFTs) that can be bartered with other players over the Ethereum L2 blockchain.

Play It Here
https://godsunchained.com/auth/register
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15. ‘DeFi Kingdoms’

The pixelated goodness of DeFi Kingdoms definitely takes us back to the 16-bit golden era of 16-bit RPGs. The crucial collectible that players can get their hands on while playing is the “Jewel” power token, which is used for gas on the DFK Chain. “Crystal” tokens can also be obtained and swapped with other players, which also plays into the game’s healthy blockchain community. You’ll also get a kick out of this game as you collect battle-ready Hero NFTs, go on epic quests, get friendly with pet NFTs, and fight hard during card game duels. Currently, DeFi Kingdoms is playable on Katyn, which is a metaverse-focused blockchain network.

Play It Here
https://game.defikingdoms.com/
Categories
Style

Ten Years In, Faraz Zaidi and Profound Co Are Just Getting Started

“I did a bunch of random things,” Faraz Zaidi chuckles to me before adding: “But a lot of them had the foundation of just building. I always like to figure things out and find the process to things.” After some years of experimentation, Faraz’s building culminated in the 2009 establishment of his now-renowned brand Profound Co. Throughout our conversation, Faraz’s nascent fascination with this concept of “building” is clearly still coursing through the entirety of his practice with Profound. 

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The Genesis of Profound CO

“It took a little bit of time to get things in motion, but I would say early 2009, we started,” Faraz tells me. After years of uncertainty (“the first three years of college were me just dabbling with sort of random subjects”), Faraz eventually studied and graduated with a degree in Visual Art, Business Economics and a minor in Psychology. All of which contribute to what he does today. For the few years after college, he worked “at Best Buy selling TVs,” “at the Coca-Cola factory in North Brunswick driving a forklift,” “as a barber,” and more. 

And in this era, Faraz tells me: 

“I feel like we were sort of in a landscape when there weren’t a lot of brands that were saying something of value. Everything felt a bit superficial. It felt a bit surface level. So my sort of purpose very, very early on was to have a point of view and to tell a story.

“There’s a narrative, there’s a story to be told. A lot of that story was just rooted in where I came from. I was born in Pakistan. I moved here when I was three with my family. And I went back quite a few times. And then just taking the culture of that place, which is a place where not many people pursue anything creative—and sort of combining that with what I learned here. And a lot of the fabrics, the textiles. A lot of the reference points come from that culture, but a lot of it’s still rooted in the West. So it’s this sort of interesting mix of where I come from and where I live, East and West.”

Faraz Zaidi

The catalyst was sharing a story, adding meaning to fashion—finding some purpose. And building the best possible clothing we could build.

In the early days, Faraz—along with his sister and cousin—started with a few slogan tee shirts. The initial motto of the brand was “Designed for the conscious mind.” So one of the first releases was a shirt with the tagline: “Piece by Peace.” The goal was “using the t-shirt as sort of like this artistic canvas to express something.” He and his team did a few more tees before pivoting into hoodies: “We started extremely small. We didn’t have much money to really do much back then. So we found a local silk screen printer. Learned Photoshop. Just got two shirts printed. And then two turned to four. Four turned to six. Six turned to two hoodies. Two hoodies turned to three hats, and then ended up being a fully formed collection a few years later.”

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Profound Co in 2022

To this day, Faraz, his sister, and cousin work to strike a balance between the philosophical side of the brand and a desire to just make easy, accessible clothing. “If you are someone that is interested in that story, you’ll get that story from it. If you’re someone that just wants a hoodie or a pair of pants and just think it fits well and it looks like you like the wash on it—and it’s priced reasonably—you’ll buy it. It’s sort of something for both audiences.”

Faraz encapsulates Profound succinctly as such: “A channel of communication via the medium of fashion.”

Profound Co

The most recent collection was entitled, No Distance Left to Run, and Faraz sees it as a response to emerging from the pandemic and beginning to see it as a chapter in all of our unraveling stories.

Viewing the brand as a “functional based solution to a wardrobe,” Faraz envisions the future of Profound as an overarching umbrella with multiple sub labels within it.

Profound Co

The Future of Profound Co

“We’re most excited about building out this new sub-label, this new tier of the brand. Its two sub labels. The one that is upcoming, which hopefully we’re looking to launch it by early 2023. The uniform core label,” Faraz explains to me. They also plan to expand into jewelry, home goods, footwear and eventually womenswear.

“I’m excited about the next chapter of the brand, which is hopefully doing home goods,” Faraz tells me, before going on to summarize the many branching ambitions of the brand we’ve discussed thus far. “So the vision is Profound sort of exists at this top tier. If it’s a tree, the foundation is Profound. And then each branch is this sub-label.”

“We’re looking forward to doing more campaigns, more video content. Just digging a bit deeper into the story and sharing that more. I feel like the last year has been very product based, so I kind of want to dive back into sharing actual storytelling, you know?” he tells me of some more future goals. And then, as we emerge from the pandemic, we discuss the future potential for an in-person headquarters of the brand.

Profound Co

“I think a lot of us have become a bit desensitized and jaded towards everything digital, even though it exists for a purpose. It’s useful to have e-comm and useful to have an Instagram and social media channels, but I’ve always really been drawn to things in the physical space. So to be able to walk into a store, and get an immediate sense of what the identity of the brand is, whether it’s through certain art on the wall or it’s like the, you know, the patina on the wood or the scent of the place. There’s all these different factors, because each successful brand has an identity.” We discuss a few brands have managed to accomplish this incredibly well in recent years, from Bode to Snow Peak and more. 

Faraz Zaidi

Physically translating a thing that only existed in a digital space is probably one of the most exciting journeys we could ever be on.

As we begin to conclude our conversation, we turn to gratitude and Faraz’s favorite aspects of his job: “As far as the entrepreneur part of me, it’s being able to provide for people, being able to hire people. Giving people some sense of purpose and enjoyment in what they do. Being a leader for a team of people that really are committed to the purpose of what the brand is.”

We soon turn to the artistic facets of his role. “My favorite thing has always been creation. I like coming up with a concept or an idea for something that lives in your head for X amount of time. And then you’re able to actualize it, bring it to fruition,” he tells me, pausing before he adds with a smile: “As an artist, that’s the thing that gives me the most satisfaction.”

Shop the latest Profound Co collection here.

Categories
NFT

Australian Open Art Ball NFT Serves New Season of AO23 Tickets, Updates, Rewards

As the market navigates the crypto winter, Grand Slam NFT project, Australian Open ‘ArtBall’ brings new heat in the midst of ‘crypto winter,’ staying on-strategy to commit investment and announce plans, set to significantly renew holder optimism. 

<code><p class = "twitter-tweet">https://twitter.com/AOmetaverse/status/1595532283821576192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></code>

In a demonstration of the most extensive rewards program on the blockchain, AO ArtBall serves holders an unprecedented level of tickets to major tennis and live sport events in a game changer year of member benefits that includes AO23 Ground Passes, exclusive behind-the-scenes streams and an enhanced fan experience. 

Designed by Tennis Australia and Web3studio Run it Wild, AO ArtBall announces an unprecedented level of AO23 tickets for all NFTholders. Additionally, holders will also receive access to live sport and entertainment events that cover both virtual and real worlds, Australian and international events. This new frontier of token-gatedexperiences breaks new ground in rewarding holders with experiences-at-scale, they may not ordinarily have access to. 

Every ArtBall holder will be able to claim a pair of complimentary seven day Ground Passes to finals week of AO23 as part of the ArtBall Ground Pass to live events. Given the 6,776 collection size, this will be the largest release of tickets to an AO membership program in the history of the event. Holders of multiple ArtBalls will be able to claim multiple pairs of Ground Passes based on the quantity they own. For example, if someone owns three ArtBalls, they can claim six tickets, allowing them to treat their family and friends to an unforgettable finals week (23-29 January) at AO23.

Ridley Plummer, Senior Manager Metaverse, NFT’s, Web3 and Cryptocurrency, Tennis Australia

“We believe we’re delivering what an NFT should be. We’re offering fans truly unique experiences and creating memories that last a lifetime. We don’t believe any other project is offering Grand Slam tickets and the range of member benefits on this scale, to all holders. Whether it’s your first time in Rod Laver Arena, a heightened experience in a virtual world, seeing your favourite player, team, or artist play or learning something new in Web3, it’ll be rewarding,

Serving up a new way to experience sport, AO ArtBall exists at the intersection of sport and innovation, unlocking ways to keep fans in the game – on and off the court. Changing the way AO’s fervent fan base are invested beyond the 14 day tournament, ArtBalls already come with a plot on the court. If the winning shot from any of the ~400 AO matches lands on that plot, the ArtBall is updated in near real-time to highlight the match information and attach a holographic sticker to the ball casing showing it’s a Match Point ArtBall. 

“Last year we set a new precedent at the intersection of tech, art, tennis and live data. This year we’re breaking new ground in offering all holders a deeper fan experience. We’ve shifted gears to build out a sustainable membership platform for the future that adds in token-gated experiences as a given, founded on proof of ownershipand holder demand,” said Adam De Cata, Run it Wild Founder and NFT Tech CEO. 

AO ArtBall raises the bar once more since becoming the world’s-first Web3 project to incorporate live match data and win an Entertainment Cannes Lions award for Sport. “We believe we’re one of the most extensive rewards program on the blockchain, the experiences on offer to ArtBall holders are truly memorable, unique and accessible,” De Cata added. Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come for AO ArtBall in 2023.

What’s new for AO ArtBall 2023 

ArtBall Ground Pass 

In addition to the pair of AO23 Ground Passes, ArtBall holders will get access to select United Cup matches in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. United Cup is the first mixed teams event for equal points and equal pay, taking place from 29 December through to 8 January. 

“AO ArtBall continues to over deliver. Ground Passes to AO23 would be an unforgettable experience for my friends and family. I never expected to be rewarded with so many benefits. Thanks for ArtBall, I already own a rare signed t-shirt autographed by tennis legends, a number of POAPs[6] and wearables in addition to recently attending the Moto GP for the first time with my family,” said Discord member Justice Albatraoz, holder of four ArtBalls. 

The ArtBall SuperSight 

Artball SuperSight is an exclusive curated experience for AO Art Ball members. Aiming to deepen the fan experience, SuperSight will bring members behind the scenes of AO23. Supersight also offers an exclusive suite of streams and viewing tools for members located anywhere in the world, allowing them to engage with the AO remotely. This includes Player-cams, 3D Stats Explorer and AI personalized match highlights. 

All enhanced Match Point experience 

Using Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Random Function) technology, all AO22 & AO23 ArtBalls will be randomly allocated a new court position. This unique benefit ensures existing holders, in less desirable locations e.g. under the net, get a fresh opportunity to secure Match Points from their new plot. The ‘23 Match Point experience is set to include 3D match point visualization and digitized match footage. 

Expansion of international rewards 

2022 saw dedicated holders battle it out in rapid fire trivia to secure exclusive tickets to other Grand Slams including Wimbledon and Roland Garros. Testament to the vast partner network of Tennis Australia, ArtBall members could also access international experiences beyond tennis, including club tickets, stadium tours and signed merchandise from Arsenal and the New York Mets. To ensure international ArtBall holders are kept in the game, the ‘23 collection will see an expansion of international rewards for holders via collaborations with iconic Web3 projects and brands. 

Categories
Sports Sports

The Most Valuable NFL Teams

The pandemic threatened to force the NFL to take a step back for a while in terms of finances. Nonetheless, 2021 showed it was only so that the league could take a running jump to one of their most successful years in a while, with the most valuable NFL teams showing commensurate growth.

In March of 2021, the NFL signed a media rights deal worth a staggering $111.8 billion, which was an 82% increase from then-deals. This means that from now until 2032 when the deal ends, pay-out for each of the 32 NFL teams is going to increase from around $220 billion to around $377 billion.

In the next decade, it’ll be interesting to see how team valuations change around this period. As of 2022, this is how things stand in the league amongst the top 10 and bottom 10 teams.

1.) Dallas Cowboys: $7.64 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 10%
  • Owner: Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys, also known as America’s Team, have been in the NFL since 1960. Current owner Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989 from H.R. Bright for $140 million, equivalent to about $300 million today. They are one of the winningest franchises in all of football with five Super Bowls. 

2.) Los Angeles Rams: $5.91 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 26%
  • Owner: Stan Korenke

The Los Angeles Rams moved up one spot from 3rd to second this year, and a large chunk of their valuation comes from their stadium. SoFi Stadium opened in September of 2020 and the stadium cost a whopping $4.9 billion. 

3.) New England Patriots: $5.88 billion
Forbes
  • 1-Year Change: 10%
  • Owner: Robert Kraft

Tied for the most Super Bowls all-time, the New England Patriots are one of the most elite football franchises the NFL has to offer. Current owner Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 for $172 million dollars. There was once a time where Robert Kraft thought about moving the team to Connecticut, but with a near $6 billion evaluation i’m sure he’s content with staying in Foxborough. 

4.) New York Giants: $5.37 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 24%
  • Owner: John Mara / Steve Tisch

The New York Giants are one of the oldest NFL franchises, with their inaugural season coming in 1925. They’ve enjoyed four Super Bowls, including two shocking victories over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Giants currently play at MetLife Stadium and have since 2010. 

5.) San Francisco 49ers: $5.18 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 21%
  • Owner: 49ers Enterprises

Although the 49ers may have only been in the NFL since 1950, they remain one of the most historic franchises. They have won five Super Bowls and dished out a number of hall of fame players such as Joe Montanna, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Terrell Owens just to name a few. 

6.) Chicago Bears: $5 billion
Bears Wire – USA Today
  • 1-Year Change: 25%
  • Owner: Virginia Halas McCaskey

The Chicago Bears just eclipsed the century mark as a franchise, with their first season coming in 1920. The Bears are one of the most popular NFL franchises despite only claiming one Super Bowl across 100+ seasons. 

7.) New York Jets: $4.8 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 18%
  • Owner: Woody and Christopher Johnson

Although the New York Jets only joined the NFL in 1970, they own the rights as Super Bowl III champions. Current owner Woody Johnson purchased the team in 2000 for a hefty $635 million. Although the Jets have seen minimal success over the years, they have one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports.  

8.) Washington Commanders: $4.78 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 12%
  • Owner: Daniel Snyder

The Washington Commanders were originally founded in 1932 and enjoyed a wave of success throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. They would win Super Bowls in 1982, 1987, and 1991. Dan Snyder purchased the team in 1999 and they have never been able to get back to that prior success. 

9.) Philadelphia Eagles: $4.7 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 21%
  • Owner: Jeffrey Lurie

There are few fan bases as passionate as Eagles fans. The team was established in 1933 and saw relative success pre-NFL merger, winning three NFL Championship games. The Eagles have been to three Super Bowls, most recently winning in 2017. 

10.) Denver Broncos: $4.65 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 22%
  • Owner: Rob Walton

The Denver Broncos saw a 22% increase in their valuation, and that number comes from the recent purchase from the Walton-Penner family. The Broncos were sold to the Walton-Penner family in 2022 for $4.65 billion, the most for a North American sport franchise ever. 

11.) Houston Texans: $4.63 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 21%
  • Owner: Janice McNair

There is no franchise younger than the Houston Texans, who have been an NFL franchise since 2002 (I’m older than the Texans!) They were founded in 1999 and were owned by Bob McNair who tragically passed away in 2018. Despite being one of four teams to never make a Super Bowl, the Texans are doing just fine with a valuation north of $4.5 billion. 

12.) Seattle Seahawks: $4.39 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 22%
  • Owner: The Paul Allen Trust

The Seattle Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976 and have been a relatively good team in recent memory. They enjoyed two trips to the Super Bowl, including a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. Despite trading franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks are gearing up for the playoffs this postseason.

13.) Pittsburgh Steelers: $4.26 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 19%
  • Owner: Rooney Family

The Pittsburgh Steelers are tied with the Patriots for the winningest NFL franchise, with six total Super Bowls. The Rooney family has been the sole owners of the franchise since Art Rooney founded the team in 1933. It cost Rooney only $2,500 to purchase the franchise fee to create the team.

14.) Green Bay Packers: $4.19 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 19%
  • Owner: Green Bay Packers Inc.

The Packers are one of the original NFL teams and have one of the strangest ownership structures in professional sports. Fans can buy shares of the Packers when made available every couple of years. Owning a share gives you voting rights and an invitation to their annual corporate meeting.

15.) Las Vegas Raiders: $4.08 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 26%
  • Owner: Mark and Carol Davis

Although the Raiders jumped ship from Oakland to Las Vegas, they still have one of the most active fandoms in all of sports. The Davis family has owned the Raiders since purchasing it in 1966 for $180,000. Recently, the Raiders built Allegiant Stadium in Vegas which cost a reported $1.9 billion.

16.) Miami Dolphins: $4.06 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 15%
  • Owner: Stephen M. Ross

The Miami Dolphins have been an NFL franchise since 1966 and are home to one of the most famous football stadiums, Hard Rock Stadium. The team enjoyed a wave of success in the 70’s, winning back-to-back Super Bowls. Their 1972 campaign is the only undefeated season by a team to also win a Super Bowl. 

17.) Atlanta Falcons: $3.88 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 18%
  • Owner: Arthur Blank

The Atlanta Falcons have been an NFL franchise since 1966, reaching two Super Bowls in that time. They remain one of twelve NFL teams to never win a Super Bowl. Most recently, they suffered a heart-wrenching defeat to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. 

18.) Minnesota Vikings: $3.72 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 18%
  • Owner: Zygi, Leonard, and Mark Wilf

The Minnesota Vikings have been an NFL team since 1961 and are currently owned by the Wilf family. Despite the Vikings three Super Bowl appearances throughout the 70’s, they have no Super Bowl to their name. With a new young core at the helm, the Vikings could hoist their first Lombardi trophy in the near future.  

19.) Los Angeles Chargers: $3.62 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 21%
  • Owner: Dean Spanos

The Los Angeles Chargers, formerly the San Diego Chargers, joined the NFL during the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. The Chargers made their move to Los Angeles around the same time the Rams jumped ship from St.Louis. Since joining the NFL, the Chargers have a single Super Bowl appearance in 1994, which they lost. 

20.) Kansas City Chiefs: $3.54 billion
Getty Images
  • 1-Year Change: 15%
  • Owner: Hunt Family

It’s no understatement to say that the Kansas City Chiefs are currently in their golden era. After winning the Super Bowl in 1969, the Chiefs would go 50 years before winning again in 2019. With a core of Patrick Mahome and Travis Kelce, I have a feeling there are more Super Bowls in the Chiefs future. 

21.) Baltimore Ravens: $3.44 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 11%
  • Owner: Steve Bisciotti

Despite only joining the NFL in 1996, the Baltimore Ravens are one of the most successful NFL franchises. They have compiled a record of 233-183-1 and have won two Super Bowls. Steve Bisciotti bought the team from Art Modell in 2003. 

22.) Carolina Panthers: $3.36 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 13%
  • Owner: David Tepper

Although the Carolina Panthers joined the NFL a year prior to the Baltimore Ravens, they have not seen an equal amount of success. The Panthers have never won a Super Bowl despite appearing in two. They are currently going through a rebuilding process and a Super Bowl does not look to be in the Panthers’ near future. 

23.) Tennessee Titans: $3.29 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 23%
  • Owner: Amy Adams Strunk

The Tennessee Titans officially joined the NFL in 1970 apart of the NFL-AFL merger, but have been a franchise since 1960. They have reached the Super Bowl once, losing to the St.Louis Rams in 1999. They are owned by Amy Adams Strunk, the daughter of Houston Oilers founder Bud Adams. 

24.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $3.28 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 18%
  • Owner: Glazer Family

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have joined the NFL in 1976, but have enjoyed more success than most teams. The Buc’s are 2-0 in the Super Bowl, winning in 2002 and 2020. They are currently captained by legendary quarterback Tom Brady, a large part of their 2020 Super Bowl campaign. 

25.) New Orleans Saints: $3.26 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 16%
  • Owner: Gayle Benson

The Saints have had a rollercoaster of a ride as a franchise in the NFL. They initially struggled, not winning a playoff game until their 34th season in 2000. They did claim Super Bowl XLIV behind the sensational play of Drew Brees. Since Brees and head coach Sean Payton retired the franchise has had trouble finding direction. 

26.) Indianapolis Colts: $3.25 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 15%
  • Owner: Jim Irsay

The Indianapolis Colts are one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, being founded in 1953. They have enjoyed success pre and post Super Bowl era’s, with over five championships. They won Super Bowls in 1970 as well as 2006. They are currently coached by former Colts lineman Jeff Saturday. 

27.) Cleveland Browns: $3.18 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 17%
  • Owner: Jimmy and Dee Haslam

The Cleveland Browns began as a AAFC team and were dominant, boasting a 47-4-3 record across four seasons. When the league folded they joined the NFL and have not found the same success. They are one of four teams to never reach a Super Bowl and were the second team to compile a 0-16 record after their 2017 campaign. 

28.) Arizona Cardinals: $3.17 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 18%
  • Owner: Michael Bidwill

There is no football franchise older than the Cardinals, first established in 1898. They would join the NFL in 1920, making them one of only two remaining original franchises. They have never won a Super Bowl despite reaching the championship game in 2008. 

29.) Buffalo Bills: $2.99 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 20%
  • Owner: Terry and Kim Pegula

Despite a levy of success throughout the 90’s, the Buffalo Bills are one of twelve NFL teams to never win a Super Bowl. Most notably, they reached the championship game four consecutive times from 1990-1993, but came short in all four games. They are currently led by all-pro quarterback Josh Allen and remain one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. 

30.) Jacksonville Jaguars: $2.94 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 11%
  • Owner: Shahid Khan

Despite being one of the youngest franchises in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars have enjoyed a good-bit of success in their short time. Since joining the NFL in 1996, the team has reached the playoffs seven times and even reached two AFC Championship games. 

31.) Detroit Lions: $2.86 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 17%
  • Owner: Sheila Ford Hamp

The Detroit Lions are one of the most historic NFL teams, having joined the league in 1930. Despite being an early player in the NFL, the Lions have seen relatively no success since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. The Lions have only won a single playoff game since 1957 and have the longest postseason win drought in NFL history. 

32.) Cincinnati Bengals: $2.84 billion
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  • 1-Year Change: 18%
  • Owner: Mike Brown

The Cincinnati Bengals went through a rough patch in the 90’s and 2000’s, but have built an exciting young core today. The Bengals have reached three Super Bowls despite never winning the game. They are currently led by a young core of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase who helped carry the Bengals to an appearance in the 2021 Super Bowl. 

Categories
Collectibles

The Most Valuable Kobe Bryant Cards of All Time

Before we dive in to the most valuable Kobe Bryant cards of all-time, let’s discuss the player.

Kobe Bryant’s career lasted 20 years, each filled with jaw-dropping moments and unmistakable glory. His career accolades are not news to anyone, but here’s a reminder: dunk contest winner, MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist, 81 points in a single game, and 60 points in his last contest. Oh, and how about five rings for good measure.

The Black Mamba’s on-court achievements are etched into basketball’s history forever; however, the inspiration he instilled in millions of fans made him even more legendary. We all remember trying to emulate Kobe’s fadeaway in the backyard, and we all remember not being able to do it quite like him.

Since his tragic passing, Bryant has remained one of the most heralded and collected athletes in sports.  Whether it’s the shoes, the jersey, or the cards, fans have many ways to remind them of their favorite Kobe moment.

Today, we are highlighting the 20 biggest Kobe Bryant card sales of all time.  To keep the list fresh, we are only allowing an individual card to appear once.  Let’s jump right in and show off the most valuable Kobe Bryant cards of all-time!

1. Kobe Bryant 1997 Skybox Metal Universe Green Precious Metal Gems (PMG) /10 BGS 8.5: $2,000,000
CardLadder

First on our list of most valuable Kobe Bryant cards is this Emerald PMG! Since its inception, the Precious Metal Gems (PMG) insert has been a favorite of many modern basketball collectors. This 1997 Kobe Bryant Emerald is the pinnacle of that PMG fandom. A BGS 8.5 grade, the copy is numbered /10 and sold for $2,000,000 privately this year. That marks the highest sale for any Kobe Bryant card or any Precious Metal Gem, and it will be interesting to see how the PMG market grows in the future.

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2. Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Rookie Refractors BGS 10 Black Label: $1,752,000
CardLadder

This Kobe refractor rookie is cherished for its remarkable condition. The BGS “Black Label” 10 grade is the most difficult and distinguished grade to receive in the entire hobby. It’s no surprise that this stunner reached a seven-figure sale price in 2021.

The 1996 Topps Chrome basketball set is notorious for “hulking,” which is when the players on the card develop a greenish tint over time. Chromium technology was still relatively new, so leaving these cards exposed to harmful rays would cause them to fade. Fortunately, this marvel remains in perfect shape over 22 years later.

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3. Michael Jordan/LeBron James/Kobe Bryant 2006-07 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection All NBA Access Triple Logoman (1/1): $1,680,000
CardLadder

If you ask for a top 10 list from a basketball fan, it’s likely that all three of these players will be on it.  The card above is the only triple logoman of Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron to ever hit an auction, and it is a stunner.  While many were chasing the infamous LeBron Triple Logoman, it seemed as if this one flew under the radar.  This trio hasn’t appeared on cardboard together since the 2000s, and rare memorabilia like this almost never surfaces.

Nevertheless, this PSA-graded copy sold during an August auction at Goldin for $1.68 million.  All three logoman patches are game-worn, and it is unlikely that a card like this will be made ever again.

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4. Kobe Bryant 2002-03 Upper Deck NBA Logo Mania BGS 9/10: $922,500
CardLadder

Next, we have the first-ever Kobe Bryant logoman. The 2002-03 NBA Logo Mania set featured premium patch autographs of Bryant, Air Jordan, and many other superstars. When you think about the crazy LeBron Logoman chase from last year’s Flawless, it’s easy to say that this set was appropriately named.

This is also one of the few Kobe logoman cards that came from a #8 jersey, which he wore until the 2006-07 season.

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5. Kobe Bryant/Kevin Durant 2007-08 Exquisite Dual Logoman Autographs 1/1 PSA Authentic: $726,000
CardLadder

Bryant and Durant definitely stem from different eras, but the latter has named Kobe as one of his favorite players. Yet, they both had the ability to take over a game offensively at any point. 

This 2007 Exquisite dual logoman autograph is a rookie for KD, who is shown in his Seattle Supersonics uniform. It contains dual on-card autographs and game-worn patches, so it doesn’t get much better than that.

6. Kobe Bryant 1996 Skybox E-X2000 Credentials /499 Rookie PSA 10: $617,460
CardLadder

This is one of those cards that you just have to see in person. 1996 E-X2000 was incredibly innovative; it utilized bright colors and an acetate finish to really make the players pop out. The sleek design did make them tough for grading, however, so seeing the “Credentials” parallel in a PSA 10 is truly outstanding.

7. Kobe Bryant/Michael Jordan 2000 Upper Deck Game Jerseys Combo Patch Auto BGS 8.5-Auto 10: $516,000
CardLadder

At seven we have a classic patch auto of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.  This is the first set where the pair have dual autographs, so it is still widely collected to this day.  For us, it symbolizes a passing-of-the-torch for two of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history. 

The card contains two game-worn patches and on-card autos of Air Jordan and The Black Mamba.  It last sold at a Heritage auction for $516,000 in 2021.

8. Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Flair Showcase “Legacy Collection” Row 0 Rookie #008/150 BGS 10: $430,500
CardLadder

This rookie is special because it’s in the coveted BGS 10 grade, but it is also limited to 150 copies. Furthermore, of those 150 copies, this stunner is #008 in the set, which was (one of) Bryant’s jersey numbers.  The impeccable grade and jersey number give this card an additional premium; it sold for over $430,000 in 2021.

9. Kobe Bryant 1997 Skybox Metal Universe Red Precious Metal Gems (PMG) /100 Autograph PSA Authentic-Auto 9: $403,664
CardLadder

While the aforementioned green PMG may be rarer, you cannot go wrong with the sheer eye appeal of the red parallel.  The colors are sharp, and they contrast against every player’s uniform perfectly.  Additionally, this copy is the only autographed Kobe PMG to ever sell at auction.

These Precious Metal Gems only come up for sale about once a year, so there is typically a good premium paid by avid collectors.  Case in point, this beautiful PSA Authentic/Auto 9 copy sold for over $400,000 earlier this year.

10. LeBron James/Kobe Bryant/Michael Jordan 2004-05 UD Trilogy 1-2-3 Combo Clearcut Autographs BGS 10-Auto 10: $387,600
CardLadder

Much like the triple logoman of these three, this card is also not one you see very often.  And even if they all are on an autographed card together, it probably won’t be accompanied by a BGS 10 grade.  Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron are woven into the fabric of basketball’s lore.  Each has inspired millions, and we’ve all spent hours trying to emulate their moves in the driveway.  This incredible gem last sold for $387,600 during a Goldin auction.

11. Kobe Bryant 2003 Exquisite Collection Limited Logos Patch Auto /75 PSA 10: $360,000
CardLadder

We will die on this hill: there is not a better-looking autograph set than the 2003 Exquisite Limited Logos. The design, the jumbo patches, the on-card signature – it’s just perfect.  Plus, this card is printed on thicker cardstock, so achieving a PSA 10 grade is nearly unheard of.  

12. Kobe Bryant 2015-16 Panini Prizm Black 1/1 BGS 9.5: $324,000
CardLadder

#12 features the first Kobe card from the 2010s, and it’s his last 1/1 Prizm from his playing years.  In the Mamba’s last season, he put up 17.6 PPG. This included a 60-point masterpiece against the Utah Jazz in his last-ever game. While they still produced Kobe Prizms in 2018 and 2019, this card has kept its premium.

13. Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant/LeBron James 2004-05 SP Signature Edition Triple /25 BGS 8.5-Auto 10: $322,260
CardLadder

Another triple auto of Jordan, Bryant, and James is featured above. While it doesn’t have a BGS 10 grade like the one we saw early, it is still a grail card for just about anyone reading this list. It features clean signatures from three players who dominated their respective eras.

14. Kobe Bryant 2008 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor /50 PSA 10: $312,000
CardLadder

Topps Chrome basketball was known for utilizing amazing photography, and this may be the best example. We see the veteran Kobe get to back down young LeBron before one of his patented fadeaways. At the same time, the entire backdrop is filled with awestruck fans. A card like this could hang up at the Louvre.

15. Kobe Bryant/Michael Jordan/LeBron James 2008 SP Authentic “Sign of The Times” Triple Autograph /10 PSA 8.5: $300,000
CardLadder

Our final triple auto of this trio may contain the best signatures of them all. Each of these players delivered a strong, bolded John Hancock, so this would probably be a lot higher on the list if it received a higher grade.

16. Kobe Bryant 2000 Upper Deck Game Jerseys Patch Auto /8 BGS 9: $288,000
CardLadder

This is one of Kobe’s earliest pack-issued patch autographs, and the numbering was hand-drawn by the Black Mamba himself. The action shot encapsulates Bryant as he goes up for the finish against Reggie Miller. It received a BGS 9 grade and sold for $288,000 last year.

17. Kobe Bryant 2013 National Treasures Colossal Logoman Signature /2 PSA 8-Auto 10: $248,460
CardLadder

Number 17 is yet another Logoman, but it certainly isn’t as pricey as the others on this list of most valuable Kobe Bryant cards. This gorgeous patch auto comes from 2013 National Treasures, a set that featured high-dollar rookies of Giannis Antetokounmpo. But if you pulled this from an NT box, we’d guess that you’d be feeling pretty good about how it turned out.

18. Kobe Bryant 2007-08 UD Black “Numbers Autographs” 1/1 BGS 9: $240,000
CardLadder

While this may not be a Logoman patch, the “2” in Bryant’s jersey isn’t so bad either. We also see Kobe’s signature along the jersey, and the card itself is a 1/1. This is a grail for any Kobe collector.

19. Kobe Bryant 2014-15 Panini Prizm Black 1/1 PSA 9: $206,400
CardLadder

This 1/1 Prizm is another modern Kobe card that you don’t see every day. 2014 Prizm does a great job of cutting off the background and letting the players be the center of the card. We think that it is one of the better designs to date, and this $200,000 card is a very strong reminder.

20. Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Finest Rookie Gold Refractor BGS 10: $206,000
CardLadder

Finally, we have another sought-after rookie card from Bryant’s ‘96 campaign, the Topps Finest gold refractor. There are so many commendable parts of this card. The yellow border matches well with that Lakers gold. The background makes it seem like Kobe is floating in the air. 

However, the best part of this card is seeing a young phenom from Lower Merion High School who was about to make his mark on the world and change basketball forever. 

Do you have any of the most valuable Kobe Bryant cards in your collection, or any rare or interesting ones that didn’t make the list? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Twitter and Instagram!