How talent, luck, and circumstance helped Kevin Garnett make $326 million to become the second-highest-paid player in NBA history

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett has a lot to smile about.

Kevin Garnett was an MVP, a 15-time All-Star and a four-time first-team All-NBA. He won a championship with the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics. He also retired having made $326 million in his career, the second-most in NBA history.

Let’s take a look at how, more than once, Garnett was just the right player, in the right place, at the right time.

In 1995, Kevin Garnett was a 6-foot-11, 220-pound senior in high school, and it had been 20 years since a high-school player went straight to the NBA.

 

At 19, he chose to enter the NBA draft after failing to reach the minimum score on the ACT necessary for NCAA eligibility.

Kevin Garnett

Source: ESPN

The Minnesota Timberwolves made Garnett the fifth pick of the 1995 NBA Draft.

Ten years later, the NBA banned high-school players from the draft and players like Greg Oden and Kevin Durant had to go to college for one year.

Kevin Durant

Garnett’s three-year, $5.4 million rookie contract was modest by today’s standards, and he made just $1.6 million his rookie season.

Kevin Garnett

Garnett was incredibly lucky to be drafted in 1995, which came during a brief period in which players were granted free agency after just three years.

Kevin Garnett

This allowed Garnett to sign a six-year, $126 million extension during the 1997-1998 season at the age of 21.

Kevin Garnett

With Garnett’s contract a major factor, the NBA changed the rules on rookie contracts and put a cap on player salaries, but not until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached following the 1999 lockout.

David Stern and Billy Hunter

Source: “The Wages of Wins

By the final year of that deal, Garnett was making $28 million a year.

Kevin Garnett

More importantly, Garnett was just 27 years old, was in the midst of his only MVP season, and was about to become a free agent for a second time.

Kevin Garnett

This led to his second $100 million contract extension with the Timberwolves, a five-year deal worth exactly $100 million.

Kevin Garnett

After the third year of that contract, Garnett was traded to the Celtics having already made $181 million with the Timberwolves. He was just 31 years old.

Kevin Garnett

The Celtics immediately gave Garnett a three-year, $51.3 million extension to be added to the two years remaining on his last deal with the T-wolves.

Kevin Garnett

Source: ESPN.com

It was with the Celtics that Kevin Garnett won his only NBA title in 2008.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen

Garnett nearly retired after the 2011-2012 season with $282 million in career earnings.

Kevin Garnett

Source: Boston.com

However, he decided to re-sign with the Celtics with a three-year, $36 million contract as Boston tried to make one more run with their aging roster.

Kevin Garnett

After one season on the new contract, Garnett was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal that included eight players and three first-round draft picks.

Kevin Garnett

That trade turned into a complete disaster in just the second season. Garnett was the final asset the Nets had from the trade and it was clear it was time to move on.

kevin garnett nets

Source: Business Insider

Garnett came full-circle and agreed a trade to send him home to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015.

Kevin Garnett

At the time, the plan was to play two more seasons for the rebuilding T-wolves and then form a group with coach and team president Flip Saunders to buy the team using the more than $300 million he had already made as a player.

Flip Saunders and Kevin Garnett

Source: Business Insider

Garnett decided to play at least one more season and possibly two, signing a two-year contract worth $16 million.

Kevin Garnett

Garnett, who was 40 at the time, decided not to play the second year of the contract. As part of that deal, he was given the option to take a front-office job for the 2016-2017 season.

Kevin Garnett

Garnett walked away from his playing days, having made $326.3 million in his storied career. That is just slightly more than Kobe Bryant, who retired having made $323.3 million. LeBron James recently passed Garnett for the most all-time with $340 million.

Kevin Garnett
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The famed Preakness Stakes horse race gallops into the NFT market with the first real-time major sports collectible

medina spirit
Medina Spirit was the winner of the Triple Crown’s first leg.

  • Preakness Stakes, one of the oldest elite horse races, has stepped into the booming NFT market with 17 auctions for digital assets.
  • Footage of the 146th running of the race in Baltimore will quickly be turned into a digital collectible, the first such real-time minting for a US major sporting event.
  • “We’ve seen a huge appetite for the growing NFT space and we want to be on the forefront of that innovation,” said an executive at the company behind Preakness Stakes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The dash towards the Triple Crown title in elite Thoroughbred horse racing continues Saturday with the Preakness Stakes, and the contest that traces back more than 100 years is combining with the new and exploding NFT market by becoming the country’s first professional sports event to hold a real-time minting of a digital collectible.

This year’s Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is slated to be among the horses at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course competing for the $1 million purse at the 146th Preakness Stakes.

Before the horses line up, an online auction is already underway for 17 individual NFTs that will commemorate the second jewel of the Triple Crown. The title’s past winners include Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Justify. Medina Spirit’s trainer, Bob Baffert, is one of only two trainers to have two horses win the Triple Crown.

“What we’ve amassed is an incredible collection of pretty historic and epic sports moments,” David Wilson, chief marketing officer at 1/ST, the company that owns and operates The Preakness, told Insider in an interview. “What we’ve seen is a huge appetite for the growing NFT space and we want to be on the forefront of that innovation.”

A key auction item will be the real-time minting of the 2021 race. Immediately after the race, a production team will take the full two-minute clip of the race – from the starting gate to the finish line – along with the post-race celebration with the Woodlawn Vase in the winners’ circle and package the edited footage with the official Preakness Stakes NFT seal. The work will be turned around within an hour then posted on the auction’s website.

“Effectively we record our own race and we own our own content and that’s what makes this special,” said Wilson.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital representations of artworks and collectibles that exist on a blockchain ledger, similar to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. NFTs have surged in popularity this year. Among the market’s high-profile transactions was the $69 million sale by auction house Christie’s of a digital collage by artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.

The 17 auction items from Preakness Stakes will contribute to the fast-growing NFT market, which in 2020 tripled in value to more than $250 million, according to a study by tech tracking company L’Atelier BNP Paribas and NonFungible.com.

Read more: The world’s largest NFT fund spends $250,000 a week on digital art. The co-founder shares 3 platforms set to be industry winners – and his top 6 picks from the $189 million portfolio

AmericanThoroughbred
An NFT up for auction during 2021’s Preakness Stakes

The Preakness auctions are listed on OpenSea, an NFT and crypto-collectibles marketplace. Another big item is a 1-of-1, 3-D animated likeness of the Woodlawn Vase, the silver trophy designed by jeweler Tiffany in 1860 of which a replica is awarded to the Preakness race winner. The bidding using the Wrapped Ethereum currency recently climbed to nearly $50,000.

That auction winner will not only take possession of the NFT but they will also receive a physical replica of the Woodlawn Vase — the only time that a replica will be given to someone outside of the owner, the trainer and the jockey of the horse that prevails at Preakness.

“It’s a legacy sport that’s been going on for generations and I think more and more, we’ve got to identify creative ways to really attract that younger consumer,” said Wilson. The Preakness’ NFT collection “offers some really rare value to our existing fans but also, from what we’ve seen at Zed Run, is they’ve done a great job at attracting younger, newer, curious consumers into the sport of thoroughbred horse racing.”

Zed Run is a digital racehorse platform that Preakness Stakes worked with on the NFT collection. Preakness also teamed up with Medium Rare, whose work in building entertainment brands includes the recent NFT collection from the Golden State Warriors NBA team. Medium Rare was also behind an NFT collection with four-time Super Bowl champion Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski that raked in more than $2 million in sales.

“There have been a lot of NFTs that have come out over the last couple of months. Obviously, it’s a hot sector both in sports and celebrities. Some are doing incredibly well, making millions of dollars, also raising money for charity. Some aren’t doing so well. Some are jumping on the fad train,” Joe Silberzweig, co-founder of Medium Rare, told Insider. With the Preakness Stakes, “what we worked on together … is creating a campaign that stands out and is first-to-market.”

Wilson said the average age of its customers using its betting app and attending races is 60 years old. The average age skews younger for the audience who watches Preakness Stakes through its broadcast partner, NBC.

“I think the sweet spot for our sport is really 45 plus,” said Wilson, noting that the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby feature infield music concerts. “We’ve made huge investments on the entertainment side to make sure there’s an experience for everyone.”

The auction for the Preakness’ digital assets will end Monday and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The NBA’s return-to-work plan

Hello and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 16. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here for your daily insider’s guide to advertising and media.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Drop me a line at LJohnson@insider.com or on Twitter at @LaurenJohnson.


russsell westbrook  nba
Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards reacts prior to playing against the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena on February 17, 2021

Leaked memo reveals NBA’s return-to-work plan that calls for remote staff to be back by September

Read the story.


159319_Photo Apr 14, 8 08 51 AMRT.JPG

ABC News insiders are split about the hiring of new president Kim Godwin, the first Black executive to head a broadcast news network

Read the story.


fitness influencer
A big following doesn’t mean an influencer is qualified to be sharing advice.

Instagram micro and nano influencers have higher engagement rates than celebs. But on TikTok it’s the opposite.

Read the story.


More stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading and see you on Monday! You can reach me in the meantime at LJohnson@insider.com and subscribe to this daily email here.

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Tom Brady is launching a new company called ‘Autograph’ that will sell unique digital memorabilia from sports icons and celebrities

tom brady 2020
  • Tom Brady is launching a company called “Autograph.”
  • The site will sell digital memorabilia from sports icons and celebrities like Brady.
  • The NFT market has been highly profitable for sports through platforms like NBA Top Shot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

NFL star Tom Brady is launching a company for digital collectibles called “Autograph.”

The platform will sell crypto memorabilia from sports icons and celebrities like Brady, according to the company’s site.

“Autograph will bring together some of the world’s most iconic names and brands with best in class digital artists to ideate, create and launch NFTs and ground-breaking experiences to a community of fans and collectors,” co-founder and CEO of Autograph Dillon Rosenblatt told CNN.

Brady and millionaire entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt will act as co-chairs of the company. Autograph boasts a team with several big business names, including Lionsgate CEO Jon Filthier and Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino, as well as three of the founders of DraftKings.

There has been a boom in interest in digital collectible in recent months. Items that function as non-fungible tokens or NFTs have generated millions of dollars in sales. In March, a $70 million digital art sale made history.

Since then, artists and celebrities from rapper Snoop Dogg to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have gotten in on the action.

Read more: What you need to know about NFTs, the collectible digital tokens that are selling for millions online

The items operate as unique digital assets. When someone buys an NFT they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain that acts as a digital certificate of authenticity. The token can gain value due to its relation to its creator or content. For example, tokens that represent memes like the Nyan Cat can gain in value as they increase in popularity online, though the NFT buyer is not be able to control the image’s distribution.

The NFT market has been especially profitable for sports. The site NBA Top Shot, which allows people to buy NBA sports clips, recently received a $2 billion valuation from NFT tracking site DappRadar. Top NBA clips, including a LeBron James dunk moment, have sold for over $200,000 on the platform.

As an NFL legend, Brady NFTs would likely see similar high sales. Yesterday a Brady rookie card sold for about $2.3 million – smashing the record for the most expensive football trading card sale, according to Bleacher Report.

Brady himself is no stranger to selling his personal brand. In February, Brady merchandise sales set records as he became the best-selling NFL player ever, according to Reuters.

Autograph isn’t Brady’s first company. In 2013, the football star launched TB12, a sports performance and nutrition company.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The NBA fined Kevin Durant $50,000 for using ‘offensive and derogatory language’ in his private messages with a sports podcaster

kevin durant
Kevin Durant.

  • Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant received a $50,000 fine from the NBA for “offensive” language.
  • In screenshots posted to Twitter, Durant called podcaster Michael Rapaport various degrading terms.
  • Durant, speaking to reporters, apologized for his remarks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The NBA gave Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant a $50,000 fine for using “offensive and derogatory language on social media,” ESPN reported.

The fine is reportedly in response to screenshots posted on social media by actor and sports podcast host Michael Rapaport. The screenshots, posted to Twitter, showed an Instagram conversation between him and Durant, in which Durant referred to Rapaport as a “p—-” and “pale pasty c– guzzling b—-.”

“I receive threats and disgusting messages DAILY, but never in my wildest dreams did I think @KDTrey5 would be among them,” Rapaport wrote. Durant “is now threatening me, bringing up my wife and wants to fight. This is supposed to be America’s sweetheart right?”

It’s not clear whether Rapaport posted the full exchange between him and Durant. But a portion of the exchange appeared to show Durant threatening Rapaport, asking him to “meet me.”

“Or better yet. What’s your address?” Durant asked in the screenshots shared by Rapaport.

Rapaport, who’s white, repeatedly told Durant to “help the kids in BROWNSVILLE, BROOKLYN,” a predominantly Black New York City neighborhood.

Originally, Durant responded on Twitter saying, “Me and mike talk CRAZIER than this on the regular and today he’s pissed… My bad mike, damn!!”

And on Thursday, Durant apologized once again, this time while speaking to reporters.

“I’m sorry that people seen that language I used,” Durant said. “That’s not really what I want people to see and hear from me, but hopefully I can move past it and get back out there on the floor.”

The Nets did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at ydzhanova@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs just nabbed another $305 million investment from the likes of Michael Jordan and Will Smith

NBA Top Shot Press Logo_Collectibles_
Dapper Labs has a $2.6 billion valuation after the round, a source close to the company said.

  • Dapper Labs, the startup behind NBA Top Shot, announced $305 million in new funding Tuesday.
  • The round comes from more than 30 pro athletes and venture capitalists, including Michael Jordan.
  • With the investment, Dapper Labs plans to expand its platform to other sports leagues.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dapper Labs, the startup behind virtual trading-card platform NBA Top Shot, has closed a $305 million funding round as the market for digital collectibles continues to boom, the company announced Tuesday.

Led by the investment firm Coatue, the round includes Michael Jordan, current NBA players like Kevin Durant, Alex Caruso, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala, and several other professional MLB and NFL athletes. Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, 2 Chainz, Venrock, The Chernin Group, and USV are also involved in the round.

This batch of funding brings Dapper Labs’ valuation to $2.6 billion, a source close to the company told Insider, and comes as the firm’s Top Shot platform explodes in popularity.

Developed in collaboration with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, the Top Shot marketplace enables fans to collect and trade officially licensed basketball highlight clips called “moments.”

Since launching in October, the platform has attracted 802,000 users and logged $483 million in sales, a spokesperson told Insider. The platform sees millions of dollars worth of moments change hands each day, with some exceptionally rare ones selling for $100,000 or more.

Read more: NFTs like NBA Top Shot are fueling a trading boom in million-dollar sports cards. The CEO of a fractional sports investing platform breaks down why digital collectibles are the ‘perfect intersection of passion and profits.’

The new financing brings the total capital raised by Dapper Labs to $357 million and will enable the firm to expand Top Shot to other sports leagues. In early 2020 it announced plans to develop digital collectibles for UFC.

“NBA Top Shot is successful because it taps into basketball fandom – it’s a new and more exciting way for people to connect with their favorite teams and players,” Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, said in a news release. “We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms.”

Founded in 2018, Dapper Labs is also behind another collecting game called CryptoKitties and has its own blockchain system called Flow.

Top Shot moments are a form of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, essentially digital deeds that grant someone ownership to a particular piece of media on the web. Although NFTs have existed for years, the market surrounding them has hit a fever pitch in 2021, with numerous digital art pieces selling for millions.

Do you have a story to share about your experience with NBA Top Shot? Email this reporter at tlevin@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

NFTs could be the future of collecting – or a huge bubble. We talked to 3 experts about the risks to consider before buying in.

5,000 everydays artwork by Beeple, which was sold at Christies auction house for $69 million
Digital artist Beeple sold his piece “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” for nearly $70 million on Thursday.

  • The market for digital collectibles has exploded in 2021, and money is pouring in from all angles.
  • Experts say buyers should be aware of volatility, illiquidity, and fraud in the budding market.
  • Some think NFTs will only keep booming, while others think it’s all just a bubble waiting to pop.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The market for digital collectibles is booming – but that doesn’t mean they’re a safe investment.

A digital artist known as Beeple sold a piece for an eye-watering $69 million through Christie’s on Thursday. Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is auctioning off his very first tweet, and bidding has reached $2.5 million. And NBA Top Shot, a marketplace for officially licensed basketball highlight clips, has seen more than a quarter-billion dollars change hands over the last 30 days, minting multimillionaires along the way.

For the uninitiated, these assets are all examples of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which use the same blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to keep track of ownership and create scarcity. Essentially, purchasing an NFT means you have access to the same file anybody else can view or download, but you’re also granted something like a digital deed of ownership to it.

And although NFTs have been around for years, the market for them has exploded into a bonafide frenzy in recent months as mainstream companies and investors have piled in.

But for all the hype surrounding them, digital collectibles – like cryptocurrencies, stocks, or any other asset prone to speculation – come with significant risks that people would do well to understand before diving in, experts told Insider.

The top risks of the budding NFT market

For Nadya Ivanovna, COO of L’Atelier BNP Paribas, an emerging-market research firm that put out a report on NFTs in February, the technology’s greatest strength is also one of its major weaknesses.

Anyone on the internet can create an NFT out of literally anything, which means there are a lot of “really bad” tokens out there, Ivanonva said in an interview. It takes a trained eye to weed out what’s worth collecting or investing in.

“That applies to the physical art market as well – it’s usually a space for the knowledgeable. Same thing with NFT art,” Ivanovna said.

The first emoji by Beeple
Another artwork by Beeple.

And although Ivanonva sees the NFT market eventually maturing and continuing its course into the mainstream, she recognizes a handful of additional risks and uncertainties new collectors should consider about the budding space.

The NFT market suffers from massive volatility, Ivanovna said, in part because there aren’t any mechanisms in place yet to help people price assets. Over the course of 2020, the value of some of the most popular types of NFTs spiked by around 2,000%, L’Atelier’s report found. On Top Shot, some highlights that initially sold for a few dollars are now worth tens of thousands.

When it comes to liquidity – how readily an asset can be exchanged for cash – NFTs are a lot more like baseball cards or paintings than bitcoin or stocks, because every seller needs to find a buyer who’s willing to pay a certain price for a particular, one-of-a-kind item. That can put collectors in a difficult spot if they, say, spent $100,000 on a Top Shot moment and the market begins to tank, Ivanovna said.

But illiquidity can also be a good thing, since it prevents people from making rash decisions, Andrew Steinwold, a cryptocurrency investor who started an NFT investment fund in September, told Insider. If people don’t have the option to panic and offload their NFTs, the market could avoid the kind of plummeting values that would spark such a selloff in the first place, he said.

Do you really own your NFTs?

What most people new to NFTs don’t realize, according to Steinwold, is that there’s usually a distinction between the token itself – a record of ownership that lives on a blockchain – and the asset it refers to, which would be a photo, video, or audio file that’s stored separately. If a startup that issued NFTs goes out of business and stops hosting those digital artworks, basketball trading cards, or other media, buyers could be left with tokens pointing to files that no longer exist.

NBA Top Shot marketplace
Moments go for thousands on the NBA Top Shot marketplace.

There are remedies to this problem – like storing files using decentralized services – that both Ivanovna and Steinwold think will be the norm soon enough, but for now that risk remains.

To skeptics like Nicholas Weaver, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley, the hairy nature of NFT ownership proves that the tokens have no intrinsic value and that the frenzy surrounding them is absurd.

“The ownership records themselves are the digital equivalent of Beanie Babies: cute little nothings that have no value beyond what someone else will buy them [for],” Weaver said in an email to Insider.

The potential for fraud and foul play

It’s impossible to forge an NFT and it’s easy to determine where one came from, but that doesn’t mean the market is free from foul play. Anybody can theoretically mint an NFT out of a file that doesn’t belong to them and pass it off as their own to unsuspecting buyers, Ivanonva said.

Various types of manipulation prevalent in other markets are also probably happening. Wash trading – when someone artificially pumps up the price of an asset by opening multiple accounts and trading with themselves – has historically been commonplace in NFTs, she said. It’s a practice that can be easy for experienced collectors to sniff out, but might be tough for newcomers to identify.

Cryptokitties.
CryptoKitties, by the same company behind Top Shot, was one of the first popular versions of NFT collectibles.

And since blockchain transactions are anonymous and irreversible, if someone gets into your computer and steals your assets, you’re pretty much out of luck, according to Weaver.

From a security perspective, “‘blockchain’ is exactly the wrong solution for what you want,” he said.

What the future holds

Despite the uncertainties, Ivanovna sees huge potential in the future of NFTs. A correction is inevitable, she said, but ultimately the market will continue to grow and NFTs may become the underlying asset for the whole virtual economy, expanding far beyond just digital art and collectibles.

Steinwold, though he thinks some people are “getting a little ahead of their skis” in these early days, predicts NFTs will eventually be a trillion-dollar market. And he should hope so – his NFT fund invests in art, collectibles, virtual land, and video game assets.

Weaver, on the other hand, thinks the current NFT fever is “pure speculative mania,” and that it’s nothing but a bubble waiting to pop.

“It is entirely a classic tulip mania but where tulips are recorded in a different media,” Weaver said. “At least with Beanie Babies they’re cute.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch the 2021 NBA All-Star Game this Sunday on TNT

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LeBron James
  • The 2021 NBA All-Star Game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET on March 7.
  • You can watch the event on TNT through cable or live streaming services.
  • At $35 a month, Sling is the cheapest streaming platform with access to the game.

TV (small)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the time-honored tradition of annual sporting events helps to assuage the pain of quarantine, even if most of us will have to curtail plans for our usual in-person gatherings. The NBA All-Star Game, showing off the skills of basketball’s best and brightest each year, is set to proceed on schedule this Sunday despite some protestations from notable players. 

Traditionally, the All-Star Game is part of NBA All-Star Weekend, which features a series of competitions over a three-day period. This year, the events will all take place in one night, with the game itself, a Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, and Slam Dunk Contest all scheduled for March 7.

Last season, the league shook up the All-Star Game format by allowing leading vote-getters to act as captains for team selection, and implemented the Elam Ending to make the final minutes more exciting. That draft format will continue this year with LeBron James and Kevin Durant making selections on March 4 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.

Joining them in the starting lineup are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, and Kyrie Irving in the East, with Jayson Tatum tabbed as Durant’s fill-in. The West starters include Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, and Luka Doncic. This writer is still a little salty about the exclusion of Damian Lillard, but that’s neither here nor there.

Fans who want to watch the All-Star Game live have several platforms to choose from, including cable and live streaming services. Check out a full rundown of viewing options below.

How to watch the NBA All-Star Game

If you have a cable TV subscription, you can watch the NBA All-Star Game on TNT. The event starts at 6:30 p.m ET on March 7, and the game itself will begin at 8 p.m. ET.  You can also watch the event live using the TNT app on all your favorite platforms, but you need an authenticated pay-TV provider to sign in. 

Before the games starts, fans can watch the Skills Challenge and Three-Point Contest at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Slam Dunk Contest will then take place during halftime.

If you don’t have a cable subscription, read on for a breakdown of all the ways you can stream the NBA All-Star Game this weekend.

Streaming services with TNT

For the last decade or so, cable alternatives have become commonplace, offering a slightly more targeted option to those who don’t want to shell out for a hefty cable bill. 

They aren’t all that much cheaper than cable anymore – cost creep is real – but many offer free trials and they should all be available on most media devices, whether you use a laptop, a streaming stick, a smart TV, or a game console. For those wondering, neither FuboTV nor PhiloTV currently offer TNT in their streaming packages.

Sling TV

Sling TV is, by now, the elder statesman of the cord-cutting family. Most have heard of Sling and are at least somewhat familiar with how it works. Still, its two-package offering isn’t necessarily self-explanatory. 

If getting TNT is your goal, you can opt for either Sling Orange or Sling Blue. The two have different channel packages but both include the Turner flagship network. Each plan costs $35 a month, or you can drop $50 for both combined (this should be called Sling Brown, but it’s not). 

Sling Blue allows three simultaneous streams, whereas Orange limits you to one, so keep that in mind if you’ve got friends or family who are also interested. A three-day free trial will get you free access to the All-Star Game if you time it right and remember to cancel.

TV (small)

Youtube TV

Youtube TV may be the most comprehensive offering of any popular live streaming platform, with more than 85 channels, but it’s also one of the priciest, clocking in at $65 a month with no opportunity to pick and choose more svelte packages for less money. 

TNT is, of course, included. Currently, the service is offering a two-week free trial, though availability and length does vary, so we can’t currently guarantee that will still be on the table come game time. Youtube TV allows three simultaneous streams.

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Hulu + Live TV

If you’re an NBA fan, you probably know Hulu has live sports. I mean, if you haven’t heard it from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and Joel Embiid already, are you even a fan? (Just kidding. No gatekeeping here.) 

Hulu actually offers less channels than Youtube TV for the same $65 price tag, but it does include access to Hulu’s entire library of on-demand shows and movies. There’s also a nifty $72 monthly bundle that adds access to ESPN+ and Disney Plus, so if you’re a huge sports fan or a parent that’s a viable route. 

With Hulu + Live TV, you’ll be able to watch on two devices at once. A seven-day free trial awaits, should you choose to provide your credit card number.

+ Live TV (small)

AT&T TV 

AT&T TV is the streaming arm of the telecom giant’s TV division. With the different package tiers, you’re essentially getting the same thing you would get with their cable packages, just boxed up in some different wrapping paper. 

The “base” tier, called Entertainment, costs $70 and includes more than 65 channels (like TNT) with a ton of on-demand content to boot. Jump up to the $85 Choice package and you’ll get a “complimentary” subscription to HBO Max and NBA League Pass, plus an extra 25-30 channels. You can watch three simultaneous streams with an AT&T TV account. 

TV (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Collectors are spending millions of dollars every day on virtual NBA highlights. Here’s what to know about NBA Top Shot.

NBA Top Shot Press Logo_Collectibles_
NBA Top Shot.

  • NBA Top Shot is taking the internet by storm. 
  • The blockchain-based platform lets users trade virtual collectibles called “moments.”
  • It has seen over $100 million in sales over the last week, with some moments raking in over $100,000.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

As bitcoin surges to new highs, there’s another digital-trading boom that’s taking over the internet – and it’s not just another cryptocurrency. 

Basketball fans and even opportunistic, sports-indifferent investors are piling into a new online marketplace from the NBA called Top Shot. The site, which lets users buy and sell virtual trading cards, has exploded in popularity in recent weeks as people look to make a buck on the still nascent platform. 

Whether it’s a bubble that’s about to pop or the next big thing in sports collectibles, there’s serious money pouring in. Millions of dollars worth of cards are changing hands each day, and some ultra-rare collectibles have been valued at over $200,000. 

Here’s what to know about NBA Top Shot: 

What is NBA Top Shot?

Top Shot is an online marketplace that lets users trade and collect official NBA-licensed video highlights called “moments.” The platform was created by a tech company called Dapper Labs in collaboration with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. 

It was first opened to the public in October and is still in beta. It has rapidly picked up steam in recent days, with well over $100 million in transactions completed over the last week. 

What are moments and how do you buy them?

Moments are video-based trading cards that each show a short clip of an NBA star making a play. For instance, a highlight of the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler slamming a dunk will currently run you around $600, while a clip of the Detroit Pistons’ Derrick Rose sinking a buzzer-beating jump shot costs $2,600 and up. 

NBA Top Shot_Press Collectibles_
NBA Top Shot.

Users can get their hands on moments by buying them on the marketplace from individual sellers or by participating in “pack drops.” Every so often, Top Shot puts a limited number of packs – collections of rare and common moments – up for sale for $9 and up, but they sell out quickly.

Why are moments worth anything?

Anyone can go to YouTube and watch every basketball highlight that has ever been recorded for free, so what makes moments valuable? 

For one, the collectibles are based in blockchain – the same technology that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – meaning that all transactions are recorded and each moment is impossible to forge. Moments aren’t cryptocurrency, but rather a form of non-fungible token (NFT).

Plus, Top Shot is only releasing a limited supply of each moment, so scarcity drives up prices as well. There are three classes of moments: “common” ones with a supply of 1,000 or more, “rare” ones with between 150 and 999 examples in circulation, and “legendary” moments, which are limited to 99 examples or less. 

There’s also an even rarer “ultimate” tier that Top Shot says is on the way. 

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NBA Top Shot marketplace.

Not surprisingly, the rarer the moment, the more it’s worth. There are several legendary-tier moments currently listed for sale for $200,000 and up – and yes, some people are actually paying that much. 

On Monday, a LeBron James dunk set the record for the priciest moment sold to date at $208,000. 

How are people making money on NBA Top Shot?

Users can theoretically make money by purchasing undervalued moments from collectors, waiting for their value to go up, and selling them at a profit. They can also score valuable moments from pack drops and make money that way. 

For example, if you buy a limited-edition pack for $230 and it contains a “legendary” moment worth, say, $5,000, you’re automatically in the black. It’s possible, hypothetically, to buy a pack for a couple hundred dollars and end up with an ultra-desirable LeBron James or Zion Williamson moment that people are willing to shell out six figures for. 

That promise of dizzying gains has brought a huge amount of new users to the platform – the number of users has multiplied 19 times since December 31, and 93,900 customers have bought moments to date, a Dapper Labs spokesperson told Insider on Tuesday. 

Not to mention, the amount of money those users are spending is growing by the day. 

Top Shot has seen $204 million in all-time sales through its peer-to-peer marketplace since launch, the spokesperson said. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $146 million of that occurred in the last seven days, according to Crypto Slam, an NFT marketplace and data tracker. And in one 24 hour period ending on February 22, Top Shot saw a record $47.5 million worth of sales on its marketplace, the spokesperson said. 

Top Shot has made $11 million from pack sales, according to the spokesperson. It pockets a 5% fee from each transaction on the marketplace. 

What else can you do on the site?

Aside from buying and selling moments, users can create public “showcases” of 1-10 moments they want to show off to the world. Top Shot also hosts “challenges,” which require users to collect several specific moments within a particular time frame. 

Users can also work to boost their “baller status,” a score that reflects their overall accomplishments, including their collection and community participation.

Is NBA Top Shot a bubble?

Top Shot has evidently created something extremely popular by giving sports fans their own cryptocurrency-adjacent phenomenon to speculate on. But it’s difficult to say what the market for moments will look like long term. 

Right now, users who can get in on a pack drop can essentially print money, because even the cheapest moments are worth more than the cost of a low-tier pack. It’s hard to imagine that sort of market can continue for too long without a correction. 

But for the moment, Top Shot is all the rage, with basketball players themselves even getting in on the action. The bigger question may be whether or not Top Shot can handle all the new attention – in recent days, the platform has halted trading and new sign-ups due to high traffic as it scrambles to keep up with demand. 

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The Dallas Mavericks have refrained from playing the national anthem before home games

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The Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks kneel during the national anthem before an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

  • Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, opted not to play the national anthem before home games.
  • Cuban said he supports his players kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest.
  • NBA rulebook states players must stand during the national anthem, but the rule has not been enforced.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The Dallas Mavericks opted not to play the national anthem prior to their first series of home games, team owner Mark Cuban told ESPN on Tuesday.

ESPN reported that Cuban consulted with NBA commissioner Adam Silver prior to making the decision, but told Insider his plans for the rest of the season hadn’t been decided. 

He said reports that the Mavericks would no longer play the national anthem going forward were “incorrect,” adding, “we have not played it for the first 13 games of our season.”

The NBA, along with other professional sports leagues, has grappled with how to enforce its existing rules around the national anthem. Currently, the NBA rulebook states that players must stand during the anthem, but Commissioner Silver has not enforced that specific rule.

“I recognize that this is a very emotional issue on both sides of the equation in America right now, and I think it calls for real engagement rather than rule enforcement,” Silver said in December.

During the NBA’s summer bubble in Orlando, Florida, most players kneeled during the anthem in protest, and the league explicitly posted messages and graphics in support of Black Lives Matter and get out the vote initiatives.

Cuban offered his support to players on the issue in a June interview with ESPN. “If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them. Hopefully, I’d join them,” he said.

“Whether it’s holding their arms up in the air, whether it’s taking a knee, whatever it is, I don’t think this is an issue of respect or disrespect to the flag or to the anthem or to our country,” he continued. “I think this is more a reflection of our players’ commitment to this country and the fact that it’s so important to them that they’re willing to say what’s in their heart and do what they think is right.”

The move shows a marked change in Cuban’s attitude. In 2017, Cuban said he “expected” players to stand for the anthem. This past summer, Cuban told ESPN that his views evolved in part due to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Because I think we’ve learned a lot since 2017,” he said. “I think we’ve evolved as a country. And this is really a unique point in time where we can grow as a society, we can grow as a country and become far more inclusive, and become far more aware of the challenges that minority communities go through.”

Insider reached out to the NBA for comment. 

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