If LaMelo Ball Wins NBA Rookie of the Year, This NFT Gets Rarer

Ball’s collaboration with Ether Cards and Chainlink brings “dynamic” NFTs to the forefront of the growing sports collectibles market.

Jun 16, 2021 at 8:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:12 p.m. UTC

LaMelo Ball, a Charlotte Hornets guard who is expected to be named NBA Rookie of the Year on Wednesday, is testing the largely uncharted waters of “dynamic” non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

His entrance to the NFT market came last week with the release of his debut capsule. The 10,000-piece collection was designed in partnership with Playground Studios and is powered by Ether Cards, which specializes in creating adaptable NFT experiences on the Ethereum blockchain.

Through the use of Chainlink data oracles, Ether Cards’ dynamic NFTs can change their visual appearance, using the same technology as smart contracts executing on-chain actions.

“Should LaMelo win ROTY, these NFTs will evolve into a more powerful version, featuring the exclusive Gold Sun,” an announcement on the website created to sell the NFTs said.

The allure of increased rarity appears to be meant to goose sales and nudge interested buyers over the line.

In a further twist, each NFT is paired with opportunities to collect physical collectible items, such as game tickets, memorabilia and access to exclusive fan merchandise. The Golden State Warriors announced a similar pairing of NFTs with physical items in April. 

“A lot of people on my team are big on blockchain,” Ball said in a statement to CoinDesk. “I’m still wrapping my head around it all and playing in different metaverses – but the fact that we’re only in the [earliest] stages means there’s so much room for my NFTs to develop over time.”

On Thursday, Playground Studios will auction off the first edition of Ball’s “Gold Evolve NFT,” which comes with a signed jersey and a signed pair of the shoes Ball wore when he became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double (double digits in points, rebounds and assists) in one game.

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