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NBA Top Shot & Joakim Noah: Building the Blockchain Connection

Joakim Noah surprised fans at the NFT giant’s final stop on its global tour.

As the NBA took to Paris earlier this month, it’s no surprise that the world’s foremost athletic brands came along for the ride. Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot was no exception, as the NFT giant hosted the final event of a multi-city activation connecting digital collectors from all 30 NBA teams.

Previous visits included Portland, Toronto, and Miami, with a current or former NBA player surprising fans at each. In Paris, Top Shot surprised attendees at Au Canon des Invalides with a visit from former Bulls star Joakim Noah.

At each stop, collectors were able to purchase a pack featuring the player who attended the event. So, Portland were treated to Terry Porter, Jose Calderon represented Toronto, and for Miami, Glen Rice.

“Growing up, I collected basketball cards because I was a big fan of the game,” Noah told Boardroom during the Friday afternoon event. “I wanted to be involved in anything that had to do with the game. It’s 2023 and it’s a digital world. Even though I didn’t really know too much about blockchain before, I’ve learned a lot thanks to Top Shot and the fans.”

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This showing and the previous three further emphasize how the league and its players continue to seek avenues to bond with players. Sure, the sneaker and jersey communities have a head start in the memorabilia race. But as millions pivot to relying on the internet to foster relationship building, brands like Top Shot are capitalizing on the popularity by providing supporters a valuable piece of history.

Another clear-cut theme consistent among NBA fans in Paris was the necessity for more of an overseas presence. As a New York-born athlete with both French and Swedish roots, Noah told Boardroom that a heavy presence in France’s capital only foreshadows more good things for the future of basketball.

“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “I remember living 25 years ago as a kid and going to see the Bulls play with Michael Jordan. It was a huge inspiration to me and being here as a retired Bulls player years later is a full-circle moment. The game being global really inspired me to play at the highest level, and I just want to pass on my passion to the next superstar.”

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today and, most recently, Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.