NFT Craze Comes to NBA All-Star Festivities: $100,000 from Sales of Digital Basketball Courts Going to Cleveland Foundation

click to enlarge NBA All-Star Game Court Design - NBA
NBA All-Star Game Court Design

The Non Fungible Token (NFT) craze ensnaring celebrities left and right is now coming to Cleveland as part of the NBA's All-Star festivities later this month.

The pro basketball league announced Friday that it had digitally recreated the four Ohio basketball courts where NBA All-Star games have been or will be played: the 1966 All-Star Game at Cincinnati Gardens, the 1981 All-Star Game at Richfield Coliseum, the 1997 All-Star Game at Gund Arena and the 2022 All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

"These digital collectibles are an authentic replication of the original NBA hardwood, and feature the date, location and attendance of each NBA All-Star Game on the back of each court," reads the announcement. "The collection also includes one NBA 75th Anniversary inspired court."

This is all very hard to understand, but fans can buy either an "NBA Edition" NFT for $20.22 (in honor of the year 2022), or a "Diamond Edition" NFT for $750 (in honor of the league's 75th Anniversary). The Diamond Edition will also come with a physical replica of the digital recreation. Supposedly, only 75 copies of the Diamond Edition NFTs have been created.

NBA fans interested in this sort of thing can participate in a digital "scavenger hunt" across downtown, where QR codes to access the above NFTs will be available. (They will also be available online.) The QR codes are reportedly being activated today at the following locations: Tower City entrances at Public Square and Huron Road; Jack Casino skybridge; RTA B-Line trolleys; The Metropolitan at the 9; The Arcade (Euclid Ave.); and the Gateway Plaza outside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse itself.

It was announced at a Tower City press conference earlier this week that the NBA would donate $100,000 to the Cleveland Foundation for the ongoing funding of the Covid-19 Funders Collaborative. The NBA confirmed to Scene that proceeds from the NFT sales would fund that contribution. Though NFTs are typically purchased with cryptocurrencies, the NBA said that the local donation would be made in cash.

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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