Basketball star turned digital racehorse tycoon: Wilson Chandler on NFTs and the NBA
June 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 23.3%. 2 min read.
NBA players have long served as arbiters of what's cool, and if the wave of NFT adoption among player ranks is any indication, digital collectibles are just getting started.
For years he could be relied on for strong 13-5-2 stat lines, primarily playing for scrappy Denver teams that twice made the playoffs — including an all-time great hipster team in the “Knuggets,” the collection of Nuggets and Knicks players assembled in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade.
He’s been on three teams the past three years, opted out of the “bubble” playoffs last year, and most recently played for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions — a stop in China that can often signal a last hurrah for a pro player.
Like many traders and collectors, he’s discovered that private communities are an ideal way to corner ‘alpha,’ and he’s even gotten in on some fractionalized ownership deals for rare horses — including a horse stable agreement with one “Jake,” who works with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s venture capital outfit.
Chandler isn’t the only basketball star dabbling in NFTs. In recent weeks, younger players like Josh Hart, Tyrese Haliburton, and reigning Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball have started collections, with LaMelo in particular flourishing under the tutelage of collector-whale Pranksy.
Chandler believes that it might be the start of a trend — NBA players, after all, have a long history of serving as tastemakers and arbiters of what is hip.
“The NBA has always been more progressive than most leagues my opinion,” said Chandler.
So I can see why fans and players gravitate towards NFTs. It’s fun and exciting, and they’re making money off this stuff. ”
Chandler notes that, aside from collecting NFTs, plenty of players have made angel investments into blockchain companies, including early plays in Dapper and Coinbase.
This trailblazing effort from Dinwiddie was just two years ago, and yet both the tech and adoption seem to have sprinted forward since — a sign that NFTs are just getting started with their push mainstream, says Chandler.