We're excited to announce a weeklong content partnership with @PackripMedia to close S2 & blow out the Top Shot Community's 1st-ever trip to #NBASummerLeague in Las Vegas -- featuring guest blogs right here, social activations and behind the scenes in Vegas with @PackripEwing.

By Packrip Ewing, Packrip Media

My phone buzzed with a notification. It was a text from my three best friends, who I hadn’t seen in months, but who I’d spent the past 96 hours in an NBA Top Shot rabbit hole with. “Stress Test, 10 minutes!” 

It was 7:50 PM on February 22, 2021, a seemingly ordinary Monday night. The Knicks had the night off after a narrow victory over the Timberwolves in a game where RJ Barrett and Julius Randle combined for 46 points. 

My daughter had just turned two months old and had yet to fully settle into a comfortable bedtime routine, so mommy and daddy were both a little tired and cranky. My wife had no idea what exactly a Stress Test was, but I convinced her relatively quickly as I ran down to my home office that it was really, really important. 

At 8:16 PM, I opened my first NBA Top Shot pack. Series 2, Release 18. 

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I remember the absolute excitement of landing within the queue’s limits, and the euphoria of buying the pack and seeing it in my account, dancing that little dance, a playful, inviting wiggle back and forth. “Open me,” it whispered, and I obliged. From the moment I ripped my first pack, I was absolutely hooked. 

“There’s music!?” I thought to myself as I swerved in my office chair, alone, as my friends jealously waited to find out what I pulled and my wife probably cursed me under her breath while hoping our daughter would stay asleep for more than three hours. 

I clicked on the left side and waited for the reveal.

Portland Trailblazers.

Damian Lillard!

A sweet display of handles leading to a step-back jumper from the elbow.

Next, the middle.

Phoenix Suns.

Devin Booker!

A monster dunk off a turnover against the Pacers. I was floored.

Two of the best players in the NBA in my first pack. I’d added nearly 25 Moments to my collection over the first 4 days of my NBA Top Shot experience, sharing each with my friends as we went back and forth with our growing collections, trying to one-up each other with bigger buys and cooler Moments. I vividly remember wondering why my friend would buy a Metallic Gold LE Enes Kanter, but hey, collect what you love!

My first buy was an RJ Barrett dunk, followed by Moments from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mitchell Robinson. But as fun as browsing the Marketplace and carefully picking what to collect was, nothing beats the mystery and thrill of a pack. It was time to reveal my final Moment. As the glowing animation slowly revealed a logo, I saw the Dallas Mavericks, and then, it happened. There was Luka Dončić making a gorgeous pass around the back of Deandre Ayton. I remember screaming like a banshee. Dame, Book, and Luka in a $9 stress test pack; now that’s how you spice up a Monday night. 

In the 5 months since that pack, a lot has happened. I started writing and playing basketball regularly for the first time in years. I’m much better at one than the other, but love both.

Somehow collecting NFTs of basketball highlights reinvigorated two of my deepest passions, lost somewhere along the twisty journey of adulthood. My daughter kept growing and got a lot better at sleeping. My friends and I kept collecting, shopping the Marketplace, and praying for luck on pack drop days (with mixed results).

I’ll never forget when my friend and I both landed All-Star Game Rare packs and I pulled a Domantas Sabonis while he pulled the LeBron James. I was so happy for him!

2021 All-Star Game set >>>

One afternoon my wife was virtually tutoring a student while I babysat our daughter. I hadn’t hit on a pack drop in over a month. I sat on the floor, my laptop open in her playpen, as she tested her evolving grip on some new toys. Then the queue number appeared and we celebrated together because daddy got his first Legendary Holo Icon pack. Those are the moments that Top Shot creates that are unforgettable and unbeatable. Opening a pack is unrivaled.

As my circle of Top Shot collectors expanded beyond that text chain with my friends and onto Twitter, that joy for other collectors grew. I rooted for Nashty and Jono Hartles as the Suns made their run because I knew how deep their fandom ran. I celebrated when people I’d never met before landed a #1 serial number.

NBA Top Shot is where complete strangers with a shared passion for basketball can witness something truly awesome on a weekly basis, whether it be in new Moments that capture our favorite plays of the season, or the genuine joy of unexpectedly adding that Moment to their collection.

That didn’t exist last basketball season for most of us, and I am so excited knowing how many more fans, collectors, and families will get to share those experiences over the coming months and years as they join our community and rip open their first pack. This season will always represent the start of something special for me. Not just collecting, but collecting together.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to experience it, and to share it with the rest of the collectors out there. 

Find @PackripEwing on Twitter and view his NBA Top Shot collection.