When Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, Australian artist Bosslogic was more than devastated, he was overcome by a sense of eerie clairvoyance. Bosslogic, who is well known for his “fan-art”, had just completed a portrait a day earlier of Bryant congratulating fellow hoops legend Lebron James for surpassed him on the league’s all-time scoring list. And now suddenly, Kobe was gone.
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) January 26, 2020
“Yesterday I made this, I showed it to my brother and he loved it but he said it looked like a passing away piece while at the same time a tribute to the passing the points. I laughed it off saying no one will think that. Now I can’t look at it without tearing up.”
Bosslogic via Twitter
It would only be a few months later that Bosslogic would channel his grief into a tribute piece to Bryant titled Forever Mamba. The artwork is an animated digital portrait of Bryant with a halo over his head, taking one of his patented jump shots. He appears to be floating in a cloud that’s continuously moving behind him and features a musical piano accompaniment.
Forever Mamba was released in limited numbers in NFT (Non-Fungible-Tokens) digital art form and has taken off in value.
Happy Birthday @kobebryant ❤️😢
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) August 23, 2020
NFT Digital Art
Cryptocurrency trader “Westcoastnft” has been buying and selling Bitcoin since 2014. More recently, he has been collecting NFT (Non-Fungible-Tokens) digital art, with his first purchase being Bosslogic’s “Forever Mamba” through Nifty Gateway.
Nifty Gateway is a marketplace where digital art is bought and sold. Artwork drops on in the marketplace and is sold over a short period lasting only minutes. Potential buyers must be ready to act quickly.
Only 429 editions of the Forever Mamba artwork were sold.
A huge Los Angeles Lakers fan from Canada, Westcoastnft originally paid $824 for the Forever Mamba piece. The price was a nod to the 8 and 24 jersey numbers Bryant wore during his NBA career.
Westcoastnft planned to purchase several editions of the artwork but said he could only afford the one. It nonetheless turned out to be a wise investment as he has received several offers from collectors trying to buy the piece for anywhere between $15,000-$25,000.
While that would represent a strong return on investment, Westcoastnft does not plan to sell the Forever Mamba piece at this time. In fact, he doesn’t know if there is a price that would make him comfortable parting with the artwork even later down the road.
Bryant is one of the most beloved players in NBA history and there is growing support that the league should change its logo to the Lakers icon.
NBA Top Shot Growing in Popularity
The NFT digital art market has exploded in recent months as crypto investors look to enter the space. Perhaps the best example of this is how popular NBA Top Shot has become in recent weeks.
The website, which launched last October, allows fans to buy virtual cards with highlights attached to them. The cards are sold through blockchain technology, and some have already been scooped up for six-figure prices.
A rare LeBron James card minted only 49 times that shows him dunking over Nemanja Bjelica was recently purchased by NBA Top Shot user “Jesse” for $208,000. As of last Wednesday, the website had more than 350,000 active users and 100,000 purchasing users.
NBA Top Shot raked in more than $37 million in sales over a 24-hour period last Monday, with actual players expressing interest in buying their own virtual cards as well.
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