The tale of the Diallo Wolfpack
Welcome to my first NBA Top Shot blog post.
Today’s story, submitted for your approval: The tale of the Diallo Wolfpack
If you’ve been on NBA Top Shot / Twitter recently, it’s possible you’ve found yourself asking one or more of these questions:
Why am I seeing random Wolf GIF comments on Twitter for Diallo Moments?
What is the “Wolfpack”?
Why is NBA Top Shot Series 2 Throwdowns Hamidou Diallo $1600?
Is Diallo worth $1600? (spoiler: probably not, I wouldn’t recommend it)
To answer all of the above, we first need to rewind a bit.
On May 10, 2021, NBA Top Shot released the Series 2 Throwdowns packs.
Priced at $149, the packs contained 1x rare Throwdowns Moment and 5x common Series 2 Base Set Moments. The Throwdowns Moments were minted to /1800 and there were 45 plays in the packs. Ultimately there were 6 Throwdowns Challenges, making the set 51 plays in total.
On paper the set seemed awesome, it was filled with some of the best dunks of the season, but shortly after the pack drop, the hype turned sour.
So what went wrong? Well a few things.
1) The total mint size was too large for each play at /1800
2) The total number of plays in each set was too much at 45 (pre-Challenges)
3) Some saw Challenge rewards as lackluster, specifically: Anfernee Simons, Derrick Jones Jr., and Hamidou Diallo
As a result of the above, marketplace demand was far lower than was typically expected, which was unusual during a time when most packs were still hugely EV+.
Many users were unhappy, especially if they had no intention of completing the set or any individual Challenges.
Consequently, numerous users opted to cut their losses and sell their Throwdowns Moments. Unfortunately, without many buyers, the undercutting grew until some Throwdowns Moments were $30–40.
On a whim, I decided to complete the entire Throwdowns set mostly because:
- It had great dunks
- I love Challenges
- I already had a complete Series 1 Throwdowns set
- The Moments were an absolute bargain relative to the $149 pack price
Some quick math, if I completed the set using the pack price of $149, it would have cost me about $149 x 45 = $6705 to complete the set. Instead, I was able to pickup all 45 Moments from the marketplace for about ~$4400.
Let the Challenges begin…
The first challenge was Blake Griffin, and I thought it was exciting since it was Griffin’s first rare Moment on Top Shot (and still his only non-common Moment). Not long after the Challenge announcement, I stumbled on a Twitter post of screenshots from users completing the entire set and/or Griffin Challenge. This was an absolute breath of fresh air, since up until that point I hadn’t heard many talk positively about Throwdowns.
Sadly, with only 382 completions out of a possible maximum of /1800, Griffin was one of the worst Challenges with a participation of only 21.2%. I decided to dig deeper, so I made a Tweet comparing all past Challenge participation %s for reference.
Things did not look great for the first Throwdowns Challenge, and it was about to get worse.
The second challenge was Derrick Jones Jr., and with 349 completions (19.4%) it was worse than Griffin.
At this point I was hoping that Top Shot would announce Zach LaVine for the third challenge to bring back some hype/love, but instead it was Hamidou Diallo.
Here was the announcement made by the First Mint, and some of the comments that followed.
The negativity around Throwdowns (and NBA Top Shot) was seemingly at an all-time high, and Diallo was unpopular to say the least. I figured that only the most bullish users or core set collectors would even bother to complete the Challenge since the reward seemed unwanted by many. Still, the “Support Group” of Throwdowns enthusiasts continued to post their excitement.
Then it happened, @onecvj made a joke using the GIF of the Wolf Pack from the Hangover movie.
The joke stuck, and as more Throwdowns collectors joined the thread, the use of Wolf GIFs of all types grew. From then on the group referred to themselves as the Wolfpack.
The OG Wolfpack included the following:
Unfortunately, our small circle of positivity couldn’t help Diallo. With 284 completions (15.8%), Diallo had one of the smallest Challenge participation %s. Unfazed by the low participation, the Wolfpack continued to talk Throwdowns and post Wolf GIFs as they went on to complete three more Throwdowns Challenges (Anfernee Simons, Zach LaVine, and Donovan Mitchell).
After the Diallo rewards were distributed, the group started to refer to each other by the serial of their Diallo. @mcguirknba then made these awesome custom Top Shot Wolfpack NFTs for each of the members which included the Diallo serial.
Soon many members of the Wolfpack changed their Twitter profile images to be the Top Shot Wolfpack NFT.
Eventually our Twitter threads became so long we decided to make a Twitter chat. The chat is still very active, and at 45+ members, we have added even more Throwdowns enthusiasts to the Wolfpack. The chat has been a constant source of positivity, encouragement, support, and laughs.
So why is Diallo $1600? I’m not entirely sure, but it probably doesn’t help that Wolfpack members have trouble letting them go. It also doesn’t help that it’s a Throwdowns set bottleneck, so I imagine that supply and demand plays a huge factor here. To the Wolfpack, Diallo is a reminder that our group met in difficult times, but we made the most of it and had a ton of fun collecting and becoming friends. Diallo is a testament to what a small group of collectors can do when they rally around an “unwanted” Moment.
Maybe the real Challenge rewards were the friends we made along the way.
Is Diallo worth $1600? Probably not. I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy this Moment if they are expecting a favourable financial return. Similar to Series 1 Kelly Olynyk RIB, Diallo is reserved for set enthusiasts and collectors unlikely to ever sell them.
What is the “Wolfpack”? A group of NBA Top Shot collectors that completed Throwdowns Challenges when nobody else wanted to.
Why am I seeing random Wolf GIF comments on Twitter for Diallo Moments? Because members of the Wolfpack find it funny :)
Why is NBA Top Shot Series 2 Throwdowns Hamidou Diallo $1600? I’m not entirely sure, but many in the Wolfpack have a tough time letting them go.
Is Diallo worth $1600? Probably not.