NBA’s ‘The Association’ Fails to Deliver

The NBA recently announced plans to release an NFT project called “The Association.” Little did they know that a bit of error on their part would jeopardize the entire project. 

The NBA, The Association, and The Code Error

The National Basketball Association (NBA) recently announced that it would be launching an NFT Collection called “The Association.” The collection consists of 18,000 assets, and each “The Association” NFT represents a real NBA player in this year’s playoffs. There are 75 NFts of each player from 16 different teams. 

The NFTs are supposed to be dynamic so that their value can increase or decrease depending on the real-life performances of the players they represent. 

With plans in motion, the NBA launched “The Association” earlier this week. A whitelist made up entirely of the earliest members of the NBA’s discord server would receive one free NFT each.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and what happened instead is that a code error within “The Association” smart contract (the code that allows NFT to be created and traded) made it possible for users to exploit the drop, unfairly mint the NFT and clear out the entire collection in less than an hour. 

This mistake in the smart contract enabled the whitelisted users to grant minting access to other wallets that were not on the original allowlist. 

In addition to this, the contract did not keep a proper record of the number of mints per wallet. “If a contract was made, it could mint the entire collection in one transaction,” said Captain Defi. 

The NBA realized their smart contract had been compromised an hour into the launch and paused the NFT drop.  

The NBA Is Left To Pay A Hefty Price 

The “The Association” smart contract code error essentially resulted in some users minting as many free NFTs as possible, some collecting over 100. These users then proceeded to sell these NFTs on the secondary NFT trading market, Opensea, for 0.30 ETH (roughly $1000 at the time). 

In the wake of this overwhelming loss, the NBA stands firm in its resolve and is prepared to move forward with its “The Association” plans.

Yesterday, the body acknowledged the exploit of the drop and stated that it would work hard to find a resolution for the fans. In a later announcement, it also said that it would increase the size of its NFT collection from 18,000 NFTs to 30,000 to ensure that everyone who was supposed to receive one does so this time around.

Moving Forward

A representative of the NBA made this announcement on the body’s official discord server. 

“We’ve identified the wallets on the Allow List that could not mint an NFT yesterday and will be airdropping those fans an NFT from The Association collection.”


  • Musa

    Proficient Web3 commentator with a penchant for analyzing decentralized applications and their societal implications.

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