Starting at 9 am Monday, the San Antonio Spurs will auction non-fungible tokens in recognition of coach Gregg Popovich reaching 1,336 regular-season victories – the most of any coach in NBA history.

“The 1336 Coach Pop NFT Collection” features digital re-creations of five of Popovich’s hand-drawn play cards on a background of five court designs that the Spurs have had over his career.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit the San Antonio Food Bank – a charity near and dear to Popovich.

Undoubtedly, many Spurs fans would like to own one of these digital collectibles but are not entirely familiar with the tokens.

NFTs are images and audio and video files that have been authenticated by blockchain, a digital ledger that records transactions on countless computers across the internet. An NFT is created by unique computer codes recorded on a blockchain. They exist in a digital wallet belonging to the owner.

Painters, musicians and even tattoo artists have turned to NFTs to sell their creations and promote themselves.

Professional sports leagues also have gone big into NFTs. The National Basketball Association pioneered the issuance of blockchain collectibles with NBA Top Shot Moments. The digital video clips are like online playing cards.

An NFT of a video clip from the 2020 NBA Finals featuring a dunk by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James fetched $ 230,000 in August, a record for the NBA Top Shot NFT marketplace.

Earlier this month, an NFT bearing a photo of baseball legend Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps rookie card sold for $ 471,000, according to numerous reports. (The card itself sold for $ 5.2 million last year, the highest price ever for a baseball card.)

It’s anyone’s guess what Popovich’s digital play cards will bring at auction.

The play cards are simply digital versions of index cards Popovich has used to draft plays. A Spurs assistant once described the index cards to an Express-News columnist as the coach’s “magic beans.”

“To this day, I have plays and things written on cards that I keep – well, now in my pants, it used to be your sport coat,” Popovich said on a YouTube video promoting the auction. “I couldn’t live without ’em.”

Popovich said he got the idea to use the cards from Hall of Fame coach Don Nelson. Popovich worked on Nelson’s coaching staff with the Golden State Warriors before joining the Spurs. Nelson had held the record for all-time regular season wins before it was broken by his one-time understudy Friday.

The auction will last four days. At the conclusion, each of the 1,336 NFTs will go to the highest bidders. They can place bids across multiple editions. There is no limit on how many NFTs from the collection a person can purchase.

The collection includes five “distinct 1-of-1 NFTs” that will feature a unique play and court combination. Winners of those NFTs also will receive the physical play card signed by Popovich, along with four courtside seats to a game next season.

To participate in the auction is a bit more complicated than just charging an NFT to a credit card. Indeed, the auction is not accepting credit cards.

The play cards will be auctioned on the website of OpeaSea, which bills itself as “the world’s first and largest digital marketplace” for NFTs. It’s been dubbed the “eBay of NFTs.”

Prospective bidders need to create an OpenSea account and a digital wallet with MetaMask. They must use the cryptocurrency Ethereum.

The NFTs can be immediately resold after the auction on any NFT marketplace, the Spurs say on their website.

Under the auction’s terms and conditions, the Spurs caution that there are a variety of risks in purchasing NFTs. The first among them: That markets and prices for NFTs are “extremely volatile, and variations in price of other digital assets could materially and adversely affect the value of a digital asset.”

The document also warns that an NFT’s value may “materially diminish” as a result of an athlete’s off-the-field conduct, such as drug use, domestic abuse or other criminal activity.

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