3 Top Shot Sets That Should Come Back in Series 3
by Jordan Kligman
Top Shot has come a long way since Series 1, and with that have come a multitude of changes. One change we saw between Series 1 and Series 2 is the reduction of new sets, but also new Top Shot sets coming to the platform.
Less sets was a bit ironic, considering the number of Moments in Series 2 seriously outweighs that of Series 1. In Series 1, there were 23 sets compared to the 15 in Series 2. In most cases, Top Shot wiped out multiple sets because during Series 1, the same Moment was minted could be minted in several rarities — common, rare (sometimes two types of rares), and legendary.
There were too many of the same Moment, so Top Shot decided to pull the plug on the sets. But was it the right decision to stop bring down the number of sets entirely? Is more fresh NBA content better or worse?
Today, we’ll be looking at some sets from Series 1 that I’d love to make a comeback for Series 3 during the 2021-2022 season, after they were skipped in Series 2.
Scoring is fun and all, but some of the best plays in the NBA happen on defense. The Denied! set was meant to showcase the best blocks of the season, but never returned for Series 2. Watching a player go up to get completely swatted can result in some jaw-dropping Moments – especially with the athleticism in the NBA. Just look at Zion Williamson’s first career block.
The fact it’s Williamson’s first career swat and the sheer power he got behind it, that Moment will forever be enshrined in the Top Shot Hall of Fame as one of Williamson’s coolest Moments. It’s a fantastic set, and even though most of the players aren’t big-name players, their Moments are showstoppers.
When you look up the definition of denied in the dictionary, you’ll probably find Jarrett Allen’s block on Terrance Ferguson. The fro only makes the Moment that much better. In Javale McGee’s Moment, you can almost feel the pain in the slow-mo replay at the end. Even Hassan Whiteside’s rejection on Damion Lee is electric. There’s only ten Moments in the entire set, so it’s relatively attainable to finish.
This set should make a comeback to feature the most gnarly blocks in the NBA and could even coincide with a Denied reward for whoever wins Defensive Player of the Year that season. It’s a win-win.
Rare: MVP Moves
Getting crowned MVP is special, and it’s only right for it to be appreciated someway on Top Shot. In my mind, one set that certainly needs to make a comeback in Series 3 to truly honor the MVP is the MVP Moves set.
There are plenty of positives in bringing this set back with very few negatives. First, not every collector who visits Top Shot knows who the MVP for any season is, as there is no badge for MVPs. Although that might be shocking to some, not every person knows even the most talented players in the NBA from any given season. This set would be a great indicator for new Top Shot collectors.
Second, this set is unique. With only one player a year awarded MVP, this would be an exclusive, one-of-a-kind set dedicating itself to a single player a season. You can’t get much more unique than that. It would be a great way for even the diehard collectors to look back and see who won MVP, while simultaneously watching their best plays from the season.
The only downside I can think of with reincorporating this set is the number of Moments it includes from one player. There’s a reason Giannis Antetokounmpo has the most Moments on Top Shot. Ten Moments stem from this set alone, including four from a first-round bout with the Orlando Magic in the bubble. It’s a lot.
I will admit, though, this poster over Nikola Vučević is very Moment-worthy.
If they are to reintroduce this set, I’d advise it to go as small as even five Moments with a challenge reward. Or expanding beyond just the MVP, and going into other postseason awards. But if the MVP Moves set is forever retired, an MVP badge would really come in handy.
Rare: For the Win
When you were a kid: this was the moment you dreamt of. The crowd cheering, time winding down, the ball in your hands. And then, boom. The shot. For the win. This set recollects more than just a shot or a game-winning block: this set goes way back.
Game-winners will always be remembered. The anticipation of watching the ball glide in the air towards the rim while time runs out is something unlike any other. But what I love most about this set is that plays for the win can come in multiple fashions: like blocks.
There’s plenty of versatility in this Series 1 set, between game-winning blocks, jump shots, layups, and three-pointers — they’re all there. It’s a nice touch from Top Shot. Torrey Craig’s Moment is a fine example of how a block can be for the win.
Game-winners are so rare it made sense for there to be a set. And like the Denied! set, these Moments are all incredible. In Zach Lavine’s Moment, he buries the Charlotte Hornets, clinching a wild comeback by nailing his 13th three-pointer and 49th point. Not only was it Lavine’s career-high at the time, but the 13 threes in a game come second all-time. In Devonte’ Graham’s Moment, he crushes the hearts of New York Knicks fans and ends them by burying his ninth and most spectacular three-pointer.
And the best part of these Moments? The reactions. You really can’t beat the Sacramento Kings reaction in Nemanja Bjelica’s Moment.
Future Sets coming to Top Shot
The only other Series 1 sets I was contemplating putting on this list were the With the Strip and the Rookie Debut sets, both of which have their pros. But to me, it feels unnecessary to bring them back with the volume of Moments in circulation already.
Rookie badges almost defeat the purpose of the Rookie Debut set, especially with the special Three Star Rookies. And yeah, steals are cool, but most of the Moments are only Moments because of the play that happens after the steal — not the steal itself.
In the future, we’ll most definitely get new sets that aren’t on the site already. In Series 2, we got sets like Cool Cats and Hustle and Show. Maybe we’ll get sets commemorating players making an All-NBA team or an All-Defensive team, or new play types. And I’m sure there has already been some discussion to bring certain sets back.
Regardless, we surely have lots of new content to look forward to in Top Shot’s Series 3.