The much-awaited KB24 NFT art collection has now finally been opened for reservations ahead of the sale after a team of anonymous Kobe Bryant fans worked behind the scenes for months. Not only is the KB24 NFT art collection the biggest NTF drop of the year, the project simultaneously represents one of the most significant NTF projects of all time.
All proceeds from the sale of the collection are set to go to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation — a non-profit organization which works to carry on the basketball icon’s legacy by establishing programs and offering funding to enable young athletes from underprivileged backgrounds to participate in sports and find their personal passions.
There is no doubt Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant — who tragically died, together with his daughter Gianna, in a helicopter accident in January 2020 — continues to live on in the minds of his many loyal fans. Many fans have wanted to do more than quietly remember Bryant, though, and it would only seem natural to head for the website that Bryant once used to communicate with his fans and to offer exclusive merchandise to memorialize the star to memorialize the Lakers icon.
Those who tried to visit the famous website KB24.com have, however, been met with a nasty surprise for the last four years — the domain had been taken over by malicious actors, with automatic redirects instead forcing Bryant fans onto suspicious sites. After Kobe’s death, that fact became an insult to many.
When the team of fans behind the KB24 NFT art collection discovered that the domain was finally available for purchase, they did not hesitate to pool their funds in an aftermarket sale for an undisclosed — but most certainly incredibly steep — price. Through KB24.com that’s now under their management, the team told the rest of the world: “Without hesitation, we knew we had to take over the website and make something great out of it. We saw the opportunity to restore the integrity of Kobe’s official website and benefit his foundation forever.”
KB24.com has now become a beautiful way to honor the Los Angeles Lakers icon and his daughter Gigi “Mambacita”. Not only will the sale of this huge NFT drop take place through the very domain that once allowed Kobe to speak directly to his fan base, the proceeds from the NTF collection will also go straight to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation that Kobe started.
NFT art has boomed in popularity in the last year. Despite the fact that NFTs — short for non-fungible tokens — have been around for more than a few years already, with the CryptoKitties of 2017 arguably being the first craze that caused NFTs to enter mainstream public consciousness, 2020 was clearly the year in which artists took the reigns. The digital artist Beeple drew headlines by auctioning NFT art through Christie’s Auction House, bringing in a record $69.3 million!
Perhaps the most famous example of the fact that NFTs are big bucks in today’s world is the recent sale of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet — “just setting up my twttr” — for $2.9 million.
Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi wasn’t simply “flexing” when he purchased that particular NFT. Instead, he saw the purchase as an investment that is sure to rise in value over time.
Artists were the first to explore the potential of NFT auctions — and as we can see through the KB24 NFT collection, non-profit organizations and charities represent the next frontier. NFTs are set to become an alternative, and extremely lucrative, way to raise funds for good causes very quickly.
What Exactly Are NFTs?
Those people who have loosely followed the recent explosion in the NFT market will unquestionably have asked themselves what precisely these non-fungible tokens are. The fact that news stories that report on the latest NFT auction frequently include images of the art that was sold in the form of non- fungible tokens makes this even more confusing. You certainly wouldn’t be the first to wonder — if I can, potentially, simply save this digital art to my desktop, what exactly are eager bidders paying so much money for when they invest in an NFT artwork?
Non-fungible tokens can most easily be seen as a “watermark” of sorts — they are a unique token, stored securely on the blockchain, that offers irrefutable proof of ownership. Buying an NFT is, as such, a lot like buying a rare basketball card when you have already seen pictures of it. Owning an NFT offers the deed to the art, in basic terms. Just like NFTs can be bought at auction, the winning bidder later has a chance to resell that non-fungible token — making NFTs a hot investment strategy in 2021.
NFT digital art is by far the most popular form this phenomenon has taken. All digital data can, however, be transformed into NFTs. This explains how even tweets can be bought and sold on the open market now.
What Will the KB24 NFT Drop Offer Kobe Bryant Fans and Other Collectors?
According the team behind the KB24 project, “Every aspect of this project serves to highlight Kobe’s great achievements and have fans be a part of it”. Every NFT sold as a result of this project will be one of a kind and — the fans who made the project come to life report — combine “different attributes that represent Kobe’s achievements, moments in his career, or personality”.
The KB24 NFT project was not envisioned as a one-time opportunity, either, as the creators say that they believe the project can live on forever, as fans “[find] their favorite moment with the Lakers legend”. Those who purchase NFTs through the KB24 project will additionally be able to post their favorite photos of the basketball icon on KB24.com — once Kobe Bryant’s own way to share his voice — and to pay tribute to the star.
From now on, KB24.com will no longer be held hostage by malicious actors, as the website has found its way home, to Kobe fans who will proudly carry on his legacy.
Any buyers who later sell their art can also rest assured that any residual fees from such sales are also destined for the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, something the creative minds behind the NFT collection point out would not be possible with transitional fundraising.
Who Is Behind the KB24 NFT Project?
The team of people who worked so hard to acquire the domain are choosing to stay behind the scenes, not publishing their names on KB24.com. This project is all about Kobe, after all. They do, on the other hand, make it clear that they weren’t only loyal Kobe fans, they were also personally touched by his outreach work as they benefited from the basketball star’s wide-reaching non-profit efforts.
When Kobe Bryant was still alive, KB24.com was the platform young athletes used to apply to attend the Kobe Basketball Academy — and the fans behind the KB24 NFT projects did exactly that, having the chance to meet the legend in 2010.
Like Kobe’s foundation benefited them, they are now hoping to honor the Lakers star’s legacy by giving the athletes of tomorrow a chance to shine.
What Does the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation Do?
The Mamba Sports Foundation started with Kobe himself. After the icon’s untimely death, in a helicopter accident that also cost his daughter Gigi her life, it was renamed to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation to honor both of them. Vanessa — Kobe’s widow, and Gigi’s mother — has taken over the foundation’s reigns to continue Kobe’s important non-profit work.
The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation works tirelessly to make it possible for young athletes from underserved communities and female athletes realize their dreams — to participate in sports, and to rise to the top.
Gigi was, like her father, an ambitious athlete with a strong personality, who had high hopes of playing basketball for the University of Connecticut. The work the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation is, as such, an especially fitting way to memorialize her.
“Mamba” was, of course, Bryant’s self-professed alter ego, created to remind him of the importance of continuous personal growth. The nickname Mamba was a reference to the venomous snake from Kill Bill. As snakes shed their skins to grow, so Bryant aimed to do the same. “Mambacita”, Gigi, was the next generation. With its new name, the foundation continues to memorialize both of them in everything it does.
The proceeds of the KB24 NFT project will without question be able to raise plenty of funds — allowing countless children from often-overlooked communities participate in sports programs through their schools and through league sports, as well as creating athletic opportunities for young women. Those people who are interested in making a presale reservation will see that the current price is set at 0.08 ETH (the cyptocurrency Ethereum, often used for NFT sales) — worth, at the time of this writing, $256.