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Going Viral Courtside at the Garden with Coultin

On May 1st eagle eye Threeball from the NBA Top Shot community noticed an NBA Top Shot shirt courtside for Game 1 of the 76ers vs Celtics at the Garden. Turns out Jazz Lounge Team Captain Coultin was the one wearing the threads. Collectin and Connectin caught up with Coutlin to hear about his experience sitting courtside and going viral.

Can you give a brief overview of your background and why / when you got into Top Shot and why you decided to become a Captain?

All my life I have been a sucker for collecting. If it's collectible, I have probably gone through a phase of collecting it. I joined TS in February of '21, after a few months of hearing it mentioned on The Starters/No Dunks podcast. I remember thinking man, why do these packs look like condom packages?

When the captains program was announced, I was foaming at the mouth to be involved. I studied communications/Public Relations at thee one and only, home of NBA legend Damian Lillard; Weber State University here in Utah. I have always loved event coordination, and connecting people.

As a Jazz fan and TS Community Captain can you explain how you came to get such and amazing seats to the Celtics playoff game?

Haha, yeah meeting people in Boston, this came up a lot. I am close friends with someone who's father has held those seats right there on the Garden floor for 28 seasons now. My friend is obviously a huge Celtic's fan (that lives in enemy territory, California) We talk regularly, and we decided on games 1 and 2 of the second round.

Obviously I am a huge Jazz fan, but I am also a huge fan of the NBA as a whole, and there are a few non-Jazz players that I am super fond of, (Dame, Jaylen and Jimmy are definitely my fav non-Jazz players) and definitely like to watch them play anytime I can!

Have you gotten to sit courtside for an NBA game previously?

In October of 2013, the same friend blessed me with the same seats for a Celtics vs Jazz game. Neither team was great that year, but I did get to meet then-Jazzman Gordon Hayward after the game. (He was less-than-friendly, so good riddance Gordon)

What was something you experienced sitting courtside that you weren't expecting?

I wish courtside seats were easier for everyday die-hard fans. The game is so unbelievably different when you are courtside. Simply put, it is the closest you can get to actually seeing how amazing every one of these dudes are at their craft. Being able to hear Marcus Smart talk to his teammates on defense, and watch his intensity brings a new level of respect for him from me. Hell, he might even crack that top-fav list after watching him GRIND In those first 2 games. I noticed that I enjoyed watching Celtic defensive possession as much as, if not more than offensive possessions; because the players yelling out screens/switches was awesome to listen to.

I was hoping to get to hear some shit talking, but honestly it was minimal-to-none. There was a moment in the second half of game 2 where George Niang was saying something to a Celtic player, and Grant Williams took issue with it and just gave a nice loud "F*** You" directly at George Niang, which I certainly enjoyed.

As a proud member of the James Harden Hater club, I could not wait to talk some (tasteful) shit to Harden. I don't think it's cool when fans say disrespectful stuff, but I asked him who his man was on defense at least 10 times over the course of the 2 games, and sarcastically complemented his defense regularly. He gave me a glare during game 1, which was a huge W for me. Also, can we talk about how just incredibly unpleasant Mr. Harden seems? Constantly glaring at his teammates, often times even yelling at them, and he puts SO much pressure on the refs to blow their whistles- it looks so exhausting to be around him.

Who was the most exciting celebrity you got to see or meet?

My friend/host shares a connection with A$AP Ferg, and had never met him, but he was also courtside, so he met up with him, and exchanged info. Ferg dapped me up and gave me a nice hug. I was trying to just stay back and play it cool, because honestly, I don't know any of his songs, but I know he's popular. He was super friendly, and had a dope Soprano's jacket on, so I am a fan now.

What made you decide to go with the Top Shot threads while sitting courtside? Did you think you would end up on TV?

Honestly, since I knew where the seats were, I knew my back would be on TV the entire game, and I knew before I even went to Boston that I was going to rock that shirt. It was my way of saying "what's goooood family" to all my fellow TS collectors! (And obviously some basic advertisement/brand exposure never hurt anyone's bag)

What was your reaction when you saw tweets of you sitting courtside went viral?

It was dope. I was smiling so much, but also felt kind of guilty in a way. I didn't want people to assume I was there because I am super wealthy, I am just incredibly blessed to have extremely generous people in my life. I just wish I could help other NBA junkies get to enjoy a game courtside.

What was your friend who you went to the game with reaction to you going "viral"

He was loving it too. Teasing me a bit, but I told him if we end up in a moment from this series, I am going to buy it for him, and get him set up on the platform. (Fingers crossed! That Harden 3 pointer at the end of game 1 has great potential to be his moment)

What was it like getting to rip a pack courtside and how did that come about?

That was funny. Someone within the Top Shot team captains Discord who works for TS suggested I rip a pack, and take a video of it- I said, gladly, just send me a pack lol! 5 minutes later I had 3 packs in my collection, so I ripped em, as you saw in the video. (That night I gifted pretty much all the moments back to fellow TS collectors)

What do you hope to see for the future of the Jazz Lounge and Top Shot as a whole?

Best thing about the TS community is the love/care/kindness and it is BIG in the Jazz Lounge. I consider all those cats in there my friends, and have loved getting to know them over this past year; so I really want to see the captains program continue as long as possible. I truly believe that the team channels alone are reason enough to onboard new users. People are always surprised and impressed when they join the channel, and members just start sending them moments as gifts.

If I get to be choosy, I also want to see favorite team locking, and an additional basketball card-style view/way of viewing and sharing moments. (Imagine texting/tweeting/faxing your friends a picture of your moment that had the tier/mint count/serial number and thumbnail all up front, without needing to watch the moment) think the "Got 'Em" screen that pops up in the Nike SNKRS app if you were able to cop some new AF1's. You screenshot it and send it off immediately.

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Michael Whalley
Michael Whalley

This is awesome. Part about marcus smart is the best!

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