Dribble. Dribble. Dribble. It’s fast, it’s rapid. You look away for a second and the ball slips out of you hand, so does time. You may or may not be able to make a comeback back. The crowds are cheering. You can literally hear the heartbeats of the players on the court. Your teammates are encouraging you to go big and take that shot. You throw the ball towards the hoop. The referee blows the whistle as the match nears the end and bam. Game over.
That was me trying to give you a little sense of thrill that you may have felt if you’ve ever witnessed a basketball.
Back when I was a teenager, basketball was either been about shooting hoops during the Games period in school or the Scott brothers from One Tree Hill. I mean, who didn’t have a slight swoon-y feeling when Nathan Scott while he dunked the ball in the basket. Point being, basketball has never been a sport regarded in the same league as cricket or even football which has seen an exponential growth in India in the last decade.
But 2019 was a complete game changer as the NBA’s first ever match in India marked a historic moment in globalizing the game with India at the epicenter. The Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings got down for a game which was an absolute treat for the Basketball lovers in the country. As I got to interact with two legends mentoring these teams – Detlef Schrempf and Jason Williams, we discussed about how technology is revolutionizing the world – basketball included. Here’s some technology that might just change a few perspectives about where the game is heading.
Capturing it all – SportVU
A camera centric system, SportVU is helpful when it comes to tracking players and ball positioning during the game. It analyses and gives an in-depth statistics that in turn help in providing insights to teams for further performance strategies. SportVU also provides Basketball is now seeing a time that has reached beyond the score boxes and into how these points are scored, who assisted whom and much more.
Stream it when you want it!
Remember when back in the day, if you had to watch a match, it had to be on a televised live channel. 20 years into the mass technological revolution all around the world, passionate viewers now have access to long subscriptions along with special league passes. We are a generation that can view, analyse and enjoy matches from the past at our own convenience. This plays a huge role in analysing past experiences to predict future strategies.
A technology that is being widely acknowledged and accepted in various leagues today. From wristbands to waistbands, these gadgets help in gauging accuracy in terms of height of your jump, the degree to which you spin during a maneuver and the length of your hang time. Additionally, there are RFID chips that are easily inserted in any jersey which helps coaches to track the locations and movements of the players on the court.
The Rise of Social Media!
With social media and digitalization of just about everything, it is bound to have an impact on the world of how basketball is viewed. Fans, writers and critics have more of a say and a louder public voice to comment and share their insights as a viewer now. The trend of “live stories” and “live tweeting” is the phenomenon of the millennial generation and has helped basketball as a sport to magnify its reach.
SHOT SOME HOOPS WITH NBA LEGENDS
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- How do you think that these games will impact the Basketball scenario in India?
Hopefully with these NBA games in India, there will be more interest in the future to pick up a basketball to play. NBA will feel a whole lot closer which will give that extra push that was probably needed in India.
- You’ve played the NBA for sixteen seasons, have you witnessed a change in the game from a technological perspective?
A lot, Basketball game has evolved just like everything else. Players have more of a chance to showcase themselves through the internet and social media. Technology brings a whole different approach to visibility.
- A favourite locker room memory?
Good or bad? [laughs] But yeah, when I was with the Sonics we were heading to the finals, so the game just before that – everyone was relieved, ecstatic and it was just a really special feeling.
- How would you describe the feeling of reaching an NBA final in one sentence?
Have you ever been? [laughs]
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- Tell us about the one game that changed things for you?
I don’t think it was one specific game. But when I came to the NBA, it changed my life a little bit.
- 12 seasons of NBA. Have you witnessed a change in the game from a technological perspective?
Definitely, social media has taken it to the next level. The camera system in the SportVU has been a total game changer too.
- On that note of fellow players, tell us about a favourite locker room memory?
I have a book full of locker room memories. The best memory would be the 2006 when we won the NBA Championship.
- How many sneakers do you own?
That’s a great question [laughs] I’m going to say, I may have about 150 shoes in my closet