The NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, but even with the talent and interest in the league at an all-time high, it's always looking at ways to improve the experience. Especially for fans. One way that could be possible is through the use of augmented and virtual reality -- both at the arena and at home.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver CBS Sports' "We Need to Talk" to discuss some of the advancements coming soon.
Silver's full comments:
"I'd say to your point though, even about virtual reality and now there's what they calling augmented reality, in essence so that if you're at a game, even in person, you may be holding up your iPhone and you may be getting additional information live. You hold it up and you see the players and be getting their stats and may see, OK, Steph Curry at that spot on the floor shoots 42 percent as opposed to 37 percent so he's better off shooting there. Or LeBron is deciding who on his team he should pass to, and you can instantly see how they do from the corner 3 as opposed to the post or whatever else.
But I think for me, back to those earlier discussions. Even people who aren't huge basketball fans recognize that the courtside seat at an NBA, WNBA game, great college game, is one of the best seats in all of sports. Even if you're a hardcore football fan or whatever. What we set out to do is we said, 'all right, first of all, only about 1 percent of our fans globally ever get to go to a game in person. And then take the tiny percent, the Jack Nicholsons of the world, who actually sit in those seats, courtside. And then the challenge became, how can we replicate that experience?'
Taking advantage of a strong team in the Bay Area in the Warriors, and tremendous interest from the tech community in the NBA. We went to those technology leaders and said 'OK, here's the challenge. How do we replicate the courtside experience?' And through virtual reality, augmented reality, all kinds of other immersive experiences in media, we're getting closer."
Just the simple fact that the technology is available to give the shooting percentages of players from specific areas on the court in real time is fascinating. Having the ability to see that in real time could be especially helpful for people who are new to the game or don't know a lot about certain teams.
At the same time, however, it's easy to see how having all that extra information could be distracting -- both in person and while watching at home.
In any case these expanding technologies are sure to bring more people and more perspectives to the sport. And that should only be a good thing.