NBA video games in digital actuality have potential. This is what watching one is like

Jabari Young wears the Oculus Quest 2 device.

Source: Jabari Young

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka emerged from the team bench and before I knew it he was blocking my view. Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was close enough that I could see his Cole Haan boots and I saw a Lance Stephenson 3 pointer from an angle I had never seen before.

These are just some of my recent experiences watching an NBA game while wearing a virtual reality headset.

The National Basketball Association is offering virtual courtside courts Meta‘s $299 Oculus Quest 2 devices. The headsets were one of the most popular Christmas presents in 2021, showing that people seem more willing than ever to try virtual reality. And companies are trying to keep tabs on their content by creating VR versions of their apps and games.

An Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset and controller captured on September 28, 2020.

Phil Barker | future | Getty Images

The NBA experience is free and available on Meta’s Horizon Venues platform, which is a free software download for the Oculus headset. People appear as digital avatars, much like cartoon versions of their real selves, watching an NBA game from the perspective of the court. It’s not Jack Nicholson’s seat of the Los Angeles Lakers Arena or Spike Lee’s seat in Madison Square Garden, but it almost replicates reality.

From a business standpoint, the deal could give the NBA new media rights, which is important when regional sports networks struggle.

Meanwhile, Meta — the company formerly known as Facebook — is leveraging its partnership with esports providers like the NBA, WWE, and the Premier League to give people new reasons to try virtual reality.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company is investing $10 billion in the Metaverse, a virtual world he believes will become the standard for social networking, gaming, and even work.

Meta sent CNBC the Oculus 2 headset last month. I witnessed the January 10th game in the NBA between the Celtics and the Pacers. Here’s what you need to know.

Celtics Jaylen Brown drives to the basket in a NBA regular season basketball game at TD Garden in Boston on January 10, 2022 between Pacers Jeremy Lamb (left) and Myles Turner (right).

Jim Davis | Boston Globe | Getty Images

The experience is not “garbage”

First, you should know that if you live in the market where an NBA game is being televised, you are prohibited from watching. The NBA uses RSN feeds from their League Pass product, and local markets are subject to the same pesky restrictions you encounter elsewhere.

Once in game you will immediately notice other avatars participating in live discussions. The closeness of the plot also catches your attention. This is where you immerse yourself in the experience, as it actually feels like you’re sitting in a pitchside seat, right down to the level of engagement with fans nearby.

There are two levels in the digital space where you can follow the game. The first level is usually where the crowd watches the chatter, and that evening I counted about 15 people in the room in the first quarter.

The balcony level is quieter for a more private setting and the view is ok.

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with an avatar with their mic on, especially if you need help navigating what looks like two levels of a private social club.

When the Celtics were leading 23-18 in the first quarter, an avatar approached me and asked for help watching. I was confused at first as my stream was fine but it became clear that the real person behind the avatar had a bad connection or was restricted due to local lockdown rules.

That prompted him to call the NBA’s Metaverse experience “garbage.” Moments later, I asked another avatar standing next to me what he thought of the experience.

“That’s dope,” replied the avatar named “TUtley.” “You have to get that for football.”

The scenic views of Boston that emerged during game breaks were also quite impressive and made me feel like I was in the city where the game is being played.

The minuses: interference and picture quality

“Yo man! Are you okay?” I heard one avatar ask another.

The avatar in question was slumped and unresponsive. It almost seemed like the Metaverse character was having a fit.

The avatar eventually regained its form and began to speak, but that mistake was certainly odd.

The controllers are your hands in the metaverse, so it can be weird to see avatars nearby with their hands and arms misaligned with their bodies.

In the fourth quarter, Stephenson pinned a 3-pointer and Pacers forward Torrey Craig then converted a layup to reduce the Celtics’ lead to three, 71-68.

Witnessing the tight sequence was fun, but the relatively poor image quality eventually made itself felt. TV and video providers have spoiled viewers with high definition games. Every small difference in quality is quickly noticed.

The NBA is partnering with a VR production company Media Monks to show the games on the Oculus platform.

During the NBA’s pandemic “bubble” season in Orlando, the company used Sony’s FX6 cameras, which cost about $6,000to shoot VR games. This season, however, games will be shot using Sony FX9 cameras, which cost about $11,000.

However, Meta often experiments with the resolution and frame rates of the VR games, which are still technically in “beta” or test mode. Media Monks places five cameras in NBA arenas, but added a sixth for the Celtics-Pacers game to capture a sense of spaciousness.

An FX9 camera is located at the presenter’s table and provides the front row view. FX9 cameras are also located on each back panel. One is used to capture distant shots and another to move around.

The cameras switch angles throughout the game, which can be annoying but necessary when coaches accidentally block the view. For example, Udoka’s leg was in my face every time he went to Center Court.

The featured presenter is former NBA forward Richard Jefferson, but the comments are boring at times. And the trivia questions don’t help.

Meta uses former NBA players like Jefferson to interact with avatars that participate in the court experience. And for some contests, commentators could appear in the room as real avatars to chat with fans.

We’ll see how exciting that actually is when the time comes.

A screenshot of Jabari’s splash screen reminiscent of an NBA virtual reality event on the Oculus Quest 2 platform.

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Finally, the selection of games could be better. Celtics pacers was ok but tent games would be more attractive and could attract more people making it an even more social experience.

The next two NBA VR games on Oculus are coming up January 17th – Allowing Covid postponements – with the Oklahoma Thunder playing Mark Cubans Dallas Mavericks. the 22nd of January VR experience has played the Sacramento Kings against the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.

These aren’t necessarily must-see games.

What’s next

I missed the Celtics pacers renewal because my Oculus headset battery died. But given how many people were on the first level at the end of Q4 and more coming out of the venues lobby, it’s fair to say that the NBA VR experience was popular in the metaverse that night.

Three days after attending the game, I spoke to Rob Shaw, Meta’s director of sports leagues and media partnerships, to understand how far the court experience has progressed and where it is going.

Shaw was reminded of comments made to CNBC in 2020 when he said the NBA’s Oculus concept was “still in the early stages.”

Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset.

T3 Magazine | future | Getty Images

Shaw said the new Oculus Quest 2 and its adoption have made a big difference since then. He noted that the device is lighter, has better optics, and is cheaper than its $399 sister device, making it more popular as a gift.

“Now we’re in the fundamental moments of building and learning the experience,” Shaw said.

I asked if the NBA experience would remain free, and Shaw didn’t rule it out.

“I think the business model can be redefined,” he explained. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be pay-per-view, but an economy that can be built around the viewer experience.”

He added that if the VR experience can really evolve to mimic pitchside, “I see they want to put a price point on a ticket. But that’s a decision that has to be made by the league and the media company.”

Ultimately, it’s up to the NBA to charge consumers. The league did not provide an official for CNBC to discuss it.

While the NBA is silent on the matter, Meta is looking ahead.

Shaw envisions immersive VR displays and allows users to purchase avatar jerseys at a Metaverse NBA store. Then, for an additional fee, private live screening options. There are ideas centered around a sports bar seat experience and VIP options that include watching games with an NBA legend or celebrity.

“I think sponsorship can be redefined,” Shaw said. “Brand activation, historically limited to the venue, suddenly becomes more accessible and customizable for the Metaverse.”

— CNBC’s Steve Kovach contributed to this article.

Knicks make NBA historical past as Fournier activates model towards Celtics

Kevin Durant has reiterated that he will not force or persuade Kyrie Irving to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Irving had been removed from the Brooklyn Nets’ original list for the 2021-22 season because he had chosen not to receive a vaccine.

New York City’s vaccination mandate means the seven-time all-star won’t be able to play home games unless he’s vaccinated.

Irving would have been available for most of the street games, although the Nets chose not to involve him at all.

That all changed when Irving was recalled due to an exhausted squad caused by a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases and the point guard returned with a 22-point display in Wednesday’s victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Irving was unable to perform on Friday, however, as the Nets lost at home to the Milwaukee Bucks 121-109.

Durant insisted that the Nets accept Irving’s decision.

“I told him how important he is, how much I want him to play, play every game,” Durant told reporters.

“But I’m not going to force anyone to get a vaccine like that isn’t my thing. So that he can play basketball? No, I will not do that.

“We’ve had talks about him being part of the team and talks about him being here full-time, but that’s his time. Whatever decision he wants to make, he will make.

“It’s up to us to be professionals no matter what, getting our jobs done. All of us, from the owner to the device manager, so he’s always ready when he’s ready.”

In Irving’s absence, Durant and star colleague James Harden scored 29 and 16 points respectively for the Nets, but Milwaukee, inspired by Giannis Antetokounmpos’s 31 points, had too much.

“I haven’t even asked for an explanation,” Durant continued. “This is not my place, I think. So I’m ready for anything, that was my whole mentality.

“It’s a strange situation, who knows? I don’t understand most of this shit. COVID, all this stuff was crazy. “

Harden added, “It honestly felt good to have him back [on Wednesday]. It feels good. It felt like an extra life we ​​had.

“But we have to live with what we are dealing with and those are home games that we have to find and even street games.

“Just because Ky is on the road with us doesn’t mean it will be easy for us too. So we have to mesh, we have to find ways to win games.”

Buck’s talisman Antetokounmpo was asked if he would do otherwise.

“When it comes to basketball, I can talk to them,” he replied. “I have to let her make her decision. They are grown men and every situation is different.

“I can’t pressure someone to do something they’re not comfortable with. I can tell you why I did it. Why I felt comfortable doing it. To protect my family, my mother and so on go on, stay safe and you “I just hope he understands. But if he doesn’t want to, I can’t put any further pressure on him. “

Spurs’ Becky Hammon seems to ‘subsequent step’ in pursuit of creating extra NBA historical past

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon (left) speaks to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (right) on the court during a time out in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in San Antonio.

Darren Abate | AP

Becky Hammon moved the needle, but the National Basketball Association assistant coach is now focused on taking the next steps in her career that could also enable her to make history again.

Weeks after Hammon hit the market as a finalist for a head coaching job with the Portland Trail Blazers, which would have made her the first female head coach in the NBA, Hammon spoke to CNBC on Saturday to share her thoughts.

Hammon said she wasn’t bitter about not getting the job and that she had a better understanding of the hiring process. Hammon added that she would be ready for the opportunity once the right team is ready.

“I’m not mad,” said Hammon. “This is the business and it is a very competitive business. But at the end of the day you throw it all out the window – if you want to hire me, you’ll find a reason to hire me. If you don’t want to hire me, you will find this reason too.

Hammon, 44, remains an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. She explained why she was ready for one of 30 head coach jobs in the NBA, citing her professional growth under coach Gregg Popovich as the reason.

A victim of damage control?

Hammon went into coaching interviews with the Blazers and didn’t pretend she was the favorite for the job.

Chauncey Billups was the Blazers’ first choice – that much was clear in NBA circles. The former NBA security guard has a relationship with team principal Neil Olshey. Hence, Jody Allen, sister of the late Blazers owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, signed Olshey’s election. The Blazers defended Billups’ hiring of coaching and also publicly praised Hammon.

“We absolutely admire Becky”, Olshey said on June 29th. “She did a great job. Obviously, it’s not easy to make it to the point of taking ownership of an interview process.”

Olshey said getting Hammon this far was “a confirmation of how far she has come and how close she is to being head coach”. Olshey then said Billups had checked all the boxes, including “Gravitas’s leadership skills.”

Speaking of the process, Hammon said, “I knew I was second; I knew who they wanted. And I’m fine with that because every race I’ve competed in in my entire life was behind me and I “I agree. And so it is – but at the same time I don’t know what I’m dealing with. “

Assistant coach Becky Hammond warms up with the players before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 17, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Hammon said she felt the Blazers were “authentic” in their coaching search. But the team suffered public backlash when Billups’ history of rape allegations re-emerged in 1997 and suggestions surfaced that the team interviewed Hammon only as a form of damage control. Rumors also surfaced that Hammon received less-than-glowing comments from the Spurs during the Portland trial.

When asked if the rumors affected the Portland discussions, Hammon said she had not read the tabloids and did not comment on the matter further.

She added, “I take every experience and try to grow from it, learn from it, and get better next time. If people have to give a reason for why they hired me or not, it is something beyond my control. I just try to do my best the moment I’m given. “

The Blazers trial is over, however, and Hammon said she was focused on “taking the next step” in her career. “I know how much San Antonio valued me, and I’m fine with that,” she added.

Hammon is now a teacher

The spotlight remains on Hammon. The social media crowd wants her to make history as the head coach. And every move she makes will be in the headlines. She has no control over the attention that both helps and hurts, but she would prefer it for the right reason – her coaching skills.

“I don’t want to do the news because I’m the first woman,” said Hammon. “Ultimately, I want to make news because I’m being hired because of my qualifications. It was Gregg Popovich’s original intention when he hired me in 2014 – namely, ‘She added something to the group, something for our team. I admire her wits and the way she sees the game. ‘”

Here Hammon reflects on her path.

She spent 16 seasons in the WNBA, which started with Liberty in New York. Hammon made six all-star appearances over the course of her career and retired in San Antonio in 2014.

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon speaks to her team during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 30, 2020 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Logan Riely | National Basketball Federation | Getty Images

“I was a former player trying to figure out what the next step was,” said Hammon. “And even though I was a student of the game …” She paused before digging deeper into her credentials.

Hammon then mentioned Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – three NBA legends “who know 20 times more in this league than I do [Spurs] System. So when you sit there and tell them about defensive coverage, you should be damn sure you know what you’re talking about and I’m just real. “

She then indicated how to win Popovich’s trust.

The legendary head coach gives his assistant coaches scouting tasks – he creates fixtures and strategies, which he then trains. If Popovich doesn’t like what’s suggested, it’s back to the movie room. This is what the new coach of the Boston Celtics, Ime Udoka, learned. Milwaukee Bucks trainer Mike Budenholzer and Phoenix Suns trainer Monty Williams also learned from Popovich.

“It prepares us in a way that maybe some younger coaches or people who have not yet gone through wringers are unprepared,” said Hammon. “He gives his assistant coaches so much freedom and pressure that prepare us more than people can understand. He empowers and empowers you in certain situations that I can’t do like other coaches who have his gravitas. He is a teacher of teachers, and he makes teachers. “

When asked what kind of coach she is today, Hammon replied after seven seasons under Popovich: “I grew up under him. With him I learned a lot of X and O and various leadership skills. But there are things that make it really hard to quantify how much growth I’ve had because there’s so much. “

But Hammon is not satisfied

There are still vacancies in Washington and New Orleans. But the thing is, these aren’t the most stable NBA organizations.

The pelicans have problems with team culture. And rival NBA executives suggest that the Wizards’ philosophy and sports strategy under owner Ted Leonsis is more hockey than basketball.

While Hammon is up for the challenge, it is unclear whether it would be suitable for these teams.

“I have to be the right coach – not male or female – the right coach for the right team, in the right city, at the right time,” said Hammon.

And when she gets a top NBA coaching job, Hammon says, she welcomes everything that comes with it.

“I am ready to be examined,” said Hammon. “Whether I do everything wrong or do everything right – it is what it is. My job is to stand up for the players and be the leader and the person who believes in them the most.”

“When the world throws a bunch of S — stuff in their ears, I’m the voice of honesty to say, ‘Hey, this is what it looks like – that’s how it has to be, and when you’re down, I’m down to make it work, “she said.” I don’t know how to tell you otherwise. The truth always works. “

“I’m happy with what happens – the needle is moving,” said Hammon. “Am I satisfied? No. And satisfaction has never brought anything great. There are different prices to get where you want to go.

NBA faucets Tencent Music Leisure for audio content material partnership

QQ Music platform to offer official NBA podcasts.

Getty Images

  • Amateur podcasters are given the opportunity to create NBA content
  • NBA fans get a special QQ Music subscription offer

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has entered into a new content partnership with the Chinese music streaming service provider Tencent Music Entertainment (TME).

Under the new agreement, TME’s QQ Music platform will host a range of official NBA podcasts, as well as host a podcast creation contest for amateur podcasters. There will also be a special subscription for NBA fans that offers the chance to win tickets among other offers.

Musicians are also expected to work with the NBA and TME to promote league events.

QQ Music, a freemium music streaming service, is a joint venture between TME and audio streaming giant Spotify. The Swedish company has a stake in TME together with the majority owner of the Chinese technology group Tencent. Along with KuGou and Kuwo, QQ is one of the most popular streaming apps in China.

The deal continues the NBA’s lucrative sponsorship operation. In June, a study by the IEG found that the league and its 30 teams generated a record $ 1.46 billion in sponsorship revenue in the 2020/21 season. This corresponds to an increase of six percent compared to 2019/20.

IEG added that league-level partnerships were the main driver behind the increase in sales, with the NBA signing 13 new contracts. It added that league-level sponsorship spending has increased nearly 50 percent since the 2017/18 campaign.

NBA needs a mid-season event, however it wants extra incentives

On 19/2021 in Brooklyn, New York.

Elsa | Getty Images

National Basketball Association executive director Byron Spruell has some work to do ahead of the league’s next media rights deal. The NBA wants to elevate rights, and developing new concepts that attract viewers could help.

The league’s pressure on a mid-season tournament is an option, but it needs to gain momentum across its ownership group. The players’ union will have a say, and the other constituencies (team bosses, sponsors) will also get involved. And then there are basketball historians and traditionalists who are going to make a fuss.

Here NBA commissioner Adam Silver entrusts Spruell to create the blueprint for the tournament in the middle of the season. But early signs suggest he needs more incentives to make it work.

What does the viewer get out of it?

The NBA’s concept for a mid-season tournament is derived from observations made in international football leagues. European basketball clubs also have tournaments, and an NBA team manager noted the massive fan support these games are receiving.

The concept would include group games – essentially improved versions of regular season competitions – and teams that perform well would be invited to the mid-season tournament. The NBA is testing the idea for its 25th anniversary in the WNBA and calls it the “Commissioner’s Cup during the season. “

WNBA players share a prize pool of $ 500,000. The winning team will receive $ 30,000 per player, the runner-up will receive $ 10,000 per player, and the Commissioner’s Cup title game MVP will take home $ 5,000. Google is a main sponsor of the WNBA tournament. And Amazon is the media partner who will stream the games on its Prime video service.

The NBA wanted the concept on their 75th anniversary, but the pandemic changed things. So this year the league executives will study the fanfare of the WNBA format.

“It’s a visionary idea,” said the longtime media manager John Kosner of the tournament. “I think we’ll see more of that.”

The NBA will use money as a primary incentive for team members and players. League officials hope this reward-based business model will get players to compete against each other. And adding compensation to player charities, especially social justice organizations, could help get their approval.

The thing is, what’s in it for viewers? What will make people watch a mid-season tournament, especially when the National Football League is on? And how would the NBA retain fans?

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum holds up the Detroit Pistons card after it fell during the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery on June 22, 2021 at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, NJ.

Steve Freeman | National Basketball Federation | Getty Images

Add a draft selection

Kosner, who headed digital media at ESPN until 2017, found that consumers have more options outside of sport. Covid-19 has disrupted sports consumption and viewers have identified other entertainment options. For leagues outside of the NFL, innovation around their product is a necessity. Even if it means disrupting tradition.

“You have to convince people that there is a reason to watch,” said Kosner. “You have to do your product the best you can because you are no longer competing with any other sport – it’s everything else people can see and do.”

On a fall-winter sports cycle, the NBA’s 82-game season is a little stale. It has moments like the Christmas games and Thursday evenings are entertaining with the production of Turner Sports. But resting the players is still an issue and that affects national competitions.

His top superstar LeBron James, who moved west, didn’t help either.

That season, the league’s audience averaged 1.3 million viewers during its national games on ESPN, ABC and TNT. Covd-19 influenced that, but numbers before the pandemic: For the 2018/19 season, the NBA saw an average of 1.79 million viewers. And the year before James left the East (2017-18) the average was 1.89 million.

Audience numbers are a little hard to understand, and the NBA’s product is strong for the 2020-21 postseason, including solid box office viewership with James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

But in order to expand engagement and increase interest around a tournament in the middle of the season, some in league circles came up with the idea of ​​adding a draft pick to the stakes.

The NBA could place the pick between # 14 and # 15, protecting the lottery teams and adding an edge to the teams that win the tournament. The league may refer to it as a “Commissioner’s Cup Pick” or some other title sponsor to pay for the naming rights.

The selection rewards the team that remains competitive in the early stages of the regular season. It creates a benefit for team owners that executives can leverage in potential trading scenarios. And finally, the engagement creates as the social media channels are filled with NBA fans looking for ways to improve teams through trades and draft picks.

Byron Spruell, President of League Operations, speaks at the 2017 NBA Finals Cares Legacy Project in Cleveland, Ohio.

David Dow | National Basketball Federation | Getty Images

The NBA tossed the idea around, but so far it hasn’t had enough support. There are concerns about possible backlash and strengthening good teams with star players. If teams like the Lakers and the loaded Brooklyn Nets were expecting so many, they’d win every tournament. But in a knockout-style match similar to the NCAA March Madness games, even the power teams could have a bad night.

Another team leader advocated adding the draft pick. The person called the concept the NBA Commissioner’s Cup tournament, where each competition is a game of 7.

A look at the audience for the last postseason Games 7: The Nets vs. Milwaukee’s Bucks had an average of 6.9 million viewers. And the underdog Atlanta Hawks knocked out the power team – the Philadelphia 76ers. Game 7, which attracted 6.2 million viewers. Post-season playoffs are fun and attract sports fans.

The elimination style could also help in the regular season, said Kosner. He agreed to the inclusion of the draft pick, adding that the tournament “creates another event that [sports] Betting companies would be happy. I think it’s a good idea and I hope they do. “

“It’s more quality programming,” said Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports. “I can’t imagine the audience disagreeing or not watching. The idea of ​​the mid-season tournament has an appeal to create more exciting and competitive games that otherwise might not exist during the regular season.”

NBA betting on patience

However, Pilson, now a professor in Columbia University’s sports management program, warned of player injuries.

Tournament games could increase the intensity, forcing players to struggle through gnawing injuries that could otherwise leave them exposed. After all, the NBA postseason is the most important part of the year. If key players injure themselves during a high pressure tournament game, championships could be at risk.

But with the right incentives, the league believes that even the best players would be willing to help their teammates make more money.

The draft compensation could return to the negotiating table while the NBA continues to work on the draft. Here, too, the aim is to examine how the concept works with other objects, including elements of the Basketball Africa League.

Configuring home and away games will also be challenging, and determining which part of the calendar will install the tournament is also crucial. There is talk of inviting European clubs. And placing knock games in one place – most likely in Las Vegas. Should Spruell and Silver develop the logistics of the tournament and the owners and players agree, the league officials bet that patience will grow on the fans.

The NBA has renewed interest in the all-star game. The play-in race is a fun concept. Now it’s up to explore with its 82 game campaign to make that even more exciting.

“If you start a mid-season tournament with something at stake, you’ll get people to watch,” said Kosner.

NBA legend Dwyane Wade buys possession stake in Utah Jazz

Dwyane Wade # 3 of the Miami Heat blows on his hand during the team’s shooting prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 12, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Chris Gardner | Getty Images

Dwyane Wade, 13-time NBA All Star and three-time NBA Champion, is joining Utah Jazz’s group of owners, the jazz announced on Friday.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Wade will join the group of owners led by tech entrepreneur and Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith and his wife Ashley, who acquired a controlling interest in Utah Jazz in late 2020.

“Shortly after Smith acquired Utah Jazz, he and Wade began talks about Wade joining the Utah Jazz Ownership Group and Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), the first of many joint business ventures,” a Utah statement said Jazz.

“As a kid from the south side of Chicago, this partnership goes beyond my wildest dreams of basketball and I hope to inspire the next generation of dreamers,” Wade said in a statement.

Wade joins a growing list of current and retired athletes who have invested in sports teams around the world. Earlier this week, former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez joined former Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore Buy the Minnesota Timberwolves for $ 1.5 billion.

Correction: Updated this story to remove any mention that Smith’s group of owners is the youngest in the NBA.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver helps new league that pays excessive schoolers $100,000

National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver supports the new high school league, which gives young players at least $ 100,000.

Silver spoke to the media this weekend to release his annual update on the NBA, the day before the 2021 All-Star Game takes place in Atlanta. The NBA boss discussed media companies Overtime new basketball league (Overtime elite) for 16 to 18 year olds.

“I think it is generally good for the community to have optionality, especially when they are very solid people, which it appears to be [OTE], support it and behind it, “said Silver.” That’s one thing we’ll be paying a lot of attention to because these players may be the future of our league. “

On Thursday, OTE announced it would start in September and pay up to 30 players at least $ 100,000 if they choose to join. The league is backed by overtime investors, including NBA stars Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, and venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz.

Silver said he had “no objection to paying young people” any other way than turning professional and skipping the NCAA.

An overtime logo on a basketball court

Source: overtime

“We formed Team Ignite in the G League to give players the opportunity not to go to college and become professionals,” said Silver. “You can go straight to the G League and be well compensated.”

The NBA requires a player to be 19 years old before entering the league. The Ignite program is designed for people who want to skip college but are not yet eligible. Ignite players will earn approximately $ 200,000 to $ 500,000 while waiting to be eligible. Silver said the NBA could change their eligibility rule in the next collective agreement, but for now the NBA will oversee the OTE.

“It’s good for the game,” said Silver. “It’s more focused on the game, especially everything that’s happening on digital media right now; social media, new streaming services. There’s definitely interest in this content, so let’s pay attention.”

Back to regular business in the fall

On the call, Silver also mentioned that the NBA is expecting a return to its regular schedule for the 2021-22 season with full arenas. The NBA cut their schedule to 72 games this season due to the effects of Covid-19, but would like to return to an 82 game season.

“It remains planned to continue our season as normally as possible next year,” said Silver, adding that he was “pretty optimistic” that the league will start in October. “If vaccines are used against the virus and its variants as quickly as before and continue to be as effective as we are, we hope that we will have relatively full arenas next season as well.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

Stacy Revere | Getty Images

When asked by CNBC to provide a financial update on the NBA, which suspended games almost a year ago due to the pandemic, Silver was optimistic. He said the league was “happy to work in the circumstances” despite the lack of it 40% of its sales limited with fans.

“The league’s long-term health is very solid,” said Silver. “We are seeing significant losses between last year and this year. I generally do not speak publicly about this because the teams are largely privately owned and we are not suggesting that this is anyone else’s problem than ours.”

“But last season and this season, the team owners have had to make significant investments – they accept that,” Silver continued. “The players will receive a salary cut this season because they are partners of the teams and the league in terms of revenue.”

The NBA missed sales forecasts by $ 1.5 billion due to Covid-19 Associated Press. With the resumption of the games last July and the conclusion of the 2020-21 campaign, the company was able to ward off massive losses. Should it resume normal operations for 2021-22, Silver said all NBA players would not need any vaccinations.

“I don’t see every player who needs vaccination as an obstacle to fans returning to the arena,” said Silver. “I don’t think anymore that the fact that not every fan is vaccinated is an obstacle to fans returning to the arena.”

Men walk past a poster at an NBA exhibition in Beijing, China on October 8, 2019.

Jason Lee | Reuters

NBA-China Business Update

When asked about the affairs of the NBA in China, Silver suggested that the business be carried out as usual.

“Our business continued there,” said Silver. “We have hundreds of millions of fans in China and we see it as our business to serve those fans.”

NBA team leader Daryl Morey 2019 Twitter Support comments Protesters in Hong Kong began the rift with China. Morey’s action resulted in China suspending NBA games on CCTV and streaming platform Tencent also restricted NBA content. The media outlets returned NBA games during the finale.

During the 2020 All-Star Game, Silver initially suggested that the feud could lead to an outcome $ 400 million loss. The NBA was evaluating their business in China over $ 5 billion following a $ 1.5 billion media rights deal with Tencent in 2019.

“Our values ​​remain the same and our business continues,” said Silver. “And it’s mostly about exporting American basketball and the culture that goes with it to China.”

Kawhi Leonard suggests NBA is prioritizing cash over gamers’ well being in planning All-Star Sport

Kawhi Leonard, MVP of last year’s All-Star Game, suggested the NBA prioritize money over the health of their players when planning the midseason exhibition in March.

“We all know why we play it,” said the Los Angeles Clippers star on Friday night. “It’s about money, it’s an opportunity to make more money. I’m just putting money on health now. “

The game and its skill contest will take place in Atlanta on March 7th, the league announced to its teams earlier this week. It remains unclear when players would need to report and how testing will work in Atlanta, or whether fans will be part of the game.

“We play games now and it’s still a pandemic to follow all of these protocols and rules, so I’m not really surprised,” Leonard said on a video call after the Clippers lost to Boston.

Sacramento security guard De’Aaron Fox said he thought the idea of ​​an all-star game to be “stupid” during a pandemic.

Lakers star LeBron James, who is the second largest fan voter behind Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, said he wasn’t happy with the staging of the exhibition.

“I have no energy or excitement about an All-Star game this year,” said James. “I don’t even understand why we have an all-star game, but it’s the deal.”

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NBA ‘placing cash over well being’ by holding All-Star recreation

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Brady or Mahomes? Our predictions for the Chiefs versus Buccaneers Super Bowl

Will Tampa Bay be the first team to win a championship in their own home ground? Or will the reigning champions keep their title? This year’s Super Bowl features some of the NFL’s best talent, including clockwise from left Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Composite: Reuters, Getty, AP What the Chiefs Do to Win … Be the Chiefs. That may sound funky, but no team appreciates the “flip the switch” theory more than this season’s Chiefs. When they’re fully engaged, when they’re fully occupied, there’s not much that any other team in the league can do to stop them. There are shortcomings in defense but at some point Patrick Mahomes will have the ball. Despite an excellent defense, Tampa will have a hard time slowing the Mahomes-Hill-Kelce Triumvirate. OK With the two most offensive tackles likely to have emerged from this matchup, it’s a tough sledding on the fringes for the Chiefs. Look for Andy Reid dialing lots of screen passes to take advantage of the speed and volatility of his backs and receivers – Tyreek Hill in particular. AL Win the battle for sales. Brady threw three interceptions against the Green Bay Packers, but the Packers could only score on one of the following properties. If the Bucs do that against KC, this game could be over quickly. HF Eliminate the deep ball. Maintain two safety precautions on the field of play to force the bucs to run. You can’t play chicken with Brady like the Packers – it only ends in one direction. Well, unless the offense explodes too. Reid will need an extra shot trick to flummox Tampa. That or throw it at Hill. GS What the Bucs have to do to win … Shorten the game. The Bucs have proven that they can switch between different styles this season. You can win with their exceptional defense. You can trust Tom Brady to take part in a shootout. Against the Chiefs, while it won’t be as entertaining, they’ll have to rely on the run-game to stretch the drives against a weak Chiefs front to contain the scoreline. Take Brady to the final ride with a chance to win the game, that should be the plan. OK Sic Jason Pierre-Paul, William Gholston, and Ndamukong Suh on the Chiefs’ backup tackles. Mix it up a little first. (The handovers to Leonard Fournette & Co are so predictable.) And take every opportunity to connect with the recipients downfield, a focus for Bruce Arians throughout the season. If Antonio Brown is looking for a time to shine, this is it. AL Brady doesn’t want to get into a throwing contest with Mahomes at this point in his career. Its advantage will be in its experience. He doesn’t want to be a pure game manager here, he has to go for a couple of long balls to win, but if he focuses on making the right game rather than trying the big game, his team has a solid chance. HF Tampa has to play with her strengths and her lightning bolt early and often. They have the pedigree – nine sacks and two wins against Rodgers this season – and can slow Mahomes down by attacking an offensive line that is missing both starting tackles. You run the risk of dying from a thousand Tyreek and Travis-shaped cuts, but Todd Bowles has to be brave to cap Kansas City’s score. GS key player for the Chiefs … Patrick Mahomes. Of course it’s Mahomes. Going out with someone else would be a hipster choice. The Bucs could execute the perfect game plan. They could play as good as imaginable on either side of the ball. But when Mahomes shows up and plays at his best, nothing can be done to stop him. OK Other than the obvious? Let’s go to tyrant Mathieu, whose anticipatory and interruptive power emits great Ed Reed vibrations. He, not Mahomes, is Tom Brady’s real opponent – and the Honey Badger will make the GOAT pay for all the 50-50 balls he loves to throw up. Mathieu caught Brady with a tipped ball in her matchup in Week 12. AL Travis Kelce. We’re talking Brady versus Mahomes, but what about Kelce versus Gronkowski? Since Gronkowski’s (temporary) retirement, Kelce has been struggling to top him as the best close end in the league of all time. A Super Bowl win against a diminished Gronk would be more of a symbolic touchstone, but it wouldn’t hurt his fall. HF tyrant Mathieu. We can be sure Brady will take risks in the air, so Mathieu’s ability to diagnose and tear down recipient routes must be triggered to disrupt Tampa’s temporary attack. If Brady is put under pressure to consider whether or not Mathieu will consistently skip a route, it could frustrate the veteran into making costly mistakes. GS key player for the Bucs … Todd Bowles. Not a player, but the Bucs defense coordinator. Tampa’s defense played at championship level all season. There aren’t a lot of schematic fireworks. Instead, Bowles relies on a core set of games and its players all play at the highest level. Against Mahomes, he’ll need a few wrinkles or a fresh look to create a negative game or two. OC Lavonte David, one of the best linebackers the game has ever seen. His ability to close ball carriers and stop their swing, or sometimes even reverse, should prove particularly useful against a skilled unit of the chief who knows how to stack after the catch in large yards. His sideline-to-sideline scope will be key to upholding Coordinator Todd Bowles’ bend-but-don’t-break principles. AL Leonard Fournette. Fournette was cut by the jaguars and came back as Tampa Bay’s backup. Now he’s putting his best work of the season into the playoffs, including an amazing touchdown run against Green Bay. Another touchdown or two would be nice, but if he can catch up a lot of yards on the first downs, the game book will open wide for Brady. HF A gunfight beckons although the cannons at Raymond James Stadium fall silent (couldn’t the cannons have fired for the Chiefs too? Why do I care so much about the cannons?). The Bucs can bully the Chiefs’ defense with the superior size and strength of Mike Evans in the Redzone. The extra attention he receives also creates holes for others to score points. GS A bold prediction … The Weeknd has more than one song. I mean seriously? The weeknd? For the Super Bowl? Am I old now OK Somebody’s gonna pull out a trick game. Either the Chiefs build on the legendary “Four Tops” they put up for the 49ers last year, or Arians chooses a nervous answer. Either way, you will love soccer love language. AL How about a goalless first quarter? After all the talk about this being an offensive showdown, both sides may get performance anxiety right away and we see a lot of three-and-offs, some offensive errors and even a missed field goal in the first 15 minutes. HF Tony Romo spots Bill Belichick in the crowd wearing a Jack Sparrow mask as a disguise. Of course, Romo can’t contain his excitement and orchestrates a happy reunion on the field after Brady lifts a Lombardi without his one-time mentor. “This is my boy,” Belichick will say. GS The end result will be … Chiefs 31-24 Buccaneers. The Brady and Bowles combo is about as good as you can hope for trying to knock the Chiefs out of their place. No one is able to stop the Chiefs, but all the Bucs need is a defense that slows Mahomes-Andy Reid’s machine down, even for a possession or two. Tampa has the talent and the people to implement such a plan. I have the bucs who give Brady a chance at the final ball but only show up briefly. Despite all the goodness of Bowles, the Chiefs’ offensive power is just too overwhelming. And even if the games crash, nobody is better than Mahomes. The Chiefs leave in a row and Mahomes takes home a second MVP in a row. OK bosses 30-29 privateers. As exposed as Mahome’s characters may be, it was easy to see the Bucs defenses forget about the QB’s wheels until it was too late. Mahomes will take heart at some point, whether it’s collecting piece goods or buying time to fire darts at Cheetah & Co. AL Chiefs 34-17 privateers. Look for the teams to keep it close for a while, but by the fourth quarter the Chiefs will be in the lead and salt it up with one of those Mahomes bursts where he’ll knock off two touchdowns in the blink of an eye. HF Chiefs 30-33 privateers. I said it in the middle of the season and I’ll say it again, Tom Brady and the Bucs are going to win the Super Bowl. Playing against Brady is a breeze, especially now that he’s an underdog. Six titles and your team that isn’t a favorite is proof of how good the Chiefs are, but Brady will have the final say in the game with a last minute ride and maybe QB really is the best. Same time next year, Tom. GS

NBA 2K21 Has One Main Subject In Professional-Fashion Gameplay

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Montrezl Harrell in NBA 2K21

Image Credit: NBA 2K

“You are telling me that he’s not tired yet?” How many times have you said this when playing the Los Angeles Lakers online in relation to LeBron James, or while using or playing against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks?

If you’ve played NBA 2K21 in Play Online Now, MyNBA, or Couch Exhibition Play mode, you have likely recognized this problem. I called James because the Lakers are the most used team on the internet, but the stamina exploit can be seen on almost any of the hyper-athletic players in the game. This problem shows its ugly head in a few different situations, but it’s a problem across the board.

In Play Now online games, the fatigue rate is the biggest problem. PNO games are a quarter of 6 minutes, which is handy as it allows you to play a whole game in about 30 minutes. However, it is safe to say that the fatigue rate is not calibrated with the abbreviated quarter lengths.

Right now, a user can control James and others, almost like playing an undisciplined version of MyCareer.

They fly up and down the pitch in attack and defense, and the star player, who is used as if he is being injected with the Super Soldier serum, never really needs to be taken out of the game.

I’ve seen this several times with a few different players, but the use of James in that role is certainly the most egregious. James and other stars can work their way through the entire competition without receiving the Gatorade trophy (the symbol of fatigue) until Q4. Often times, most of the damage is done, and now you’ve had an experience breaking the immersion.

I am not losing all of these games, and if I am honest I cannot say that sometimes I am not guilty of having taken advantage of this exploit. No, it’s the meta, but that has to change.

The endurance should be strained by higher efforts such as aggressive dunks, fouls, hard contact and above all the use of the turbo button.

The next level of problem also occurs when the Gatorade icon appears. Although the player’s skill is somewhat diminishing, it is far too insignificant and does not result in adequate control of speed, shooting, or immersion.

That’s why stars can still dominate entire games without ever resting. Ideally, users would see a greater penalty for playing tired players.

These penalties should come in the form of limited effectiveness from the use of turbo and more. At 80 percent stamina, the effectiveness of the turbo button should be moderately impaired, but the penalties should become more severe the more tired a player is while lying on the ground.

There’s no question that a similar mechanic already exists. My argument is that really punishing users for not being replaced doesn’t work. Exhausted stars are not much different from their fully or partially rested selves.

In a perfect world, tired players would not only be affected by restricted or disabled turbo usage, but also by restricted verticals, reduced dunking attributes or invalid badges, but also by smaller windows with green release.

There’s a reason stars like James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and others take breaks from playing. There’s a reason players are sometimes less effective in the second half of back-to-back games on an NBA schedule, and sometimes timeouts are used to restore stamina in addition to game planning.

In the modes that actually simulate the NBA game (Play Now, Play Online Now, MyNBA, MyTeam, and MyCareer), real endurance should be more of a factor.