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NBA Announces Redesigned Standardized Shot Clock

After decades of seeing various shot-clocks, the system will be standardized this fall for the first time.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The NBA has felt the wrath from fans after various incidents involving the classic 24-second shot clock. Most seasons, at least one game involves a shot clock failure, and the officials bring out the "old shot clocks" which sit in the corners of the floor. One visible incident was in Game 2 of the 2015 Western Conference Semifinals (as depicted in the picture above). The NBA has noticed these issues, and have worked with Swiss watchmaker Tissot to completely redesign the concept. It will debut in a few days as Las Vegas Summer League opens.

The NBA will provide three clocks to each arena in the league, to standardize the system. The devices are controlled by touchscreen, and can receive remote firmware updates when and if problems arise.

The new clock is a thin, transparent panel boasting a set of features lifted from a smartphone. It has efficient LEDs, it’s controlled with a touchscreen, and it even accepts firmware updates. More importantly, when it debuts at an NBA Summer League game this week, it’ll mark the first time each NBA arena will use the same shot-clock system.

Wired provides more insight into the process of redesigning the clock, which will also be used for timeouts and game time. They also provide a big improvement: Visual access for fans behind the backboard.

Perhaps the greatest benefactors to the new design will be fans with seats behind each hoop. The clocks’ LED lights are mounted inside transparent glass. When they’re off, the clocks are totally see-through. When they’re on, you can still see through them, though the view is just slightly obstructed. The point is simple: you won’t be staring at the back of an opaque black box when you paid good money to watch Steph Curry launch threes.

The Blazers open Vegas Summer League this Saturday at 1pm on NBA TV, against the Phoenix Suns. While Noah Vonleh, Pat Connaughton and crew take to the court, don’t forget to watch for the new clocks to make their national television debut.