Wi-Fi? Ain't nobody got time for that. At least not in the NBA.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reported Thursday that the NBA will allow teams to have hard-wired internet connections, allowing them to access real-time video of the game being played. Previously, NBA rules stipulated that such video was only allowed on benches if the files were manually uploaded to a tablet by a team employee before bringing it to the bench.
Former Blazer forward LaMarcus Aldridge was a huge proponent of the iPads to break down film of defensive coverage during games. In past seasons, a team employee would have to manually upload those clips to a player's designated iPad before the tablet made its way to the player. With this latest change, players and coaches who want to look at something a second or third time no longer have to wait for someone to bring them a tablet from the locker room.
Zillgitt offers this interesting nugget about how this arrangement may change the game night role of the video coordinator:
It could also alter the role of the video coordinator. Instead of spending time in the video room during the game, that person could be behind the bench, working video magic: cutting plays, accessing specific plays from current and previous games and producing those clips by the time a player comes to the bench or the next timeout
Now, the video coordinator could be a much more visible part of the coaching staff and have more of a boots-on-the-ground type of role. However, with any new technology comes technological hiccups, and even a wired connection can become unreliable, which is why the NBA has instituted a protocol for situations when the technology is being finicky.
Again, here's Zillgitt.
The NBA also put protocol in place if one team’s network isn’t working. The team’s coach will notify referees at the next timeout. The refs will notify the other team and the scorer’s table and instruct the other team to disconnect its network until the issue is resolved. Once the issue is resolved, both teams can resume using the hard-wired network. Failure to comply will subject the team or individual to "appropriate action by the League Office."
Teams already had a more limited form of this capacity. Also, as Zillgitt noted that medical personnel now are able to look at potential injuries right away.
With the streamlined ability to access video clips, teams may heavily rely on these tools for in-game adjustments. Of course, some coaches may prefer to make such decisions or adjustments as they've done in the past. In a league with several team owners who come from technology backgrounds, it will be interesting to see to what extent this new technology is embraced, and by which teams.
So: who's ready for our first NBA internet connectivity suspension/scandal? Which coach will get fired for not using the live streaming enough? My money is on Dave Joerger, because Vivek Ranadive and the Kings are always trying to be the first to do something.