While scrimmages were held in arenas without fans and now the NBA restart is set to be played inside a Walt Disney World bubble under the same setting, the league announced a multidimensional plan for in-venue and broadcast enhancements.
More than 300 NBA fans will be invited to appear live on the “Michelob ULTRA Courtside” 17-foot video boards surrounding the court for each game played. Those fans will have the opportunity to digitally interact with each other throughout the game using Microsoft’s “Together mode” to create a virtual experience by removing fans from their individual backgrounds and bringing them together in a shared visual space that will be seen through the broadcast and in the arena.
“Working with our broadcast and technology partners, we are excited to unveil a series of enhancements that will bring fans closer to the game and allow them to personalize their viewing experience,” NBA’s head of Next Gen Telecast Sara Zuckert said.
“Our goal is to create an enjoyable and immersive experience where fans can engage with each other and maintain a sense of community as we restart the season under these unique and challenging circumstances.”
The league also is introducing digital cheering functions on the NBA App along with Twitter hashtags and will make full use of the bevy of cameras at their disposal to replicate the views of where fans would be sitting in the arena.
The NBA spared no expense in order to finalize their plans to finish out the season under a new set of health guidelines in Orlando, Florida. Their precautions have helped avoid any further setbacks after the league announced the zero players have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the bubble since July 13.
Alex Caruso not concerned with arena environment
The Lakers’ final scrimmage featured a test run with some of the new features the NBA is implementing, though it largely went unnoticed by Alex Caruso. That’s despite being on the court for his most extensive run of scrimmage action.
Caruso missed the opener because of a back contusion, then fouled out of the Lakers’ second game. “I don’t really notice anything unless I’m on the bench. I didn’t even notice until I came out in the first round of subs that were faces on the board,” he said.
“I’m pretty locked in. If I’m focusing on that, it’s going to make it really hard to pay attention to defense and running sets.”
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