Watching Sport In New York

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:09:47 AM

YouTube TV recently raised its subscription rates. You get roughly 70 channels. You may also get SNY, depending on where you live. Mobile devices and tablets: Android 5. Game consoles: Xbox One all versions.

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The fashion choices of NBA players, the collectively bargained vagaries of the salary cap, the details of sponsored sneaker deals, these all have their devotees and experts.

NBA Twitter overlaps with music twitter, media twitter, black twitter, fashion twitter, media twitter, literary twitter—they all are here.

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Poet Sherman Alexie picking his greatest players of all-time. But really, more than anything, NBA Vine is a revolution.

Official New York Rangers Website

Dunks, shots, behind-the-back passes, crossovers, glances at celebrities sitting courtside, these can all be easily turned into an animated gif or a six second loop. In early December, the NBA celebrated its billionth Vine loop, not just the first sports league, but the first organization of any sort to do so.

All of this reveals information and detail that would not always be noticed just watching the game on TV. The way rookie Kristaps Pozingis smiled upon meeting and sharing the court with his idol Dirk Nowitzki for the first time. Basketball is so inherently tailored to these platforms that the league promotes itself inevitably, a self-replicating monster.

Even the charts were interesting.

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By 4pm it was number one, surrounded by four other NBA related topics. By the end of the first quarter of the Golden State Warriors versus Cleveland Cavaliers game, Lebron James was being mentioned on Twitter 22, times an hour.

By the fourth quarter, ten NBA-related topics were trending. Only the massive technical difficulties video gaming client Steam was having could keep the NBA from total domination.

Now, we have one of the largest social media communities in the world—more than million likes and followers combined across all league, team, and player social platforms. The second is our great, longstanding relationship with Twitter.

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I have to give credit to my mentors, David Stern and Adam Silver, who have always stressed that technology and innovation would enhance the game experience for our fans around the world. We are lucky to have young, tech-savvy players, passionate fans and a game that produces a tremendous amount of shareable highlights that are perfect for Twitter and social media.

I think football has fallen too deep into fantasy, whereas NBA fans seem genuinely interested in every game, and the way the game is played.

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Can it leverage the borderlessness of the web to become an even more international league? Will individual fanbases organize online to the point that they become real power brokers, where they can prevent team moves or demand organizational changes?

Both the nature of reporting and fandom have already been irrevocably changed by Twitter, as has the ability for an individual athlete to market themselves.

Yet social media platforms can rise and fall with great speed and little warning. Several times this past year the future of Twitter was questioned by both tech journalists and investors.

Official Site of the New York Jets

If technology changes or evolves into something not so inherently favorable to the NBA, it is reasonable to wonder whether the NBA will be able to adapt. The current state of NBA Twitter is one of two things: a golden age of collective sports discourse coinciding with a golden age of on-court talent, or the beginning of a new paradigm in how we consume sports.

Those who work for the NBA use the word family a lot. He lives in New York City.

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