the NBA and NextVR partner to produce at least 25 regular-season games in VR via NBA League Pass!
Official announcement from NBA
Official announcement from NextVR
How to get access to NextVR
On my end, this has been a few months in the works, and as we've gone through discussions and test games and everything, I've been so excited but unable to talk about it beyond my immediate family. So I can't wait to start the season Thursday with the Sacramento Kings-San Antonio Spurs game, the regular-season opener at the new Golden 1 Center in Sacramento! Tip is at 7:30 Pacific Time on Thursday, 10:30 Eastern Time, and fans can watch for free with the right VR headset. (Don't worry: If that sounds a little narrow, the availability is only going to get more widespread as the season goes on!)
For the NextVR team, this has been more than a year in the making, and seeing their reaction to the expansion and fine-tuning of the product has been awesome. It's a great group to work with, one I first met when working their first fully produced soccer game in the International Champions Cup in August, and I'm excited for the season.
USA Today article
Personally, this is certainly a bit of a departure from pro soccer and college sports. I've called plenty of basketball, but it's been entirely in the college ranks, so I look forward to learning some of the intricacies of the NBA, its storylines, and its players throughout this season.
One of my partners on the broadcasts this year will be Julianne Viani, who I've
worked with a lot as a college basketball analyst in the New York area,
and I know she's going to help make our shows analytical, fun, and successful! Fellow soccer vet Mark Rogondino will also be among those contributing, as various schedules allow, and he brings an awesome perspective and energy that are hard to match.
Upload VR article
The VR camera angles work really well for basketball, with the most often used cameras stationed underneath the basket. That means dunks and anything at the rim come right at you, and it also provides a more true look of how teams approach the game in terms of Xs and Os, since you get the same vertical vantage point as the players. Our scorer's-table camera, pictured here, brings some sideline access to coaches and players that you don't see on a normal broadcast. It's absolutey fascinating to watch a game this way.
I don't know how many of you have the ability to watch VR broadcasts just yet, but as somebody who was skeptical before trying the technology out, I can highly recommend that you give it a chance! Basketball is definitely the ideal sport to provide a starting point for sports in virtual reality, and I'm incredibly excited for all the new experiences this winter will bring.
So find a Samsung phone or Playstation and a VR headset and check out our Game of the Week all NBA season!
Again, here's how to get access to NextVR.