Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Is This Necessary?

Here is something I ran across recently. Another "training innovation". I'll admit that basketball is my least favorite sport and that the NBA and Kobe Bryant represent just about everything I don't like about basketball. So, I may be negatively prejudiced towards this "innovation". But I have a hard time seeing this being more effective than the standard foot work and agility drills done under the watchful eyes of a good coach. I also have a hard time seeing how an athlete looking down at the floor can gain anything that can be gained by playing basketball and focusing on the game. I suspect this is an expensive toy that will be discarded before it spreads very far. At least I hope so.Can you imagine colleges wowing recruits with the best LED floor graphics? Practices would be like living inside of a computer game.

When it comes to basketball, there’s more to the game than just being able to dribble and shoot accurately. It also involves players being able to move around the court accurately, block other players, be in position to receive passes, and so on. Now thanks to a new project led by Nike, they have created a basketball court embedded with LEDs that has the ability to interact with players as they move across the surface.
The project is part of the company’s Nike RISE campaign over in China and has been designed with training programs and drills for players to follow. It will also be able to respond to movements and mistakes made by players, so that they will know what they have done wrong and be notified via visual cues.
To demonstrate the court in action, Nike brought in basketball superstar, Kobe Bryant, where he coached 30 young Chinese players. However it seems that despite being such a veteran on the courts, the hi-tech court managed to throw Bryant off a little bit. Speaking to Lakers Nation, Bryant was quoted as saying, “My first experience on the LED floor, it’s pretty uhhh … I didn’t even know that was possible. It’s amazing what can be done nowadays. I think the potential and possibilities for the floor are endless.”
We’re not sure if such a court will ever become mainstream, since we can only imagine it will be expensive to produce and maintain, but it’s still a pretty awesome idea and you can check it out in action in the video above.

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