The NBA Is Taking More Fans To The Hoops With Virtual Reality

Get a 360-degree view under the rim during the next game.

The Knicks take on the Celtics. Photo courtesy of NextVR.

Your view of Steph Curry’s next stunning three-point shot might be closer than you think.

The NBA recently announced an extended engagement with NextVR for all the 2017-2018 season’s games, which means that fans get to have a more immersive 3D virtual reality experience while watching any of the 30 NBA teams’ duke it out on the court each week.

NBA League Pass subscribers can select up to 13 NBA games to live-stream with the NextVR Screening Room in which fans can immerse themselves in a 360-degree, virtual movie-theater-screen-sized version of the game. NBA League Pass is part of NBA Digital, the NBA's extensive cross-platform portfolio of multimedia assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports, providing access to nearly 1,000 out-of-market live games.

So, how much does it matter that more fans — particularly from the younger generation — become immersed in the game? A lot, it turns out, according to studies that show watching sports is akin to playing sports in terms of brain activity. Not only do diehard fans watching games enjoy the same “feel good” dopamine and serotonin effects associated with playing sports, researchers say, they’re also likely to report an improved sense of belonging and meaning in their lives and even increased levels of empathy.

The team at NextVR wants to take those feelings to the next level with improved visuals and live reporting that explains where to look and what to look for while you feel as though you’re in the game and not just watching it.

“We're not talking about incremental change,” says Danny Keens, vice president of content at NextVR. “It's really transformational change. We're getting fans closer to the action. Now for the first time, it's the equivalent to people stepping into the screen.”

Keens says that means reaching fans of not only the NBA but game and technology enthusiasts as well — and not just in the U.S.

“The NBA has a rapidly growing global fan base,” says Jeff Marsilio, senior vice president for the NBA’s new media distribution unit, “but due to logistics, many fans will never be able to see an NBA game in person.” He says virtual reality has allowed the league to bring a version of that in-arena experience directly to fans around the world.

As part of NBA League Pass, NextVR’s games are fully produced with dedicated announcers, 10 to 12 camera angles (including one behind the glass at the basket), and crisper graphics. The VR announcers provide commentary before the show, during half-time, and during the game to help optimize the user experience.

Fans can access the games through the NBA League Pass VR section of NextVR’s app and can catch a free preview on Feb. 24 or March 15, 2018. There’s also weekly complimentary on-demand content within the NBA League Pass VR section in the NextVR app that features game highlights and full-game replays of each virtual reality game.

In terms of gear, you’ll need a Samsung GearVR headset or Google Daydream, along with a compatible smartphone and will have to download the free NextVR app from the Oculus Store or the Google Play Store respectively. Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality users can also experience games in VR.

“We’re getting fans into seats they can’t even buy,” Keens adds. “We’re courtside, behind the hoop, and even in the locker room sometimes. We were inside the Warriors locker room when they clinched the national championship, as they were celebrating. We’re in the huddle. We get to be with them when they're most emotional.”


"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.


He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

Keep Reading Show less

Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less