Cisco Technology Blog - Hill
Posted Jul 7 2008 2:31PM
We recently caught up with Grant Hill to talk technology. Check out Grantís thoughts and how technology plays a key role in his life.
1. What technological equipment and/or services do you use most today, professionally and personally?
Grant Hill: Yeah man I think the equipment I use the most are blackberry, computer. Those are the things that allow me to stay connected. We travel a lot; weíre on the road, so to be able to check on email access, to the internet. Communicate with family and friends, you donít necessarily have to be in a hotel room, you know at Starbucks! I can have my laptop with my little internet connection, access card and I can be on the bus, emailing you know. Those are the two things I think for me right now I use the most and when I donít have I just feel lost.
2. What single technological product/service do you feel has changed your life most in the last 25 years? How?
Grant Hill: I think the thing is the computer. What computers can do now and just how you know 20 years ago no one had a computer. I remember going to the library in grade school that had these computers and we would write these programs with 10 ĎPrintí hahaha then 20 ĎGo Toí10 then 30 then ĎRuní and the thing would hahaha all over the screen. That was big. If you could do that that was cool. The girls like that you know. The only computer things I remember in my childhood were the games, the Atariís the television the Colecovision and later on Nintendo. They had the Apples the Macintoshís but no one really used them. At least I didnít use them. My family didnít use them. And now everyone has them. Young, old. They have sort of taken over. I canít imagine now a world without laptops, computers, internet access. So I would think Iím sure there are a lot of different things but thatís the thing that sticks out in my mind. Just the use of and evolution of the computer.
3. What technology could you feel you could not live without?
Grant Hill: Thatís changed at this point. You know when I was single it was probably the microwave. I think the one bit of technology I couldnít live without is my cell phone. I seem to do most of my talking on the cell phone when Iím in the car. When Iím at home I donít ever talk on the phone at the house. I never talk on the cell phone in my house. But when Iím out of the house thatís when I talk. So that to me it would be very difficult to survive and actually I lost my cell phone on a road trip this season, we were on a 3 game road trip. I borrowed everyoneís cell phone on the team. I had to use the phone in the hotel room to make a few calls and you know they overcharge in the hotels. So you are paying an arm and a leg to make a 2 minute phone call. But you donít appreciate it, and you donít realize how much you use it, or misplace it or you donít have it and I realized that this past season.
4. If you could only travel with one device that could access the network, outside of your cell phone, what would it be?
Grant Hill: The one device I would travel with outside of the cell phone to give me access to the Internet would be my computer, my laptop. You know I have so many things on my computer, so many abilities. Of course get on the Internet, we have photo albums, all the photos weíve taken with our children over the past 7 years on the hard drive. Play music, so they have a little music program on there. Pretty much do everything. If you can think about it there is some kind of program or software out there to get it done on your laptop. You can watch movies you can do a number of things. Once again I canít imagine what life was like without it. I canít believe I got through college without a laptop. Itís just amazing all that it does and how much I use it and how much I rely on it. I went to college from 91-94 and I remember there were a few people who had computers, friends of mine, classmates, you might borrow or use their computer to write a paper, what have you. I remember the first time I heard of the Internet I was in my second year in the NBA. I had a friend of mine from college who was living in the Virginia area working at AOL and was telling me about this Internet thing. I had a computer then but I didnít know how to really turn it on. Now Iím on it all the time just like everyone else.
5. 5. What technology is the NBA using to keep fans ďconnectedĒ today?
Grant Hill: I think the NBA really takes advantage of the Internet, websites. Even now Iím a fan but Iím also a player. The Western Conference is a dogfight and every game means something. You can go on the internet in the second quarter and find out whatís going on in the Lakers/Dallas game. You have that ability to see whatís happening every minute of every game. So you know as a player but also as a fan that gives a great perspective, itís unique to follow your favorite team and favorite players. And you know the websites. Various teams have their own websites. The Suns came in our house and interviewed us in our home, toured our home with my wife and me. They come to practice, they go on the road. Thereís a lot of behind the scenes footage a lot of access for the fans that you wouldnít normally get. Those are the type of things that the NBA is trying to provide. Those are the things that die hard fans want to know, want to see, and want to be a part of. Really I think it helps connect the fans with players, teams with the league overall. Itís something that when I came into the league who would have thought teams would have their own websites.
6. Is there one that you think is the most cool? What is the coolest thing that youíve done with all of your technology? Example: Can you listen to your music in any room in your house? Can you get internet video content from your PC to your flat-panel TV?
Grant Hill: When we go on the road we have a video coordinator who is with us all the time like an assistant coach. And we go on the road, we go to shoot around. If we have a 7 p.m. game in Portland, weíll go to shoot around at 10 a.m. We have like an hour to walk through and maybe get some shots up. Our video guy has the portable film; I donít know what it is. He basically pulls it out of this box, screen goes up and we are able to have a film session right there on the court. He basically has all the materials right there and in 5 minutes set it up to where the entire team, coaches, players are sitting around watching a video clip or edit of our opponent that weíre going to play that night right on center court. That may not sound like a big deal but to me thatís kind of like ďWow thatís pretty amazingĒ. Or you know how during the course of a game, at halftime, you might be playing and what have you, you come in and the coach can say ďthat play where Steve Nash took a charge and they called a block. I want to see if that was really a chargeĒ. Press a button and its up on screen. There are times where you might even talk to an official and you think that maybe he called a foul on me but I donít think it was a foul. You tell him to check the film at halftime. Heíll come out after halftime and say ďyeah you were rightĒ or ďI was rightĒ the official was right. You know they have that ability to even check their mistakes, check how theyíre doing during the course of the game, calls that might have been questionable or controversial they can go in at halftime and see if they were right or wrong. Itís just amazing that you have thatÖlike I said when I first came in the league everything was pretty much on VCR, you had those type of tapes. If you wanted to see something you had to rewind and so forth. Now you just scroll to where you want to be and you have that ability to watch.
7. What technology(ies) do you foresee most influencing fansí consumption of basketball in the future (e.g., HD, Internet, video-on-demand)?
Grant Hill: I think the ability for fans to not only see the game in person but also get the behind the scenes to get the actual television broadcast, to probably get some of the in-game interactive personal I guess, activities that I guess go along with that. To have all that linked to the fan in their seat at the MCI center watching their team play and also having the access to hear it or see it on television as well. Iím sure I donít know but to me that would always be neat. If I were a fan I always felt it would be neat to sit at a game and but also watch it on a screen and hear whether itís a local television broadcast, national broadcast, or NBA TV, whoever, talking about my team talking about that game. Being able to rewind or scroll, watch a play that happened earlier in the game. All those different types of things I think the fans will get in the near future.
8. Are there devices or services that you use in your job that you wish were available in your personal life?
Grant Hill: For the most part all that technology is available in our personal life. All the things we use as a team, theyíre there for us. I wouldnít know how to use it to be honest. I can email, turn the computer on, thatís about it. For obvious reasons the team is up on whatís cutting edge, whatís new. Because anything they can have to give them an edge to cut down on time itís necessary. The same tools, same technology can be applied in personal lives, in families. The whole idea of us, we record a lot of our children and what theyíre doing. We photograph our kids a lot. My wife does all that stuff. I guess I just pay for it. Well she pays for it. She does this thing now where we take photos, we go on trips and have a digital camera. I guess itís through Apple but she can organize a photo album, order it online and they will send a hard copy photo with pictures built into the page, it looks all professional the next week. Thatís an example of technology at its best.
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