High-Tech Shot Clocks
Improve Court Vision
Posted Nov 18 2005 12:39PM
A reasonable expectation for most fans at an NBA game would be to see all of the action, all the time. Unfortunately, that is not the case at most NBA arenas. The two 24-second shot clocks, positioned on top of both backboards for the convenience of the players prevents fans in certain sections of the arena from an unobstructed view. That was, until a recent email from a New Jersey Nets fan to NBA Commissioner David Stern, began the process of fixing this problem.
The Nets' season ticket holder, e-mailed Stern inquiring if there was any existing technology that would make it possible for him to see the entire game and read the shot clock at the same time. And after some research into this, fans sitting behind the basket at NBA arenas will eventually have unobstructed views. New shot clocks, developed by South Dakota-based scoreboard maker Daktronics Inc. that are transparent and much more technologically advanced than the shot clocks encased in metal boxes currently in use, are starting to be installed throughout the league. "All of a sudden, they're seeing the entire action on the court," said Steve Hellmuth, the NBA's Senior Vice President of Operations and Technology, in a recent Associated Press story on the high-tech shot clock.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Bobcats have installed the new shot clocks for this season, and the Houston Rockets and Miami Heat are looking to do the same. Helmuth also said that he expects every NBA team to have implemented this technology within three years. These franchises, always looking to keep their fans happy, appear to be doing just that. Bobcats season ticket holder Sharon Wilcox was thrilled with the change. "Last year, you ended up counting the seconds as soon as they got the ball," she said. "Now I can look up and see it."