You get home after a dinner and a couple of drinks with friends, plop down on your couch, pull out your phone and notice that Golden State is locked in a close game with Denver as they head to the fourth quarter. You keep thinking “I want to watch that,” but you don’t have NBA League Pass, so…
Starting this season, you can buy just the fourth quarter. For just $1.99.
Daren Rovell of ESPN broke the story and spoke to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about it.
Fans will be able to purchase the remainder of any out-of-market game on League Pass once the buzzer sounds to end the third quarter. The price initially will be $1.99 whether the fan buys it at the start of the quarter or to watch the last 30 seconds.
“It’s a big moment, but it’s also a small first step,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN on Thursday. “There are limitations in the technology right now, but we’re working as quickly as possible so that, at some point in the near future, fans can choose to buy any part of any game.”
Ultimately, the NBA wants to be able to sell watching the game in as little as 10-minute blocks on a stream, if you just want to see some segment of it.
This is the NBA pushing the technology envelope in ways other professional leagues could not or would not. The NBA’s younger fanbase (compared to other major American sports leagues) streams more and often prefers it to watching via traditional television, and the NBA caters to that crowd. The idea is to make the game as accessible as possible — if you restrict it, or try to get people to pay too much to see it, they will just walk away. The NBA wants its fans to access its content (which is why you can find any NBA highlight you want on YouTube, go and try that with the NFL).
It’s just smart business by the NBA.
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.