Saturday, December 10, 2005

NBA to create digital archive.

Sports: This will be an impressive project when completed and I do hope the NFL and MLB follow up. Its a sports geek dream.

OUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--If you're a rabid basketball fan who's wished you could get your hands on video of that one memorable shot by Michael Jordan from the Chicago Bulls play-off game you went to in 1989, the National Basketball Association may soon be able to help you out. The league, working with Silicon Graphics, is setting out to create a digital archive of the entire filmed history of its games, from legendary contests between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers to seemingly meaningless late-season games between out-of-contention teams. The archive will be available at NBA.com. The league unveiled the project Thursday night at SGI's offices here. If the project, which could take as long as six years to complete, goes as planned, fans should be able to get their hands on clips of just about any hoops moment they want, and even create their own personalized video reels. "We're thinking of making the video available to (fans) so they could edit their own highlight videos and hopefully make them available (in turn) to NBA.com," said Stephen Hellmuth, senior vice president of operations and technology for NBA Entertainment. The program involves archiving all new footage on a sophisticated digital storage system as well as the painstaking transfer to digital media of nearly 60 years of footage currently stored on aging videotape. It's aimed at making any filmed moment in the league's history accessible to anyone, from coaches to fantasy-league fans. ....The NBA plans to employ an unspecified but large number of people to review every minute of its footage, both new and old, in order to time stamp and review plays. The idea, said Hellmuth, is to create a giant searchable database of plays that would note the players involved, their exact location on the court, at what point in the game the play happened, the outcome of the play and a rating for it. Then, he continued, anyone could search the database for, say, all 3-point shots with less than two minutes on the game clock by the Golden State Warriors' Baron Davis.

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