Sacramento King's owner Vivek Ranadive wants to revolutionize the NBA. His idea is to model the future of the league after the culture of Silicon Valley of all places. His philosophy to do this, something he dubs NBA 3.0.
NBA 3.0 does have a nice ring to it. And the ideas that have already been set into motion are really interesting. For starters, under this new ideology, the Sacramento Kings recently became the very first team in NBA history to accept Bitcoin through BitPay
. On top of that, the team's mascot has been equipped with Silicon Valley's prized Google Glass for live streaming
, the futuristic Google head wear. That's pretty cool. Also, in the last NBA draft, Ranadive implemented
a crowd-sourcing network to help the fans have a say in actual draft picks. Vivek and company also "built apps to anticipate the every whim of fans in the arena" for an interactive approach at giving fans the ability to sort of help in the process of streamlining the facilities to their liking.
Vivek is all about getting the fans involved, and bringing the latest tech into their franchise. But that's not all. He's also very into the idea of tapping the India market
. Vivek sees India's 1.2 billion people as wildly untapped, both for future talent and future viewership. And I have to really agree with him there. Seems obvious, if you have your eyes on the prize of expansion. Vivek's first move was to sign Sim Bhullar
, making NBA history once again by signing the first player ever of Indian descent into the league. This move was easy to see coming, as Vivek himself is Indian. Just makes sense.
On top of all that, Ranadive has some pretty out there ideas about 'revolutionizing the game' that aren't as popular. The main idea he has floated (but yet to implement) is 4 on 5 defense, with a cherry picker
. Basically this would be a style of game play that you might see in your local YMCA, and never wish for a court full of professionals. The idea is you would always have one guy hanging back on the offensive side of the ball, leaving only 4 guys to defend. But once your team gets a rebound or gets the ball back after a score, you would lob the ball to the 5th guy on the other side of the court, for an easy 2 points. This is known as cherry picking.
Of all Vivek's ideas, I would have to say this is the worst. And most people in the sport seem to agree, and agree quite loudly. Some call the idea lazy basketball, where others think it's pure gimmick that would get your team killed by actually skilled shooters. Not to mention hated by opposing teams. No team wants to play 4 on 5 with a cherry picker. It's against the very spirit of the game. You are supposed to ball, 5 on 5, playing tough defense and equally tough offense.
Coaches surrounding Vivek in his own franchise are equally unsure of the cherry picking idea, and have voiced their opinion that it's probably not worth trying. But that doesn't mean we won't see this 4 on 5 style tried at some point, perhaps next season. Ranadive is serious about changing the league. He is serious about revolutionizing the game. And he is willing to try any 'out there' idea he can, in hopes that more often than not it will work. You have to respect the guy for that.