There are few better feelings, as a sports fan, than being at a live game when there's a walk-off home run that allows your team to win. The same goes for a long touchdown, or a buzzer-beater three pointer, or an overtime shootout game-winner.
Those are the obvious triggers of euphoria for any sports fan. That's not the whole live experience, though. It's the smells, the sights, the sounds. It's the ability to hear the lineups being introduced, to listen to the pump-up music, to hear the ebbs and flows of crowd excitement throughout the course of the event. For me, personally, if the song that I voted for in a stadium- or arena-wide text vote is the song they ultimately choose to play during a break in the action, it's an awesome feeling.
And though fans will not be allowed at the majority of sporting events for the foreseeable future, especially (for the purposes of this article) in the Orlando bubble where the NBA Playoffs will take place, fear not. The NBA is bringing the arena experience straight to your fingertips.
As the tweet indicates, and according to Shlomo Sprung of Forbes, Twitter and the NBA will collaborate to compile tweets from fans, players and celebrities to display throughout the arena during NBA action. Each team will also have 300 fans as part of their fan panel, rooting for their favorite team throughout the competition.
There are some other awesome experiences that will help bring the game closer to the fans, including this "courtside" experience courtesy of Michelob ULTRA and brought to you by a notable NBA legend.
We've already gotten a look at the courts, and it seems as though there are plenty of screens surrounding the floor in lieu of fan seating. We've also seen some of the crazy technology, including the cameras.
But what if your tweet doesn't get chosen? There's another way for your voice to be heard. Sprung details that TJ Adeshola, the head of sports at Twitter, has helped to develop a way for fans to virtually cheer from home using prompts sent out by the league. Sprung uses the example of the Lakers-Clippers game, one of two contests that's set to kick off the Orlando league resumption, where polls will allow fans to "cheer" for either the Lakers or the Clippers. The outcome of the polls will determine the visual effects that take place within the venue after a winner is reached.
It's obviously a great idea that allows fans to interact even more with the game they've been separated from in an unprecedented fashion. But will there be any practical outcomes of this fan engagement initiative?
Will this, in any way, provide a team with what might feel like a home-court advantage? Since there's no home team, will the largest cities receive an unfair advantage due to a proportionally larger fan base? Will a team like the Sixers, whose 29-2 home record was the best in the NBA and whose 10-24 road record was in the bottom five, benefit or be at a disadvantage due to these effects?
These are just some of the many questions which will be answered once the season gets underway (again) later this week.