Get ready for graphics overload.
The NBA announced on Monday that it will unveil an all-glass LED court for the upcoming All-Star weekend in Indianapolis.
The social media announcement included a video mock-up of the court that promises to display design and color changes, live replay and video content, stats, animations and interactive games for fans during timeouts. It will also, of course, include advertising, with the mockup promoting multiple league sponsors.
The court will be used for the All-Star weekend’s celebrity game, skills challenge, 3-point and dunk contests and the one-on-one 3-point contest between Stephen Curry and the WNBA’s Sabrina Ionescu. It sounds like the All-Star Game itself will be played on traditional hardwood. The announcement made no mention of the game scheduled for Feb. 18.
The Friday and Saturday events leading up to the Sunday All-Star Game will take place at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, a football venue that’s home to the NFL’s Colts. The Sunday game will be played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers.
As for how the surface plays, the league promises that it won’t differ from a traditional wood court. Executive vice president for basketball operations Joe Dumars addressed the topic while discussing the glass court with the Associated Press.
“What does it feel like? Does it have traction? Does it have give? Those were the questions that came to mind right away when you hear about this court,” Dumars said. “And they were answered to our satisfaction.”
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As for any safety concerns about playing basketball on a glass court, there apparently are none. The court made by German company ASB GlassFloor has been used before. FIBA’s used the same design for events since 2022. Here’s a look at one in use from the 2023 Women’s World Cup:
The court consists of two five-millimeter layers of safety glass. Per AP, Dumars and NBPA representative Andre Iguodala both experimented with the court and are satisfied with its safety and how it plays.
Whether this is the future of the NBA court is yet to be seen. The All-Star weekend debut, by all appearances, is a test case.