a digital common place book | an @s_m_i production | one of a few

The technology was originally developed to track missiles. Now, SportVU systems hang from the catwalks of 10 NBA arenas, tiny webcams that silently track each player as they shoot, pass, and run across the court, recording each and every move 25 times a second. SportVU can tell you not just Kevin Durant’s shooting average, but his shooting average after dribbling one vs. two times, or his shooting average with a defender three feet away vs. five feet away. SportVU can actually consider both factors at once, plus take into account who passed him the ball, how many minutes he’d been on the court, and how many miles he’d run that game already.
 
(via Moneyball 2.0: How Missile Tracking Cameras Are Remaking The NBA | Co.Design: business   innovation   design)
The technology was originally developed to track missiles. Now, SportVU systems hang from the catwalks of 10 NBA arenas, tiny webcams that silently track each player as they shoot, pass, and run across the court, recording each and every move 25 times a second. SportVU can tell you not just Kevin Durant’s shooting average, but his shooting average after dribbling one vs. two times, or his shooting average with a defender three feet away vs. five feet away. SportVU can actually consider both factors at once, plus take into account who passed him the ball, how many minutes he’d been on the court, and how many miles he’d run that game already.
(via Moneyball 2.0: How Missile Tracking Cameras Are Remaking The NBA | Co.Design: business innovation design)
With its giants in skimpy uniforms, basketball allows us to see, clearly and plainly, the differences between us, the fans, and the athletes on the floor. Our perception of those bodies is driven by antiquated, but overwhelmingly accepted ideas of race. Dwight Howard is described as the winner of a “genetic lottery.” Lebron is either “otherworldly” or “superhuman,” whereas Steve Nash’s success comes from his ability to “overcome his athletic limitations.” When confronted with the task of placing their man on either side of the divide, Jeremy Lin’s fans, who have spread their research out across message boards and sports blogs, point out his breakaway speed, his vertical leap, his deceptive height. What they do not discuss is his jump shot, his free-throw percentage or his ability to throw a crisp bounce pass. Somewhere in the endless comparisons, odd personal anecdotes about meeting the man, and obsessive odes to Lin’s musculature, these fans have placed an implicit caveat onto his story: if he makes it to the league and plays a White game, this will all be for nothing. Unfair, yes. But those of us trapped within the metanarrative have been conditioned our entire lives to imagine White. Like Jin before him, what Jeremy Lin represents is a re-conception of our bodies, a visible measure of how the emasculated Asian-American body might measure up to the mythic legion of Big Black supermen. Within that singularly American calculus, it’s not about basketball at all. It’s about our fucked up anthropology.
During the interwar period, public recognition of Jewish basketball led both Jews and non-Jews to describe basketball as a uniquely ‘Jewish game.’ The ‘Jewish game’ existed not simply because of the prevalence of Jewish players, but also because Jews were considered inherently good at basketball. This led to the construction of a racialized ‘basketball Jew,’ whose small, but quick body and mental agility produced the ideal basketball player. By considering the connection between racial identity and athleticism, this study of Jewish basketball will help reveal the relationship between sport and American Jewish culture, which involved play on the court and the meanings associated with this play.
New York Daily News sports editor Paul Gallico wrote in the mid 1930s that basketball “appeals to the Hebrew with his Oriental background [because] the game places a premium on an alert, scheming mind and flashy trickiness, artful dodging and general smartalecness.” We see how qualities such as cunning and wiliness were posited as the keys to Jewish basketball success and how these kinds of statements were indicative of early 20th century America.
stereotyping only makes sense in the absence of better data. In the case of Jeremy Lin, publicly available statistics proclaimed his value, but scouts preferred believing in stereotypes to trusting in data. Sadly, this kind of bigotry isn’t limited to the world of sports. Even here in Silicon Valley, where we like to think of ourselves as a meritocracy, we practice a particularly pernicious form of stereotyping on a daily basis…Indeed, I like to describe the default investing strategy of Silicon Valley as “invest in charismatic 20something Computer Science graduates from Stanford, MIT, and CMU (with Berkeley, UIUC, and Harvard as fallbacks), as long as they’re male and either Caucasian or Asian.”