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Sunday, April 21, 2024

10 Issues the NBA and Tennis Can Study From Every Different


Each NBA offseason, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr reads the identical e book, “The Interior Recreation of Tennis.” Written by Timothy Gallwey, the e book appears on the psychological facet of the game and the connection between the thoughts and physique. Kerr’s mentor, Chip Engelland, gave it to him to learn again when Kerr was taking part in on the Bulls, and now, the five-time NBA champion (and four-time championship-winning head coach) brings about 10 copies with him each time he’s touring in order that he can provide them to his personal gamers. 

“In tennis you may inform who has management of the purpose by the depth of the gamers,” Kerr instructed the media again in 2022. “In the event you’re pressuring (in basketball) and get them beginning their offense properly above the three-point line you’re controlling the possession.”

As somebody who began taking part in tennis about 10 years in the past, and nonetheless continues to like the sport at the moment, I’m fairly accustomed to the ins and outs of it. However once I had the chance to intern for SLAM in New York Metropolis, that’s once I was absolutely launched to the world of basketball. After researching totally different gamers, watching highlights and serving to arrange older problems with SLAM, I began to assume extra about what the 2 sports activities may probably study from one another. 

Let’s maintain it actual, skilled hoopers are simply as into different sports activities as they’re basketball, whether or not it’s golf and even tennis. Charlotte Hornets ahead Gordon Hayward used to play tennis as a child and as soon as stated that if basketball didn’t work out, he would’ve tried going professional in tennis. He nonetheless credit tennis for many of his psychological recreation and says he nonetheless enjoys taking part in at dwelling in his free time.

In the meantime, tennis gamers like Frances Tiafoe even have a love for the sport. Tiafoe even performed within the 2023 NBA All-Star Celeb recreation this yr. 

There’s so much that each video games have in widespread—from recognition to the truth that each basketball and tennis are world sports activities. However there’s additionally so much they’ll study from one another.

SLAM let me have some enjoyable with it throughout my internship and assume creatively about what they could seem like. 


Give tennis followers extra freedom at matches to make the expertise extra satisfying

While you’re at a tennis recreation the principles are fairly strict. If a stadium employee sees you standing, they’ll instantly run over to inform you to take your seat. If the umpire hears an excessive amount of speaking earlier than a degree, they’ll make an announcement for it to be quieter. When a lot of these issues occur whilst you’re attempting to get pleasure from a match, it could possibly make you’re feeling irritated and never need to be there as a substitute of enhancing the stay sports activities expertise. On this case, tennis can look to the NBA and see how gamers feed off the gang’s vitality. Why do you assume groups have an at dwelling benefit? If the tennis world eases up a bit and lets the viewers go as loopy as they please, the expertise for the viewer can be on a distinct stage. It would even encourage extra folks to attend. 

What if tennis had two-way contracts and a G League?

The 2-way contact has been monumental for the NBA and its gamers. By giving the athletes the chance to bounce between two golf equipment, it permits them the possibility to adapt to professional ball moderately than simply being dropped in and anticipating to supply from Day 1. Tennis ought to strive an idea like this, particularly since it may be onerous for an up-and-coming participant to interrupt by way of whereas taking part in in opposition to the perfect. With out excessive rankings, they find yourself taking part in the highest seeds and shedding instantly. 

If there have been some type of starter league the place they might play earlier than, or perhaps a two-way sort of contract, that may very well be far more useful for a participant’s profession.

Tennis wants a set season and a championship

With out a set season just like the NBA, a tennis “season” begins to really feel infinite. There’s a brand new event each two weeks or so, and on the finish of November, they get about 5 weeks off earlier than it simply restarts. Whereas the NBA has now change into a year-round recreation when it comes to protection, there’s an ebb and stream to the season with the playoffs being probably the most thrilling time to conclude the season. 

Maybe tennis ought to look to the PGA when it comes to a playoff and championship mannequin outdoors of the majors so as to add to the storytelling and drama of competing for a title annually.

The NBA may benefit from putting in the Hawk-Eye laptop imaginative and prescient system to make calls

Previously few years tennis has put in a digital camera system that makes all of the calls precise. It’s modified the sport. If basketball had been to put in this sort of expertise it may save not solely time, however any confusion/skepticism on sure calls. Whether or not it’s for fouls or who hit it out of bounds, this may be extremely useful for the refs. 

Tennis ought to have an All-Star Weekend

NBA All-Star Weekend is when the League’s greatest gamers come collectively and compete in video games and abilities competitions. Tennis desperately wants one thing like this, and it could actually draw some much-needed consideration for the game’s up-and-coming stars. From the abilities competitors to legends taking part in doubles (or pickleball as we simply noticed in Florida), having enjoyable with the sport and placing particular person rivalries apart for a weekend would assist propel the game ahead.

Basketball ought to have extra males’s and ladies’s overlap at occasions

In all tennis tournaments there’s a males’s and a ladies’s draw occurring on the similar time. Meaning the sport’s greatest stars, no matter gender, are multi function place. Tennis is ready to incorporate males’s, ladies’s, doubles, juniors, and even wheelchairs all in the identical event. So why can’t we see that in basketball? May the NBA season overlap with the WNBA season and have extra crossover sort of occasions? We’ve seen it slightly throughout NBA All-Star Weekend by way of the years, however in additional of an exhibition vs. aggressive format. 

Tennis stars want to have interaction the gang extra

NBA gamers like Jayson Tatum will hit a loopy shot or make an incredible play after which interact with the gang. The viewers lives for that, and that feeling between gamers and followers makes the sport much more thrilling. Tennis doesn’t have that as a lot as a result of the gamers have a tendency to remain locked in (positive, they might yell for a second after profitable a giant level, but it surely’s simply not the identical). It’s no shock that tickets to Nick Kyrgios’ matches promote greater than any prime participant, and it’s time for the remainder of the tour to faucet into that very same vitality.

Permit tennis followers to cheer and yell throughout factors

Think about a silent NBA recreation. Not the identical, proper? In tennis, you may hear a pin drop all through the world whereas a degree is being performed, and followers are instantly shushed in the event that they begin to yell throughout factors. Whereas the silence could typically make the purpose extra intense, it’s about time we begin letting the followers get extra into the sport.

Let tennis followers stroll to their seats at any second throughout the match

Tennis solely permits folks to stroll to their seats on a change over, which is each odd-numbered recreation. In the event you run to the toilet or go to seize a drink and get again as they restart, you could possibly be ready to get in for over 10 minutes (and nobody needs to try this). Whereas you will have to attend a second in the event you’re sitting courtside at an NBA recreation, you may stroll to your seats at any given second, which inspires followers to really feel like each recreation is actually an expertise. 

Discover methods to get the subsequent technology of followers extra into tennis

How can we make tennis extra thrilling and get the subsequent technology to like the game simply as a lot as the remainder of us do? Let’s look to the NBA. By advertising marquee matchups and following the sport’s greatest stars from highschool to school to the League, gamers are constructing a fanbase earlier than they ever step on an NBA court docket. By unifying youth tennis and with extra constant storytelling, the hype will match the expertise by the point they take middle court docket at their first main.


Photographs by way of Getty Photos.



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