Clippers, Prime Ticket offer a different look
"When I first saw it, I thought of `The Matrix,' with all the cool technology and visual tools it has," said Vandeweghe, the former UCLA and Clippers star
It makes sense, and dollars, for the (Fox Regional) to take a whole new look at the new-look Clippers.
For displaced Lakers fans wondering if this team will garner at least one win before Thanksgiving, Prime Ticket stands as one of three TV outlets for tonight's game against the Clippers, side by side with ESPN's national broadcast (which doesn't require local blackouts) as well as the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) accounts for about 2 million homes in Southern California...that's slightly more than half of L.A. siding up with TWC in the most intriguing sports business story of the past few years.
For those who've decided to pay closer attention to Clippers coverage, Prime Ticket plans on raising the bar even more and pulling out more stops as new lines of demarcation are drawn.
The real star attraction could be a new gadget called LiberoVision, the first of its kind for a Fox Sports regional network which has allowed analyst Kiki Vandeweghe to post up with and present as a cutting-edge graphic a way to better explain why things happen on the court. Here, the 3D "axis" type of replay is taken up a notch, more than just freezing the action, twisting the playing field and allowing for a different look at the same play.
Created by a company in Switzerland, LiberoVision adds colored arrows, numbers, shaded areas, streaks and swooshes - all the kinds of things an NBA coach would love to have in a film room.
"When I first saw it, I thought of `The Matrix,' with all the cool technology and visual tools it has," said Vandeweghe, the former UCLA and Clippers star who has rebooted as a TV studio analyst since his days as general manager and interim coach of the New Jersey Nets ended in 2010.
"You can always say the court is spread and two people are in the corner and someone is in the short corner, but if you're not talking to someone who has every-day basketball terminology, this allows you to highlight and move players around on the monitor, spin things around very seamlessly."
Take, for example, the eye contact DeAndre Jordan makes with Blake Griffin on a fast break just before a lob pass to the rim. Or an opening Chris Paul creates before a critical drive to the basket.
Vandeweghe's experience gives him the ability to pick up on something like that as it happens in a game, strategize with engineers in the production truck to assemble a package after sorting through a variety of camera angles, and then get it ready to air. The process takes only about 20 minutes from idea to execution, he admitted.
It's the next generation of the telestrator if used effectively.
Executive producer Tom Feuer calls it "a game-changer as an analyst's tool ... it's kind of like the video games my son plays. I have learned a ton just listening to Kiki and watching the visuals."
Read the full story in the Los Angeles Daily News.