Kudos to the NBA for the redesign efforts on the new website. It’s been a long time coming. For evidence of how long, take a look at the History tabs on the website. The league still has miles to travel before it does justice to its former players in cyberspace. Until then, http://www.basketball-reference.com will have to do. The new NBA site is really impressive though. They’ve made great use of new toys like “widgets,” and thoughtful, redundant links to video and audio.
The league even has a fancy broadband media player. One of the better features may be the post-game boxes for each contest. The first tab, Game Final, provides you with video highlights, game stats, arena stats (refs, attendance) and a tool to post your own recap of the game. That’s sure to be a plus for the league. Other tabs provide the box score, full play-by-play and an official game recap.
Another great feature is a sort of tandem scoreboard banner. Down the left side are scores for the day you’ve selected. Across the top is a calendar which also tells the number of games played on a given day. They’ve even included a calendar so that you check how frequently your team was blown out in November without leaving that page. You can see how many games are being played on your birthday and how many games are being played on your anniversary. You can quickly see how D. Wade fared the last time he met up with Carmelo or Lebron.
For my money, the best changes may have been made to the player pages. If you want to see the play of the day by a specific player, it’s all there on that player’s page. Everything is much easier to read and work with. It’s easier to compare players. Things are more intuitive and the overall flow of the pages works better. More efficient use is made of white space – and league appears to be presenting itself in a better light.
Many things work really well on this site – just don’t try to use the navigation bar in Firefox. It doesn’t work. I couldn’t find a way to compare today’s players with the legends of the game. If I wanted to compare the defensive statistics of players like Allen Iverson and Maurice Cheeks, I’d have to go to basketball-reference.com.
Take a look at the widget for Devin Brown. (you can’t…it doesn’t work here on WordPress blogs).
On the website, it looks an awful lot like Elton Brand. There are still some things to work out. At least the widget for A.I. is right.