When I was a teenager, I'd spend a lot of my free time building basketball websites about my favorite players.
The NBA is still super interesting to me. As a business, they have probably the most lenient rules around usage of their photage. Because of this, people are free to post video clips (taken from games) on social media, create GIFs, memes, and ultimately construct a sort of narrative structure with a meaning co-created by the collective (players, fans, media, history, culture, and globalization).
Other sports like the NFL and MLB have really restrictive rules around using their materials. The players also tend to come second to the team identity and ownership. Same for all NCAA sports. Only rarely do players get larger than their sport, elsewhere. I think in the NBA it's possible for a role player to transcend "the game" on a given night and become a legend.
As a nostalgia project, I decided to aggregate NBA highlights from the internet (for now, Twitter and YouTube) and present them in a single space. I wanted to capture the days as a kid when I'd watch the highlights on sports center while eating cereal before having to leave for school.
I also wanted to create an open-ended project with a really loose technology stack so that I could try out the latest technologies, methodologies, etc. without having to spin up new projects. This work involves several layers, scraping content, processing it, sorting it, and then ultimately presenting it with options to sort by user preferences.
Anyway, I can't really sit through a whole NBA game these days -- even the playoffs -- unless the stakes are really high. The commercials (cars, beer, military) are really unbearable and annihilate (for me) the narratives and debase what is a beautiful artform (of athletics) to a sort of cultish tribalism of belligerence and ignorance.
The highlights, though, are the collection of rare moments, gems —— your favorite quote from your favorite book, the one song from the album on single repeat -- except new everyday (and, actually, it's updated every 15 minutes with new highlights).
View the app at 👉 Highlighteur