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New technology allows fans to inject themselves into NBA games on app

Ahead of the NBA's All-Star game, Michael Holley and Natalie assume captains of Team LeBron and Team Giannis respectively and reveal their ideal All-Star team lineups.

SALT LAKE CITY — Ever wonder what it’d be like to fly through the air like Ja Morant and throw down a rim-shattering dunk?

The NBA can’t exactly offer that experience, but it can put your face and body in Ja Morant’s place so you can show your friends and say you did. It’s one of the features coming to the NBA app for fans who stream games there, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver unveiled it on Friday during the Tech Summit at All-Star weekend.

It’s impressive technology, but just part of what the league is doing to capture more of the streaming audience — alternate languages, integrated betting and different camera angles all will be part of the streaming package.

Streaming rights are a big part of the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement and one of the things on people’s minds with reports that the Diamond Sports Group — the owner of the Bally Sports Network that handles the regional broadcasts for 16 NBA teams — appears headed for bankruptcy. The NBA is not alone in looking for a solution to this, MLB and NHL teams are facing the same concerns and issues.

“Will there be distribution of NBA games? Yes. Will that happen through the RSNs? I actually hope so. I hope so,” Los Angeles Clippers owner Ballmer told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. “Will their bankruptcy be friendly enough for that to happen? I hope so. Will the creditors probably want our games to continue to get distributed? I think so. So somehow, I have faith without knowledge that we’ll get through this.”

It’s all something to watch — and watching games through the NBA app just got a lot more fun.