This Thursday the NBA is holding its annual draft in New York City, and the league is giving some fans a chance to hang out with the top picks — virtually, that is. The NBA is partnering with Google to let some players drop in to Google+ Hangouts created by fans. People just need to mark their Hangout with the hashtag #NBADraftCrash or #TEAMNAMEDraftCrash (with the right team name, obviously), and a player could end up there to answer questions and chat. The NBA says it's already gotten Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, Jabari Parker, and Marcus Smart in on the plan, and is promising others.
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This isn't the first time the NBA has dabbled in Google technologies, but is one of the most sanctioned efforts from the league itself. The Sacramento Kings, which are owned by technology enthusiast Vivek Ranadive, wore Google Glass during a game in January — just not on the court. Other teams, including the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers have followed suit. Magic player Victor Oladipo also sported Glass in the run-up to being drafted last year, though was asked to take it off before he stepped onto the stage.
The 2014 NBA Draft is taking place on Thursday, June 26th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and will be broadcast on ESPN. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the first overall pick and are expected to pick Parker or Wiggins, making whatever Hangout they're joining all the more interesting.