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The NBA app is going to let you digitally possess a live player

The NBA app is going to let you digitally possess a live player


Have you wanted to be Damian Lillard? With the NBA app, you’ll be able to do that, sort of.

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Damian Lillard
Photo by Amanda Loman / Getty Images

The NBA app is getting a way to overlay yourself on another player in a live game so that it looks like you are that player. Yes, it’s as strange as it sounds.

Here’s how it works — at least, as shown in an on-stage demo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Ahmad Rashad. With the NBA app, you’ll be able to scan the person you want to drop into an NBA game by walking around that person and pointing your camera at them. (It seems as if the scanning works like Epic Games’ RealityScan app, but for people.) Then, from a menu, you can pick which player to inhabit, and when you do, your scan will be overlaid on top of that player as they move around the court.

Okay, this still sounds strange. I’d recommend just watching the full two-and-a-half-minute demo to see Rashad pull off a slam dunk while digitally possessing the Utah Jazz’s Talen Horton-Tucker:

Unfortunately, we have very few details about when we can actually expect this feature. When we asked the NBA, it pointed us to this brief press release, which doesn’t say when the feature might be released. Still, I think it’s a pretty fun feature, and I imagine people will have a lot of fun slotting friends and family as “players” in NBA games.

The press release also has this interesting nugget: as part of other new features coming to the app, you’ll also be able to “transport the game to virtual locations.” Maybe I’ll be able to see the Blazers play on Mars?