For many diehard NBA fans, the best parts during national broadcasts are those brief moments at time-outs and breaks in the game where we get to listen in as coaches implore their teams to listen to them, players communicate between each other while free throws are being attempted or get a glimpse of the locker room as LeBron James reads literature before tip-off.
Take those moments and blow them up into an hour-long feature and you get Wired: A Season Inside the NBA, a new release from the NBA and Bombo Entertainment. The DVD / Blu-Ray combo package gives you the ability to see all these moments in high definition glory and it doesn't disappoint. While the title is a bit of a stretch as it combines footage from the past few NBA seasons and not just one, the film packs in plenty of thrilling game highlights but scales it back in favor of a different approach that is the heart of the movie with a comprehensive catalogue of entertaining behind-the-scenes footage from locker rooms, team buses, hotel rooms and homes of NBA stars.
The film boasts never-before-scene footage from a wide variety of sources. Instead of the usual interviews with NBA stars in a one-on-one environment, you'll be inside the 2010 East All-Star locker room as Amare Stoudemire remarks to Dwyane Wade, who is sitting next to him on one side and Chris Bosh and LeBron James on his other side, that it must be nice for Wade to have his Miami Heat teammates with him at the All-Star game. Wade remembers how lonely it was for him the year before and he shares a hearty laugh with Stoudemire. Or you'll listen as Phil Jackson jokes to an assistant that the Lakers "free throw defense" has been fantastic in this game. You'll even join Kevin Love as he does some grocery shopping or Shane Battier getting in a little golf during a day off.
In another amusing scene, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers breaks up the good vibes in the locker room after a victory by raising his voice at them and saying that "this is a loss in the playoffs...and you know that." After pointing out that they have to execute better out of timeouts and that he needs their attention when he draws up plays on his board during time-outs, the coach says the team pretty much got bailed out because of a great shot by Ray Allen. But he quickly smiles at the end of his speech and congratulates them on a great win and moves in for a team cheer. The relieved looks on the players' faces is priceless and they all share a laugh.
It's not just locker room footage either. LeBron shares a moment with his boys in his own living room. Ray Allen invites then-teammate Rajon Rondo over for a family dinner during the holidays. Jason Terry encourages fans to boo Shaquille O'Neal as he takes free throws, then tells them not to worry when Shaq makes his first attempt by reminding him that he'll miss the next one because he shoots 50% from the charity stripe.
The film also has some great All-Star footage that has players and coaches mic'd up on the sidelines and on the floor. But it's not all good times, Wired also includes coaches and players dealing with trades that shake up their team and their personal lives. Kendrick Perkins, while still wearing Celtics gear as he sits on a bed in a hotel room, shares his thoughts on being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For the true NBA fan, getting this right now is a no-brainer. And if you're looking for a great gift for the holidays, this also makes a great stocking stuffer.
Wired: A Season Inside the NBA is available now at the NBA Store and check out the trailer below.