With 6:36 remaining in the third quarter of Sunday’s game
between the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz, Draymond Green
stripped the ball away from a driving Bojan Bogdanovic and was
whistled for a foul.
Green knew it was a clean strip and immediately spun his index
finger in the air, motioning for head coach Steve Kerr to challenge
the call. Ideally, teams will hold on to their challenges until the
fourth quarter, but in this instance, overturning the call was
crucial. The Warriors would have been over the foul limit in a
six-point game and Bogdanovic would get two free throws.
Cue the clip!
As Kerr weighs his options, one of his assistant coaches pulls
out a portable video system called DVSport Rewind and the play
in question appears within seconds. After watching the possession
from several different angles, it's clear that Green didn't foul
Bogdanovic. Kerr signals for a challenge and the call is ultimately
overturned, stifling any momentum that the Jazz would've had.
In addition to the Warriors, there are 13 other NBA teams that
currently use DVSport Rewind, hoping to get an edge when critical
calls and games are on the line.
The Charlotte Hornets believe that this tool could win them a
few extra games over the course of the season, which could make a
difference in playoff seeding. That's why they made a five-figure
investment in DVSport Rewind. So far, it has worked: They have
challenged seven calls this season and six have been successfully
The Pittsburgh-based DVSport Software is a well-known and
trusted brand in the sports space, providing replay and coaching
solutions in college basketball, college football and the NFL.
Getting involved with the NBA seemed to be an obvious
In 2019, DVSport basketball account specialist Kenny Brown had
an idea that the company could tailor some of their college sports
products to NBA benches for coaches. Brown altered a couple
products and headed to Las Vegas for NBA Summer League to pitch and
demo his solution.
Initially, the product was promoted as a coaching solution until
a phone notification changed the course. As Brown was preparing to
demo the product, he got a notification that the NBA approved bench
challenges for coaches. Craig Davis, DVSport's director of team
solutions, believed that the announcement was a revelation.
During the first season of challenges, NBA coaches would look to
the JumboTron after dicey calls, waiting for replays that may or
may not be shown. A year later, DVSport’s system became more in
“When we went to Summer League, our initial thing was using this
as an instructional method, and I don’t think we were getting a
whole lot of traction down that track," Davis said. "That was kind
of the ‘eureka’ moment when they approved the challenges. Then,
everyone was asking that question more in tune with challenging
like, ‘How am I going to be able to see this video fast enough to
make a decision to challenge or not?'
"And I think what happened since then, as people have initially
got the product in order to help with challenges, they’ve also seen
our thing at the beginning was that this can also help you on the
bench with coaching players and giving immediate feedback to
When the league announced that they'd approved bench challenges
and when teams began to inquire about DVSport Rewind, Brown and
Davis won them over by selling them on adaptations of their NFL and
college-sports products. The first eight teams -- the Los Angeles
Clippers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers,
Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio
Spurs -- were sold on the fact that they could get video on demand
and be more efficient when editing film.
While the initial interest was for bench challenges, Brown
shared how the tool could be used for more.
“The benefit of what we have is that we can get video to the
bench in real time," he said. "We have a challenge product and also
a coaching product that we packaged together."
The Mavericks know all about the capabilities of DVSport’s tool
since they are the only team in the NBA that uses both the
challenge product and the coaching product. (The Rockets also use
the coaching product, but they haven't invested in the challenge
While most teams use products such as Final Cut Pro for their
editing solutions, Dallas was years ahead of everyone else.
“We’ve been uniquely involved in creating that in-game bench
solution," said Mavericks basketball technology director Mike
Shedd. "Now, the other teams are being able to take advantage of it
since their providers can’t quite keep up with what DVSport
When Shedd came to the Mavericks in 2006, the team didn’t have
an editing company they could rely on and, like most of the league,
they were using over-the-counter editing software like Final Cut
Pro and Adobe Premiere. After the initial demo of DVSport, Shedd
“With all their expertise in the replay game -- college
football, NFL, hockey -- they kinda got the market as far as being
the best and the quickest and the most efficient,” Shedd said.
DVSport created the Mavericks’ stand-alone system five years
ago, which allows Shedd to receive clips on the bench within one
second of the play happening. After every score or stop, the
footage is readily available on Shedd’s tablet.
One feature that stands out is the halftime edit. The tablet has
an app where favorite plays are stored. The video staff can extract
clips out of a couple plays to show the players and coaches at the
half and then make adjustments instead of going through the work to
splice, cut and paste on more traditional non-linear editing
Despite being involved with DVSport for many years, Shedd is
still in awe of not only the technology itself, but also its
versatility and durability.
“A college team plays 30 games; we play 30 games in two months.
[I'm impressed] by how they've been able to morph their system into
handling the sheer amount of things we put into it," Shedd said.
"We’re [loading in] three-to-five games a week, plus all the
opponent games. That's a few thousand games each season whereas NFL
teams, for example, take multiple years to get to that level as far
as the amount of content. So them being able to adjust as our
staffs expanded and the different technological needs expanded,
there’s nothing I can’t go to them with and say, 'Hey, can we
figure out a way to do this?' When I do that, it’s instantly put
into the queue and they try to figure it out. And more often than
not, they do.”
NEW TO THE WAVE
The Hornets have seemed to be on the verge of a playoff berth
for at least two seasons. In the 2018-19 campaign, they were
contending for the eighth seed before losing it to the Detroit
Pistons on the final day of the season. Even last year, the Hornets
had a chance to state their case for a spot in the play-in game in
This season, they looked for some marginal advantages, and found
it in DVSport Rewind. They invested in the portable video system,
and they have two team officials behind the bench viewing the
action – zooming in, speeding up and slowing down replays in time
for head coach James Borrego to determine when to use his one
Since January, Borrego and the Hornets boast an 86% success rate
in reversing calls -- nearly doubling the league-wide average of
George Rodman, the Hornets' director of basketball analytics and
strategy, and Jordan Surenkamp, the team's head video coordinator,
scroll through a cache of on-demand videos for plays that may be
Brown is impressed with how his new clients are performing with
“They've actually been great. They are ahead of the curve,"
Brown said of the Hornets' staff. "Day 1 of the demo, [Rodman] was
obsessed with it. He spent more time playing and rewatching things
to have coaching points and to make sure calls were right than he'd
been watching games from the bench.
“He jumped in right away and he looks at almost every call. If a
call happens early in that possession and it might be something
they want to look at, he knows already he’s going to give the
confirmation to the head coach to make that challenge. It's
something that sits with him non-stop and he can’t stop
While teams are gravitating toward the challenge product, Brown
anticipates that teams other than the Mavs and Rockets will
eventually utilize the scouting and coaching software, especially
since their competitors increase their prices.
“Several of the new teams [that invested] had demos last year
and were out of the playoff race and didn’t want to totally
invest," Brown said. "The main thing is being able to be there so
they know where to turn when management wants to make the
DVSport now has plenty of NBA clients (including the Bulls,
Cavaliers, Clippers, Heat, Hornets, Lakers, Mavericks, Nets,
Raptors, Rockets, Sixers, Spurs, Warriors and Wizards), and that
list should only continue to grow.