In the US, a basketball court is always made of wooden planks that are painted with the correct lines and markings and then waxed to a high sheen. In Japan, they do things very different for at least one of the courts where the B league will play games. Unlike practice courts made from LED screens that were used in the past, this time out the LED court at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium was used for an actual game.
The court looks like it has the standard wooden planks on it until you look closely and see all the LED panels pieced together. The planks are actually just graphics. Since the screens are just displays placed on the floor, the things that can be done with them are very impressive.
The players can be tracked with tracer lines and circles that follow them. When the player is in range for a 2 or 3 point shot, the floor marks out what they are going for. Perhaps the coolest things happen during the half time show when the court takes the stage and some very cool effects and animations are played right on the floor.
— Kento (@kentobento77) September 22, 2016
— 井手康博（ニューワールド） (@yasuide) September 22, 2016
— 渋谷のラジオ (@shibuyanoradio) September 22, 2016
We have seen similar shows projected onto the surface of buildings in the past, but this isn’t projection for the basketball court. It almost looks like a real life video game in some instances. The video below is footage from a similar LED court that Nike helped fund for practice games a few years back. I have to wonder if players find the LED floor to be distracting while they are playing.