Long gone are the days when you missed a great play you had to wait hours to catch it during News at 11 on your local station or hope ESPN shows it on Sportscenter. Then ESPN rolled out ESPN2 which was mainly focused on extreme sporting events but gave us more frequent news shows and sports specific shows like NBA2Night. Then as cable became more popular, every news channel started coming out with sports show.
By 2000, the NBA started putting out top plays on NBA.com and "pirates" like me were capping and posting clips on forums and self hosted websites. These forums like Mixmakers were the prime place to go to get a copy of a dunk of the year candidate until the rise of YouTube. Although the NBA was anti-YouTube for a bit and Stern was having his suit and tie henchman try to shut down every account doing free promotion for the NBA, the public eventually won and now YouTube is flooded with hours, make that years, of copyrighted footage.
Due to rise in smart phone popularity, social media and other tools of the give-it-to-me-now generation, you can expect to see the best plays literally minutes after it happened whether it's from an Iphone video or a rip from NBA.com that was posted on YouTube which was embedded on a blog then shared on our Facebook page. The emergence of apps and sites that allow everybody to create animated gifs, memes and digitally enhanced pics has also made these instant finds more interesting.
Let's look at the murder of Brandon Knight by DeAndre Jordan last night. Within 30 minutes of the crime, people were uploading the clip, shot with their phones, to YouTube and then sharing it across their social networks. Thousands of tweets were referencing the clip which caused a bigger demand to see the dunk. This hype caused people to find stills, add funny sayings on them or apply their favorite filter. Within an hour, the dunk of the year candidate turned into viral gold and since we are gold diggers, let me share the wealth.