Why Do NBA Players Look Up? (5 Reasons)

Watching NBA games, you’ll see players always looking up.  

Why do they do this? Is there some sort of tradition to this? Or is their team’s play being broadcasted on the large screen?

The truth is NBA players look up to know the score. The scoreboards are typically located at the Jumbotron and have a digital LED strip that spans across the arena.

The scoreboard also lets the players know their stats, fouls, timeouts, and other essential things. But where else can they see these stats? Read on below.

Why do NBA Players Look Up?

Watching any NBA game, you might notice players looking up a lot. So, what are they looking at? Why are they doing this?

There are several reasons for them, and we’ll break down each below.

1. To know the score

The most important stat that would decide the winner of a game is the score—specifically, each team’s score.

Knowing the score is vital for players, to see if they’re winning or not.

So, players would always look up because that’s where the scoreboard is located. It can be found under the Jumbotron; the giant led display hanging above the court.

But aside from the Jumbotron, there are led strips surrounding the arena that display the scores, among other essential stats.

2. To know the time and fouls

Aside from checking the scores, players also need to be constantly aware of the time and foul count.

There’s the shot clock that counts down the 24-second time each team gets on each possession. But there’s the game time which consists of four quarters with twelve minutes each.

Players would look up to see the game time, so they’ll know when are the most pivotal moments. Players also need to keep track of their fouls, as the league only allows six fouls before they’re fouled out.

By keeping track of the fouls, they can create strategies to be careful or to exploit their opponents.  

3. Keep track of stats

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how many points you’ve put up so far if you’re a player? That’s why the scoreboards will list the score of players as well as other stats from time to time.

Keeping track of stats is important since many players would love to put up triple doubles. Sometimes, they may even be on the brink of breaking an NBA record, so they need to be aware of their current stats.

4. Watch replays

The Jumbotron also displays replays for fans and players to watch.

Thanks to technology, players can now enjoy their highlights which can pump them up even more. Watching replays is enjoyable since it allows them to see what they did right or wrong instantly.

So, that’s why you’ll see players looking up a lot after dunking or getting an and one.

For fans, it’s an opportunity to watch a great play again so they can cheer harder.

5. Watch tributes and other shows

The Jumbotron serves as the official display of every NBA arena. It showcases replays as well as many other segments of the game.

For instance, the arena may show intros, tributes to players, promos, and commercials through it.

Aside from showing close-ups of the game, they may also show segments like the “Kiss Cam” on there. That’s why you’ll catch players glancing up from time to time.

What is the Jumbotron?

The Jumbotron was first introduced in the NBA around thirty-plus seasons ago. It was first seen at the San Antonio Spurs arena. Now, it’s mandatory for every NBA stadium.

The Jumbotron consists of four large screens facing the different areas of the court. Most Jumbotrons are around 40 meters wide and 25 meters tall.

Jumbotrons are the modern equivalent of scoreboards that displays high-resolution images and videos all the time. It’s where fans can see close-ups of players as well as track the scores.

How Else do Players See the Scores?

Aside from the Jumbotron, which is the standard way fans see the scores, where else can players see them?

1. Below the Jumbotron

Some Jumbotrons, such as one from the Staples Center, have digital displays under the Jumbotron.

These were made specifically for players since they can’t see the Jumbotron when they’re directly under it.

2. From the digital display strip around the arena

The main way players see the scores is through the digital screen strips surrounding the stadium. They’re usually located in the space separating the lower and the upper seats.

These digital displays are horizontal, which is perfect for displaying scores. They also display advertisements along these strips.

3. From the scoresheet

Sometimes, players may ask their coaching staff for a scoresheet printed from the scorer’s table. They may ask for it during halftime or a timeout to take a closer look at advanced stats.

Of course, players can’t do this every time because it takes time to print these scoresheets, and the game is still ongoing.

But these are usually handed out to players during post-game interviews as well.

4. TV and monitor screens

If you notice on the scorer and announcer’s tables, monitors are everywhere. These are used for various purposes, mainly to record scores and sometimes to show replays for the officials.

But they may also contain the scores and other stats. But since they’re meant for announcers and scorers, it’s actually a hassle to ask for the score from their monitors.

Final Thoughts

NBA players look up for a variety of reasons. But the main one is to know the score, so they know what to do.

Thankfully, scoreboards are situated strategically in the arena so players can easily see them. Fans can also see the scores from these places and watch replays.  

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