Kevin Durant and LeBron James are commandeering Instagram’s Instagram account.
Well, make it the NBA will be taking over the @Instagram handle to give behind-the-scenes access to its 224 million followers during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
During Sunday’s pivotal matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, @Instagram will also offer fans an 8- to 10-slide story to give basketball fans a unique perspective of the game.
The NBA says The Finals are a big hit on Instagram as this exchange between James and Durant — with more than 650,000 likes — prior to Game 1 became the biggest post on the @NBA’s Instagram page ever.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said prior to Game 1 on Thursday that the league has “done lots of experiments” with social media to show fans another side of the game.
“Whether it be with Facebook, with Twitter, with YouTube, with Instagram, with other great technology companies, my sense is over time, those companies are increasingly going to look to premium live sports as a way of differentiating themselves from their competitors, so we continue to cultivate those relationships,” he said.
Silver said the league wants those platforms to continue taking chances with NBA content to reach “a very large global social media community.
“We have encouraged those companies to work with our content, to find new ways to connect their users directly into the NBA, whether it’s through our players, whether it’s through our teams or through the league office,” he said. “We think that’s been very successful. And I think that’s part of why the league has been so popular. It’s really by embracing the tech community and social media.”
This season, the NBA teamed with NextVR to becometo modest success. And for the third straight season, NextVR is airing postgame highlights of The Finals.
Here’s a GIF of what a Durant dunk looks like in VR: