Leading design firm Teague and Nike have created a concept for a private jet that can cater to an NBA team’s every whim. In a blog post on its website, Teague writes that their airplane concept comes as a response to one of the biggest shortcomings of the sports industry: the fact that traveling, well, sucks.
That’s why their plane interior includes all the tech necessary to not only make an NBA player comfortable, but also to let them prepare for an upcoming game on the road—a necessity, as the firm points out, since research suggests that teams traveling more than three time zones at a time face a 60 per cent risk of losing their next road game. They also are at a higher risk of injuries from inactivity. If you already complain of sore knees after a flight to Tampa, can you just image a seven-foot player packed into the kind of seats they have on a commercial air flights?
Faced with this challenge, the designers interviewed a raft of professional athletes, physicians, coaches, operations staff and sleep specialists to figure out what teams need the most. In the end, they narrowed down the lacking amenities to four main categories—recovery, circulation, sleep and thinking—and refitted a 100 to 400-passenger jet to support a 13-player team in utter luxury.
To negate the effects of air travel on athletes, the plane’s conceptual recovery facilities would collect and display biometric information in-flight, data collected by an assortment of sensor-laden Nike clothing that earns a brief mention in the think piece. Teague also has in mind a “nutrition zone,” or a self-serve cafeteria tailored to each athlete’s particular diet.
A recovery area would include a massage area equipped with tables, IV equipment, hot/cold treatments and electro-stimulation machines, all with the aim to help heal injuries sustained during games and prevent new ones from forming during the transition.
The “seats” are more accurately enclosed sleeping units, one available for every member of the team. The idea is that each seat would be fully adjustable, even allowing players to raise and lower their legs independently. They’d also come equipped with ice and compression sleeves that plug into the airplane’s system. Large screens at the front of each unit will give them access to game film for review.
While the design keeps in mind athletes of all stripes, the sleep bays would accommodate any athlete up to seven feet tall, which is great news for just about everyone in today’s league except Philadelphia’s Hasheem Thabeet. (Sorry, buddy.)
Finally, a lounge would be available in the lower lobe of the plane. There, the guys can chat and unwind without disturbing any recovering teammates.
Again, this is just a concept for now. But with NBA teams spending upwards of $60 million on new practice facilities, perhaps springing for a competitive advantage at 40,000 feet would be worth the investment.