So it is perhaps ironic that the man they’re counting on hadn’t even touched a basketball until 2009, when he decided to coach a team of players with almost as little experience with the game as him. But what Ranadive didn’t know about basketball he made up for with data, relying upon mathematics, an algorithm and probability. By his analysis, the team shouldn’t waste time practicing dribbling, passing or even shooting. It should focus on defense and get the other team to turn the ball over. It worked. The team won every regular season game before falling in the state championship. Ranadive was hooked.

Now he’s bringing the same methodical data analysis to the Kings.

“When I look at the business of basketball, it’s more than basketball,” he says. “It’s really a social network. You can use technology to capture that network, expand it, engage it, and then, obviously, to monetize it.” [...]

This effort goes beyond social media. This expansive network recognizes when a fan enters Sleep Train Arena and begins making real-time, location-based offers. Want a Kings’ cap? The app can tell you they’re on sale. Thirsty? Order a beer with your phone and have it sent to your seat. Gotta go? The network can tell you which restroom has the shortest line. Fans need not be in the arena to enjoy the benefits of all this technology. A fan watching the game in Mumbai can just as easily win a T-shirt as the guy sitting courtside.

This all-knowing network – it includes high-speed messaging, real-time event processing engines and cameras everywhere — sifts terabytes of data for trends and patterns. “There’s so much data that’s created,” Ranadive says. “Whether it’s picking up a tweet, or picking up a like. The same software that we use to find cures for cancer, we’re going to use to provide our guests the ultimate fan experience.”