Alexa, who's the best in the NBA?

Amazon’s voice assistant can now tell us (almost) everything we want to know about basketball's best teams and players.

Terry Collins
Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
2 min read

"Alexa, are the Golden State Warriors going to repeat as NBA world champions this season?"

"Alexa, who's going to be named the league's most valuable player? Will it be the Houston Rockets' James Harden, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, or will the Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook win the award for a second straight year?

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA fans can now ask Alexa even more in-depth questions about Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry (right) and his teammates. 

Getty Images

"Oh, and Alexa, will the Philadelphia 76ers' finally make the playoffs after years of being the worst pro basketball team on the planet?!" 

While those questions will be answered throughout this upcoming NBA season, fans can ask  Amazon 's smart speaker plenty of other basketball-related questions. The league said Monday all 30 of its teams will launch Alexa skills this season, becoming the first pro sports league with every club on the Amazon platform.

You can already ask Alexa to order a ride from either Uber or Lyft, find the best recipes or order a pizza from Domino's, among other skills. Now you can also ask Amazon's voice assistant for the latest on your favorite NBA team, including scores, stats and other tidbits. 

The NBA partnership comes as Amazon is becoming a bigger player in sports. The e-commerce giant reportedly paid $50 million to stream 10 NFL Thursday Night Football games this season. An Amazon executive called its debut broadcast two weeks ago "a great night." Amazon is also trying to keep its lead in the smart speaker market against Google, which last week introduced new Home speakers, and Apple , which has promised to deliver its first-ever product in the category -- the HomePod -- in December. 

Amazon controls 70 percent of the smart speaker market, according to eMarketer, with Google a distant second. CEO Jeff Bezos  has continued Amazon's assault, releasing five new Echo products in September that range in price from $35 to $150.  

Watch this: Trick your mind into thinking you went to a Warriors game

As for the Warriors winning back-to-back titles? Alexa may say that 93 percent of NBA general managers think so, according to a recent survey.  But CBS Sports' analyst and ex-NBA All-Star Rip Hamilton thinks the Cavaliers will win their second NBA title in three seasons.

As for MVP, maybe it's the Cavs' LeBron James, if we're going by the NBA GM survey. Or maybe Alexa.

And, will the 76ers make the playoffs? Well, maybe their fans believe the team's tired catchphrase, "Trust The Process," in which the 76ers seemingly lost some games on purpose for the past four seasons to draft better players with the goal of becoming a better team.

Perhaps we should ask Alexa about that.

First published Oct. 9, 11:00 a.m. PT.
Update, 1:52 p.m. PT: Mentions Amazon's NFL streaming deal.

It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet?

Tech EnabledCNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.