New York Hires NBA Star to Hurl Basketball at Preoccupied Pedestrians

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 3 2012 11:55 AM

New York Hires NBA Star to Hurl Basketball at Preoccupied Pedestrians

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Talking while walking can be dangerous, especially if Baron Davis happens to be nearby with a basketball in his hands.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Next time you’re crossing a street with your nose buried in your smartphone, New York City’s Department of Transportation wants you to think of Baron Davis. More specifically, it wants you to think of him aiming a chest pass at your preoccupied mug.

Perhaps because Jeremy Lin wasn’t free on whatever day filming commenced, Davis is the star of a new commercial for the DOT’s “Heads Up” campaign. The goal: to get people to pay attention when they’re walking, cycling, or driving around the city. You’d think the threat of getting mowed down by an MTA bus would be sufficient, but apparently people need the extra push. I have to admit, I’d probably be a little more careful if I knew someone might throw a basketball at my face at any moment.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.