NBA players trash talk and swear more during a game than a Samuel L. Jackson character.
That’s not exactly insider knowledge. However, most of what is said is covered up by the ambient crowd noise and in-arena music at a traditional game. Nobody at home can hear Patrick Beverley‘s stream of consciousness.
But what is going to happen at the NBA’s restart in Orlando? With no crowds and less noise, and courtside microphones can pick up everything. Including language some fans may not want to be brought into their homes.
This is why the league many need a broadcast delay — similar to the seven-second delay used on some live broadcasts — so it can drop any offensive language, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the Time 100 interview.
“I think often players, they understand when they’re on the floor, they’re saying certain things to each other because it’s so loud in the arena, they know a lot of it is not being picked up. They may have to adapt their language a little bit knowing what they say will likely be picked up by microphones and in all seriousness, we may need to put a little bit of a delay.”
One solution would be to have a live stream available to fans where nothing is dropped. There are those of us — hard-core NBA fans — who want to hear the trash talk, want to listen to the coaches call out the play as the defenders call out what is coming and talk about set picks, etc. We all what to hear what LeBron James is going to say to J.R. Smith on the court. That should be available to fans, along with the video game look and other customizable streams.
The league may have fan’s faces on video boards around the court and music pumped in, but this is just not going to look and feel the same. There may need to be a delay to keep some of the language off the air (that happens at sporting events anyway), but it would be fun to give the viewers the option, as ESPN did with The Last Dance.