The NBA restart at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is about to get underway, and play will immediately have a different feel considering fans won’t be allowed in the arena due changes brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While nothing is set in stone yet, the league has discussed the possibility of pumping in crowd noise to make it feel like a game-like atmosphere. Additionally, that could help limit the chances of fans hearing players potentially using profanity during game broadcasts.
Los Angeles Lakers veteran Jared Dudley is on the other side of the fence, however, believing the fans hearing what the players are saying could give them some good insight.
“If I was the NBA, I know obviously there’s inappropriate language at times but throughout most of the game there’s not, but I would have a camera so you could hear,” Dudley said. “This is the one experience we’re trying to sell for the fans at home.
“We don’t have a crowd, so what’s one thing we can give you that we were never able to give you guys before? That would be the in-game experience of what’s trash talking, hearing ‘Bron talk to refs, hearing James Harden when it comes to trying to get a call from a ref, trash talking with Pat Bev and other people. I think fans are intrigued by that. I think they want to hear what people have to say and I think it can bring excitement.
“So I’m not worried about it. I’m pretty sure I have kids who have heard a curse word here and there, but they know what’s right and wrong. Through the heat of the moment it happens. I think this is a great opportunity to give fans and media an inside look at what really goes on in an NBA game.”
Pumped in crowd noise has worked well in soccer matches over the last few months, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the NBA goes the same route for the remainder of their season.
Dudley expecting some noise to give teams home-court advantage
The Lakers currently have a comfortable 5.5-game lead for the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14, although with all games being played in a bubble, there really isn’t any kind of home-court advantage at stake.
Dudley is expecting the league take action so games do still have somewhat of a familiar feel. “I expect it to be very similar to a game without fans, if that makes any sense,” he said.
“I do think you’ll have some crowd noise, I’m expecting our Lakers chant, music when we come out for our intro. I’m expecting the piano and different vibes for during the game. It’s still a business. We’re still a billion-dollar industry, so there’s certain stuff you have to do.
While not the same as an actual home game at Staples Center, it is good to see the Lakers will have some sort of familiarity when they take the court in Orlando.
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