Monday April 20th, 2015

Pelicans coach Monty Williams has a lot to worry about. Not only does he have to find a way to try to contain Stephen Curry, but also he has to make sure he doesn't go deaf while Curry lights up the New Orleans defense.

"I'm not so sure that the decibel level is legal there, and I'm serious," Williams said, according to the Associated Press. "They've done studies on that. Being on the competition committee, there's got to be something to that because it does get a little out of hand."

"I've talked about it for years, they've got some of the best fans in the league here, and they show up early," Williams continued. "The music before the game, they're playing old school music, and it's right above your locker room. And you're like, 'These people are crazy, man. This is pretty cool.' So I'm sure it has an effect, but after a few minutes it's just basketball."

He's right, there have been studies on dangers of vociferous basketball fans. 

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"From small gymnasiums to large arenas, almost inadvertently they are designed to amplify sound," Wichita State University audiologist Ray Hull said in 2012. "They are reverberation chambers. Therefore they amplify sound more than they might have otherwise."

Hull recommends fans wear ear plugs to game, advice echoed by Florida Atlantic University audiologist Ali Danesh. 

"There's nothing wrong [with] being there, but at the same time we can protect our hearing so it won't cause any problems for us later on," Danesh told the Sun Sentinel in 2006

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The NBA does place limits on how loud artificial arena noise, such as music and crowd instructions, can be. According to a 2004 Slate article, an NBA official sits on the sideline at each game and monitors the noise levels. If the PA system gets above 90 decibels, the noise marshal instructs the arena to turn it down. 

Noise isn't only an issue at Warriors games, either. Reporters at Saturday's Raptors-Wizards game in Toronto were complaining about the raucous Canadian fans. 

As for Williams, he has at least one more game in Oakland this season. Game 2 of the Warriors-Pelicans series is Monday night. Golden State fans will surely be extra courteous. 

- Dan Gartland

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