DALLAS – A mic’d up Luka Doncic at the NBA All-Star game was prime entertainment. The Dallas Mavs star’s personality dazzled as he dribbled around his opponents, including Kings’ point guard De'Aaron Fox, teasing “I’m Fox, look at me, I’m Fox!”
That 43-second clip gave me hope that the NBA restart in Orlando might consider mic’d up players to add entertainment value without fans in attendance.
Then, I really began to think through the potential negative impact that could negate the exciting inside look into the competition and players.
There is no doubt that crowd noise will be severely missed from the broadcasts. Game atmosphere won’t be the same without rising decibels during crucial free throws, Mavericks fans screaming for a Luka Doncic three-pointer and booing at their rivals.
There will be something in terms of audio. There is the Mark Cuban idea, in a story you read here on DallasBasketball.com ... and then there is Dallas coach Rick Carlisle's description of his understanding of the in-gym vibe ...
“As to how the environment will be without fans, my understanding is that there will be sounds, lights and thinks like that, said Carlisle, who led his Mavs to Orlando on Wednesday as they now endure two days of quarantine before beginning practice on Friday. “I’m curious. I’m looking ahead with great anticipation to see exactly how this thing will play out.”
Without crowd sounds on TV, the live game could be a nightmare for the Federal Communications Commission in terms of obscenities.
Cursing would be expected but my bigger concern would be the type of talk that would get most employees fired. The passion of the game and talk trash could be worse than “Oh, SH*T!”… Hearing players utter any heat-of-the-moment terms deemed "offensive'' from could cause major damage, especially in the current social climate.
Hot mics are a polarizing subject in the league. Mavs veteran J.J. Barea is in favor of players being mic’d up during the game to add to the viewing experience. Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell is for it. ...
While, others are concerned.
“Hopefully we’re not mic’d up and they don’t pick up too much of the language because guys will definitely be talking trash,” Celtics point guard Brad Wanamaker told Boston media.
The NBA could in theory re-broadcast a clean and expletive-deleted version of each game ... "like live'' only with "bleeps.''
Even then, I think the possible negatives outweigh the positives. Don’t get me wrong … I love good trash talk and have desperately missed hearing shoes squeak on the gym floor. But what about my eight-year-old nephew? Doesn't sound like an awesome idea to me anymore.