Adam Silver: Tape delay may be needed in NBA restart due to player profanity
There are obviously countless issues and potential pitfalls that must be addressed ahead of the NBA’s resumption of play if there’s any expectation that the restart can be a successful one.
These concerns of course include but are limited to ensuring the safety of players, coaching staffs and other essential personnel who are preparing to descend upon Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. for a restart currently scheduled for July 30.
Amid ongoing deliberations over those far more serious issues, NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently touched upon a concern that seems relatively innocuous in the grand scheme of things but nevertheless will still require the league’s attention.
During a recent interview with Sean Gregory of TIME, Silver weighed in on how the frequent use of colorful language and profanity by players on the court may require the NBA to take proper and necessary precautions.
Given how the playing sites during the restart will lack the typical atmosphere and associated crowd noise that typically obscures much of the on-court chatter, Silver believes a tape delay may be necessary for telecasts of games.
“I think there’s got to be some limits on the language,” Silver said. “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.”
There is no disputing that NBA players are notorious for employing on-court trash talk that tends to cross the line when it comes to what television censors prefer to be heard on live television.
The odds of NBA players being able to rein it and not use profanity during their smack talk while playing games without fans are of course slim, not to mention arguably unfair. With the unprecedented and much quieter game-site environment, these player interactions will undoubtedly be picked up by mics deployed near the court.
With that in mind, employing a tape delay on game telecasts may be the NBA’s best and only option.