The Houston Rockets’ season is on pause but as the NBA decides the best way to resume games likely without fans, fake crowd noise is on the table. Bad idea.
The Houston Rockets haven’t played a game since March 11, which was a 117-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Their record had been up-and-down since their commitment to playing basketball without a center and it worked a good chunk of the time.
Now, we may never know if Mike D’Antoni‘s latest experiment with the team would’ve panned out, especially if it would’ve catapulted their positioning in the Western Conference. At the time the NBA season shut down in the middle of last month, the Houston Rockets were 6th in the West but I’m sure they would’ve climbed right back up considering how tightly-contested the race was between the Top 7 spots for the postseason.
We can all talk about what would’ve been but there are more important things going on right now. The globe is in the middle of a fight to defeat COVID-19 and the best remedy for that right now until treatments and a vaccine are available for the public to access is to stay in our homes as much as possible and be socially distant.
That’s a tall order for sports leagues — especially the NBA — where the crowding of people must happen in order for their business formula to be successful.
If the NBA does get started soon — Commissioner Adam Silver won’t make a decision this month about the season — it certainly will be without fans and we’ll all be watching them on television.
All we’ll hear is the grunting and groaning of players up-and-down the court with the incessant squeaking of their shoes on the hardwood, which is what you could still hear regularly but those sounds will be even more magnified.
The debate now will start on if fake crowd noise pumped into whatever venues that would be used to try to deaden the inevitable silence as a result of no fans being inside the arena.
Let me tell you, it’s a bad idea on all levels. In this case, silence is golden because although we’re trying to return to a sense of normal, the silence gives a constant yet subtle reminder of how we’re not quite done winning the battle with this pandemic just yet.
It wouldn’t give that feeling authenticity that’s relegated to the times we’re living in and it should not even be considered.
Lead ABC Sports color analyst Jeff Van Gundy has advocated for it because he fears players will be able to hear their live critiques. That may be legitimate but these players are grown men and I’m sure they’re experienced with taking criticism from all angles being in the public spotlight.
The players will be fine and I honestly think that they will be happy that they’re playing games once again. They’re used to the pot-shots from onlookers when they’re out on the blacktop from their younger days so I don’t think it will be any different than that.
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In an always-terrifically written article by the Chron’s David Barron, he talked with local play-by-play guys Bill Worrell and Todd Kalas are for the noise but Robert Ford and Craig Ackerman are against it and each side of the debate has presented fair arguments.
I’m letting you know where I stand with this — it’s a terrible idea and although we would see less wider-out shots of the court if things restart of television, those shots of empty seats should be there as a reminder as well because we’ll appreciate it so much once those seats are full of fans again.
How would things look once things restart? Silver has said everything is on the table and I have no doubt this is one of the top things they’re talking about in a potential resume of the 2019-20 season.
Until then, we’ll just have to do our part by staying safe, staying home as much as possible as well as taking care of ourselves and each other.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s Web site or the Web site for your state’s Department of Health.