When the NBA returns in July, it will surely look different, and now it might sound different, too.
There are ongoing talks between the league and the National Basketball Players Association to use sounds from the NBA 2K video game to replace the sounds of the live crowd during broadcasts. The players won’t hear the sounds since it wouldn’t be played in the arena, only fed through the broadcast.
“There could be crowd noise via NBA 2K video game sounds, but the NBA and NBPA are still discussing creative opportunities,” said Shams Charania from The Athletic of a recent call with the NBPA.
With discussions still on the table, it leaves open the possibility that another creative solution could be reached. It does not appear that in any of the solutions, we will get to hear the trash-talking that goes down between the players during gameplay.
When the NBA resumes play next month, all of the games will be taking place at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, and there will be no crowds in attendance during any of the games.