SBD/Issue 162/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Stern Says NBA Teams Should Tone Down Pyrotechnics, Noise

Stern Feels NBA Should Review
Teams' Use Of Pyrotechnics During Games
NBA Commissioner David Stern "feels it's time to turn down the noise and scale back the pyrotechnics at NBA games," according to Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com. Stern: "I'm going to get in trouble for this, but I think they're ridiculous. I think the noise, the fire, the smoke is a kind of assault that we should seriously consider reviewing in whether it's really necessary given the quality of our game. ... I'm sitting there waiting for the next cannon to go off, and then the fire heats up the arena so the temperature in the arena rises by 15 degrees -- that's if you can see it because you're still waiting for the smoke, which is chemical, to clear, which is invariably done by the end of the half. " More Stern: "But I always bite my tongue because I'm not the demographic that wants to be assaulted by loud rap, smoke, pyrotechnics and chemicals. It makes me sort of outdated, but I think it's time for us to say, 'Hey guys, let's look at it one more time.'" Cavaliers C Ben Wallace said that the fireworks before Thursday's Game Two of the Cavaliers-Celtics Eastern Conference Semifinals "worsened the dizzy condition that knocked him out of that game after just four minutes" (ESPN.com, 5/12). USA TODAY's Jon Saraceno notes the Hornets were fined after a stunt during Game One of the team's Western Conference Semifinals against the Spurs involving their mascot jumping "through a flaming hoop" delayed the game 20 minutes (USA TODAY, 5/13).

SOUNDING OFF: Stern said of music at games, "I appreciate there's New Age music, hip-hop. It's fine, but the reality is I think what's happened is some very well-intentioned people feel it's their obligation to root their team on to victory, to urge them, and they do it by turning up the loudspeaker in the building, even though there are babies in the building" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/13). But Cavaliers F LeBron James said of pyrotechnics and loud music during games, “I think it’s great. It gets the crowd excited. We all know without the fans there are no players or league. The fans really get the game going. It’s great to have that kind of entertainment” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN2, 5/13).

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