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NBA reportedly considering adding 2K crowd sounds to restarted game broadcasts

Raptors Fans Gather At 'Jurassic Park' In Toronto To Watch Their Team's First NBA Finals Series

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 07: Fans react as Toronto Raptors fans gather to watch Game 4 of the NBA Finals series outside Scotiabank Arena at ‘Jurassic Park’, on June 7, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

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Soccer diehards or people just desperate for sports who tune into the broadcasts of the German Bundesliga soccer matches — the first major professional sports league to return, playing in empty stadiums — will hear crowd noise. That’s not happening in the arena, the players don’t hear it, but broadcaster Sky Deutschland added it to some broadcast markets, including the United States and the FOX broadcast.

It’s drawn a mixed reaction (Twitter hates it, but then again what does Twitter like?).

The NBA is considering doing the same thing for its restarted games in Orlando, but using the crowd effects from the NBA 2K video game, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. He adds that the league and National Basketball Players’ Association are still negotiating it.

Like with the Bundesliga, this would be added to the television production and not played in the arena. The players certainly don’t want to hear it during games.

If the players don’t want it, do the fans?

One of the things I am looking forward to with these games from Orlando is to hear the players talk, to hear Doc Rivers call out a play, or Joel Embiid yell at a defender after dunking on him. I want the squeak of LeBron 17s on the hardwood and the ball clanking off the rim. More than artificial crowd noise, I want ESPN to do what it did with “The Last Dance” Jordan documentary and set up an unfiltered channel so we can hear what Patrick Beverley is saying to Damian Lillard all game long.

From the start of this forced arrangement, the NBA has talked about using it to experiment with new ways to bring us the game at home. They should, but it needs to be more than just “we added this new camera angle” — that’s not what will bring in younger fans. There needs to be a way to make the game feel more immersive and like a live experience while on our televisions or mobile devices. I don’t see how artificial crowd noise fits in with that idea — the actual sounds of players would bring us more into the game.

But it’s out there, and it could happen.