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NBA considering whether to use tape delay in Orlando to avoid bad language

The NBA has a lot of issues to consider when they restart the season on July 24. Most of the issues start and end with the health and safety of the players and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the minor concerns is bad language being used on the court. Normally, that wouldn’t matter with 20,000 fans in the stands. But microphones need to be placed on the court to be able to hear the bounce of the ball. Now, with no fans in the stands, the television audience will be able to hear much more.

The NBA is considering tape-delaying games due to concern of bad language being used during games. “Trash talk” is often used during games and that can get a bit vulgar at times.

“I think there’s got to be some limits on the language, said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a Time100 interview on Tuesday. “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.”

Showing the games on two separate channels would make some sense. The “Last Dance” documentary about the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan was shown on ESPN for mature language and on ESPN2 for the more edited version. The NBA is of course, concerned about corporate sponsors who might not be thrilled to be associated with the language on the floor.

Putting the games on tape-delay would allow the league to censor out the bad language. Hearing some of the strategies on the floor would be interesting and that’s one of the benefits to have no fans.

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Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 25+ years.

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