Friday, December 07, 2007

Mic Check for NBA Coaches

It's time for NBA Reality TV. The latest from the NBA is that coaches will now be required to wear mics during televised contests. There will also be a camera mounted in locker rooms to capture pregame, halftime and postgame time of players and coaches. ABC, ESPN and TNT games will be the scene for these latest A/V developments. In addition to that, coaches are required to give interviews to the broadcasting TV network between their 3rd and 4th quarters. Last night's Denver vs. Dallas game featured a microphone on Mavs coach Avery Johnson and Nuggets coach George Karl.

We all know how strict David Stern can be at times, but this seems like Big Brother to the fullest. The audio won't even be televised live and is for NBA review, edited possibly for later segments on sports shows. They might even pick up some sort of discussion of sports betting using this spy game. You really have to wonder if this is necessary and fair though.

I'd have to agree with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley who calls this an invasion of privacy. There's no need for the NBA to be hearing and seeing every piece of lecture or conversation between players and coaches. It's a time of strategy, and yes at times expletives and berating. Pistons coach, Flip Saunders even has suggested the idea that unedited clips will surface on YouTube, perhaps revealing the stuff coaches don't want the public to hear. Saunders also discussed how other pro sports leagues are more liberal in their approach to making coaches wear mics. See article here.

On the Flip-side, we all know if it's going to hurt your image or career then maybe you shouldn't have said it. In the heat of a game that can be tough though, as coaches chew out their players for poor execution or bone-headed mistakes. This could also give players recourse and possible evidence should they make a claim to the league office that they were mistreated, if it were during a televised game.

Here's a few articles discussing various coaches and their opinions of it:

Avery Johnson: The World is listening, Avery

Pat Riley: Riley not happy with wearing microphone

Scott Skiles, Flip Saunders: Coaches would love to pull plug on mikes

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