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#pounditMonday, November 28, 2022

NBA referee Scott Foster worried about officiating in empty arena

It is impossible to imagine exactly what NBA games will look and feel like without fans in the stands, but we are going to find out soon enough. Players, coaches and executives have some obvious concerns about the concept, as does referee Scott Foster.

In an appearance on NBA TV Tuesday, Foster said he is worried about television viewers hearing exchanges between players, coaches and officials that would normally be drowned out by crowd noise.

The NBA will likely have a conversation with players, coaches and officials about trying to be aware of the situation, but allowing viewers to hear some of those exchanges could be good for the product. While networks have been experimenting with ideas like artificial crowd noise to improve the viewer experience, allowing people to get a more behind-the-scenes look at discussions between refs, players and coaches might be beneficial.

There are still questions about the resumption of the NBA season that need to be answered, with a number of potential formats having been thrown around. If the NBA shares Foster’s concerns, they can certainly find ways to mute some of the exchanges.

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