Posted by: Trey Sims | April 25, 2011

Trash Talk Leaves Stain on NBA’s Record

Trash Talk

Should NBA trash talk be televised?

There currently conflicting messages being thrown around in the NBA. The first says that the “NBA Cares”, but the next delivers quite the opposite message. The NBA Playoffs are in full swing and every move seems to be getting noticeably more intense and every action more magnified. Although trash talk has always been an integral (and sometimes advantageous) part of the NBA, sensitive mics and hi-def cameras glued to every square inch of the arena are giving audiences an eyeful.

In the  heat of competition a lot of things get said that players will ultimately forget about by the end of the game, but when these instants get replayed they look bad- I mean, really bad. Although trash talk is usually not audible, anyone watching an NBA game will find themselves lip-syncing four letter words from players’ mouths all too frequently. These three second moments get turned into thirty-second clips and then get flipped on to YouTube within minutes- and voilà! A brief moment is transformed into an unforgettable clip that will surely be viewed a few thousand more times. Thanks to this cycle and the effectiveness of social media, the NBA now has its own archive of verbal slip ups and mouthed swears embedded across YouTube, and this makes for a PR nightmare.

Without a helmet to hide behind like other pros, the NBA is rolling out bigger fines and more of them to athletes and coaches who continue to voice their frustration. Contrary to many league officials, I do not believe it should be up to NBA players to regulate their in game behavior. The NBA would be wise work out a deal with their network affiliates to decrease the number of expletives that reach its audiences. The number of close-up follows and even showing replays of players trash talking and swearing  does well to produce dramatic effect, but it does not bode will for the NBA’s PR goals. Changing this could potentially have a huge impact on reducing the amount of foul NBA video circulation.

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