Miami Heat Crowd Noise: Real or Fake?

Posted on March 12, 2014 by Adam Bradley

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Early in Monday's game against the Heat I went to Twitter and for the first time ever, I applauded the fans of Miami.

Through the speakers of my TV, it sounded like this Monday night's Heat vs. Wizards matchup was electric.  The crowd was hyped and it grabbed my attention.

Have the Wizards become a big deal that a normally late arriving, narcissistic Miami crowd was actually bringing the "heat" on a Monday night?  Or were they rallying behind the 3-game losing streak wanting to make sure the Heat didn't slip to 4 in a row? 

I then turned to Twitter and the conversation continued.  I wasn't the only one noticing the noise.

Even in moments where John Wall was bringing the ball up the court mid-way through the second, the crowd noise would get amplified.   Crowds don't get hyped like that in those moments.  Especially not Miami crowds on Monday nights in the regular season.   Not to mention, no one was clapping in any of the rows visible on the TV screen. 

This didn't seem to line up.

After my initial thoughts, I didn't think much else of it until I heard Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhantz commenting on the "artificial" crowd noise throughout the game.   Now Phil and Buck don't know if Miami for a fact used artificial crowd noise but with the same suspicions that I had, it was easy to add up.

So were the Miami Heat, the defending Champions, fresh off a 3-game losing streak, with 19,000 people in attendance and with arguably the most-electrifying player on the planet really needing to pump "artificial" crowd noise into the arena? 

I know there had been rumors of artificial crowd noise in places like Dallas and Boston, but to have to do it in Miami would be a sad affair.

"Near the beginning of the game, I said to Al (Harrington), it sounds like a playoff game in here," said Drew Gooden. 

Are these fans even real?!?

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

Going on the notion that the Heat were pumping artificial crowd noise, Buckhantz said: "It always amazes me especially places like Boston and Miami.  More so Boston than anywhere because their fan base is so rabid and knowledagble.  Miami, not as much, so perhaps that is why they do it. But you'd think with the two championships, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, that would be the last thing they need to do."

My thoughts exactly. 

Either way it produces an environment that is exciting, and in many cases the players don't know if the noise that's being heard is real or fake. 

"It was loud and definitely got us excited and its always a lot of energy in the arena down in Miami, it gets me going," said Bradley Beal en route to his team-high 18 points.

But when it was brought up that it may not have been all the fans making the noise Beal responded with a confused look: "It wasn't the fans? Oh... this is news to me, I thought it was the fans, it sounds like fans, either way it gets me hyped."

Regardless if players could tell if the noise was real or not, is artificial crowd noise an issue?  Should it be allowed or disallowed?

"If it's legal, I think all teams should do it," said Gooden. "It'll make the game more interesting for not only the fans but for the players too.  It's definitely a home court advantage, if you're going on a run and it sounds like the NBA Finals in there, that's good."

So how should the NBA handle the issue?  The veteran Gooden who's played for 10 teams in his 11 NBA years has an idea.

"They should be able to pump in crowd noise if you only have a certain amount of people in the arena, find the average number and if you have more than that you can't but if you have less then that number you can," said Gooden.

Gooden continues, "Using Milwaukee as an example (referring to nights when they'd have a half empty arena), you could hear everything in the stands, fans wouldn't even need to yell that you sucked, you could hear them think it."

Where do you stand on artificial crowd noise in arenas? Sound off in the comment section below!

next up:

DAGGERS AND DIMES: Marcin Towards The Postseason

March 12, 2014

All about the coming slate of games, the Bulls, and Wizards articles you didn't read but wish you could've.


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