“You might see an uptick in more technical fouls because [the referees] can hear what players are saying,” Adams said on Monday. “Because you see, we like to talk behind their backs. But they can actually hear us now. So there’s going to be a lot more T’s. Should be the only difference.”
Conversations and banter between players and referees or coaches and referees is a staple of an NBA game, with most being cordial and casual but some turning heated.
“Don’t know who I’d be more worried for, the players or the referees at this point,” veteran official Scott Foster told NBA TV in May. “I know I don’t want everything that we normally say to each other going out. But normally we’re all in a professional manner out there. But it is going to be different.”
Green’s Warriors are not participating in the NBA’s restart in Orlando.
“There’s going to be some assistant coaches that we haven’t really heard from before sitting in the second row that we’ll be able to hear now, so there’s going to be some adjustment there,” Foster said. “And then I think we’re going to need to really talk about and analyze what is OK for the public to hear and how we’re going to go about our business.”
Thunder coach Billy Donovan, though, doesn’t expect to see an obvious difference in the way games are called.
“I do think their total focus is getting calls right, getting plays right,” he said. “I don’t know if this lack of fans in the building is going to change any of that. They’re always evaluating themselves, and the league is evaluating them on calls. … I don’t see them being impacted by the fact there’s not going to be any fans in the stands. I think they’re still going to make the right calls.”