CLEVELAND (AP) -On the subject of the NBA's infatuation with pregame pyrotechnics, smoke and noise, commissioner David Stern was loud and clear: He's had enough.
``I think they're ridiculous,'' Stern said Monday before Game 4 of the Cavaliers-Celtics second-round playoff series. ``I think that the noise, the fire, the smoke, is a kind of assault that we should seriously consider reviewing in whether it's really necessary given the quality of our game.''
His comments came just a few minutes before Cleveland's over-the-top player introductions, which include fire - hot enough that fans can feel the heat in the stands - shooting out of four swords on the scoreboard.
Such pyrotechnic displays have become common around the league. The barrage of fireworks in Boston is so intense it leaves a fog hanging over the court for most of the first quarter.
``It may be that these are the maniacal rantings of a fan from a different era and I recognize that, but you know I'm sitting there waiting for the next cannon to go off and then the fire heats up the arena,'' Stern said, ``so the temperature in the arena raises by 15 degrees. That's if you can see it because you're still waiting for the smoke, which is chemical, to clear.''
Cavs forward Ben Wallace says the smoke in Boston contributed to the dizziness that forced him to leave Game 2. Wallace didn't go onto the court for Game 3 in Cleveland until the onslaught of smoke and fire had ended. Anderson Varejao ran onto the court in his place.
The special effects aren't limited to pregame introductions. White residue from fire extinguishers delayed Game 1 of the Spurs-Hornets series for 19 minutes between the first and second quarters after a mascot soared through a ring of fire for a dunk in New Orleans.
Another thing that annoys Stern is the nonstop loud music and other noise that isn't generated by fans.
``I always bite my tongue because I say, 'Well, maybe I'm not the demographic that likes to be assaulted by loud rap, smoke, pyrotechnics and chemicals,''' he said. ``I'm outdated, but I think it's time for us to say, 'Hey guys, lets look at it one more time.'''
There's rarely a quiet moment in Cleveland's arena where the video screen routinely displays a meter registering over 100 decibels, as loud as a rock concert.
Stern, more of a Simon and Garfunkel fan, says he's got nothing against hip hop and the music appreciated by younger audiences, but says the volume is over the top.
``What's happened is that very well intentioned people feel that it's their obligation to root their team on to victory, to urge them ... they think if you turn up the loudspeaker it's going to help them perform better even though there are babies in the building,'' he said.
---
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers contributed to this report.

Top NBA Public Bets

Advertisement

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Timberwolves vs. Rockets Prediction Will tonight's game between the Timberwolves and Rockets turn into a high-scoring affair at 9:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Curry's crew continues hammering foes Golden State trailed the Clippers by 12 points at halftime Thursday. Yet, it didn’t take long for Steve Kerr’s club to perform a...
Thumbnail 76ers vs. Knicks Prediction After beating the Wizards outright as a home underdog on Friday, will the 76ers cover the spread tonight against the Knicks at 7:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Wade's squad eyes big opportunity in Ohio After returning from the All-Star break with a rousing win over New York, can Cleveland also make mincemeat of Chicago this evening?
Thumbnail Spurs vs. Clippers Prediction Will the over cash tonight when the Clippers host the Spurs at 10:30PM ET in a battle of Western Conference foes?

NBA Team Pages