Wizards veteran guard rips idea of virtual fans at NBA games
With the NBA going fan-less for the 2019-20 season’s return, the league is reportedly going to use virtual fans to make up for the lack of real fans at the games. Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith offered his two cents on the prospect of seeing virtual fans at the games, via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports.
Ish Smith on reports of virtual fans at NBA games: "You're doing too much, just hoop… I'm sure you don't want grandma in a rocking chair talking trash [like] 'give my baby the ball.'"
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) July 24, 2020
The Wizards veteran is obviously not a fan of the idea.
The bubble games, which will be held in Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is definitely going to look a lot different, with fans still not allowed to watch games in person. In fact, considering the current state of the world, it seems likely that the entire 2020-21 season will go fan-less as well.
The NBA is doing its best to make the “new normal” close to the “old normal” as possible and this is one of the workable solutions to provide the players that immersive experience of hearing in-game noise.
Per USA Today, the NBA will utilize Microsoft Teams’ “Together Mode” to bring in 300 paying fans to the virtual experience. The crowd will appear on 17-foot virtual boards that will allow them to react in real-time to the games.
Definitely, this will be another interesting experiment as the NBA adjusts to this new normal. However, it doesn’t seem like everybody is on board with this, as seen with Smith’s reaction.
As seen during the scheduled scrimmages, some teams have already incorporated their own in-game crowd noises to give their squads the “home experience” during the games. The Miami Heat played their famous “Let’s Go Heat” chants during their scrimmage against the Sacramento Kings a couple of days ago.