Everybody loves a good NBA sound bite, especially if it’s controversial.
It seems like this NBA season has been marked by an especially high number of juicy quotations. That might have to do with the inherent controversy of some of this year's biggest early-season storylines; when the Los Angeles Lakers fire their coach two weeks into the year, there’s bound to be a strong vocal reaction.
Of course, the appearance of so many controversial statements might also be attributable to the extraordinary level of access we have to the NBA product. There are more cameras and microphones on the court than ever, so we see and hear more of what the players are doing in the heat of battle. And with the endless news cycle, no good sound bite goes unheard.
In addition to increased access on the court, players have extensive obligations to talk with the media as the NBA continues its effort to make its commodities (read: players) more accessible and marketable. When half the roster and most of the coaches are giving interviews after every practice, not to mention before and after games, there are just more opportunities for good sound bites to surface.
And let’s not forget the unprecedented direct access Twitter and other forms of social media provide.
In short, NBA players have more opportunities than ever to make their thoughts known to the public. Sometimes, we snooze through the usual “one game at a time” clichés. But in other instances (and these are the good ones), we’re treated to some eyebrow-raising controversy.
Brush up on your First Amendment knowledge, because we’re about to enjoy some of this season’s most hilarious, provocative and controversial free speech.