Do all NBA games feature non-stop music?

My son and I went to a Toronto Raptors’ game last week, and it was the first time either of us had ever seen an NBA game live. It was great to see how fast the game was, and how these big guys were crashing into one another.

One thing puzzled me, though - the music almost never stopped, even when the guys were playing. I’m much more used to hockey games, where the organist (or whatever/whoever is providing the music in the area) plays during stoppages of play, but stops immediately once play resumes. The actual game is played with only the noise of the crowd. Same with baseball - lots of goofy sound effects, musical numbers, but when the ump said ‘Play Ball!’ the music stopped.

So, do all the teams in the NBA do this? I was genuinely surprised that it wasn’t against the rules for the music to be going (especially THAT LOUD!) while the game was going on.


During last nights Magic/Timberwolves game the Magic commentators pointed out several times how weird it was that the Wolves didn’t play music during the game and how it made the whole place seem dead and boring.

Is this a new idea? I saw some Charlotte Hornets games around 1991 and there was no music except when the play stopped. Sounds like a dumb idea to play music all during the game. How many teams do it?

Pretty sure NCAA rules do not allow music to be played during any game except during play stoppages.

They gotta do something to give the fans a reason to spend money on tickets, beer, etc.

It tends to be a relentless audiovisual assault.

I don’t mind the sound clips that are played, like a Nelson Muntz laugh after a turnover, or even loud music late in the 4th quarter during a timeout, but there’s no need to blare hip-hop and techno during the middle of the 2nd quarter. Let the fans get a chance to chat with one another without having to yell.

It’s contstant for the Bulls games as well. I find it very annoying but imo it’s to distract from the fact that most NBA games are just crap and there is nothing of interest going on until the last 2 minutes or so.

One of the many things I find annoying about the NBA.

Yes, it was the least enjoyable aspect of the game for me, as well. I just couldn’t tell if they didn’t trust the Toronto crowd to cheer without some sort of Pavlovian conditioning (We have a reputation among baseball teams as one of the quietest group of fans around.) or whether it was common practice. Too bad - I enjoyed the game immensely because I got a real sense of the speed and accuracy of the players, a sense that I’ve never got from the radio or TV.

I used to go to NBA games regularly, then took about a decade off, and then attended a game about five years ago. I have to say I hated it - I found the music deafening, and in some way insulting…we need cues to make noise here? So what if it gets quiet?, I’d rather hear the noises of the players bumping and squeaking and cursing than some stupid-loud song. I haven’t been back since, and yeah, the noise is a big reason why.

Here’s something Mark Cuban wrote about it a while back.

I went to two Lakers games recently, one in Chicago and one in LA. They didn’t really play actual music during gameplay. They played things like the “da da–De-fense, de-fense” sound effects and the like, but nothing I’d really call music. At both arenas during timeouts, they also showed these phony noise meters on the scoreboard. The idea was to get the crowd to make as much noise as possible, but it was obvious that there was no relation between the noisemeter’s reading and the amount of actual noise.