Fans watching Sunday afternoon's matchup between the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors on ABC may have noticed something different about the broadcast.
That's because there was no music or sound effects during the first half of the contest, as the Knicks wanted fans to "experience the game in its purest form" and "enjoy the sounds of the game," according to a message on the Jumbotron before tip-off.
Though that's a noble pursuit, and indeed something that should be done from time to time, it still understandably led to an interesting experience both for fans at the arena and those watching on TV.
As you can see and hear in the video below, the atmosphere of Madison Square Garden was markedly different without all the in-game productions that usually accompany an NBA game:
That made for some strange player introductions prior to the game, since that's usually the loudest and most elaborate portion of the contest in terms of music and on-court graphics:
Still, for a Sunday afternoon game, one of the great traditions in the NBA, throwing it back to the good ol' days, at least for one half, is a good idea. Once the second half kicked off, the regular, noise-filled NBA experience was back in full force.
Maybe, though, the Knicks should make it a permanent thing. Through the first half, the home team led the Warriors - the team with the NBA's best record - by one point, 50-49. Maybe Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and the rest of the Knicks simply play better when they can hear themselves think.
Once the second half started, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson got hot, with Curry breaking out of his recent slump for a game-high 31 points. Thompson was right behind him, pouring in 29 in the Warriors' 112-105 victory over the hapless Knicks. With the win, the Warriors stopped their two-game losing streak and improved to an NBA-best 51-11 on the season.
Since it's only one day a week, perhaps the NBA should institute a music-less Sunday afternoon game every weekend. Both fans and players would likely appreciate a chance to hear basketball the way it used to be played before Jumbotrons and in-arena speaker systems.
The sounds of the sneakers on the hardwood floor, the barked instructions from coaches to players and the heckling from the loyal New York Knicks supporters toward the opposing team - that's basketball in its purest form and, for one half at least, basketball fans got to experience that at Madison Square Garden.