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Newsday (New York)


The Knicks tried something new for the first half of Sunday's game against the Warriors at the Garden: They played no music, showed no videos and had no on-floor entertainment at breaks.

In a message to fans posted on the scoreboard, they said it was "so you can experience the game in its purest form."

The Warriors' reaction to the experiment? Pump up the volume!

"That was pathetic. It was ridiculous," Draymond Green said. "It changed the flow of the game. It changed everything. You get so used to playing the game a certain way and you completely change that? To me, I thought it was disrespectful to . . . all these people who've done these things to change the game from an entertainment perspective and give the game a great vibe. That's complete disrespect.

"You advance things in the world to make it better. You don't go back to what was bad."

It was a very different NBA experience. Fans could hear the basketball bouncing, coaches shouting instructions and players disagreeing with game officials. They also were more subdued, perhaps because they have been trained to chant "De-fense!" in response to the Garden organ. There were only a few moments when the crowd actually seemed enthralled.

"It was really weird. You sort of take it for granted: Every NBA game you have this stuff going on - music in the background - and you don't even think about it until it's not there," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. "It felt like church. It was very quiet.

"I kind of liked it better in the second half. It felt more normal with the music."

Steph Curry said the arena had the feel of a high school game, then stopped himself.

"We even had music in high school,'' he said. "It was like a middle school warm-up game where it's just you, your teammates no music, no entertainment whatsoever."

The Knicks for the most part said it was different, but they were not critical.

Green thought the absence of the music and video actually had an impact on the players' performance and thus the game.

"Did you see that first half? It was just bad - sloppy, all over the place. There was no rhythm to the game," he said. "All that stuff makes a difference in the game, believe it or not. That's why when guys work out, you turn on music. It just helps you get into a certain area, takes you to a certain place."

He was asked if it might have been gamesmanship or tactics and replied, "I don't think they were trying to change us. It changed their players, too."

Green's final analysis of the experiment?

"They need to trash that," he said, "because that's exactly what it was."

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March 6, 2017


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