5 reasons why NBA players cover their mouths when talking on the court

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan

When players gather on the court postgame to shake hands and chat with one another after a long hard-fought battle, they often cover their mouths. With plenty of camera crews and media members within earshot, it's a wonder so many conversations between players fly under the radar.

Today, we're looking at five reasons why NBA players cover their mouths on the court.

#1, They don't want media members or cameras to overhear them

This one seems like the most obvious, because it is. There have been plenty of instances of players covering their mouths to have a hush-hush conversation. From discussing potential offseason plans to chatting about trade rumors, we've seen both players and coaches cover their mouths to shield themselves from the media.

As LeBron James stated during a postgame news conference in 2017 after being questioned about a conversation with Lonzo Ball where he covered his mouth:

"There’s enough noise out there already with Zo, and it’s not for me to discuss. None of y’all business.”

#2, They want to discuss strategy

Sometimes during games, it isn't opposing team members trying to shield their conversation, it's teammates. One of the least controversial and exciting reasons players cover their mouths midgame is also the most obvious: They want to protect their strategies and schemes.

During timeouts and midgame, teammates cover their mouths to discuss both offensive and defensive strategies.

#3, Trash talk

Not all covered-mouth discussions are examples of tampering and conspiring, sometimes it's just some good old-fashioned trash talk. While players like Patrick Beverley like to make their trash talk and their comments loud enough for everyone to hear, sometimes, it's quite the opposite.

If a player wishes to avoid a fine from the league or a technical foul for vulgarities or excessive trash-talking, covering their mouth is a great way to do so.


#4, Trying to talk over the noise in stadiums

This one may not be one of the more exciting reasons on the list, but it's one of the best examples of why a player may cover his mouth. The same way you would cover your mouth to help echo your voice for a friend or colleague to hear you in a crowded restaurant, players have to make themselves heard.

With how loud stadiums and arenas get, it may not be exciting or controversial, but sometimes it's all about getting their point across quickly midgame.

(Suggested Reading: Robert Horry with a hot take on LeBron breaking Kareem's record)

#5, Trying to make sure they don't drop their mouthguard

The ol' Steph Curry! While the Golden State Warriors superstar may be known for chewing on his mouthguard while it hangs from his mouth, that isn't always the case. Sometimes, Curry and other players can be seen holding their mouth guard in front of their face.

While this could be a distraction from a potential conversation that may be taking place, other times it's simply an opportunity for a reset. For players who don't wear mouthguards, it's not uncommon for someone to bite at their jersey like the late great Kobe Bryant used to.


(Suggested Reading: When Shaq suspected Phil Jackson was a drug user)

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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