NBA orders TV cameras away from midcourt sidelines for player safety

NBA Basketball

Television cameras are no longer permitted along NBA sidelines near midcourt — a ban imposed by the league to protect players, officials and camera operators. 

According to an report, the NBA instituted the restriction, effective immediately, in response to an incident during a Jan. 21 game between the Nuggets and Grizzlies when referee Scott Wall tripped over a cameraman sitting along the midcourt sideline and rolled his ankle.

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ESPN's national broadcast of the Spurs-Cavaliers game Saturday night was the first to apply the ban.

Initially, cameramen were allowed to sit on the floor in the areas on either side of the court to gain up-close shots of the floor and team benches.

There h

ave been several other incidents in recent seasons that called into question the proximity of both television and still photojournalists who sit along the sidelines, both at midcourt and the baseline. The most high profile incident came when LeBron James was critical of the league's camera policy after he tripped over a cameraman during Game 1 of last year's NBA Finals and tweaked his ankle.