Perhaps prompted by David Stern’s recent comments about the reliance on cheesy sound effects and crap music in the NBA’s arenas, Dallas Mavericks’ chieftan Mark Cuban opted to Bring The Noise Down To Zero writes the New York Daily News’ Michael O’Keefe.

Cuban, curious to see if old school basketball really would play with today’s fans, ordered all music – even drum beats and trumpet charges – eliminated from the Mavs’ Dec. 30 game with Golden State and Jan. 3 game against Portland. Instead, the Mavs used video clips and brought in cheerleaders to pump up the crowd. The owner even had microphones set up around the court to catch and amplify the sounds of the game.

“We wanted people not close to the floor to hear the sneaker squeaks,” Cuban (above) says. “We even had someone mixing the sneaker noise.” The fans, however, hated the experiment. So did Cuban’s players.

“It wasn’t good,” says 11-year NBA veteran Darrell Armstrong. “The energy in the building just wasn’t the same. The crowd was kinda dead. They feed off the music as much as the game.”

Some NBA insiders believe Cuban was trying to show up Stern, who has fined him more than $1 million, mostly for ripping NBA referees, since he bought the team in 2000.

But Cuban says that’s hogwash: “I just figured I’d try it,” he says. “If it works, it works. We might try it again, or at least experiment with cutting back on the music.”

If you’re one of the tiny percentage of North Americans not enthralled by the job Pittsburgh’s D is doing on Peyton Manning, you might want to opt for watching Jalen Rose abuse the New York Knicks this afternoon. Rose has 17 points midway through the 2nd quarter and short of Jamal Crawford climbing on top of him (which I think has been attempted already), seems unstoppable.