Basketball allows for a bench technical foul, in which the official cites players on the bench or the coaching staff for unsportsmanlike conduct, which the Kinect-enabled NBA 2K13 will recognize. if you yell an expletive when the officiating doesn't go your way, you'll get T'd up says ESPN's Jon Robinson, but the foul doesn't go against anyone on the court. The example Robinson used was in complaining about a particularly generous and-1 shooting foul against him. The opposing team was given two free throws and possession.
It's an amusing quirk that doesn't drift into game-breaking punishment because basketball's sanction isn't as potentially severe as football's. FIFA 13 tinkered with the idea of handing out yellow cards if you swore at an offsides call, for example, but the concept broke down because there seemed to be no fair way of determining which player should get the booking. This is important because two yellow cards for a player result in his dismissal, and if it's a player on the pitch, the team will be a man down for the remainder of the match.
That's a lot more punitive than giving the other team two free throws and the ball, so EA Sports abandoned the booking aspect. Still, the match commentators in FIFA 13 will observe that the official has noticed your foul mouth, and you can expect not to get any favorable treatment the remainder of the way.
Now, in basketball, a coach who picks up two technical fouls is kicked out of the game, same as any player (and also in football, including managers) but the team still continues at full strength. I have no idea if NBA 2K13 will include an ejection seat for your team's coach. Considering that President Obama shows up in the Association mode as a coach after about five years, this could be downright hilarious.
Maybe the game gets around it by spreading the technicals out over the coaching staff and reserves. Baseball video games have included ejections for pitchers who repeatedly hit batters (and batters who charge the mound, off-camera) but not for managers, even though in real life, when a beanball war breaks out, field management often is warned, ejected and later fined.
Still, dismissing a coach would be a cosmetic act because the player can still act in his role. So this seems to be a novelty, just a little more playfully applied because the penalty in basketball is not as severe as it is in football. If you have Kinect and frequently swear during your NBA 2K experience on the 360, you might want to disconnect the sensor.
The technical foul feature is pretty significant for another reason. I was told long ago that the NBA was adamantly against technical fouls in this game, even for something as benign as hanging on the rim. "We fought hard" to get technical fouls in the game, said Ronnie Singh, the 2K Sports social media director and community head.
Where else might we see this feature crop up? I doubt the NFL would ever agree to it in something like Madden. In American football, players and sideline personnel swear with impunity anyway. Other sports video games with Kinect voice support include Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, whose namesake is notoriously potty-mouthed when he shanks his tee shot in the clutch. I wouldn't look for this feature to be implemented in his game anytime soon.