NBA 2K14 will give you a technical foul for using profanity within earshot of the PlayStation Camera or Kinect because the developers wanted to give players a "more civilized online environment," a representative for publisher 2K Sports told Polygon today.
In basketball, a referee will call a technical foul on a player, coach or any other member of the team for a non-contact infraction; in most cases, it's called for unsportsmanlike conduct, such as cursing at a referee or another player. In the NBA, a technical results in a single free throw for the opposing team, and a player is ejected if he accrues two technical fouls in one game.
You can see NBA 2K14's voice-activated technical fouls in action in the video above from YouTube user randomfrankp. He flies into a rage after being slapped with a technical for swearing at Kinect in the Xbox One version of NBA 2K14 (NSFW language, obviously).
When played with Kinect, NBA 2K13 on Xbox 360 did the same thing last year, as we noted in our review. We reached out to publisher 2K Sports to ask about the functionality in NBA 2K14, and a representative for the company confirmed to Polygon that by default, the game will give out a technical foul if it detects profanity via Kinect on Xbox 360 or Xbox One, or with the PlayStation Camera on PS4.
Asked for a list of the words that will trigger a technical, the representative would only say that "the obvious ones are there." As for the reasons behind the implementation of the feature, the rep replied, "This was a feature we incorporated [in] NBA 2K13 that we felt brought both realism to the game, and a more civilized online environment for our players. The result was so positive we have continued it in NBA 2K14."
If you'd prefer to be able to curse out your camera without fear of reprisal from NBA 2K14, you can always disable the game's voice controls in its options menu. For those seeking an opinion of NBA 2K14 on PS4 and Xbox One, we're planning to update our review soon.