In the Portland Trail Blazers’ Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, Damian Lillard went viral for shimmying to Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle” after hitting a big three-pointer. Blazers fans loved it. Twitter loved it. All of Oakland loved it, as the song is an East Oakland anthem.
Apparently the NBA did not love it.
The reason: Game 1 was theoretically a Lakers “home” game, by virtue of their #1 seed in the Western Conference. Had the contest been held in Staples Center rather than the Disney Campus in the Orlando bubble, Lillard’s shot might have been met with “Sound of Silence” or the sound of a whoopie cushion, but not an inspirational musical interlude.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the league is cracking down on music selection, instructing bubble DJ’s to stick to themes that favor the home squad over the visitors even if the teams are playing at a neutral site.
Haynes explains that the league has imported four team DJ’s to assist in the bubble. They’re tasked with “creating an atmosphere intended to hype up the ‘home’ team”.
DJ M.I.L. worked Tuesday’s Lakers-Blazers game and happened to have “Blow the Whistle” on his playlist. Moving forward, sources said, emphasis will be placed on going through playlists to make sure certain tracks aren’t iconic to the “visiting” team or to opposing star players who are supposed to be on the “road.”
If the NFL is known as the “No Fun League” for limiting the scope of touchdown celebrations, might “NBA” someday come to stand for “No Biased Atmosphere”?
Stay tuned as track-gate continues.