The annual NBA All-Star Game was held yesterday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and in a revamped format, Lebron James helped his Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Stephen Curry and Team Stephen. Following the game, most people were praising the NBA’s new format for helping to make the game closer and much more competitive and entertaining than in recent years.
Nonetheless, the most-talked about event didn’t happen during the game itself, but just before the opening tip-off. This event in question happened when Fergie of Black-Eyed Peas fame stepped up to perform her own unique rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
There have been many interesting interpretations of the US national anthem over the years, and Fergie’s performance at the 67th annual NBA All-Star Game is sure to go down as one of the most unique. Unfortunately for the singer, her drawn-out, bluesy version didn’t go over all that well with the audience inside the Staples Center, and judging by the many harsh criticisms on social media, viewers at home didn’t appreciate it much more than those who saw it in person.
Things didn’t get off to such a great start for Fergie, as fans throughout the sold-out arena could be heard chuckling when she throatily finished the first line of the anthem. From there, both fans and players could be seen reacting with varying levels of amusement as the singer slowly finished her 2.5-minute long rendition.
Despite remaining on pitch, Fergie’s tempo and sultry, sexy style weren’t exactly typical for a song of such meaning and importance. In fact, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green’s reaction probably best summed up the mood inside the arena. At one point during the anthem, the arena’s big screen showed Green staring with his mouth gaping open in apparent confusion brought on by Fergie’s unique rendition.
After the performance, several former basketball greats weighed in with their thoughts on Fergie’s rendition. During the game’s halftime show, Charles Barkley joked on TV that Fergie’s song made him need a cigarette, while Shaquille O’Neal defended the singer by saying he thought the performance was sexy and that people should leave Fergie alone.
Still, it all didn’t end so badly for Fergie, as the Grammy Award-winning singer finally got a huge cheer from the crowd after shouting ‘Let’s play some basketball’ following the conclusion of the anthem. Nonetheless, it seems sure that Fergie’s rendition won’t ever be mentioned in the same breath as some of the other great anthem performances in history.