Najee to Perform National Anthem at NBA Game on Xmas Day
Continuing a tradition started by the late Grover Washington, Jr in Philadelphia in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Najee will perform the National Anthem before the start of the NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla. between the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day. The game will be part of a nationally televised doubleheader on sports channel ESPN. This matchup between Eastern Conference rivals may be a preview of the playoffs later in 2010, as the Magic, led by rising superstar Dwight Howard, lead the Southeast Division and the Celtics with the power trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen now being augmented by Rasheed Wallace, are in first place in the Atlantic Division by a wide margin. The Philadelphia 76ers, perhaps missing their good luck charm of Washington’s soulful saxophone, have been mired in a nearly decade-long slump, with, without and with (again) Allen Iverson.
As documented in an earlier a Tangents column in JT, jazz musicians have had much experience doing the honors before high-profile sporting events.
Najee recently released Mind Over Matter on Heads Up International.