The NBA Video Music Awards

I watched the MTV Video Music Awards last night, which did nothing but remind me of how much I miss the NBA. During this weird thing called 5 Seconds of Summer, I realized that I’d rather watch YouTube videos of NBA players singing songs.

So that’s what happened.

After hours and hours down the NBA singing rabbit hole, I’m proud to present: the NBA Video Music Awards.

Best Duet: Patty Mills and Boris Diaw — “Killing Me Softly”

Started at the bottom in a low-key karaoke bar with Conan playing in the background, Patty and Boris deliver a strong performance of “Killing Me Softly.” A few quick points:

1. Basketball or no basketball, Patty Mills was born to be a star.

2. Boris Diaw proves, once again, that he is able to stay within his role and provide solid backup when needed.

3. Some people at the bar are way too chill for what’s taking place in front of them.

Skip to 2:30 to see a whole mess of finger-pointing, fist-clinching, and eyes-wide-shut singing from these two. I almost can’t handle how great this is. ONE TIME.

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Best Performance by a Group: 2009 Phoenix Suns — “All Night Long”

The Celine Dion Vibrato Award: Leandro Barbosa — “All Night Long” (Lead)

Here we have Jared Dudley, Grant Hill, Amar’e Stoudemire, Channing Frye, Jason Richardson, and Lou Amundson showing you that they are the best. Yeah, THAT Lou Amundson.

You know who’s the best of the best? LEANDRO BARBOSA.

The vibrato is an important element to a beautiful singing voice. If one can capture this in full voice, they can move mountains. Sadly, most people are not born with the necessary skills to achieve vibrato. Leandro is one of those people, but that’s OK because LEANDRO MAKES HIS OWN VIBRATO.  He’s the GOAT of the video, and by GOAT I mean he sounds like an actual goat. Skip ahead to 1:35 to see Leandro at his best in every way possible.

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The Props Master Award: Russell Westbrook — “Stay Stay Stay”

You can gather two things from this video:

  1. Russell will steal your heart sooner or later.
  2. Russell doesn’t use a pick.

Best Dance Ensemble: The Miami Heat — “Get Low”

I knew going in that I’d have a good time watching LeBron, Michael Beasley, and Roger Mason Jr. sing the words “Ah skeet skeet, motherfucker” in front of a live audience. The singing was good. The dancing was good. This was an all-around fun time.

Take another look at the dance.

TO THE WINDOW …

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TO THE WALL …

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TILL THE SWEAT DRIPS DOWN MY BALLS.

Worst Performance by an Ensemble: 2012 Rookie Golden State Warriors

Don’t let Draymond Green’s inspiring performance of “Lean on Me” fool you— the rest of this video is full of bad rapping, bad children’s songs, and, worst of all, bad “Gangnam Style.”

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The Bon Iver Falsetto Award: Dirk Nowitzki — “End of the Road”

Actually, this isn’t that far off from Dirk’s aging game, the way he cleverly finds ways to deliver despite what he lacks in raw talent.

For example: Dirk’s full voice is his ability to blow by defenders, which is now nonexistent.

And Dirk’s falsetto is his one-legged fade, à la “End of the Road.” The notes are there, it just looks and feels and sounds really bad.

The Mo Cheeks Humanitarian Award for Achieving Goodwill: Mo Cheeks — “National Anthem”

The single reason I’ve always cheered for Mo Cheeks.

Best Cameo-Saving Performance by a Group: Boyz II Men (for Charles Barkley) — “End of the Road”

Chuck suffers from being tone-deaf, especially when he’s had a drink or seven. So naturally, this performance isn’t going well until about 00:59. Just when the audience thinks this can’t get much worse … BOYZ II MEN, ABC, BBD.

Chuck is a notch above Dirk when it comes to this song, but all the credit goes to Boyz II Men, who are apparently very free these days.

The Bob Dylan “Lyrics” Award for Not Knowing the Lyrics: LeBron James — “Stayin’ Alive”

Lyrics to “Stayin’ Alive” — according to LeBron

[Silence.]

By the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man

No time to talk.

[FIVE SECONDS OF SILENCE.]

Stayin’ alive. Ish eh ah. And you an — eh — eh — eh — eh — ah.

Deh deh duh. Deh deh duh …

[11 SECONDS OF SILENCE.]

Stayin’ alive.

Hah. Hah. Hah. Hah. Stayin’ alive. Stayin’ alive.

All hail King James.

The Icon Award for Best Performance / Best Timing / Best “Wave ’Em Off” Game / Best Emotional Eyebrows / Best Reminder of Why I Love the Internet / Best Use of Shuttin’ Eyes / Best Performance by a Player Who Gives Very Few Shits About What Any of us Think: Pau Gasol — “How to Save a Life”

As many popular artists can tell you, there’s more to a performance than just a voice. To be considered a true entertainer, you must maintain an aura and a swagger onstage that cannot be taught. It’s just something you’re born with.

It’s just something Pau Gasol is born with. A quick rundown:

0:01 Passionately shuts eyes.

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0:06 Pau waves off “the things you told him all along.”

0:09 We explore the depths of Pau’s spirituality as he whips his head back during “Pray to god he hears you.”

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0:16 Perfectly air-punches the moment the chorus comes in.

0:18 A question is asked. “Where did I go wrong?” Pau puts his hand out as if to say, “Let me tell you.” Then he sets his eyebrows to EMOTIONAL STATUS, shuts his eyes, and sings, “I lost a friend.”

0:26 EYEBROWS.

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0:25 Well-timed head nod.

0:34 Raises eyebrows like, “You asked for the best.”

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Filed Under: NBA, Pau Gasol, Draymond Green, Miami Heat, Greg Oden, Patty Mills, Russell Westbrook, Charles Barkley, Mo Cheeks, Lebron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Golden State Warriors, LeAndro Barbosa, Boris Diaw

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Jason Gallagher is the founder of Ballerball.com and the cowriter of The Lockout: A Musical.

Archive @ jga41agher