LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard and other “visiting” stars will no longer hear music or tracks they’re known to enjoy while playing in “road” games in the bubble, sources told Yahoo Sports.
“No, I won’t be playing ‘Blow the Whistle’ [by Too Short] tonight,” DJ Shawna, the official DJ of the Milwaukee Bucks, told Yahoo Sports before the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Blazers 111-88 in Game 2 on Thursday. “I will only if it’s a Blazer home game.”
In the Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Lillard hit a deep triple down the stretch and then for a few seconds danced as the Oakland legend’s “Blow the Whistle” played in the arena.
Lillard, an Oakland native, began dancing right as he was getting ready to play defense. That’s usually not the vibe a star player is treated to after a big play on the “road.”
“It was right that I acknowledged the East Oakland anthem and go dumb for a second,” Lillard said to Jared Greenberg of TNT in a walkoff interview after Game 1.
Lillard finished Tuesday’s contest with a game-high 34 points and hit six threes.
Three official team-employed DJs and one who assists the L.A. Clippers were picked for the 22-team restart in the Disney bubble, and they rotate in shifts to work every game.
The DJ contributes to the game-day experience by creating an atmosphere intended to hype up the “home” team.
Obviously, these DJs have to sometimes perform against the teams by which they’re employed. In a Trail Blazers “home” game, tracks by Dame D.O.L.L.A. are in heavy rotation.
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.”
Lillard was held to 18 points on Thursday night, his lowest point total in the restart, and also dislocated his left index finger. X-rays were negative and he said he will play in Game 3 on Saturday.
DJ Shawna played mostly Los Angeles-based hits by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit and Tupac in Game 2.
Without fans in attendance, “home” teams are left with fake crowd noise, favorable PA announcers and muted virtual fans in the background.
“No, there’s no home-court advantage here,” LeBron James said this week. “But at the end of the day, I live by one code and that the game is won in between those four lines and not on paper. … So it really doesn’t matter who’s in the stands. When it’s time to lock in, you lock in.”
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