Behind The ScenesNBA

ESPN, Kendrick Lamar and NBA stars prove to be winning combination

If you weren’t a fan of Kendrick Lamar’s music, you more than likely became one with his latest hit “Humble” being the forefront of ESPN’s and ABC’s production open for the NBA Playoffs (see video below).

The recent No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart made its way to NBA fans in a cool way as the production open used still photography of players such as Steph Curry (see above).

“ESPN’s marketing group had a great idea of using stills and video,” said Tim Corrigan, ESPN’s NBA coordinating producer. “Using video gave us a lot more legs. Stories and themes change when you add movement to them and not just stills.”

Certainly, Lamar is a big deal not only to music fans but NBA stars such as the Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James, who has never been shy about admiring Lamar’s songs.

Corrigan went to the music studios a few weeks before the playoffs to listen to “Humble.” He immediately knew that was the song.

“It’s certain songs you hear that you just know is going to be a hit and this was one of them,” said Corrigan.

Lamar and his team were very collaborative with ESPN.

“Once [Lamar and his team] saw the direction we were going in, they were comfortable with what we were doing,” said Corrigan. “Lamar makes us ‘cooler.’ He connects ESPN in a different way that our viewers appreciate and that’s really valuable to us.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The NBA Conference Semifinals continue tonight with a doubleheader on ESPN (the Celtics-Wizards at 8 p.m. followed by Jazz-Warriors at 10:30 p.m.).

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