One song was synonymous with NBA Basketball throughout the 1990s: Roundball Rock
by John Tesh
In 1988, John Tesh, then known as Yanni's Keyboardist and the co-host of Entertainment Tonight, was covering Le Tour De France. While in his Parisian hotel room, Tesh spontaneously conceived of the melody of a possible NBA theme song and recorded his first draft on his answering machine
Beginning in 1989, NBC used Roundball Rock in its 11,000+ broadcasts of NBA basketball (dubbed NBA on NBC) often following a 30-120 second recap of recent storylines (narration provided by a stoic Bob Costas or Marv Albert) including:
('92 Finals - Bulls v. Blazers)
, ('97 - Bulls v. Hawks
), ('93 - Lakers v. Suns
),( 2000 - Blazers v. Lakers
), ('94 - Supersonics v. Nuggets
), promotional trailers
('96), and this April 19, 1997 intro
featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander.
In 2002, after 13 seasons, NBC's contract with the NBA expired, and ABC/ESPN won the exclusive contract
until 2016. ABC/ESPN declined to use to Roundball Rock in their broadcast.
Although its loss was lamented lamented
by fans (including Conan O'Brien and at least one mefite
(a fan's recreation of this scene
[YT]), , Roundball Rock remains a part of American pop culture.
It has been sampled by Ras Kass
[yt] and Nelly
, and covered by Deadspin, a Boston Jam Band
. It is also the theme song for John Tesh's nationally syndicated radio show
and one of Bill Simmons' columns
In 2008, Tesh released a free mp3
to commemorate the NBA Finals and it was briefly reintroduced for the 2008 olympics
In 2009, Tesh remixed
the song (with a limited edition, autographed, commemorated poster
In May of that year, he also held a 'Rap Dribble Dance Video Contest
' offering fans prizes to create their own version of with dancing
, and dribbling
. Harley Morenstein, of the later EpicMealTime, was awarded first place.
obligatory bonus: Opening montage of Lil' Penny, Miniature doll of Penny Hardaway,and 1996 Eastern Conf. finals
, featuring Mama Said Knock You Out! and Roundball Rock.