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Pro Sports Fight Songs: NBA

[Editor’s Note: Mike Chamernik has previously chronicled the fight songs for MLB and NFL teams. Today he’s back with the NBA installment. ”” PL]

By Mike Chamernik

This is one of my favorite videos on the internet:

What a collection of characters the 1994-95 Bullets were. A 7’7″ Romanian guy, two members of the Fab Five, a no-nonsense future coach, and a random assortment of “That guy!” players from the 1990s, all in a video with cheesy lip-syncing, outstanding overacting, and, yes, a tremendously catchy song that makes me wish I were a Bullets fan.

The Bullets aren’t the only NBA team to be honored in song. Before we get to the others, here’s a quick reminder of our ground rules: I ignored adopted songs, like how “Chelsea Dagger” is now a Blackhawks song and “Sweet Caroline” is an anthem for Red Sox Nation. Those songs don’t make references to those teams and were their own pieces of music before being attached to sports. I ignored team remixes to popular songs, because nearly every team has its own terrible version of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.” I also didn’t include fan-made songs because any yutz can make an EDM beat on his laptop and lay over some half-baked lyrics. And I stuck to things that are available on YouTube.

Ready? Here we go.

Cleveland Cavaliers – “Come On Cavs”

Much like the Indians, the Cavaliers have multiple theme songs, seven in all. The most notable of them is 1974’s “Come On Cavs,” a funky horn-driven entry. Local radio personality and jingle writer Larry Morrow created the song. It cost $10,000 to make and a jingle singer, Julien C. Barber, sang the lyrics.

Fun fact: Early 1980s Cavs owner Ted Stepien could easily be considered the worst owner ever, but an underrated bad move of his was ditching “Come On Cavs” for a polka tune.

Detroit Pistons – “Three Peat Beat”

This high-tempo hip hop song appeared in the spring of 1991, after consecutive Pistons titles and as the team was striving for its third in a row. If the YouTube description of the song is to be believed, “Three Peat Beat” was never heard again after the Bulls swept them in the Eastern Conference Finals that year to begin their own three-peat quest.

Notable lyrics: The song is very general, referencing the Pistons once and never mentioning Detroit or any players by name. The most the singer and background singers allude to is “The boys from Motown.”

Houston Rockets – “That’s My Team”

Houston rapper Mr. Luke made this song in 2008, an effort that name-drops not only Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming but also Carl Landry, Luis Scola and Steve Novak.

Fun fact: This song uses the “Chopped and Screwed” rap music style that originated in Houston, where DJs take songs, slow them down significantly and repeat the lyrics. I like the local synergy.

Memphis Grizzlies – “We Don’t Bluff”

After getting ejected from a game 2012 for nearly fighting with Thunder C Kendrick Perkins, Randolph uttered the phrase “There’s a lot of bluffing going on on the court, that’s all. And I don’t bluff.” The phrase became the team’s motto and Memphis native DJ Paul, of the Academy Award-winning rap group Three 6 Mafia, made a song from it.

Notable lyric: “They call us the Grizzlies/ Beat ’em with our bare hands.” Perfect badass song in honor of a badass player on a badass team.

Miami Heat – “Miami Heat Theme” and “We Already Won”

The “Miami Heat Theme” is an R&B song with a gospel choir, such a 1990s song. The video is outragously unintentionally funny, with the close-ups of the players faces superimposed over highlights and Heat players making cameos, dancing in the background. Miami-area hip hop artist Flo Rida released “We Already Won” after the Heat won their first title in 2012.

No wonder everyone hated this team: Oh wait, “We Already Won” was released only a week after LeBron’s Decision in 2010. They not only hadn’t won, but they hadn’t even played a game yet! “We already won, we already won/ And ain’t no need to play no more games/ We already won, we already won/ And ain’t no more need to play no more games/ Lemme hear you say we number one/ we number one/ we number one/ We already won, we already won, hey.”

Milwaukee Bucks – “Green And Growing (The Bucks Don’t Stop Here)”

In what might be this piece’s most annoying song, “Green and Growing” was released in 1977 and served as the intro song to Bucks telecasts for years afterwards.

Fun fact: Grantland head honcho Bill Simmons revived the song by embedding the song in every column where he mentions the Bucks.

New York Knicks – “Go New York Go”

The Knicks remade this catchy song a few times. The original version reference the 1994 Finals team, the 1999 version was about that year’s eighth-seed-to-finalist squad, and the 2012-13 version featured the team that ended up winning 54 games and came close to a Finals run. As you can hear, the music genre of the song was changed in each version, too.

Fun fact: Swizz Beatz made a remix to the song in 2011 and it wasn’t well-received.

Philadelphia 76ers – “1-2-3-4-5-Sixers!”

This is just a simple song with simple lyrics and simple math.

Outtakes: Before this season began, the Sixers got a few players to try to sing the song.

Portland Trail Blazers – “Rip City Rhapsody” and “Bust A Bucket”

Two classic examples of the early 1990s, both songs have videos which are a mix of highlights with Blazers players in the studio lip-syncing the songs. The songs helped raise money for Portland Boys and Girls Clubs.

Notable lyric: “Bust a bucket, who’d a dunk it, Blazer duty, super sunk it, slammin’ geez it, killer threes it, go up-get it-got it-good!” Man, that’s a tongue-twister.

Seattle Supersonics – “Not In Our House”

Seattle’s Sir-Mix-A-Lot made this song during the 1992-93 season, and Sonics players Michael Cage, Steve Scheffler, Gerald Paddio, Gary Payton and Eddie Johnson made cameos in the video.

Fun fact: Since the Sonics have departed the city, “Not In Our House” has actually gained some steam.

Washington Bullets – “You Da Man” and “Bullets Fever”

I mentioned the 1994-95 version of “You Da Man” at the beginning of this piece, but the Bullets revamped it for the next season as well. Musician and future E-Street Band member Nils Lofgren, who was raised in D.C., made “Bullets Fever” in 1978 after the team won the NBA Finals.

Fun fact: “Bullets Fever” is remembered fondly in Washington, much more so, sadly, than the “You Da Man” videos.

Do you remember any of these songs? Am I missing any? What’s your favorite or least favorite team song? How badly do you want to kill me for getting these songs stuck in your head the rest of the day?

•  •  •  •  •

Baseball News: The Giants had a Metallica Day promotion yesterday, which featured, among other things, band members playing the national anthem through Giants-themed amps. ”¦ Pretty much the worst conceivable uni match-up yesterday in San Diego: purple vs. G.I. Joke (from Todd Radom). ”¦ Good story on the Des Moines ballpark that was the site of pro baseball’s first night game (from Chris Williams). ”¦ Indiana and Maryland went red vs. red yesterday. ”¦ Florida state wore their Sunday gold unis for yesterday’s loss to Coastal Carolina. According to this story, it was their first loss in the gold unis this season and only the second regular-season loss in them since 2011. ”¦ New uniforms for Oregon softball. ”¦ This is pretty cool: a vintage tequila sunrise polo shirt worn by an Astros staffer. ”¦ The Rangers stacked as many sunglasses as they could on Robinson Chirinos’s cap yesterday (thanks, Mike).

NFL News: “Former NFL DB Charlie Peprah was married over the weekend,” says Christopher Jones. “His cake featured a layer with the Ghanaian flag (his grandfather was the military president of Ghana in the 1970s), a layer with houndstooth and the Alabama ‘A’ (Peprah played college ball at ’Bama), a layer with the Packers ‘G,’ and a replica of the Lombardi Trophy (Peprah was the starting strong safety on the Packers team that won Super Bowl XLV).” ”¦ Just about died when Brinke sent me this photo of himself wearing the new BFBS Niners jersey. Fortunately, he didn’t buy one — he just put it on for that photo. ”¦ “There was a Mexican wrestling exhibition here in Seattle on Saturday,” says Scott M.X. Turner. “One of the villain luchadores in the final match dressed taunted the Seattle crowd by dressing as a 49er. The pants are impressive, though the paper white-colored faceguard on the mask was — well, never mind, it was Luchadore Grande!” ”¦ Love the endpaper artwork on this vintage NFL children’s book.

College Football News: Phil provided excellent coverage of the Colorado’s new uniforms on Saturday (scroll down). But one thing he didn’t mention was the reflective outlines on the uni numbers (from Kary Klismet). ”¦ Here’s a quiz on college football helmets. “I got 10 out of 10,” says Phil.

Hockey News: Cross-dressing alert: Chicago Cubs players showed support for the Blackhawks’ playoff push by wearing Blackhawks jerseys. ”¦ Speaking of the Blackhawks, goalie Corey Crawford’s mask was broken after he took a slapshot to the face last night, so he had to switch to an old mask. ”¦ And still more Blackhawks: Here’s how they feel about broken sticks (thanks, Mike).

NBA News: LeBron James has never given an explanation for why he stopped wearing a headband back in March. He now says it was so he wouldn’t stand out visually from his teammates. ”¦ Here’s another round of those clever NBA playoff cartoons (thanks, Mike).

Soccer News: Hartlepool United wore next season’s neon yellow away kit for their final game of this season. “The kit featured ‘The Great Escape’ embroidery, in honor of the club’s survival in League Two despite spending most of their time this season in the relegation zone,” says Callum Johnston. ”¦ Celtic FC will be unveiling their new kit today. It will be made by New Balance — a switch from Nike (from Trey Oswalt). ”¦ The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Carolina RailHawks went orange vs. yellow on Saturday (from @depinto).

Grab Bag: Bizarre situation regarding Air India in-flight uniforms that has to be seen/heard to be believed.

Comments (62)

    “One of the villain luchadores in the final match dressed taunted the Seattle crowd by dressing as a 49er.”

    How can one do any taunting as a 49er now without any black in their uni/costume?? Red/White/Gold seems so passive now.

    Detroit Pistons — “Three Peat Beat”

    I honestly don’t recall that at all. The only song I ever associated with the Pistons of that era was “The Final Countdown”, which of course isn’t team-specific.

    I think everyone played The Final Countdown those days. The Cavs would play it during crunch time (“Ladies and gentlemen, UP on your feet for your Cleveland Cavaliers!”)

    “Chicago Cubs players showed support for the Blackhawks’ playoff push by wearing Blackhawks jerseys”

    Yeah, we all know Chicago is a big Hockey town, but still – shouldn’t the Cubs have more self-respect here? It’s like they’re saying, “We know that other team is more popular than we’ll ever be.” Even if it’s true, have a bit of pride. Feels very rinky-dink, very minor league. Can you imagine the Blackhawks ever returning the favor? Right, me neither.

    Using Lukas reasoning based on his comments from April 3 when he called the Blues rinky-dink for wearing Cardinal jerseys for warmups.

    I don’t think there is one thing in your post that I agree with.

    One city’s team supporting another of the city’s teams seems a great thing to me. I don’t think you’ll see the Cubbies wearing White Sox jerseys, however.

    And I don’t think the ‘Hawks will ever be more popular then the Cubs.

    Sure the Hawks are more popular than the Cubs. Every Cub fan roots for them, and so does every Sox fan.

    Dumb Guy: You seem to misunderstand the point of Bob’s post. His last sentence shows that he is saying that just like his paragraph about the Cubs sounds ridiculous, so he feels that Paul’s April 3 comments (which criticized the St. Louis Blues for wearing Cardinals jerseys) are equally misguided.

    Can you imagine the Blackhawks ever returning the favor? Right, me neither.

    Only because the odds of the Cubs making the playoffs is so close to zero. But if the Cubs are ever playing in mid-October, when the NHL season is starting, I can absolutely see the Blackhawks returning the favor.

    Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough and Executive Vice President Jay Blunk both spent over 20 years presiding over the Cubs brand when it’s popularity peaked during the 2000’s. There is often cross promotions between the Cubs/White Sox and Hawks.

    The Padres, who have a massive– and proud — military presence in the city and fan base and who have worn camo-themed jerseys for maybe a decade are now suddenly “G.I. Joke?”

    Just doesn’t seem right.

    There’s really no suddenly about it. They’ve been G.I. Joke for as long as they’ve been doing it. Even if we accept the idea that for some reason a baseball team should be paying tribute to the military, camouflage jerseys look like crap.

    To explain the etymology of “G.I. Joke”:

    As most of you know, I’ve been referring to camouflage uniforms as “G.I. Joe” for years. That’s because I view these uniforms as an unseemly form of playing dress-up soldier.

    I recently referred to a camo uniform on Twitter as “G.I. Joe,” and someone responded by saying, “More like G.I. Joke.” I thought to myself, “Hey, that’s not bad!” It sort of reinvigorates the term by evolving it. So I thought I’d try it out here on the site and see if it felt like a good fit.

    So far, so good.

    I like it. When I first saw it this morning I couldn’t decide if it was intentional or the most accurate typo ever made. Glad it was intentional.

    Just when I was wondering, “Is that a new term?”, the Q gets Aed.

    Another vote for the phrase.

    Those who object to the phrase “G.I. Joke” to describe camo sports uniforms are likely the same people who have objected to using “G.I. Joe” for the same purpose.

    Will we see equally insulting language directed to other uniform additions aimed at special groups? Is Pink October now “Stink” October?

    As long as billion-dollar corporations continue to cheapen worthy causes with lip service and offensive uniform “tributes”, bet on it.

    Thing is, when the Padres debuted their original version of their current unis, with the white-and-navy home uni and the khaki road uni, they were expressly modeling themselves after US Navy and USMC uniforms. Which pretty much means that anyone who objected to the khaki road uniforms was spitting on the troops, right? Anyway, point being, the Padres found a way to pay tribute to San Diego’s military heritage every day of the season. Adding camo alt uniforms undermined that, to the point that almost nobody, even in San Diego, understood the purpose of the design of their regular uniforms. So when the Padres dropped their military-themed road uniforms in favor of plain gray, nobody took it as the slight against San Diego’s troops that it sort of actually was.

    But, hey, they play soldier dress-up once every couple of weeks, so hats off. Because if there’s one thing that says “patriotism,” it’s physically fit, well-educated young men of military age choosing not to serve their country and instead dressing in soldier clothes while they play a child’s game for money. Yoo-Ess-Ayy!

    Just out of curiosity, are our soldiers embarrassed by these gushy “tributes”? I wouldn’t dare to speak in their place, but that’s the impression I get.

    The Orlando Magic had 4 I can remember, there’s the late 89’s extremely dated and lame “Orlando Magic Theme” which should be on YouTube, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ The Magic” from the 1995 Playoffs, I have that on cassette single, “Hoop N Yo Face” from the Sunset Park movie which received a Magic remix for the 95 Finals and was played heavily on the radio but I have no copy, and of course, Troy Hudson’s “Orlando Magic Song” from 2001-02 where he name drops the roster but not including himself, it’s a dirty South crunk style song, I have that on CD single. Shaq also had one when the Lakers won back to back called “It Takes Two.”

    “after the Heat won their first title in 2012.”

    As much as it pains me to mention it, the Heat won their first title (allegedly) in 2006.

    That is correct. I knew this.

    For me, I don’t even think of the 2010-14 Heat as a part of the Heat franchise; it’s like they became a mercenary group operating under the Heat name. That’s why I worded that poorly.

    So yes, the Heat had already won, but the point remains. Flo Rida was rapping about the Heat getting LeBron and easily winning future championships.

    Brooklyn Nets have link.

    They also had a “playoff anthem” back when they were in New Jersey (a remake of Jay-Z’s “The Takeover”) but I can’t find it anywhere.

    Two Super Sonics songs not included are Sonic Boom, put out in 1978-79, which had the memorable line “Sonics, yeah your okay, the number one team in the NBA.” as well as The Presidents of the United States of America’s song from the 1990’s which sampled Sonic highlights.

    Supersonics by the POTUSA is the first one that I thought of. Nothing like hearing some of Calabro’s more famous calls.

    What about “Only the Bulls”, Mike? Does that not qualify as an NBA team song?

    Even though I’ve lived in the city for 7 years and in Chicagoland for all 24, I’ve never heard this song!

    here is the link to Only the Bulls. It’s a real step up from the typical team song. Written by an executive at Leo Burnett ad agency.

    You da man, Chamernik…you da man!

    Never heard that Bullets song until now. That was fun.

    I grew up in a polka household, and I still enjoy a good horn-heavy Pennsylvania/Chicago-style polka (I can handle the oom-pah stuff, but it really ain’t my groove). That being said, the absolute worst thing Stepien did was ditching C’mon Cavs (Best. Sports. Song. Ever.) for a polka.

    Gonna spend the rest of the day enjoying the other songs…except for the Pistons one.

    That’s the reason I’m a Chamernik fan!

    Thanks Jim. I’m with you on C’mon Cavs. And while I have a history with polka too (my grandparents and my dad’s side of the family love it), associating that genre of music with basketball is pretty dumb, even in an ethnic city like Cleveland.

    Almost forgot…from the early days of rap, here’s a tribute to the stars of the Larry O’Brien era of the NBA:

    Interesting feature in that video, at the 2:25 mark there’s a shot of two Nuggets (both with different uniforms) taking Caldwell Jones to the hoop.
    I’m assuming that was from an ABA All Star Game?

    I used to – but don’t believe I still do – have a 3/4″ copy of a 1986-87 Atlanta Hawks video for their song, “We’re Atlanta’s Air Force.”

    It was in that period right after the Super Bowl Shuffle, of course, when everyone got on the bandwagon. The only bit I can remember of it was the refrain, “Nothing can stop us, we’re Atlanta’s Air Force!” and they’d have random people and players shouting “NOTHING!”

    And now that I look, I see that not link, but link versions of it exist on YouTube. So it doesn’t matter if I still have mine or not.

    The AHL St. John’s Ice Caps are now officially the link, with colors updated to reflect the parent club, the Winnipeg Jets.

    Per the post today by Mike Chamernik, I wanted to make sure you knew about the classic Mighty Ducks of Anaheim fight song “Rock the Pond” by John Bisaha.

    This song was used as an intro before every Mighty Ducks of Anaheim home game at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim starting in the inaugural season of 1993-1994 and for many years thereafter. It was accompanied with an early ’90s CGI animation of the Ducks logo and mascot flying over a map of the United States destroying all the other NHL logos before landing at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

    The song was later used over the end credits of the Disney movie “D2: The Mighty Ducks” in March of 1994 where they changed the lyrics from “The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim” to “The Mighty Ducks of America” to better fit the storyline of the film.

    I was unable to find the animation on YouTube, but I did find a YouTube link to the audio of the film version here: link

    Honestly, the song still gets me pumped. I was 12 when the Ducks first took the ice, so this is part of the soundtrack of my youth.

    Rock the Pond!

    P.S. In November 2013, when the Anaheim Ducks had their “Throwback Night” to celebrate the inaugural Mighty Ducks team, many of us fans present were disappointed that the animated intro and “Rock the Pond” song was not used. Perhaps it was a rights issues, perhaps Honda didn’t want the old arena name invoked. It was a missed opportunity.

    Thanks, Chuck. My list of NHL songs is pretty short, so I’ll include the Ducks’ song!

    Glad to help. It’s a fun song.

    Side note: when this website introduced a few years back the artist Mark Penxa’s excellent “Stealing Signs” sports artwork, I had a piece commissioned that was of the original Mighty Duck goalie Guy Hebert with the phrase “Rock the Pond” in a big script. Classic.

    The 49ers black jerseys are getting a lot of criticism for trying to copy the Raiders. But my first impression is that they are (consciously or subconsciously) emulating another link. And I would bet money that Harbaugh was the original instigator for this change.

    Thanks for the additional NBA songs, everyone. I’ve added them to the NBA team song playlist I made on YouTube (embedded at the top of this page). Check it out if you please. I also did the same thing with my MLB and NFL playlists.

    Come On Cavs is SO GOOD. I could jam to that for awhile today. And the video for The Miami Heat Theme is excellent. I love that it shows the unis and courts of the day. I had to pause it a few times to marvel at the color displays I was seeing.

    Can we just agree the time to go BFSF for the Niners was in 1996 and not now? A black jersey with red graphics and black and gold outlines would have been SWEET and would have complemented their then-color scheme. What kept that design from being a modern classic was opting for the cheap screened-on helmet logo for the sleeves; plain would have been better but embroidered logos should have been used.

    I wouldn’t exactly call it “SWEET,” but yes; it would certainly have been better than what we got here last week.


    And for the record, I kinda like the logo on the sleeves. Green Bay did that back in the ’80s, and it was excellent.


    And apparently we still can’t link a picture with [number]x[number] in the address.

    First pic is at:


    “You Da Man” is great. And the video could only happen in the early-mid-’90s when rap music was no longer a novelty but it also wasn’t What’s Wrong With America’s Youth yet.

    The Presidents of the United States of America???? NOT ON THE LIST…link SUPER SONICS OH YEAH…

    Saw today that the San Diego Gulls are partnering with a San Diego-based record label to craft a “fight song” to be used all next season…with the possibility of a mix-tape at the end.


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