Before the 60th NBA All-Star Game gets underway later today at Staples Center, Josh Groban will sing the national anthem. I'm sure Groban will do a fine job, but he will have a lot to live up to when it comes to Los Angeles-based NBA All-Star Game national anthems. It is very possible that Marvin Gaye's rendition of The Star Spangled Banner before the 1983 All-Star Game, at the Fabulous Forum, is the greatest national anthem before a sporting event ever.â†µ
In case you haven't heard it...â†µ
Now, it might be a stretch to call Gaye's version the best ever, but hear me out. Whitney Houston's anthem before Super Bowl XXV was great, and might just be the gold standard for all anthems, but it was lip-synced. In terms of raw emotion, it's hard to top the Chicago Stadium crowd cheering all throughout the anthem before the 1991 NHL All-Star Game.â†µ
But Gaye's national anthem is cool. If it's not the best anthem, it is certainly the most funky. I'd venture to say that there were a record number of children born in November 1983 just as a result of their parents listening to this anthem. I can't think of the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles without thinking of The Forum and Marvin Gaye. For Josh Groban, that's a lot to live up to.