Nathan Black Rumors
Of the 29 (30 if you wanna count Staples twice) NBA arenas, MSG probably has the best pre-game and break-in-action music. When it comes to TV broadcast-only music for bumpers and the like, the Sacramento Kings’ local affiliate probably has the best selections, believe it or not. But when it comes to in-game song selection, there is no equal for FedExForum. While the sheer volume of it can be occasionally exhausting — only Barclays definitely beats it in terms of songs per minute — the stadium is unmatched for the breadth, diversity and high quality of the songs being played during any given point in game action.
“The guys” at FedExForum are Nathan Black, the Forum’s official in-house DJ, and Justin Baker, the Click Effects Operator. Black, who has been with the Grizzlies since they came to Memphis in 2001, handles the music for the timeouts and halftime and pre-and-post-game, basically any time except for when the ball is in play. He’s the guy who has made songs like Tag Team’s “Whoomp! There It Is” and The Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” FedEx fixtures, and who cemented DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” (with a special Grizzlies-specific verse from Memphis rapper Freesol) as the Grizzlies’ signature victory song.
Now, the fans have gotten really into it. Potter says he’s “getting emails from people requesting stuff. ‘Oh, the Crystal Castles album! This xx song would be perfect!’” Not only that, but Potter also says that people have been sending him stats based on how the team has been performing based on what song has been playing — “Like, when you play the “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack, you’re shooting that percentage.” He later quips, “I’ll have to ask Hollinger what kind of stats he wants,” no doubt the final frontier in advanced stat analysis for the Grizzlies’ new VP of Basketball Operations.