LL Cool J, The Roots Reimagine ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ For NBA In-Season Tournament Anthem

The National Basketball Association has announced LL Cool J has collaborated with The Roots to reimagine the legendary song “Mama Said Knock You Out,” which will serve as the official anthem for the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

The anthem, a bespoke reprise of LL Cool J’s Grammy Award-winning single, “Mama Said Knock You Out,” features the familiar hook from The Roots’ popular track “Here I Come.”

The reimagined version combines the iconic lyrics of the 1991 hit with the energetic melody of “Here I Come.” It will serve as the musical backdrop for the stages of the In-Season Tournament, starting with Group Play involving all 30 teams and progressing through the single-elimination Knockout Rounds.

The spot pays homage to the classic VMA Award-winning music video while infusing it with a modern twist. It transforms LL Cool J’s presence from the boxing ring to the hardwood In-Season Tournament stage. This stage includes a tribute to the tournament’s coveted trophy, the NBA Cup, and features a live performance by The Roots.

“I’ve been a fan of the NBA ever since I can remember, and it’s a real honor to have my record serving as the anthem for this monumental moment,” said LL Cool J. “I’m excited to see the energy of the song translate to the play on the court during the NBA In-Season Tournament.”

The anthem will offer three distinct versions, each featuring wordplay from The Roots’ Black Thought that correspond to different segments of the tournament.

The first version of the song made its television debut during opening night of the NBA In-Season Tournament on ESPN, and across all NBA social platforms and the NBA App. It will serve as the opening theme song for each night of the NBA In-Season Tournament, airing on ESPN, TNT, local telecasts and radio broadcasts.

The NBA In-Season Tournament tipped off with Group Play Friday night in NBA team markets.

LL Cool J and The Roots are set to conclude their U.S. tour, “The F.O.R.C.E Live,” on November 19 at TD Garden in Boston.

(Photo: NBA)

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