Watch The Roots Introduce The All-Star Game With A Musical History Of The NBA

Which era was the greatest?

The Roots opened Sunday's NBA All-Star game in New Orleans with a musical history of the decades-old league that featured several special guests. The seven-minute performance, titled "The Evolution of Greatness," began with Black Thought explaining, "We live in a culture that has always been obsessed with one age-old question: who's the best?" 

From there, several eras of the NBA were presented by performers such as Jidenna, Daveed Diggs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Michael B. Jordan, who appropriately honored greats such as Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal. As each performer made their case, they were surrounded by dancers in clothing from that period.

Run D.M.C's Darryl McDaniels, who presented the '80s portion of the musical, explained to Billboard that the purpose of the performance was to educate younger generations about the history of the game: "[The Roots] wanted to do something that wasn't just based on the entertainment value. While you're entertaining people, you should be able to educate, inspire, motivate and teach, which is the basis of hip-hop."

In the end, none of the eras were chosen as the single greatest, with Black Thought explaining, "True greatness is not comparison; it's evolution. Without each era, the game wouldn't be elevated to where it is today."


Watch the full opening number in the video below:

(H/T: Billboard)

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