Game centers

Bay Area rapper P-Lo performs at halftime of NBA Finals Game 1 and highlights AAPI performance

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Despite Thursday’s loss to the Boston Celtics, Game 1 of the NBA Finals presented a unique opportunity for a local rapper.

The Bay Area’s own Filipino-American rapper, P-Lo, graced the Golden State court on Thursday. He tweeted Wednesday“They have a Filipino kid playing at halftime in the very first game of the Finals at the Chase Center, beyond grateful.”

Sports fans are likely familiar with the artist’s song, “Same Squad.” The track has become something of an anthem for local sports teams.

ABC7 News connected with P-Lo ahead of the whistleblower.

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He explained: “For them to mark what I have going on as something they would want to defend is such an honor.”

And in such an important game, no less. The invitation alone amplified the importance of AAPI’s visibility, according to Dr. Matthew Atencio of CSU East Bay’s Center for Sport and Social Justice.

“I think it’s really such a clear synergy between what he does through hip-hop, but also what we see in terms of basketball as a really culturally and socially inclusive type of sport. global reach,” said Dr Atencio.

As for the AAPI representation, P-Lo said he acknowledges his responsibility. The Pinole native has become a public face for the Filipino-American community in the Bay Area.

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“The Warriors have done a great job of showing diversity here in the Bay Area and allowing me to have this opportunity,” he told ABC7 News.

“Incredible, given the global reach of the NBA,” Dr. Atencio weighed in. “But also, I think it’s also really important to see that connection between the sport of basketball — it’s a healthy outlet for so many of our local urban communities, especially for our Filipino-Americans who are there- down.”

Dr. Atencio said the presence of P-Lo in this type of environment really resonates with many Asian communities.

“Not just here in the Bay Area, but also when you think about the global importance of Asia,” he told ABC7 News. “Including the Philippines, which is a basketball-crazed nation.”

For P-Lo, his halftime performance was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the longtime Warriors fan.

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“It’s just an honor to, just to be able to represent the AAPI community,” the rapper said. “And doing it on such a big stage. You know…it’s the NBA Finals.”

Stay with ABC7, your home for the NBA Finals, for the latest news on the Golden State Warriors’ quest to become NBA champions again.

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