Flo Rida may have made it to his courtside seat a little late, but the Carol City rapper set a tone early for the Miami Heat's opening NBA Finals game Thursday night.
An hour before tip-off, as the Heat players were milling in and out of the locker room, the team's cult-favorite forward Chris "Birdman" Andersen strolled in the room holding a fresh cup of coffee, and crooned to a room full of media, "I ain't gotta worry 'bout a thing!"
The line is from Flo Rida's new single "Tell Me When You Ready," which was coming from Norris Cole's phone as he sat at his locker. The real lyric is even more appropriate for Birdman: "Tattooed angels, ain't gotta worry 'bout a thing."
Flo Rida, of course, has received a wave of publicity since his manager, Freezy, left amid a disturbance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Freezy was dissing some Indiana Pacers from the duo's courtside seats after a skirmish involving Cole. On Thursday morning Flo Rida, calling himself "the sixth man," appeared on ESPN's sports-yak show "First Take" to defend his actions, the Heat and "the 305."
Cole said he appreciated the back-up from Flo Rida, and he frequently uses his songs to get himself in the mood for games. But his playlist is versatile.
"Different day, different thing," Cole said, as he sang along quietly while looking at a scouting report.
The Heat's resident soundman DJ Irie said Flo Rida would be heard frequently during the NBA Finals games at AmericanAirlines Arena. He later fueled the pregame shoot-around with "Tell Me When You Ready," and Mike Miller could be seen mouthing the words and he drained a series of corner 3-pointers.
Also at the game
Jimmy Buffet was in his familiar sideline seat, and was seen enjoying his own kind of musical inspiration, bumping ever so slightly to K.C. and the Sunshine Band's disco classic "That's the Way I Like It" during a timeout.
Dan Marino, looking fit and tanned in his courtside seat, got a LeBron James-size ovation when shown on the big-screen.
Defending champion of the PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy, was sitting down low with a bunch of dudes. Alas, his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniack, was nowhere to be seen.
"Grey's Anatomy" heartthrob Jesse Williams was a confusing presence in a courtside seat: His resemblance to San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is astonishing. During the game, Williams even Instagrammed a photo of Parker and called it #Selfie!!!
The Estefans were missed, as was "Burn Notice" star Gabriel Anwar. But NBC 6 anchor Jackie Nespral, apparently not working, looked stunning as always.