The cringe quotient starts to rise any time a professional athlete steps to center court to sing the national anthem, but Jerry Stackhouse erased that tension by handling the task like a pro on Saturday.
Before Brookyn got around to dismantling Chicago 106-89 in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, the Nets' 38-year-old forward belted out a solid rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner." Wearing his team warm-ups, Stackhouse proceeded confidently and relatively quickly through the song, drawing scattered cheers from the home crowd along the way. Once complete, Stackhouse was mobbed by Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans before receiving high-fives from most of the rest his Nets teammates.
The song would prove to be the individual highlight of the night for Stackhouse, one of the NBA's oldest players, as he finished scoreless in 12 minutes. That hardly mattered: Brooklyn cruised to an easy victory thanks to 22 points and seven assists from Deron Williams and 21 points and five rebounds from Brook Lopez. Chicago's Carlos Boozer scored a game-high 25 points and added eight rebounds in a losing effort.
This isn't the first time that Stackhouse has taken the mic during the postseason. Back in 2010, as a member of the Bucks, he sang the National Anthem before a playoff game against the Hawks. His pre-game concert series also included a tour stop in Dallas, where he sang the national anthem before a regular-season game in 2007 as a member of the Mavericks.
Brooklyn, the No. 4 seed, now holds a 1-0 series lead over Chicago, the No. 5 seed. Game 2 is set for Monday night at Barclays Center.
Video via YouTube user TheBrooklynGame