New York's night became latina thanks to NBA.
It wasn’t just any night. It wasn’t a night like other one. The lights brightened with the colors of New York and the music vibrated with Latin rhythms. Tradition, joy, passion and custom at a party that the NBA called ‘Noche Latina’. The mission was to pay tribute to the more than 50 million Latinos followers that has the basketball league most important of the world and the tool to get it was to make them feel at home. Madison Square Gardencapped a month of events throughout the United States to remind us that Latin America is also NBA.
The celebration began strong. National Anthem played by George Lamond,Puerto Rico roots singer who knew how symbolize currently the importance of the Latino community in the social, economic, political and sport in the United States.
The performance of Lamond was actually a bridge tended to give way to a trickle of performances with Caribbean flavor, such as the staged of Knicks City Dancers. The 16 dancers moved to the rhythm of ‘Aguanile’ by Marc Anthony and managed to convey the Latin heritage to the nearly 20,000 attendees.
Among them, there were compatriots protagonists. Jose Manuel Calderon could feel a little closer to home, not only for the Spanish flags hanging at some points of the enclosure, also because that night in his shirt sported ‘Nueva York ‘, instead of ‘New York ‘: «Now people come to New York and try to go to a game. The NBA is reaching all sides, more and more Spanish and Latin American fans. This celebration is a step closer to them» Calderón explains before the game.
Their language, our language, that night was a thread driver who was also present at his opponents: ‘The Bulls ‘. So he wore the kit of the present house of Pau Gasol: «Making this type of event is fine, is a nod to an extremely important reality in the US community. It is a nice gift to Latino fans.» And the truth is that it was.
A gift of light and color and an evocation of Hispanic customs that didn’t want to miss different personalities of the region, such as sports journalist Tania Rincón. For a few minutes she also moved us the wealth of their country and confessed she was «amazed that the NBA didn’t miss any detail of her roots.» From Mexico to Colombia we were as well with the famous anchor woman Juliet Piñeres; in his case, it was his first game, she came expectant and ready to applaud any action that would «rescue the Latino culture.»
Everything was perfectly rhythmic and lively, from the timbales with Cuban rhythms of Tito Puente Jr. to the assistance of stars in the american cinema and tv. Familiar faces such as actors David Hasselholff and Chris Noth, plus star WWE Ric Flair sitting with his daughter Charlotte. They all wanted to be part of the ‘Noche Latina’ and tend their hands to their customs.
That’s how the NBA wanted to thank Latino support and that’s how he knew reflect the mainstays of the community: Passion and heart in good and bad times. Passion and heart in their challenges, big or small, because as a day Julius Erving said «at the end goals always determine what you will be».