Paul George's unofficial theme song matches his smooth skill set

ByKalan Hooks ESPN logo
Sunday, February 4, 2024

NBA trainer Jamal "Dash" Lovell -- also known as "Dashletics" -- has always paid attention to players and the music they consume.

But when the New York City native received a visit from LA ClippersforwardPaul George for a training session last summer, he took the workout footage and decided to flip the script and accentuate George's game with a genre of music that matched it perfectly -- smooth R&B.

In July 2023, Lovell posted a nine-second reel on Instagram of the All-Star forward working on reading the defense and attacking gaps explosively before making a bank shot. Lovell added the audio of Erykah Badu's "Didn't Cha Know" over the clip, which now seems to have become George's theme song whenever the ball is in his hands.

He scored a game-high 38 points to lead the Clippers to a 128-117 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 16. Reporters mentioned the fan-given theme song to George in a postgame presser, and he shared an honest response.

"I didn't get it at first, but I guess it's just I'm smooth, but I tell people, you know, I always look at basketball as dancing anyway, so I'm always down to tango," George told reporters with a laugh.

Though George didn't know where the theme song emerged from initially, he says his teammate Kobe Brown brought the song to his attention and credits Lovell for giving him the staple song.

"Shout out Dash [Dashletics], Dash [I think] was the first one to put that clip out with that song on the background," George said.

Lovell, a big fan of Erykah Badu, told ESPN that he chose to put the song over the video because of how relatable George's skill set is to the artist's neo-soul feel -- a genre of music that merges the components of R&B, hip hop and jazz -- and her smooth, unrushed flow.

"[George's] game is just so smooth and so clean and such a poetry and an art to look at," Lovell told ESPN. "The song kind of goes right with it in the sense of it helps slows it down and we all know how smooth and clean his game looks but it gives you a sense of appreciation like 'this dude moves just the right way a basketball player should move.'

"The song just gives you that second to just sit back in the awe of it."

Lovell bridges the intersection of the R&B genre and basketball by "slowing down and make good decisions," which allows him to pay close attention to detail when analyzing his clients such as George.

"When I put the song behind his video, it was a slow-motion video and when you look at his game in slow motion and see how damn-near perfect it is -- I'm talking about from his footwork to everything he tries to do -- he tries to do everything to perfection," Lovell said. "The history being the genre and understanding the real detail in slowing down is so big to me."

Since posting the reel on Instagram, social media content creators have been using the song to create their own edits of George's highlights. Arena even played the song while showing his game highlights during the Clippers' matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.

George was recently named a Western Conference All-Star reserve as the Clippers currently sit in third place in the West. You can expect to see and hear more of the 6-foot-8 forward's theme song throughout All-Star weekend and the remainder of the season.

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