Ballin' Out Podcast: Sevyn Talks Meeting Allen Iverson, Plus Chris Paul & Jon Batiste on Love for Gospel & First All-Star Games
Following a three-week stretch that included Super Bowl 51, All-Star Weekend and the Grammys, Ballin' Out takes a breather for Episode 19, featuring special guests: singer-songwriter Sevyn, jazz musician Jon Batiste and Los Angeles Clipper Chris Paul.
After a brief recap of the biggest nights in music and sports, Natalie Weiner and Adelle Platon offer up a #DrakeUpdate and bring back the Injury Report (sorry, Matt Ryan). Sevyn then hops on the line to explain her teams -- the Florida native says she grew up siding with the Orlando Magic before jumping ship to the Miami Heat, and reveals her love of college football -- to her run-in with Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, and the aftermath of her National Anthem debacle with the Philadelphia 76ers. (Last December, she wasn't allowed to perform the song before the game because her shirt read "We Matter," which came in the midst of football star Colin Kaepernick's controversial take-a-knee protest.)
"The after-aftermath ended up being really beautiful, but the immediately-after aftermath was a little difficult, a little tough to go through," recalls the "Fallen" singer, who will be releasing an album this spring. "For me to not sing the National Anthem because of my shirt, it was disheartening. It literally broke me in places that I never felt heartache before. I had never gone through anything like that -- to go online and read the racial slurs that were being used to describe me. I was kind of out of it for a little minute. I had to put my phone down and not buy into it, and know that what I had on my shirt was promoting peace and positivity."
She continues: "The after aftermath of all of that? The 76ers coming back and apologizing, and us coming together. There was a really amazing thing [we did] for the Boys & Girls Club of America -- they came to the arena the day I came back ... It literally erased everything I had gone through emotionally with that entire ordeal, and replaced it with such joy for the kids."
Turning negatives into positives echoes Paul and Batiste's interview at the Dryades YMCA in New Orleans. During All-Star Weekend, the pair, along with DJ Khaled, opened a technology/computer lab at the center, and participated in drills with the youth, as part of NBA Cares and State Farm's Assist Tracker program.
The two reminisced on giving back in their respective communities, as well as on their first All-Star game in 2008. "Today, the most rewarding experience for me was being back in my hometown, having the honor last time -- in 2008, I played the halftime show here [in Louisiana] at 18 years old -- to now participating in the community, but also getting with Chris," says Batiste.
Paul chimes in: "Wow.  was my first All-Star game. That's why it was so crazy in 2008. For draft day '05/'06 and '06/'07 -- those two years, we played in Oklahoma because of [Hurricane Katrina], so our first year back to [Louisiana] was '08. Me and David West played in the All-Star game here, and we were No. 1 in the West. Byron Scott was the coach. I didn't know you played halftime." The two also gush over their love for gospel and Chance The Rapper.
This week's episode also bids a (hopefully, temporary) adieu to Weiner, who will be taking her talents to Bleacher Report. Pop the champagne for Episode 19 below and head to iTunes and Acast for all your future Ballin' Out needs.