Roundball Rock

"Roundball Rock"
Single by John Tesh
Released 1990
Recorded 1990
Genre New-age
Length 2:49
Label GTS Records
Writer(s) John Tesh
Producer(s) John Tesh

"Roundball Rock"[1] is a theme song composed by John Tesh and used for The NBA on NBC from 1990 until 2002. NBC played the song 12,000 times during their run. Tesh came up with the melody while at a hotel and called his answering machine at home to play a preliminary version of the melody so he would not forget it.[2] A more rock-oriented variant was introduced in 1997, to coincide with the debut of the WNBA; that theme was also used until 2002, and on NBC's WNBA telecasts only.

When ABC took over broadcasting rights for the National Basketball Association (NBA) from NBC, Tesh offered them the rights to also use his song, but they declined and chose to compose their own theme music instead.[3][4]

The song was revived in three ways in 2008 and 2016, with NBC using the music for commercial bumpers and starting lineup announcements during their coverage of basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Olympics that featured NBA players[5] and Tesh releasing a free MP3 version on his website to commemorate the 2008 NBA Finals.[6] This song was sampled by Nelly for his song "Heart of a Champion" from his studio album, Sweat, and compilation album Sweatsuit. "Roundball Rock" was also used in the Boondocks episode "Ballin'".

On April 13, 2013 Saturday Night Live parodied John Tesh pitching the theme song to NBC executives. The song was played with lyrics.

A variation of the tune is used by Tesh as theme music for his syndicated radio show.

See also


  1. TV Theme - NBC, NBA 02.wav
  2. Gayomali, Chris (May 26, 2011). "Watch: How John Tesh Wrote the NBA's Iconic Theme Song". Time. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  3. Rovell, Darren (June 12, 2002). "The day Tesh's music might die". Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. "The Second Wind of John Tesh's NBA Theme". The Wall Street Journal. May 26, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  5. Chase, Chris (August 10, 2008). "The music of John Tesh is eternal". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. Tesh, John (12 June 2008), "John Tesh Scores Points With NBA Fans by Offering Free Download of His Classic NBA Theme 'Roundball Rock' in Honor of the 2008 NBA Finals", PR Newswire, retrieved 13 November 2011

Further reading

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