Perhaps the biggest foul of the record-breaking NBA All-Star Game came before tipoff.
At least that’s what critics are saying about singer Nelly Furtado’s performance of her national anthem at the game in Toronto on Sunday night.
Seconds after American R&B singer Ne-Yo performed a soulful, well-received rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Canadian Furtado stepped onto center court to sing “O Canada.”
That’s when tweets about the the “I’m Like a Bird” singer started flying.
“On behalf of Canadians everywhere, we’d like to nominate Nelly Furtado’s version of our great anthem as the worst play of the day,” Ian Esplen tweeted.
“To be such a fine singer and give that performance of such a beautiful, beautiful song … shocking,” tweeted Michael Wilbon, co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption.”
At times, Furtado seemed to be out of sync with Native American flute player Tony Duncan, who accompanied her center court.
But some adored Furtado’s performance of “O Canada.”
“Loving @NellyFurtado’s rendition of our national anthem!” the Canadian entertainment show “etalk” tweeted.
And Duncan got his share of love, too.
“My man Tony Duncan on flute crushing Oh Canada,” Aaron Barry wrote.
“Really dug the Canadian anthem by Nelly Furtado with Tony Duncan,” Pax Tobi Ogunyemi said.
Furtado herself posted several tweets expressing excitement over the NBA All-Star weekend. But after her national anthem, she has largely stayed mum.
For those more interested in the actual game, the Western Conference All-Stars beat their Eastern Conference counterparts 196-173.Like Neon Las Vegas on Facebook: