Photojournalist and Matador Goods editor Lola Akinmade guides you through halftime entertainment at a basketball game.

BEING MARRIED TO a sports journalist means I’m obligated to watch my fair share of games – all manner of sports, leagues, and competitions. So on a recent trip to Cleveland with husband in tow, catching a Cleveland Cavaliers game was mandatory.

The opposition? The legendary Chicago Bulls.

The setting? Circus-like, with shooting flames, neon lights, Michael Jackson impersonators, booty-shaking cheerleaders, and flying mascots.

Here’s a tiny glimpse into the world of “Halftime Entertainment.”

1

Shooting Flames

1. The game started off with a big bang. Literally.

2

LeBron James

2. The powerful and über-talentedLeBron James remains the main attraction of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

3

Shaquille O'Neal

3. With the addition of Shaquille O'Neal to the team, fans are usually in for a wild ride at a Cavaliers game.

4

The antics sometimes begin with the players, and quickly lead off to various random acts all evening long.

4. The antics sometimes begin with the players, quickly leading off to various random acts all evening long.

5

Jackson 5

5. A really cute Jackson 5 band with pre-teen impersonators...

6

Michael Jackson

6. ..and the instantly recognizable "Black and White" pose made famous by Michael Jackson...

7

Choreagraphy

7. ...rounded off by a beautifully choreographed rendition of "Smooth Criminal."

8

Armchair

8. Other acts included an armchair race where contestants had to race an armchair around an improvised obstacle course to dunk the ball.

9

Engagement

9. The mandatory mid-game marriage proposal, complete with hugs from the team mascot, on the Jumbotron

10

Mascots

10. Haaaaa. Mascots. How can we forget them?

11

Mascots

11. ...or the random things they do...

12

Mascots

12. ...including launching off trampolines to dunk balls.

13

Dance team

13. Various dance teams also busted a couple old-school moves, minus the cardboard boxes.

14

Cheerleaders

14. And yes! The belles of the ball: booty-shaking, splits-performing, bouncy cheerleaders.

15

The fans

15. With all the different forms of entertainment, the sport certainly draws a diverse crowd.

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