As the Minnesota Timberwolves fight for their championship aspirations tonight (May 30), a Minneapolis legend aura presides over the franchise. The one and only Prince’s DNA is etched into the fabric of the state, and his iconic single, “When Doves Cry,” will serve as the battle song for the Timberwolves faithful.

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“He would’ve loved to be sitting front row so he could rep his city,” Londell McMillan, Prince’s longtime friend and former attorney told ESPN. “He would’ve loved Anthony Edwards and the chemistry, and Jaden McDaniels, because he likes tough play. He was a tough guy. The balance of the team, he would’ve saw them as a band that’s well-refined.

“The one thing he might’ve said is that he liked the white shirts, but he would’ve been like, where’s the purple?”


READ MORE: Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Commemorates 40th Anniversary With 4K UHD and Digital Release

McMillan is referring to the white tees worn by the fans in unison to support the team as they battle Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks. However, the Purple One’s energy vibrates across the area, including a mural of the late superstar donning a parking building’s wall, hovering over the First Avenue nightclub from Purple Rain lore.

According to ESPN, “When Doves Cry” has been the Wolves’ go-to song since 2012. They use “Let’s Go Crazy” to rile up the crowd in the fourth quarter and “Controversy” when a ref flubs a call.

Numerous celebrities graced the Target Center sidelines, but Prince was a mainstay and brought a different level of excitement. An avid basketball fan, beyond what was comedically portrayed in Chappelle’s Show, Prince would hone in on the Timberwolves’ offense, echoed by former player and coach Sam Cassell and point guard Troy Hudson.

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Prince’s history also includes playing basketball at Bryant Junior High School, Junior Varsity basketball at Central High School in St. Paul, and pickup games.

Even though Dave Chappelle’s iconic Comedy Central program Chappelle’s Show has been off the air for over a decade, it remains celebrated as one of the greatest comedic shows in television history, with fans still frequently referencing its sketches. One of the most famous segments was “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” where comedian Charlie Murphy recounted an unforgettable story about the late music legend Prince. Murphy revealed that Prince was a phenomenal musician and an impressive basketball player who outplayed Murphy and his friends in a game while dressed in high heels and club attire.

Micki Free of Shalamar also participated in the game. Confirming Charlie Murphy’s story, affirming that it is 100% true. Sharing the tale from his perspective, Free expressed his amazement at Prince’s basketball skills, echoing the surprise and admiration felt by everyone else who witnessed it.

There is currently a rise in women’s basketball popularity behind the star power of players like A’Ja Wilson and Caitlin Clark. But Prince was a fan of the Minnesota Lynx before it became trendy, celebrating their 2015 championship at Paisley Park.

Today, celebrations at Paisley Park continue. The annual gathering of Prince fans, known as Celebration, is returning to Paisley Park and various venues throughout Minneapolis from June 20-24, 2024. This year’s event coincides with the 40th anniversary of Purple Rain and will feature themed programming throughout the weekend.

In partnership with First Avenue, Paisley Park will present The Revolution—Wendy, Lisa, Bobby Z, Brownmark, and Dr. Fink—performing in honor of the Purple Rain milestone. These historic concerts will occur at the legendary First Avenue on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22. Morris Day, New Power Generation, and many more artists will perform during the festivities.

“We are excited to have the Revolution return to Minneapolis to celebrate Prince and the 40th Anniversary of Purple Rain! Along with Morris Day, we will celebrate Prince and his iconic history! Join us and Let’s Go Crazy!,” said Bobby Z, Drummer of The Revolution.

McMillan added, “We continue to celebrate the enduring legacy of one of the greatest works ever created, Purple Rain, 40 years later. Celebration 2024 marks the beginning of a year-long series of events honoring Prince and his magnum opus.”

READ MORE: Prince’s Iconic ‘Purple Rain’ Set to Hit Broadway as a Musical

The weekend will be packed with activities, including an all-day block party in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday, June 22. Fans can also look forward to conversations and themed panels, DJ dance parties, screenings of HD films from the Purple Rain era, and additional surprises. Continuing Prince’s legacy of nurturing new talent, the event will feature New Artist Showcases spotlighting emerging artists.

VIP ticket holders will enjoy special experiences such as a VIP boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka, exclusive tours of new exhibits, VIP lounge access, and more.

For the latest information on ticketing and programming, visit Paisley Park’s official site.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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