Last month, before his epic war of words with Erykah Badu and after his hometown Oklahoma City Thunder fell behind 2-0 in their Western Conference Finals matchup with the seemingly unstoppable San Antonio Spurs, Flaming Lips' mastermind Wayne Coyne was still upbeat. And not about Badu.
No, despite the (then) overwhelming odds against them, Coyne was confident that the Thunder would not only rally to defeat the Spurs, but would go on to win the NBA championship. In fact, "confident" was probably an understatement.
"Of course, what do you mean 'Can they win?' " he responded to MTV News when we asked about the Thunder's chances of taking home the NBA crown. "They will win."
And we all know how things turned out. The Thunder staged a Lazarus-like comeback against the Spurs — who had been riding a 20-game winning streak — and won the series in six games. Now, it's on to the NBA Finals, where they'll face off against the playoff-tested Miami Heat and their trio of stars: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Game one of the Finals tips off Tuesday night (June 12) in Oklahoma City.
Can the Thunder's epic run culminate in the NBA championship? Well, we know what Coyne thinks ... and he's not alone.
He and the Lips recently re-recorded one of their signature songs — "Race for the Prize," off 1999's The Soft Bulletin — as an anthem for the team, a rousing version dubbed "Thunder Up! Racing for the Prize," with the same crashing drums and keening synths of the original, but sees Coyne changing the lyrics to reflect his admiration for the squad. "Theirs is to win/ We win with them/ They'll keep fighting for Oklahoma!" he sings, while the shouted refrain of "Thunder Up!" is repeated in the background. The whole thing ends, appropriately enough, with a booming thunderclap of electronic noise.
It's not known whether "Thunder Up!" will be played in Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Arena during game one of the Finals, but Lips multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd has certainly been doing his part to make it happen: He's tweeted the track to Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, encouraging him to share it with all his "OKC Thunder bros."
Like most of the city, Drozd's wrapped up in the thrill of the NBA Finals, noting, "There's already extra traffic and excitement in the air at OKC airport."