I had never noticed nor heard this during a game before, so it took a column from the excellent Zach Lowe for me to learn this, but every time Cleveland big man Jarrett Allen scores at home he gets a cute little Zelda sound effect played over the stadium’s speakers.
In a section called “Jarrett Allen’s Zelda love affair” in his latest “Lowe’s 10 things” column for ESPN, Lowe says Allen is a huge Zelda fan, to the point where, “He collects Zelda-related memorabilia; his favorite such piece, he says, might be his 3D printout of one particular shield.” And his favourite game in the series? Despite being born in the same year the game was first released, it’s The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time.
My favorite would have to be Zelda: Ocarina of Time. But SSB is definitely top 5
— Jarrett Allen (@_bigjayy_) September 12, 2017
You can even find him watching E3 back in 2016, while he was still in college, getting hyped for Breath of the Wild ahead of its March 2017 release:
Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is about to be one of the best in the series since OoT... #E32016
— Jarrett Allen (@_bigjayy_) June 14, 2016
When Allen was back with the Brooklyn Nets (he was traded to Cleveland in January 2021), staff approached individual players for their sound effect requests. It’s a pretty common thing in the NBA to play something after a bucket, and Mario coin sounds have been played across the league for years. But Allen said, “It took me about 10 seconds to come up with the perfect one. Short and sweet.”
His request was for the iconic Zelda “secret” sound effect to be played, the one that you hear every time you solve a puzzle or uncover a hidden area. It’s a choice that followed him to Cleveland, and you can hear it in this highlight clip below (if it doesn’t autoplay at the correct position for you, you’ll need it at around 3:01)
I can’t do it anymore. This is the year that NBA 2K has turned me into the Joker.
To be clear, the vulgarities of this year’s game are nothing new. There’s nothing here that will make long-time fans of the series take do a double-take with bulging cartoon eyes, or that marks NBA 2K22 as something that—highlighted in a vacuum—is uniquely guilty of. That’s the thing about straws breaking a camel’s back, though. The one that finally manages it doesn’t look too different to the straws that came before.