The magic of a good halftime act

ESPN's Patrick Hruby has penned the definitive article delving into the magic of NBA halftime acts.

The unicycle-riding bowl-flipper known as Red Panda (real name: Krystal Niu) stars, of course. Hruby writes:

Krystal crouches in a Verizon Center stadium tunnel, just off the court. We are deep in the sports entertainment sausage factory. A guy on stilts ambles by, a mini basketball hoop draped over his chest. He gives her a silent nod. Next comes former Wizards center Gheorghe Muresan, no stilts required. Glad-handing with fans, he looks right past us. Muresan once starred in a forgettable movie with Billy Crystal, the same actor who once hired Krystal to perform at a birthday party.

Somehow, this makes perfect sense.

Krystal rocks back and forth. She cracks her knuckles. Rolls her head. Rubs her forearms. She scrapes her bowls along the concrete floor in small circles, then polishes them with a small cloth. After all these years, she still gets nervous. Every time.

"This is when I calm down a little," she says. "Or try to. It's not only if I miss or make it. It's the whole thing."