Sports Wiz Khalifa, Wale perform concerts at ESPN 'SportsCenter' studio Wiz Khalifa takes the stage at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach in Wantagh, June 24, 2015. Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert By NEIL BEST / NEWSDAY @sportswatch Updated June 26, 2015 12:52 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Many viewers tuning in early to NBA draft coverage Thursday were a tad confused to see Wiz Khalifa in the middle of giving a concert in ESPN's "SportsCenter" studio in Bristol, Connecticut. On Friday night, Wale is scheduled to turn up with a performance of his own on the show's Los Angeles set. Um, why? It was the first two episodes of the Worldwide Leader's "Center Stage" music series, one the network promises will include non-hip hop music genres as well. "Sports and music have always had a cool connection, and we hope 'Center Stage' will further that relationship in a way that will resonate with our fans," ESPN senior VP Rob King said. Spotify sponsored the mini-concerts, which featured acts with more than 25 million Twitter followers combined. Strange as this is, it's mostly harmless, and sports media entities are allowed more latitude for time-filling oddities during the summer. That being said, it does illustrate a gradual, years-long trend on "SportsCenter" away from news and headlines and toward, well, other stuff. What's next, a Cirque du Soleil "SportsCenter halftime show?" Oh, wait . . . that actually happened in February. By NEIL BEST / NEWSDAY @sportswatch Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, returned in 1985 after a detour to Alaska and has been here since, specializing in high schools, college basketball, the NFL and most recently sports media and business. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.