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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hierarchy of NBA Players Turned Rappers

When we posted Carlos Boozer's new single "Winning Streak" on Monday it got us at Court of Appeals thinking about where he ranked in the pantheon of NBA players turned rappers. So we gathered a group of friends parading as the foremost experts in basketball and hip hop and compiled our top 10.

10. Gordon Hayward aka G-Time- "Too Big Yo"

To get a good understanding of the worst possible result an NBA player turned rapper can produce we start with Gordon Hayward, also known by his stage name G-Time. I could offer my own insight on this song but I believe the principal in Billy Madison really captured it best:

"What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

9. Carlos Boozer & Twista- "Winning Streak" (feat. Mario Winans)

If you've ever watched Carlos Boozer on the basketball court, odds are you've also heard one or two of his signature yells. But clearly audio snippets picked up by microphones at either end of the court can't do justice to the two-time all-star's vocal abilities. So Boozer got in the lab with Twista and Mario Winans and churned out this gem to show us his he's got more to his lyrical game than just "Gimme dat sh*t" and "AND 1!" Last week we wrote, I don't think the big fella will be winning any Grammy awards for the single, but on a scale of 1 to Shaq Fu (the vanguard of all NBA rap) I'd give it a Ron Artest and a half. As it turned out, Ron Artest jumped him in the rankings. Sorry Carlos.

8. Jason Kidd- "What the Kidd Did"

In Kidd’s first stint in Dallas, he wasn’t known for being a vocal leader on the floor, but a vocal leader on the microphone. In this sultry smooth ballad about himself, Kidd reminisces about how he was misunderstood in high school, his days at Cal, and even likens himself to football great Jim Kelly. If I were J-Kidd I’d focus less on gaining respect for my ring, and focus on getting respect for my rhymes. But hey, “Who said being a Kidd was easy?”

7. Kobe Bryant- "K.O.B.E."

Kobe’s penchant for the ladies is a pretty well documented, to say the least. In his critically acclaimed single, “K.O.B.E,” Kobe lets loose his issues with the womenfolk. From women using him for his money, to finding true love, to God, the Black Mamba pours his heart out. The man lives by a simple code, “basketball, beats and broads.” I respect the hell out of that. And when you Add Tyra Banks to the track, pshhh, game over. This beat is pure gold (and purple, I guess).

6. Tony Parker- "Top of the Game" (feat Fabolous & Booba)

Damn, I wish I were Tony Parker. The dude has it all, beautiful women, three NBA Championships, a finals MVP, charisma, charm, and above all else mad filthy French rapping skills. The video portrays a typical day for Tony. Chillin’ on some fire escape stairs, shootin’ hoops with friends Fabolous and Booba, spittin’ rhymes while fire and smoke drape over them. Ya know, classic French stuff. If I could understand what Tony was actually saying there might be some room for some lyrical criticism. But let's just face it, it sounds cool.

5. Ron Artest- "Champions"

Call it cocky, call it lucky, or call it Ron-Artest-is-so crazy-he-might-be-psychic, but Artest wrote the song “Champions,” a year before he and the Lakers took the title in 2010. It only took Artest about 5 minutes after game 7 to promote his single, and thank his psychiatrist. But with over 2 million hits on youtube, and a featured track on the video game NBA 2K11, the song is a hit. With a pretty catchy hook, sweet music video, and Artest’s Nostradamusesque allure the hit lands on our list at number 5.

4. Lou Williams- "Slow It Down" (feat. David Patten)

Lou touches on the topics of cribs, cars, and cash in "Slow It Down." Not exactly revolutionizing rap content, but you gotta hand it to the guy he's got a pretty nice flow, NBA player or not. And if this list were for the song featuring the best crooning from a white guy, it's a lock for #1.

3. Allen Iverson aka Jewelz- "Last Night"

There are a few questions "The Answer" has to address now that no NBA team is willing to give the former MVP another chance. How is he going to reconcile the massive debt he has incurred? And secondly, will he take his chances playing soccer, or hit the studio to make some scrilla? Admittedly, I would love to see Iverson strap on some cleats and hit the pitch, but I think Iverson has a better shot putting out an album. Ironically, Iverson's rap name Jewelz, is the exact vice that got him in this whole financial pickle. Iverson's track has nice production, and hilariously ironic name aside, he's actually pretty good. Unfortunately for Iverson he hasn't put out any new material for a while. It seems that much like his basketball routine, his rapping routine lacks practice.

2. Shaquille O'Neal- "I Know" (I Got Skillz)

Shaq is a jack of many trades and he's been known to dabble in the rap game. I'd argue Shaq's verse on Fu Schnickens' "What's Up Doc" is a better overall performance but as far as solo tracks go "I Know I Got Skillz" is the jam. Bonus points to the Diesel for his khaki vest suit thing in the music video.

1. LA Lakers Rap All-Stars- "Just Say No!"

Just watch. You'll understand.


  1. Ron got another thing right, he truly is the Cassius Clay and Mike Tyson of the NBA....

  2. Disappointed that there's no mention of BBall's best kept secret.'s_Best_Kept_Secret

    1. Oh momma! We had looked at some of those songs individually, I hadn't known there was a combined album though. You've enlightened me.


    One of the great Cape Verdian Rappers

  4. Kidd's reference to Jim Kelly isn't to "football great," but actor from "Enter the Dragon" and other martial-arts movies of the '70s.

  5. not a full track, but still a great moment in basketball rap.