NBA players are constantly being analyzed by various areas of the world. There was once a time when players could be seen on NBC once a week playing on a low resolution screen in old school colors and uniforms that revolved around short shorts. Although the sport is still similar to what it has always been, the NBA has changed its dynamics and its players are becoming more and more recognized in the world.
Amongst the first players to move beyond the basketball world are guys like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who studied Kung Fu under Bruce Lee and took part in movies, Wilt Chamberlain, who was known for his womanizing across the country and his ability to play volleyball as well and Magic Johnson who has ventured into many different business opportunities.
NBA players now can be seen in many places across the world well beyond basketball related activities. With the emergence of social media and the transferring of information via the Internet, players are often criticized and analyzed for every movement that they make.
Amongst these activities are mingling with entertainers and rappers across the world. NBA stars have an idea that they are able to hold rap careers similar to major rappers such as Drake and Jay-Z. These are often the guys who have no idea that their pitch is off, their producers don’t give them good beats to work off of and their lyrics are subpar. Nonetheless, the NBA produces rappers every year and these guys get constant exposure to the entertainment world because of their abilities in the NBA.
This list will examine a list of 10 singers/rappers who were in (or are currently in) the NBA. This will range from rappers from the projects, guys constantly engaging in karaoke and players rapping in another language. Nonetheless, much love goes out to all these guys for trying to continue to be entertainers in other aspects of the world.
10 10. Steve Francis
This guy’s rapping career is actually one of the worst things on YouTube right now, but he made the list because of his name. Steve Francis is often regarded as one of the best players to participate in and not win a Dunk Contest, mainly because he participated the same year that Vince Carter absolutely massacred the competition and let everyone know it's over.
9 Dirk Nowitzki
Although he hasn't released any albums featuring big name rappers or had videos of him on a plane singing for his wife, Dirk is one of the "best" singers in the NBA. Dirk’s singing career has been documented over his career, but over the last two years, he’s taken it to another level.
8 Allen Iverson
Iverson was one of the biggest names to link hip hop and the NBA. With his cornrows, tattoos and tough guy demeanor, Iverson brought the two worlds together and it only made sense that he attempted to turn it into a rapping career as well.
7 Chris Webber
Chris Webber, current TNT and NBATV analyst, was once a rapper earlier in his career. Coming out of Detroit, Webber has always had that mean look on his face as he scowled at his opponents after vicious dunks.
6 Kobe Bryant
Kobe’s rap career didn't last long despite the amount of work that he put into it. Kobe was seen putting in time during offseasons, playing ball during the day and then recording his tracks at night, embracing the lifestyles of both worlds.
5 Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant’s NBA career is still young and he’s currently the best scorer in the league. With a lethal 3 point shot, ability to drive the lane and his copy of Dirk’s fadeaway one-legged shot, Durant has become one of the most loved players in the NBA.
4 Stephen Jackson
Stak5, recently, has put more time and effort into his rap career rather than staying in shape to launch 3s. Jackson has taken on the character of Stak5 AKA Stack Jack for his rap career rather than using his actual name.
3 Tony Parker
Tony P had a full-on rap career in France before becoming a superstar in the NBA. The 3-Time Champion released one album in 2007 when he was 25, and the album did well in the French hip hop scene. Although it’s not recognized in North America as much, Parker’s song Balance Toi topped the charts in France.
2 Ron Artest/Metta World Peace
There’s little doubt that Ron Artest has the street cred to be a hardcore gangster rapper. He spent his childhood in Queensbridge, the biggest housing projects in North America. The neighborhood was so rough that Artest, whose building was built under a bridge, witnessed a murder on the basketball court after a game.
1 Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq has been out of the league for a couple of years now and continues to be a part of the NBA community. As an analyst with TNT and NBATV, Shaq has never shied away from being the center of attention. As the first overall pick of the 1992 draft, O’Neal has always had cameras on him on and off the court.
His rapping career started off in 1993 with the album Shaq Diesel that went Platinum. He went on to release 4 other albums, one of which went Gold. Possibly the most notable of Shaq’s songs was his diss track aimed at Kobe Bryant in the summer of 2004, after being chased out of the Lakers organization. Shaq’s success as an entertainer in the world and as a rapper makes him the most successful NBA player turned rapper.
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