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Just because NBA stars can make buzzer-beaters from 20 feet out doesn’t mean they can rap. But that doesn’t stop many of them from trying.


IN THE HISTORY OF basketball-to-rap crossover careers, there is perhaps one success: Jayceon Terrell Taylor (better known by his rap alias, the Game), who played high school ball with current Los Angeles Clippers point guard Baron Davis and turned to rhyming only after losing his college scholarship. But when it comes to players who have made it all the way to the NBA, there are no winners -- only varying degrees of losers. (The one possible exception is Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand, who is reportedly sitting on about four finished albums of quality material but as of yet has declined to release any of it.)

To help you understand what we mean, we’ve compiled this short mix of songs by NBA stars who have tried their hand at recording careers. You can find most of these tracks on YouTube, but we would suggest you take our word for it.
TRACK ARTIST SOUNDS LIKE SCOUTING REPORT FOUL TROUBLE
“What’s Up Doc? (Can We Rock?)” (1993)Fu-Schnickens, featuring Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq-Fu)Das EFX’s Skoob with a head cold and a pituitary problem“As a rap album, Shaq Diesel falls short, but as a superstar novelty, Shaquille O’Neal’s album is not terribly embarrassing. O’Neal is fairly adept at twisting his tongue around mostly banal rhymes, and the beats are fine. But the album isn’t all that interesting, either.” -- All Music Guide4
“Flow On” (1994)Cedric Ceballos, featuring Warren GA generic club track in a party scene of a straight-to-DVD movie
“Much like Cedric’s career, this track is mildly entertaining then instantly forgettable.” -- DJ Leon Smith, Relax and Take Notes blog
4
“40 Bars” (2000)Allen Iverson, a.k.a. JewelzA lesser member of G-Unit in a bad mood“The lyrics … are coarse, offensive, and antisocial. Whatever constitutional rights of free speech an individual may have, there is no constitutional right to participate in the NBA, and I have the power … to disqualify players who engage in offensive conduct -- including inappropriate speech.” -- David Stern, NBA commissioner
2
“Fever” (2006)Ron ArtestAny member of Three 6 Mafia, with explicit instructions to rap about only himself
“Surprisingly, Artest has a smooth, competent flow and doesn’t embarrass himself lyrically. As it turns out, his rap game is a lot like his hoop game -- not flashy, but fundamentally sound.” -- Kyle Anderson, Spin

3
“K.O.B.E.” (2000)Kobe Bryant, featuring Tyra BanksHip-hop Kryptonite“Kobe tries to emulate [Shaquille O’Neal’s] strategy of letting his guests do the heavy lifting here, although picking the America’s Next Top Model host as his shrieking foil -- and not as, say, arm candy -- was a grave mistake.” -- Maura Johnston, Idolator.com
6
(Fouled out)
“What the Kidd Didd” (1994)Jason Kidd, featuring Money BVanilla Ice“We’re here to focus on how much Jay Kidd loves to party. And when he throws a party, you could not compare said party to any other party -- the main difference being that a Jay Kidd party does not stop. … Put that love of partying to a beat delivered straight from Dr. Dre’s early-1990s beat factory and you’re on to a real winner of a track.” -- Anton, Trees the Sport Count blogEjected in the first quarter