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15 Of The Best NBA References in Rap

NBA basketball and rap music have been synonymous with one another since Kurtis Blow told us basketball was his favorite sport. Since then we’ve seen rappers want to be ballers, and ballers want to be rappers. With ballers having the upper hand in crossing over, rappers, minus Master P, can not make their hoop dreams a reality. However, they do their best to include it in their lyrics.

Honestly, it’s no shock that we get so many references to the NBA in rap. Rappers have been using the sport to build up their legend, describe their shot or just shout out their buddy on a song for decades.

From The Notorious B.I.G. to Phife Dawg, here are the 15 Greatest NBA References in Rap

15. J.Cole “Cost Me A Lot”

White Range, call that motherfucka Larry Bird/I got em hangin’ on every word

14. Frank Ocean “Nikes”

These bitches want Nikes/They looking for a check/Tell em it ain’t likely/Said she need a ring like Carmelo /Must be on that white like Othello /All you want is Nikes/ But the real ones just like you/Just like me”

13. Drake “Jumpman”

I just found my tempo like I’m DJ Mustard, woo/ I hit the Ginobili with my left hand up like, woo.

12. Chance The Rapper “Eternal”

I don’t never want two that’s the same as the next/I made the three more famous than Steph/No cap, that’s a roundhouse kick to a Jameson’s neck/I got a Jada Pinkett keeping sure my shame is in check.

11. Wale “Ambition”

But I’m limitless mentally, I’m lyrically ZMT/Lebron shit, I was in that 6 after 23

10. 50 Cent “Follow Me Gangster”

My team in the cut, packing metal things/I’ve got more foreign shooters than the Sacramento Kings.

9. Jay-Z “Pump It Up Remix”

Hovi baby, you Kobe maybe Tracy McGrady, matter fact, you a Harold Miner, J.R. Rider, washed up on marijuana/Even worse you a Pervis Ellis, you worthless fella”.

8. Phife Dawg “8 Million Stories”

Got the tickets to the Knicks, and she cold stood me up … With all these trials and tribulations, yo, I’ve been effected/And to top it off, Starks got ejected.

7. Jadakiss “Put Your Hands Up”

And y’all scared I can tell / That I’ma get Bucks like Milwaukee, cause like Sam, I ca’ sell.”

6. Drake “Thank Me Now”

“And that’s around the time that your idols become your rivals / you make friends with Mike, but gotta A.I. him for your survival”

5. Joe Budden “Black Cloud”

“Motivation the game was supplying me / it’s no longer providing me / Jayson Williams, something killed whatever was driving me”

4. Jay-Z “Encore”

As fate would have it, Jay’s status appears/To be at an all-time high, perfect time to say goodbye/When I come back like Jordan, wearing the 4-5/ It ain’t to play games with you, it’s to aim at you, probably maim you.

3. The Notorious B.I.G. “Victory”

Real quick, real sick, raw nights, I perform like Mike/Anyone—Tyson, Jordan, Jackson, action, pack guns

2. Phife Dawg “Steve Biko (Stir it up)”

Hip-hop scholars since being knee-high to a duck/The height of Muggsy Bogues, complexion of a hockey puck … Dont get me wrong, violence is not our forte/I just like to rhyme, kick the lyric skills like Pele.

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 11: Ice Cube attends BIG3 Press Conference on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/WireImage)

1. Ice Cube “It Was a Good Day

Which park are y’all playing basketball/Get me on the court and I’m trouble/Last week fucked around and got a triple double/Freaking n****** every way like MJ/I can’t believe today was a good day

What’s your favorite rap song about basketball? Discuss it in our forums! To see content like this and much more, check out the rest of Overtime Heroics. Continue the conversation with us on Twitter!

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