In the summer months, with the offseason in full-swing, NBA players often stay sharp by playing in pick-up games organized by their trainers and in charity games across the country.
Those games usually include other NBA players. Sometimes, they feature famous rappers.
In fact, just about every player on the Wizards has shared the court with a rap star. John Wall has played with just about everyone on the Billboard charts at Ludacris’ annual charity game. Markieff Morris is friends with fellow Philly-native Meek Mill and has faced off with Travis Scott and 21 Savage in exhibition games.
While Austin Rivers was in L.A., rappers sometimes showed up to scrimmage with him, Chris Paul and other Clippers players. Rivers and Okaro White have the same trainer as Gucci Mane.
While with the Lakers, Thomas Bryant played against Quavo of Migos and The Game at a charity event. Kelly Oubre Jr. has the same trainer as 2 Chainz, who played Division-1 hoops at Alabama State in the mid-90s.
A few rappers actually have some game. Most should probably stick to their day jobs.
NBC Sports Washington went around the Wizards locker room to get scouting reports on some of the most famous rappers in the game today. It turns out Gucci Mane has a super high motor. And yes, when 2 Chainz hits a shot, he yells out his famous ad-lib – 2 Chainz! – because of course he does.
Here are the full findings…
Rivers: “He has the craziest jumpshot ever. Travis Scott’s jumpshot is crazy. He plays hard. He plays like dumb hard.”
Morris: “He plays hard. He fouls, too. He plays hard as s***. He’s got the worst looking jumpshot in the world. So, if he hits one, don’t trip. Give him all the space in the word because he can’t get nothing else.”
Oubre: “He’s a shooter, man. He’s got some size on him. He’s like 6-4. Actually, it was crazy. We were playing against him and he had just came off a knee injury. He came out and he didn’t miss. He’s a little older, so he’s not really doing hesi-stepbacks and all of that. I just think he’s a straight shooter. He’s a bucket. He’s a tough guard, man, because he’s got ultra-confidence. Every time he makes a shot he yells ‘2 Chainz!’ He’s got the ad-libs after every jumper. Don’t let him hit one, man, because he will keep it coming.”
Rivers: “He’s a midrange player, man. He’s a little older, so his athleticism isn’t crazy but he’s got a nice little midrange game. Smooth, little game. That’s his M.O…. 2 Chainz used to be able to dunk in high school. He’s like 6-5, 6-6.”
Jason Smith: “2 Chainz, man. He’s got good size, he’s got good shooting ability. He uses his size very well. You’ve gotta keep him off the boards. Man, great energy. He’s got a good motor for his age. He does a good job out there.”
Wall: “He can really play.”
Rivers: “Likes to dribble the ball, he has a little more of a handle. He has a Euro-step. He tries to play more like the modern NBA player.”
Smith: “Quavo, shifty. Very shifty. He’s got a nice little midrange game. He doesn’t need very much space to get his shot off. He’s got deep range. He’s not afraid to take the deep ball.”
Bryant: “Quavo, he’s just like an all-around player, an offensive player. He likes to play passing lanes on the defensive end.”
Wall: “I haven’t played against him, but he can play.”
Wall: “Oh no, he’s not a basketball player. Not even close. He just shoots.”
Morris: “He’s from Philly, so I can’t talk too bad about him. He can shoot a little bit, but he can’t dribble a lick. So, if you press up on him and make him dribble.”
Morris: “He plays hard. He will foul the s*** out of you. He can shoot a little bit. [His rapping style] is a little sleepy, but he plays hard. He will foul the s*** out of you, too.”
Rivers: “Gucci is bully-ball, he’s straight bully-ball. He’s got a crazy-looking jumpshot.”
White: “He plays hard, man. I don’t want to call him a black hole, but he plays prison ball. He will foul you, he gets fouled. He just plays hard. For a rapper, he bigger than most of the rappers. He’s in shape, too. That’s the thing. That’s why he has a high motor. He just keeps running and running. He knows the game. He’s not a basketball player, but you can tell he knows the game. He can pass a little bit.”
Rivers: “Sheck Wes is solid.”
White: “I’ve seen him on video. He was solid. When I seen him, I was like ‘damn, he looks like a basketball player.’ He didn’t do nothing spectacular, but he did look like a basketball player, the way he was moving. You can tell who hoop and who don’t by the way they run and the way they move. He looks like he’s a basketball player.”
Rivers: “I would put [Lil] Dirk and J. Cole up there as the nicest… He played at St. John’s for like a [bit]… He can hoop a little bit.”
Rivers: “Chris Brown is an athlete. Chris Brown is alright. The game is solid. He’s heavy, though, now. But he used to be able to dunk. I don’t know about anymore.”
Wall: “I played with Chris Brown in the Drew League before. He’s really talented.”
Bryant: “He’s a shooter. Defense. He swears he can guard, but he can’t really guard. Don’t tell him I said that. He will get mad.”
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