Hip Hop Meets Basketball: NBA Players and Their Rap Counterparts

Zachary CohenContributor IIIJanuary 13, 2011

Hip Hop Meets Basketball: NBA Players and Their Rap Counterparts

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    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06:  Hip Hop artist Jay-Z shakes hands with LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers after defeating the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden November 6, 2009 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    We stay fly, no lie. You know this, BALLIN'! 

    The players of the NBA and the rappers of the Hip Hop world have something big in common. They both look up to each other. 

    Every NBA player looks up to hip hop icons, and every rapper wants to play in the NBA. 

    Although this is a pretty general comparison, there are more specific ones. 

    Here are some of the NBA players' rap counterparts...

Kanye West and Paul Pierce

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    The one word that comes to mind when you think of Kanye West? Ego. And sure Kanye may look exactly like Baron Davis, but his true NBA counterpart is none other than...

    Paul Pierce

    "The Truth" has quickly become one of the villains of the NBA. Similar to how Kanye snatched the mic away from Taylor Swift, Paul Pierce seems to steal the show whenever he gets the spotlight by hitting daggers late in games. He openly talks himself up as the NBA's best player and puts down other teams by running victory laps around their own home courts after winning games. 

    Kanye and Pierce are both some of the best at what they do. It's also clear they don't care what people say. 

Steve Nash and Eminem

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    PHOENIX - JANUARY 05: Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns puts up a shot over Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    I hate to call Steve Nash an unexpected star because of his appearance, but you would not expect Steve Nash to be a star when you look at his appearance. A short, white guy who has won two MVP's in a league full of larger athletes. That's impressive. This should remind you of...


    Shady used to be considered out of place in Hip Hop because he was white. Well, he put those haters to bed pretty fast. When you take Relapse out of Eminem's discography (which you should considering he was drugged out of his mind), you have a guy who raps as well as anybody out there. 

    I don't like comparing the two because they're both talented and white, but...they're both in careers that you wouldn't expect them to be in, and they've dominated them for as long as they've done them. 

    It's safe to say both of them were Not Afraid. 

Rick Ross and Zach Randolph

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    Rick Ross may not be the prettiest guy out there, but there's no denying the guy is the boss. 

    Rozay is hated nationally for his "fake" persona as a king who runs his city. People hate on him for being an ex-cop, but he demands your respect. 

    Rick Ross is a hip hop version of Zach Randolph. 

    Randolph has a bad reputation for being a stats-first guy who cares about double-doubles more than he does wins, but does that mean he shouldn't be respected? Other teams are definitely aware when they play the Grizzlies there's a guy on the court who is capable of putting up 30 points and 15 rebounds. 

    Rozay and ZBo also seem to have similar body structure, not to mention with Zach's alleged role in moving drugs in Indiana and Ross' huge necklace of himself in the picture above that cost him around a million bones...both seem to be Blowin' Money Fast. 

Kevin Durant and J. Cole

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22:  Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2010 in New York, New York.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/o
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Already one of the best at what he does and hasn't even come close to reaching his full potential yet. Remind you of any rapper in the game right now? 

    Although Durant is a D.C boy who loves Wale, Kevin shares more similarities with Roc Nation's future star, J. Cole. 

    J. Cole is part of Roc Nation's new star-studded lineup that consists of Jay-Z and (the unknown and underrated) Jay Electronica. 

    Durant is part of the Oklahoma City youth movement with players like Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Jeff Green and Dr. Nasty, Serge Ibaka. 

    Cole's debut album is supposed to be a masterpiece that should be dropping in March or April. This is a similar time where Kevin Durant will be attempting to bring a Championship to the Thunder. These guys are about to blow up!

Jay-Z and LeBron James

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    Talent is something that can eventually earn you fame. These are two things that Jay-Z has. The man is talented, and there might not be another name synonymous with stardom more than Sean Carter's is. Well there is...

    LeBron James.

    LeBron is one of the best players in the NBA right now, if not the best. He has the ability to take over a game single-handedly, and this past offseason broke out of his shell that was Cleveland. This fall, "King" James took his talents to the city of the stars, Miami. 

    He's living it up down there with his boys Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and also happens to be playing out of his mind right now leading the Heat to a record of 30 wins and 10 losses. 

    LeBron and Jay-Z also share the ability to have even mediocre dunks or songs be placed in their respective Top 10's whether it's plays on Sports Center or songs on iTunes. 

    LeBron may not be in an Empire State of Mind, but he certainly is going H.A.M in Miami. 

Kobe Bryant and Nas

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 12: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after he made a basket and was fouled during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 12, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    If one thing has been made clear the last few years, Kobe Bryant cares more about winning championships than he does his image. Kobe does whatever he wants to do with the main goal of producing. 

    Somebody else who goes under the radar, but takes care of his business...

    Nasir "Nas" Jones

    Nas is widely respected as one of the best to ever rap, but you don't see him going around with the same paparazzi and media coverage as Jay-Z would. This is the same as the now older, Kobe Bryant. He doesn't play the game with as much flash as a guy like LeBron James anymore, but he still gets the job done. 

    LeBron has the youth and celebrity lifestyle that Kobe no longer has, but I can tell you this...Kobe's five championships mess with LeBron's soul like Ether. 

Honorable Mentions

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  Yao Ming #11 of the Houston Rockets looks on during their opening night game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agre
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Now that you have gotten some of the indepth breakdowns. Here's some more food for thought. 

    J.R Smith and Gucci Mane - I must admit, the biggest similarity these guys have is they both lack intelligence. They also both happen to find ways to make money and occasionally explode with a hit single or a 25+ point performance. 

    Chris Paul and Lil Wayne - Both are the leaders of their respective teams. Chris Paul for the Hornets and Lil Wayne for Young Money. They both need to be at their best for success in their craft. They also both happen to be loyal to New Orleans. 

    Yao Ming and Jin - The similarities here are quite vast. Jin was a product of MTV's rap battling show Fight Klub. After seeming to be the first big rapper to make it out of China, Jin lost the final battle of the show and seemed to fall off the face of the Earth. Well, Yao may not have fallen off the face of the Earth, but his recent injuries do have him eating a little too much fried chicken while drinking beer.