Recently I was thinking about how NBA players and the rap game go hand-in-hand. Lots of players are friends with rappers and some players even try their darn hardest to earn respect in the rap game. This got me wondering which NBA players are comparable to current rappers in today’s modern era. Here are my thoughts on who is who:
Jay-Z is Kobe Bryant
This has to be the easiest analogy one could make about the rap game/NBA. Both are living legends who are still active in their respective industries. Jay-Z and Kobe are both “winners”, as Jay has 11 “rings” (platinum albums) while Kobe has five NBA Championship rings. Oh, both are married to bangin’ chicks as well.
Kanye West is Lebron James
This one might come under fire by hip-hop and Ye fans, but the similarities are striking. It’s no lie when you say that both are disliked people by the general public. Kanye had his moment(s), Lebron has had his. However, both have proven their worth in their industries and are extremely important to both of their games. Both men have single-handedly altered each of their games in someway both for the positive and negative. It’s also important to think of both as “all-around players”. Lebron can do just about everything on both ends of the court, while Kanye can produce, rap, write, and (try to) sing.
Eminem is Tim Duncan
Eminem was one of the hardest to compare to a current NBA player. I think Tim Duncan fits the mold because like Em, he is getting up there in age and his best days are behind him. Don’t get me wrong, both still produce at a very high level, just not at the level they were at about a decade ago. Both will also be heralded as some of the greats of their game when it’s all said and done.
Lil Wayne is Chris Paul
Kind of a strange pairing, but I think they complement each other perfectly. Both started out in the middle of the pack and gradually worked themselves up to the top of the game at one point. Now, both are struggling to regain that top spot, yet both have ample opportunities to do so.
Lupe Fiasco is Kevin Love
At first glance you might be thinking, “What?”. Listen to me though: Lupe Fiasco and Kevin Love similarities if you think about it. Both are the most underrated (in terms of the mainstream) players in their game. Lupe and Love get absolutely no respect, but are masterminds of their craft. Love is one of the best rebounders the game has seen in years while Lupe is possibly the best lyricist the rap game has ever seen. A bum album by Lupe has led to even more scrutiny by the casual fan and the mere fact that Love plays in a small market such as Minnesota really hurts his case as a widely considered elite player. Only hardcore fans of rap and sport know what these guys bring to the table.
Drake is Kevin Durant
One of the easiest analogies by far. Drake and Durant have both taken their games by storm and are ready to leave their mark. Both are also extremely humble and loyal to their town. Like Durant, Drake can “do it all” on a track, whether it comes to singing a hook or writing a genius verse.
J. Cole is Blake Griffin
Another easy one. Cole and Blake share more than just being half-white. Both are relatively young and are considered “saviors”. Blake is ready to save the other team from Los Angeles while Cole is ready to save hip-hop. Both have shown flashes of brilliance and have long careers ahead of them.
T.I. is Gilbert Arenas
Both T.I. and Gilbert Arenas were respected and highly talented during their prime, but trouble with the law have both of these guys’ careers at crossroads. Both have opportunities to resurrect their careers still, though.
Wiz Khalifa is Stephen Curry
Here is another one that readers may question. Wiz Khalifa and Curry both came from the depths of nowhere to the casual fan. To the hardcore fan, many know Wiz built up an underground legacy through the years, as Curry built one at the little-known Davidson College. Both have reached a point in their career where it takes a change of pace to be successful: Wiz can’t rap about weed in every single song if he wants to be a mainstream staple and Curry has to be a point guard instead of a pure shooter to succeed in the NBA. Both have showed that they can do it, but both have not shown that they can consistently do it. Time will tell.