It’s that time once again, for the best basketball talent in the world to put on a show for the fans. 2016 All Star Weekend is finally upon us. The saying “rap is a sport” holds true beyond the effort it takes athletes and artists alike to reach a certain level of excellence, or even an extension of countless basketball references in our favorite songs. Watching hoopers like Damian Lillard kill the mic on Sway in the Morning just goes to show how connected the two worlds really are. For this All Star Game we decided to take it a step further and look at the rap/basketball comparison through a different lens.
Steph Curry | Kendrick Lamar. Both of these Cali stars have built their success on faith, focus and simply working until they were straight up better than everyone else. In Curry’s case, it’s not even close right now. He’s is in his own world right now and the rest of the basketball residents are just watching history in the making.
How many times have we heard an announcer yell “We’ve never witnessed a guard with his handles and jumper from beyond the arc…ever”? It is a constant when you watch the Golden State Warriors and their rare chemistry, much like the unmatched chemistry within TDE. Although Kendrick is heading towards the top of his game right now, he never puts himself above the team nor the people for that matter and that is what earned him a well deserved title of King Kendrick. The same way NBA announcers marvel at Steph Curry pregame dribble drills and deep threes is the same way music fans, other artists and anyone within an ear shot visualize Kendrick’s stories play out in the mind until catching a live performance leaving the entire audience speechless.
When it comes down to the sport, the goal is simply be the best and these two have reached that point in their respective leagues. There is always room for debate but a MVP and Championship plus the best start in NBA history makes the case against Chef Curry extremely tough. Only a few weeks ago, he scored 51 points (career high 34 in 1st half) including 11 three pointers. Not very much more room on the flip side, if you gauge success by awards – 7 Grammy nominations and 1 already from the powerful “i” record…guess that’s not a bad way to open the conversation. If you consider the best artist based on how they touch the people, there may not be any young artist right now doing more (Chance the Rapper is close) to change not only the perception of success but the mentality that causes a lot of issues in the community. Lastly, if you wanna talk about skill level and jumping out there 1 on 1 to take that spot…good luck.
Kendrick Lamar is a different breed with a pen in hand, Steph Curry is much of the same with the basketball in his – neither have let success alter their course and lucky for us, the potential for greatness here has no ceiling. How are they able to maintain that consistent success and excel? Curry points above giving praise where it is due, explaining his reason when talking to FCA – “God’s given me talents to play basketball for a living, but I still have to work hard to improve every day. I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is just a game that can be taken from me at any moment. But I love that basketball gives me the opportunities to do good things for people and to point them towards the Man who died for our sins on the cross. I know I have a place in heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top. There’s more to me than just this jersey I wear, and that’s Christ living inside of me.”
Kendrick isn’t much different constantly speaking faith into the community from his GOOD Kid, M.A.A.D city debut album track “Sing About Me / Dying of Thirst” and most recently the amazing visual “God is Gangsta”. It is truly one of the best feelings in the world to see the two best in their respective sport putting faith first when the easy thing to do would be let their egos do the talking. Much respect and continued success.