On Tuesday (Oct. 24), the National Basketball Association (NBA) kicked off their 2023-2024 regular season. To add to the occasion, NBA on TNT released a mini-documentary that paid homage to hip hop for its 50th anniversary.
The roughly seven-minute clip brought together a slew of basketball and rap greats, all of whom contributed by telling stories and giving unique takes on the culture and its decorated history. Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Carmelo Anthony, T.I., Big Boi, Grandmaster Flash, Quavo, and many more made appearances while classic moments between artists and athletes were interspersed throughout.
One of the bigger standouts from the mini-doc came when Kurtis Blow spoke about his iconic ’80s single “Basketball.” “I watched basketball all my life. ‘Basketball needs a theme song,'” the Harlem rapper said about the Ego Trip classic, which is full of references about the massively popular sport and some of its biggest names.
“Basketball is my favorite sport, I like the way they dribble up and down the court, just like I’m the king on the microphone, so is Dr. J and Moses Malone, I like slam dunks, take me to the hoop, my favorite play is the alley-oop, I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go, ’cause it’s basketball, Mr. Kurtis Blow…”
Shaquille O’Neal was also spotlighted for his contributions on the microphone. “I wanted to do something that’s never been done before,” the four-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer explained. And that he did — he currently stands as the only professional baller to achieve a platinum album certification with his debut, Shaq Diesel. In addition to the gold plaques that followed, Shaq can also boast about collaborations with the likes of Method Man, JAY-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., DJ Quik, Mobb Deep, and Bobby Brown throughout his music career. Check out NBA on TNT’s full tribute below.