If there were ever an official Player’s Ball for rappers and pro athletes it’d be All-Star weekend. This year, the two worlds convene in Orlando where there will surely be plenty of thirsty groupies, ballers trying to rap, and MCs attempting to ball. One star who is ill on the mic and has a rep for handling his own on the hardwood is Jadakiss. We caught up with the Yonkers MC to discuss to discuss Linsanity, his personal All-Star roster, and his role in the potential Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight.
What are your thoughts on the Jeremy Lin craze?
It’s good for the city. Especially coming of the Giants Super Bowl win. There was all the Amare and Melo talk at the start of the season then it turned out different than fans expected. The lack of point guard play was hurting us, so right before they were about to cut Jeremy they let him in. The graces and powers that be were in his corner and soon enough he had them on a seven-game winning streak, breaking records with the points he was scoring. So, I think it’s very good for the city. With New York being one of the biggest media outlets, I think it’s a little overwhelming for him right now but he is a solid player without a doubt. So, he’ll still continue to be productive.
With Melo now working himself back into the lineup, do you think that the team will eventually be able to gel?
I think it’ll be better than it was before. That whole team wasn’t playing right because there was no point guard on the floor. You need a general to run the floor. That’s what I was expecting to happen when Baron Davis came off his injury. Tony Douglas and the other guys couldn’t do it. I think [Iman] Shumpert is really better at the two position. Plus, now that they have J.R. Smith, that’s even better. We’re strong.
What are your thoughts on race being such an issue when talking about Jeremy Lin? More specifically, what did you think of Floyd Mayweather’s tweet?
He’s a good basketball player. At the end of the day, you know Asians are a big culture so this why when he goes to Toronto and other different markets he has so much support there. Even with Yao Ming, he was injured for the past three years but he was still leading in All-Star votes. So, that just shows you it is what it is when you come from an Asian descent. They show support for their athletes.
Floyd might have been a little over the top with that statement but there’s some truth to it. It's just that the Asians go extra hard for their athletes.
Floyd might have been a little over the top with that statement but there’s some truth to it. It's just that the Asians go extra hard for their athletes. They're online supporting and they're at the Garden with big signs everywhere.
If you were to compare your career in the rap game to an NBA player of the past or present, who would it be?
It’d be Melo or Jason Terry. Melo because he is an underrated superstar that scores willingly and that’s like me going in the booth and just doing what I do so easy. But it’s like I’m still the underdog. That’s why me and Melo really click like that. And as far as Terry, I think I got some similarities with my rap game and his basketball game because he’s like a quiet monster for Dallas. Dirk is the focal point, but when the JET comes off that bench and brings that chemistry with Dirk, that’s when Dallas is really a problem. So, I’m like that quiet monster. I come off the bench and create big massive noise in the industry.
Speaking of balling, when’s the last time you hit the court?
I ain’t ball in a minute. I’m heading to the Y in the next week because I got a Skills Challenge coming up with the JET at All-Star Weekend and somebody else against Jameer Nelson, Skip Bayless, and another athlete or actor. I got a Jordan event to do there with Melo, too. So, I’m gonna try to shoot some hoops before then. I’m trying to get it in so I’m not looking all crazy out there. [Laughs]
You’ve played in a few celebrity tournaments. Who would be in your starting five of non-athlete celebs?
Brian McKinght. He’s a good three or four to put on your team. Bow-Wow is a good guard. J. Cole being that he was just about to be playing college ball a few years ago. I would take my man Jackie Long, the actor from L.A. R. Kelly, too. Kells is nice in ball, too.
Do you have a specific go-to move on the court?
My game is in evolution right now. When I first started, I was more of a passer or facilitator, a lot of driving and dishing. Now in my older years, I’ve developed a nice little set shot so you can catch me on the perimeter now and I let them things fly. I still can penetrate and dish, too. I still got a handle but I’m just half a step slower, so I’m using my knowledge of the game and just shooting them jumpers when they leaving me open thinking I can’t shoot. Sort of like Jeremy Lin in that Toronto game where he crushed ‘em!