It used to be that every baller wants to be a rapper. Nowadays, they basically are.

We’ve never had as many professional athletes, whether football players, basketball players, or even boxers, producing their own music and spitting bars on SoundCloud as we do in 2017. Thanks to the relative ease of releasing a new track or mixtape, their considerable bank accounts, and their proximity to people in the music industry, we've seen the music scene flooded with new material from athletes. But it's not like we haven't seen high profile ballers release music before. 

Today's athletes are just following in the footsteps of pioneers like Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Roy Jones Jr, and Allen Iverson who dropped albums back in the day that people still talk about decades—yes, decades—after the fact.

But will any of today’s ballers measure up to the Shaqs and Kobes of yesteryears when it comes to rhyming? We asked our experts.

Highlighting seven gridiron giants and high-flying hoopsters who, in our humble opinion, are spitting better than any other athletes we’ve heard out there, here are the candidates, in no particular order: