Area 21 is the best segment addition to a sports television show in the past decade. It’s essentially a quarantined area (literally, in the Turner Studios, it’s separate from the Inside the NBA studio in a room by itself) in which Kevin Garnett has part of a basketball court (with a chain net), some couches, and cameras. A lot of times there’s food, and he just invites his friends over to talk about hoops.
It’s the perfect way to bring Garnett into television. It’s his own thing, where he gets to set the tone for the segment with his energy and enthusiasm. He’s often standing up or pacing, and is almost always squeezing a basketball like a two-handed stress ball. He’s fantastic and gets a lot of great guests and good nuggets out of interviews. Monday night’s broadcast was an especially good segment as he brought in Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, and 2 Chainz.
2 Chainz, who explained the deep connection between basketball and rap to us at All-Star, loves basketball and played ball in high school and college. So, he took Monday night as an opportunity to show off his skills in front of KG and the Wallace boys, including posting up Garnett to show off his back to the basket moves.
For those of you that weren’t aware that 2 Chainz is a national treasure until now, I’m glad your eyes have been opened. Mr. Chainz (as he was once referred to as in a legitimate business email I received) explained that, while he has wing size at 6’5, he prefers to play guard.
My favorite part of the entire video, which is wonderful, is that he realizes the reason he missed his first shot was that he didn’t say his name while shooting. He remedies this afterwards, by saying “2 Chaaaainz” as he lets each shot go from then on out. This is not something unique to Tity 2 Necklace, however. It does seem to be an Atlanta phenomenon, though, as Lou Williams regularly shouts “LouWillVille” as he hoists three-pointers, and sometimes will list off all the counties in the metro Atlanta area around where he grew up if he gets on a roll — Gwinnett County, Dekalb County, Rockdale County, Fulton County, etc.
After the mid-range shooting exhibition from rap game DeMar DeRozan, 2 Chainz then insists on posting up KG to show off his post footwork. His first move is to turn into the paint, fake the hook shot and then pivot back to the left for the layup. His second move is a hard spin baseline and a reverse layup, and he reveals he wants to put out an instructional basketball tape called “Puttin’ it on KG’s ass.”
God bless 2 Chainz.