Besides providing fans with cogent lyricism in his rap career, Chi-town emcee Common has proven he’s a force to be reckoned with on the basketball courts as well. That was a big topic of discussion when we chatted by phone with the 42-year-old South Side native when discussing his most recent musical endeavor, Nobody’s Smiling.
Common has displayed his hardwood acumen at NBA All-Star weekend celebrity games and even battled head to head against Dwayne Wade and Dwight Howard in his 2010 basketball movie, Just Wright.
These days the Chicago rapper/actor has the opportunity to watch his beloved Bulls potentially rise once again like they once did in the 90s when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen obliterated the competition. Despite Derrick Rose combating the injury bug, he appears to be 100 percent. With his team bolstered by a bevy of acquisitions, highlighted by the signing of Pau Gasol and first-round draft pick, Doug McDermott out of Creighton, it appears that this avid Bulls fan may have a reason to gloat for years to come.
“We got a little bit of time before we can get into the championship,” said Common about his new-look Bulls.
“I know D-Rose is going to come back and be strong. He’s gonna come back and be right. I think we’re gonna have a great season. I have confidence in D-Rose. But, we still need another piece. I think we’re gonna give the fans a good season. I like Joakim Noah. I think Doug McDermott is gonna have some stuff. I think we’re gonna be strong in the East. I see that,” he added.
While Common’s confidence as a Bulls fan is admirable, the elephant in room, or perhaps the conference, is LeBron James and his shocking return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. While James’ departure from the Miami Heat does signify a shake-up in the rankings of the Eastern Conference, LeBron’s presence morphs any team into a potential contender – even his once-lowly Cavaliers.
“I mean, I ain’t gonna front. I’m a fan of different players. I’m a fan of LeBron and D-Wade [Dwyane Wade]. But, I ain’t got no fear [for Cleveland]. I love Kyrie Irving too. But, it’s gonna be a battle in the East. Now, we don’t know who’s gonna take it. Obviously, at this point, you know people are gonna say Cleveland is the favorite, but I think the Bulls have a chance. I think the East is gonna be decent this year,” he concluded.
Common even offered Chicago’s coach Tom Thibodeau his services at the point guard position, if he was in need of a sturdy ball general.
“They might need another point guard in there with D.Rose. I’m here. We could be the new backcourt,” said a confident Common.
Will Common lace them up one more time to oust LeBron and the Cavs out of a potential NBA Finals appearance? We can only dream.
Who finishes with a better record next season, Chicago or Cleveland?
Follow Carl on Twitter at @TheRealCL24.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.