Welcome to Seven Questions or Less, a series on Dime in which we ask people from the world of music to talk about their basketball fandom. Recently we sat down with Lil Jon in Miami during Super Bowl weekend before his performance for Pepsi’s Neon Beach at the Clevelander. The ultra successful producer and musician is a staple at Hawks games and was a fixture during Heat-era LeBron games when he lived in Miami.
1. Who was your favorite player growing up and why?
Dominique Wilkins. Dominique and Spud Webb. Spud Webb, of course, because he was the tiniest guy on the court and I remember when him and Dominique were going at it in a Slam Dunk contest, that was awesome. And then Dominique was just, he was a phenomenal basketball player and his dunks were electrifying. And I’ve seen him around the city. He’s somebody that lived there that I’ve seen.
2. What’s your favorite basketball memory?
That Slam Dunk contest. Dominique and Spud Webb going at it. Spud won that competition. So I think that’s my fondest one. The Slam Dunk competition at the All Star game was always what everybody waited for. I think they wanted to see the Dunk Contest back in the day more than they wanted to see the All Star game.
3. Do you have a basketball villain from when you were growing up? A guy that you loved to hate when you were little?
Joe Dumars. Bad Boys in Detroit. That whole Detroit squad. I think Michael Jordan did an interview and he said Detroit made him change his game up and get better. That’s why Jordan is Jordan, because they made him switch his shit up.
4. What’s the most memorable game you ever attended?
Lebron’s last game in Cleveland. I performed halftime, me and Luda, and just to see like, they got blown out, but just to know that was his last game in Cleveland before he went to LA. That’s pretty memorable.
5. What’s the most surreal moment you’ve experienced in meeting a current or former player? Do you have anything like that?
When I used to live in Miami for a while and I used to get courtside seats to the Heat games all the time when Shaq was here. So seeing Shaq, saying hello to his wife and kids, being courtside, that was pretty amazing to me. Once you sit courtside, you don’t want to sit anywhere else.
6. Who’s the most important player do you think in Atlanta Hawks’ history?
Wow. Well, we can go two ways. I love Doc Rivers as a coach, so if he wasn’t playing in Atlanta and doing his thing, I don’t think he would be the coach that he is today. And then Dominique Wilkins just brought energy to the city. I still rock his jerseys to this day. So I’d say those two players.