Basketball and Rap will always be synonymous with one another. It’s no secret that most basketball players want to be rappers and most MCs want to hoop. When I first got to Dime I came up with the idea of comparing the two occupations. Surprisingly, many thought that my comparisons were even more accurate than I initially suspected.
Well, the NBA and the rap game have change a lot since my original observations. I decided to re-do the comparisons. Just so you know, I based my comparisons mostly on the NBA player and rapper’s collection of work as well as what they are doing currently.
Lamar Odom and Fabolous.
What do Lamar Odom and Fabolous possibly have in common you ask?
Both ‘The Goods’ and ‘Fabo’ are vets in their fields but are fairly young. Odom is only 28 and has been in the NBA since 1999, while Fabolous dropped his hit single “If They Want It” in 1998 and today is only 30 years old.
The two New York City natives (Odom from Queens, Fab from Brooklyn are seen as two of the most talented dudes on the court and in the booth. Very quiet in regards to their demeanor Odom and Fabolous get busy when the lights are on.
Lamar Odom and Fabolous are a versatile as they come.
Lamar Odom is one of the few players in the NBA who can play all 5 positions on the floor. L.O. has the handle of a point guard, can score like a 2 or 3, and can post up like a center. At 6’10 his versatility makes Odom nearly a match up problem every time he steps on the court. With career averages of 15.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game Odom is pretty well rounded on the hardwood.
Fabolous is one of the few artists in the game that can rap about anything and make it hot. Fab is respected in all circles of hip-hop. Whether you are a mixtape junkie (Fab’s career took off after appearing on several DJ Clue mix tapes), lyric hound, or commercial rap fan Fab has had hits for every genre.
Both are legends in the hood…
Lamar Odom is a king back in his hood. Along with Elton Brand and fellow queens native Ron Artest, L.O. was part of what some say was the best AAU team ever. Their Riverside Church squad is still talked about to this day on the blacktop and courts of New York City. Odom, The Parade Magazine Player of the Year in 1997, is still talked about all over NYC for the things he did while on that squad.
Fab made a living for just absolutely destroying opposing MCs in battles back in Breevort Projects in his hometown of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Fab hooked up with DJ Clue and started to murder mix tapes with his clever word play and amazing punch lines. His hits like “Gotta Be Thug” made him the king of mixtape freestyles.
Odom and Fabolous are perfect additions to any team…
Don’t get it confused for a second that Lamar Odom is always in trade talks because he doesn’t have skills. Odom is so valuable due to his versatility that he can help every team in the NBA. Odom can get it done by himself, but when he plays the sidekick role good things happen, look at the Lakers last year. Even though they didn’t win the ‘chip Odom played well alongside Pau and Kobe. This season Phil has “The Goods” coming off of the bench which should elevate his game even more.
Fabolous is known for getting on songs with a group of people and absolutely obliterating them. His guest appearance game is top 5 in hip hop. ‘Loso goes in on every guest verse he does (see: Ryan Leslie’s Addiction Remix or Red CafÃ©’s Paper Touchin’ Remix). Whatever type of song he’s making a cameo on you know Fab is going to rip it to shreds. He compliments any rapper, from Young Jeezy to Jadakiss ‘Loso is the perfect addition.
Everyone is waiting for both of these guys to blow up…
While at Rhode Island, Lamar Odom was being compared to Magic Johnson. Odom puts up all around great numbers but everyone knows he can do more. Odom’s career highs are; 17.2ppg (’01-’02), 10.6rpg (’07-’08), and 5.9apg (’01-’02). The only thing stopping him from putting those type of stats together in the same season is himself. The Lakers could sow up the championship if L.O. could produce like that.
Fabolous is always in consideration for the ‘King of NY’ throne. He has the respect of all those in the rap community due to the fact that everyone knows what ‘Loso is capable of. While the fans and critics know Fab can rap his ass off, his albums (with the exception of his first, ‘Ghetto Fabolous’) always fall short of what the people expect from such a talented rapper. If Fab can put it all together then the throne is his for the taking.
This year is big for both Lamar Odom and Fabolous. Both have a lot to prove. Odom has to solidify himself as the guy Pau and Kobe can look at to help them on the offensive end. With Bynum and the aforementioned Gasol, the Lakers front line is as long and athletic as any team in the NBA.
Fabolous’ fifth album, Loso’s Way, has to be nothing short of spectacular in order to help Fab rise above the level of just a mediocre artist.