Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O'Neal: Drake talks about their rapping 'careers'

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The NBA and music go hand in hand, but the relationship between the two reached its peak in the crazy and weird days of 1990s and 2000s. 

While major influences of the music world can now be found behind the scenes at certain franchises, such as Hip Hop icon Drake and his relationship with the Toronto Raptors and Jay-Z's former position with the Brooklyn Nets, while occupying courtside seats, the days of players releasing songs are not finished just yet.

Players today are still trying their hands at a side-career. When Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard isn't too busy leading his team to the playoffs, he can be found in the studio making tunes. 

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French star Tony Parker also tried his hand at a career in music during his younger days, but arguably the two most famous examples came from the '90s-'00s and involved two L.A. Lakers legends. 

Kobe Bryant was the golden boy on the NBA after he jumped from high school to the big league in 1997. He was signed to Sony records, however, his first single 'K.O.B.E' flopped in 2000 and that was the end of his music career. 

However, there was still time for Bryant to be featured on a remixed version of Destiny's Child's iconic 1999 song 'Say My Name'

It was a crazy time where a lot of strange things happened and that was certainly one of those examples, but Drake believes it was a sign of just how recognisable Bryant was at the time, regardless of his skill behind the mic. 

In an interview with Nardwuar, he said: "They let this happen? No! Really? Wow. I mean…Kobe Bryant rapping with Destiny’s Child. That’s how you know you’re playing your sport well, if they let you on a record. 'Cause I don’t know if we’re letting Kobe on VIEWS as much as we love him."

Bryant's former teammate O'Neal had some relative success in the music game as he released his studio album called Shaq Diesel in 1993. It received platinum certification from the RIAA.

Despite his rapping ability being slated at first, Shaq was praised for the minor improvements he made over time and the Toronto-based artist admitted that there was a time when he used to like a couple of O'Neal's tracks. 

"Shaq was actually rapping," Drake said, "And I have to admit that, at one point in my life, I was actually into, like, maybe one or two Shaq songs."

The days of NBA musicians are still upon us, but they are hardly in the spotlight to the level of the 1900s. Just imagine Stephen Curry collaborating on a track with Nicki Minaj or Rihanna. 

Western Conference
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Kobe Bryant

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