Compiled by Adam Figman / @afigman

On the surface, it seems pretty unlikely that Kanye West and the game of basketball would go hand in hand. While Yeezy’s partner-in-rhyme Jay-Z’s connection with the sport is well documented, ‘Ye comes off as the member of the Watch the Throne duo more likely to prefer a front-row seat at a fashion show or art opening than a courtside spot at the NBA Finals. But a slightly deeper look proves all of this terribly wrong. The Chicago-bred rapper has indeed been photographed at many an NBA contest, but beyond that, Kanye was reportedly hooping daily through the recording process of his 2010 solo album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and he even brought a dude named Kobe Bryant into the studio when he needed some inspiration to complete the remix of his hit single “Power.” And, of course, he litters his rhymes with bball references. Roll through the gallery above to check out what SLAM believes are the 45 best of ‘em.

Previously:
Jay-Z’s Best Basketball References
Snoop Dogg’s Best Lakers References
Biggie’s Best Basketball References