- LeBron James is set to officially become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, July 1 at 12:01 a.m. EST.
- The Houston Rockets are among the few teams that will be attempting to sign James and who are said to have a legitimate chance to do so, pitching him a spot on a roster alongside superstars James Harden and Dwight Howard (or one of those two, with the possibility of the other being moved for a third big-name free agent).
- If anyone is going to convince LeBron that Houston is the move, it’s the one and only Slim Thug.
About that last point: You might remember that around this time last year, it was Howard whose future was uncertain, and it was the H-Town rapper who took to Twitter to list the reasons why the center needed to ditch the sunny skies of L.A. for the equally sunny skies of the Lone Star State. Because of said efforts, or, yeah, despite them (though we’re going with “because,” haters), Howard wound up with the Rockets, then led the team to a solid 54-28 record and a hard-fought first round loss to the feisty Portland Trail Blazers.
Now he’s back at it. Thug already tweeted at Bron explaining why the two-time champ should bounce from Miami and head west, but we figured we’d give him the opportunity to expound on why King James needs to take the Dwight Howard route to south Texas this summer. Like a boss.
SLAM: If you were the Rockets’ GM and you sat down with LeBron James on July 1, what would you tell him?
Slim Thug: Man, we’ve got Dwight Howard, we’ve got James Harden—we young and hungry. I love the Heat right now, but I think if he wants to be the best, he’s gotta come to the West and play with the best.
SLAM: Do you think it’s a big upgrade from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to Howard and Harden?
ST: I ain’t gonna take nothing away from D-Wade or Bosh, they’re definitely stars. But at the same time, we’ve got two stars, too. We’ve got Dwight Howard and James Harden, who ain’t never won, who are hungry.
SLAM: What about off the court? What are the advantages of living in Houston?
ST: Oh man, it’s beautiful. In Houston, it’s like living in a whole other world. In any other big city, you’re gonna pay a grip for a crib. Your dollar ain’t gonna go so far. You can live like a king for nothing [in Houston], man. You can get a big-ass house for a million dollars in Houston.
SLAM: The Miami social scene is pretty great, though.
ST: Well, LeBron is married now. He needs to stay away from all that temptation. He needs to get away from Miami and come live a little more of a family life, so he won’t have to deal with all that temptation every time he walks out of the house, man. And we’ve got the best food in the world. Houston is the baddest city because we’ve got the best food.
SLAM: But that can be tough for an NBA player who needs to stay in shape.
ST: He’ll be aright, man—he’s got plenty of time to work out, but you get a good cheat day out in Houston when you go out to eat.
SLAM: If LeBron doesn’t join the Rockets, do you think they have a shot at Carmelo Anthony? Or another star?
ST: We need Melo. If we can’t get LeBron, we need Melo, man. We need whoever’s trying to win this ring, man, because we’re right there. We’re knocking on the door. We’re building our team up and we’re right there—we’re missing like one good piece. If we get Melo or LeBron, we’re going all the way.
SLAM: You’ve dropped LeBron James’ name in a song before, too.
ST: Yeah man, that’s LeBron James—everybody’s dropped LeBron James’ name in a song. But I swear if he comes to this city, we’re gonna have a LeBron James anthem. It’s gonna be so off the chain, man. He’ll get so much support. Houston is loyal to our teams, and we haven’t won in a long time. We’re still selling out. There’s just a loyalty in this city that you ain’t gonna find nowhere else.
SLAM: Right, people say the Miami sports fan base isn’t very strong.
ST: Everybody in Miami is too cool. Everybody in Miami has too much money, and they ain’t even from Miami—they’re from different places, the majority of them. Houston is a city and Texas is a state where if you ride for them, they’ll die with you. I think that’s what [LeBron] needs.
SLAM: Do you go to a lot of Rockets games?
ST: Oh yeah, I was at almost all the games—I probably missed like one. I was there the whole time. I was proud of the team. I think Howard gave it all he got. I think a few of the other players, they were struggling for whatever reason, but I think Howard’s hungry right now and he’s ready. With a little help from the rest of the team, I think we can make it.
SLAM: As a big fan, do you ever see any of the players at nightclubs and think they probably shouldn’t be out like that?
ST: I mean, nah, ain’t nothing wrong with partying, but yeah, at the same time, be serious about them rings, man. We divvy out those checks for Houston—we want to win something. So yeah, I definitely feel like, yeah, man, go to work. Give it 100 percent. Don’t be like, Fuck it, and go party the next day. That’s disrespectful.
SLAM: What do you think of NBA players rapping?
ST: I ain’t hating—if you can rap, rap. I wish I could play ball and get some of that basketball money, goddamn. So I ain’t gonna hate on that. I haven’t heard too many people—I think I heard KD rapping, I was like, OK, that’s somethin’ somethin’. Who else raps?
SLAM: Iman Shumpert. Stephen Jackson, too, though he isn’t in the League at the moment.
ST: Oh, definitely Stephen Jackson. Me and Stephen Jackson did a song together, too. Stephen Jackson’s like a real rapper. The song we’ve got, we’re about to drop the video and they’re supposed to play it on MTV this week or next week. Check it out, man. He really can rap, though.
SLAM: Last question: Say you had LeBron’s number and were to shoot him a text before free agency begins tonight, what would it say?
ST: LeBron James, you need to come to this city! Have you ever heard of V Live and Dream? We’ve got the best strip clubs in the world, man, right here in Houston, Texas. We’ve got the best food—come to Max’s and you’re getting the best brunch you’ve ever had in your life. You’re getting the whole city, 100 percent support, man. Come to where the love at.