Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 3:57 pm  |  52 responses

Links: Alando Tucker’s rap debut

Plus, an inbounds play that just might work…

by Lang Whitaker

A couple of weeks ago, someone mentioned to me that Phoenix guard Alando Tucker was also a rapper. I knew he could act, but had no idea he could rhyme. So I made some calls, sent some emails, and last night I got three tracks from Alando Tucker.

Alando called me a few hours ago, and I asked him about his hip-hop ambitions.

“For me, it’s something that I do,” Tucker said. “It’s a second talent. I write music and I just want everybody to listen to my music first, because I think it explains itself. It’s not a gimmick, it’s not something to make money. It’s something I’m passionate about and have spent hours doing.”

alandotuckerRaised on Chicago’s South Side before going to school at Wisconsin and ending up in Phoenix, Alando grew up around music. “My Mom was always playing The Temptations and Smokey Robinson.” He liked Chicago artists like Twista, and said he was a huge fan of both Tupac and Biggie. (I asked him to pick a side and he admitted he was “more of a Tupac fan.”)

In Phoenix, Tucker has had a chance to pursue his rap ambitions. Tucker says he works with 5th Coast Records, where he records and gets production help. “I write all the songs. I structure what I want the singer to sing. I write everything top to bottom. It’s a long process. Traveling and playing so many road games, we spend a lot of time on planes and hotel rooms. One of the things I like to do is write. Grant Hill and Shaq do a lot with trying to make beats, too.”

Wait, Grant Hill is making beats?

“Yes,” Tucker laughed. “You know, he plays the piano. I heard his beats and they’re pretty good.”

He doesn’t try to rhyme, though, right?

“Um, no. But me and Shaq might have something in the making for the world. Something for YouTube, a song maybe…”

Until then, here’s Alando Tucker’s hip-hop debut. (And hopefully Alando is going to stop by the comments section later…):

Track One: “Someone”

Track Two: “I’ll Holla”

Track Three: “Role Play”

A few other things real quick…

• David Aldridge is always great, but this column taking on the NBA conspiracy theorists is a home run. Or a slam dunk. Or a hole-in-one. Or a golden goal. Or a…whatever, it’s really good.

• Also a tremendous column from Bill Simmons about the NBA refereeing mess. I especially love his point about how the refs keep getting older and the NBA doesn’t seem to mind.

• Weird story about Sheryl Swoopes, who apparently didn’t know her ex-husband had a storage unit full of her belongings that he decided he didn’t need anymore. And so they all got auctioned off.

• Thanks to the Human Highlight Blog, a great Hawks blog, for giving me some love in their Hawks blog awards.

• Bet you didn’t know you could do this with Legos…

• And finally, an email from Linkstigator Andi:

Hi Lang,

I’ve been reading the Links since the old Slamonline site was up, I’m not sure how long ago that was probably more than 5 years? Anyways, I have been running around town, in Vancouver, trying to bring attention to the end of game inbounds plays where Lamar and Trevor have basically stolen two games from the Nuggets. It is a simple thing that I noticed and I have searched high and low on TV and online to see if anyone else noticed or cared.

In both situations Lamar is about 3 inches away from Anthony Carter (Game 1) and K-Mart (Game 3). If I am not mistaken, they can ask the referee to move the man who is guarding the inbounder a few feet away. In Game 3, K-Mart called a time out and still did not do this. I have blamed Coach Karl for not advising his players to do so, but am I missing something here? Is Lamar allowed to be all over the inbounder like he was? He is basically jumping up and down on the out of bounds line. In Game 3, K-Mart is leaning back to make the pass because Lamar is so close to him. It makes me really angry that something so simple has gone unnoticed, especially since both of the plays came at such crucial points of the game. It has been driving me nuts, please shed some light on it!

Good email, Andi. The two plays you’re talking about are below…

I went to the NBA rulebook and looked this up. Check out Rule 8, Section III, Clause A:

The throw-in starts when the ball is at the disposal of a player entitled to the throw-in. He shall release the ball inbounds within 5 seconds from the time the throw-in starts. Until the passed ball has crossed the plane of the boundary, no player shall have any part of his person over the boundary line …

Now, I’ve seen refs make defenders back up before handing the ball to the inbounder, and I’ve seen refs call a delay of game warning on inbounds plays when a defender has crossed the out of bounds line. But I guess the only written rule that applies here is that “until the ball has crossed the plane of the boundary, no player shall have any part of his person over the boundary line.” So basically, as long as the defender stays inbounds, he’s fine.

(There’s also no rule that I saw about how far the inbounding player is allowed to stand from the out of bounds line, which I suppose is why a lot of guys on inbounds passes from the baseline back up a few feet. But on the sideline you’re screwed, especially on passes in front of the scorer’s table.)

One thing I thought of, and I’m surprised more teams don’t try this:

Years ago I was playing in a high school game, and our coach had the point guard inbounding the ball on every inbounds play. (In retrospect, this seems like a George Karl decision, to have your shortest guy always inbounding. Then again, our starting point guard was 6-5.)

Anyway, the starters weren’t in, which explains why I was in, and I was inbounding the ball, looking for an open man. I pump-faked a pass. The defender reached out to try and block my pass, and he ended up touching the ball while I was still holding it and standing out of bounds.

The ref immediately blew the whistle and called a technical foul on the defender for reaching across the line and making contact with the ball. We shot a free throw and got the ball back out of bounds.

So my question in response to your question is this: Why don’t more NBA teams try this? What if Kenyon had just reached out with the ball and touched Odom with it? Wouldn’t that have been a technical? Why not just hold the ball out in front of LO and hope he swats at it?

Then again, the refs would probably blow the call anyway…


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  • GodShammgod


  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Don’t quit your day job,AT, but not all together terrible.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Track one: Jay Z rip off
    Track two: Incredibad rip off
    Track three: Just bad.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    If LeBron was throwing the ball in….

  • Melanie

    Not bad. I actually like the sound of it. Someone is my personal favorite, followed by I’ll Holla. Role Play…not so much.

  • http://slamonlin.com tina

    So is it wrong to jump up & down in front of the guy in bounding the ball, cause from what it looks like Lamar is inside the court & not out of bounds jumping up & down.

  • Pic

    not bad, do you AT

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    Your man DA didn’t mention “Kobe vs Bron” magazine covers. I guess he can’t until ESPN does theirs too? Grill him for that in your next correspondence to him Lang. And your Braves playing well a few links ago? Swept by the old tugboat slow S.F. Gigantes out here, 1st time since 2003. Chipper Jones struck out all 4 ABs And Randy Johnson got his 299.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    And your HS inbounds play sounds good, in theory. And the NBA doesn’t like theories.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Blinguo: As for the Braves…terrible series in SF. Aside from McCann they’ve combined for 20 homers. And we’re last in the majors in stolen bases. Chipper could barely walk last night, but we’ve got so many injured guys he had to play — kinda crazy that last night was his first-ever game with four Ks.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Anton is right….LIKE A BOSS.

  • Joe Richardson

    I play in England under the FIBA rules, and it states the defending players must be a minimum of one meter away from the inbounder when he has the ball out of bounds. I don’t know why this isn’t in the NBA rules.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    I was surprised by that 1st ever 4K game by Chipper too. This was the guy with buzz about him nearing .400 before going down a yr back? But he’s by no means done yet, just like Braves pitching used to be ageless.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I’M ON A BOAT.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Alando, if you show up here, just wanted to say: This is nice stuff. From your biggest 13 year old fan!

  • matt d

    Both articles were great.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Vintage Links.

  • MW

    dude alando is not the worst rapper ever.
    check out the band almost as good as your mom on myspace. i think those guys are amazing.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Double R

    David Aldridge’s column was spot on, especially the “bigger conspiracy” when the popular, ratings darlings don’t make the FInals.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    this is confusing because sometimes, at random it seems, refs will tell the defender to take a step back. like the 72 olympic fiasco. why are we trying to make sense out of nba refs?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    and why, in 2k9, does alando get salty when playing little minutes off the bench? he actually thinks hes better than thad young

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Hit on Debra! (like a boss)

  • Declan

    @Tarzan- pretty much every player gets salty when they dont play many minutes, even if their backing up freaking lebron. (we are talking video games here, right?)

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    @ Anton: Meet a giant fish! (Like a boss).

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Eat some chicken strips!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Without listening, I know he’s better than Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West (after Graduation), Officer Ricky, and Solja Boy.

  • http://www.ozhiphop.com Daninobrown

    Mr Joe Richardson. I think that whoever your referees are in England must be garbage. We play FIBA rules in Australia and there is no such rule. You can stand as close to the sideline as u want as long as no part of your body crosses the line. I think the Nuggets just need to learn to throw a bounce pass past Odom’s hip!!!! why try to lob it over a 6’11 dude with massive wings?!?!?!?!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I wonder if the inbounds passer would get away with taking one step back….up onto the score bench…? You’d get a great angle from up there…

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Another reason to enjoy Lang’s work on Slam. He doesn’t mind recognizing and admitting when Sportsguy puts out something good to read. Unlike some other Slamonline employees. Also, the passion with which you’ve been mulling this whole “out of bounds” play since last week is admirable.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/christopher_sells-authorHV106.html chiqo

    i’d like the tracks to have a little more depth, production-wise. as far as the rapping goes, it’s not terrible. it doesn’t jump out at me. all you need is a hook these days, though. the third one sounds a lot like dre’s the watcher.

  • scorp99cam

    I’m with darksaber. I hate the sportsguy hate.

  • http://mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    a thought on faking a pass on the inbounds: It’s pretty unlikely that the defensive player will touch the ball before the offensive player releases a pass. So I don’t think it’s a real ‘strategy’ to hope that this will happen. A pass fake can be useful to make the defender jump or put their arms up, to free up space for the eventual pass, like when passing into the post: fake high, pass low or the other way around. But the thing is, especially on inbounds plays at the end of the game, I think faking a pass will give the defenders more time to catch up with offensive players that have run their inbounds play to free themselves, thus denying them the ball and still making it hard for the inbounder. I think on that level the inbounds pass should be given as quickly (but not hastily, of course) as possible. Just a thought

  • http://mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    Or you ‘calculate’ the fake pass into your inbounding scheme, in such a way that the actual pass can still be given to a player coming off a screen before the defender catches up

  • Ned Mahony

    Where can I get Track One: ‘Someone’? Anyone?

  • Spartdog


  • Josh

    David Aldridge’s column was great! I’m sick of everyone going on about NBA conspiracy theories. Obviously certain match ups will make them more money than others, but seriously? I know the state of the world isn’t great and all, but you must be kidding. All of you who really think the refs are being told to swing games certain ways really need to take your heads out of your collective asses. The hypocrite call he made was spot on. Stop hating on the Lakers and Cavs and most of all, stop hating on the refs. They’re human and make inadvertant mistakes. Cut them some slack. I reckon a Nuggets-Orlando finals would be a ratings heaven anyway, given the amount of people complaining about them getting hard done by by the Commish. Surely you’d still watch right??

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    The songs got progressivly worse…overall it was pretty terrible…Stick to basketball Alando…

  • lucky1

    You know some people are just going to hate because its something they wish they could do! Songs are dope man, keep grindin and we will see you at the top. Send all the haters love X and 0. They probably didn’t listen to the tracks anyway! Like you do in your song “tell the haters sayanora.”

    I’ll Holla

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  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    Um I listened to them…they definitely suck…And no, I have never wished to be a rapper…

  • lucky1

    Get that hate out your heart wayno!! I’m sure Alando is going to be just fine without the support of “wayno” someone that takes shots at people on a blog or whatever this is. You’re a LAME buddy!

  • Seven Duece

    His style isn’t wack, sounds like something that would definitely get some run for sure. But I’m still trying to keep it together after seeing that SuperBadge LOL!

  • thedarvinham


  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    its funny that white people from saturday night live are better rappers then NBA players. Oh the world we live in….

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Sounds alright, no different than what people listen to on a regular basis, just think he is a NBA player, so he gets no credit, but if Jayonyce Z rapped this, he would get love. Rap is a funny beast.

  • justin

    LANG – Stop riding every baller, they only laugh at you. “Oh my goodness Alando Tucker, I work for SLAM can I get a copy of your hot tracks? I heard you could flow.” Well, somebody lied and you believed them. Aint no way you grew up in the 80s and 90s and think this is tight. Maybe his brother can flow.

  • http://reallifefeelgood.com lif

    i’ll holla is hot!!!

  • wayno

    i’ll admit this…this is hot music

  • http://slamonline.com The Guy

    Man keep doing what you do. These comments are crazy, most of these people probably listen to country and still have family dinners at night.

  • uneek

    this is uneek i produced the someone track Alando is dope as hell and he has an unbelievable work ethic in the studio all u bloggers hating eat a dick this is ur year Doe get it and watch the same haters turn into fans

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  • Carlos

    I like the songs Alando, is there any way I can download it?

    It would be great songs to add to my collection of songs that I play while I’m smoking weed.
    And don’t listen to the haters they don’t know nothing about this type of music. There is a reason why you are working for a record company, you have talent that most haters wish they have.