Monday, August 8th, 2011 at 12:56 pm  |  27 responses

Jay-Z’s Best Basketball References

The Mike Jordan of recordin’s 100 sickest bball-related raps.

Compiled by Adam Figman / @afigman

At around 12 a.m. last night, the Internet went absolutely bonkers for a little something called Watch the Throne, a joint album by Jay-Z and Kanye West. Maybe you heard about it. And if you downloaded WTT on iTunes minutes after it was released—as we did—then you probably noticed Hov dropped a handful of basketball-related rhymes throughout many of his impeccably crafted verses. Truth is, Jay’s been connected to the game for years—his part-ownership of the Nets standing as the latest proof—and, as you really should’ve picked up by now, the Brooklyn native’s been sprinkling hoops talk into his raps since the mid-90s. Roll through the gallery above to check out what we believe are his 100 best bball references—though, admittedly, there might not be too many others. Let us know what we missed and which you dig most in the comment section below.

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  • http://64dollacologne.tumblr.com/ cramzy

    i didnt get that chicago centers line till years later. I thought dude was sayin chicago sinners

  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?


  • K boogie

    This here trumps Game’s ball reference piece from last week. This is tuff!

  • Charles

    Jordan looks wasted on a few of those pics

  • Riggs

    me and the boy AI got more in common than just ballin and rhymin, get it? more in carmen.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Good Lord.. I looked up and saw that he has a hundred… A HUNDRED. Learn children, learn.

  • T-Ray

    I like Jay-Z but too many people ride his jock. Everything he puts out isn’t great. Not hating at all just saying.

  • Steven L

    I think on #21 it’s supposed to be: High school crossover, waved away picks/

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The MJ of recording, says who?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/07/baltimore-love-thing/ Abe Schwadron

    LOL @ A-Rod in #21

  • LA Huey

    Will Perdue in the Phantom of the Opera mask needs to be playable in 2K11.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Jay-Z’s probably my personal favorite rapper of all time. I give him the nod over Biggie only because he’s put out more albums than Biggie, which is obviously no fault of Biggie’s.
    And even though Illmatic is my favorite album he gets the nod over Nas because Nas really only had like three dope albums out of I don’t know how many.
    T-Money’s right, not all of Jay’z stuff is on point, many of his songs are downright wack in fact, but I still ride with dude.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Gotta agree with jtaylor21 on this one, you can hate my opinion but I feel jay Z is one of the most overrated rappers ever, not saying he isnt good but with people saying mike jordan of recording, please!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    …I think jay Z has just past skip as the biggest Mike jordan a** kisser. you can idolize the man but damn, he referenced him in almost everything.

  • Damir

    I still think it’s Pac..

  • coggie13

    The watch the throne album is pretty crap to be honest. most of the beats are really annoying.

  • Brahsef

    Jay pre retirement was untouchable. I actually loved American Gangster too, but all his other post-black albums have been blehh. Lord knows why he changed his flow when he had the God flow and now its ehhh.

    But Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint, Black Album, The Dynasty. Reasonable Doubt and the Blueprint alone are two of the most important albums in rap.

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    “I planned to but dog they be takin me out of my zone like a n!gga with a handle” – Streets is watching

  • sean b

    MJ of recording??!!! I’m not sure about that guys. Larry Bird of recording aka top five or ten would have been more appropriate.

  • L

    It’s not even close, just leave it alone/I’m Michael Jordan, I play for the team I own”—”

  • http://cnbc.com Da_Real_JTaylor

    F*ck you Jay-Z


    Co-sign Brahsef. Jigga shoulda stayed retired. Everything he has brought out since he “came back” is just wack, especially “Kingdom Come”. “Bluprint” is my personal all-time fav of “Jigga man, trigga man”.

  • treetrunks

    yea, the dude is way overrated..don’t believe there’s a best MC of all time

  • Riggs

    lol @ overrated, jesus christ. lil wayne is overrated, dont even try to put jay in that category, you only come out looking idiotic as hell.

  • Question

    Goin on my 8th ring, got Phil Jackson’s ZEN/Flow is black magic…

  • http://SportsCipher.com Jaamal Braithwaite

    I didn’t realize how many ball references Hov dropped in his lines.

  • Collin Harmon

    i ball for real y’all niggaz Sam Bowie…..and with the third pick/ I make the earth sick/
    him j, MJ, fadeaway perfect