ESPN Music: Michael Jordan
February, 19, 2013
By Jared Zwerling | ESPN.com
Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty ImagesCommon posted 10 points and eight rebounds in last Friday's celebrity game in Houston.It's Sunday afternoon in downtown Houston, the host city of the 62nd NBA All-Star Game, and rapper and actor Common, along with his manager and some friends, walks into the makeshift green room on the top floor of the swanky Alden Hotel. He's there to meet with some VIPs associated with Under Armour and Hennessy for their "Kicks and Grits" event, before he takes the stage as MC in the rooftop lounge.
As Common makes his way around the room saying hello and posing for photos with people he doesn't know, there's a person he immediately recognizes: Indiana Pacers starting shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who endorses UA. Common approaches him with his trademark smile, and they have a short conversation about how they've been enjoying Houston.
While Common has never met Stephenson previously, he is crazy about the NBA.
"All-Star, in general, is one of the events I love to come to," the Chicago native said. "I'm just a big basketball fan."
December, 27, 2012
By D'Arcy Maine | ESPN The Magazine
Brian Drake/NBAE/Getty Images"I probably get more jokes from my kids than from the outside," says Bowie about his rap disses.As you may have noticed earlier this month, former NBA center Sam Bowie made the media rounds to promote his new ESPNU documentary, “Going Big.”
Bowie, famously picked ahead of Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA draft, has not only been a frequent target of sports fans following his underwhelming 10-year career, but he's also a punch line for rappers.
Multiple leg injuries limited the 7-footer to just 511 games in the league and prevented him from living up to immense pre-draft hype. He stopped by ESPN Playbook to talk about his reputation and its place in hip-hop lore.
In the rap world, the name “Sam Bowie” has become synonymous with failure. Jadakiss, Joe Budden and, most notably, Jay-Z have all referred to the Kentucky alum in disparaging ways over the years.
Having grown used to the criticism, Bowie has learned to tune out most of the naysayers. However, it is difficult to ignore when rap’s biggest stars are calling you out.