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From American gangster to crossover legend

Pee Wee Kirkland once turned down the Chicago Bulls to return to dealing drugs on the streets of Harlem. Now he's preaching a different message.

Originally Published: February 7, 2008
By Mary Buckheit | ESPN.com

He's been compared to NBA legends Tiny Archibald and Julius Erving, but he was probably more akin to "American Gangsters" characters Frank Lucas and "Mr. Untouchable" Nicky Barnes.

The rap group Clipse put it best in their 2002 smash, "Grindin'" (still their top song on iTunes):

From ghetto to ghetto, to backyard to yard I sell it whip on whip, it's off the hard I'm the neighborhood pusha call me subwoofer, 'cause I pump "base" like that, Jack on or off the track … The jewels ...

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