Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard-small forward Iman Shumpert stepped up to the mic yesterday on Funk Flex’s radio show before the team faced off against the New York Knicks. Shumpert rapped over the classic “Grammy Family” instrumental produced by Kanye West for three minutes.
At the beginning of the verse, Shumpert appears to still try to catch the beat, but once he settled in, he sounded better than a lot of actual rappers that freestyle on radio shows. Over the off-season, Shumpert took a trip to Complex’s “Everyday Struggle” and said he was the best rapper in the NBA. Atlanta Hawks center Mike Muscala said earlier this season that he’s the best rapper in the NBA. From what we’ve heard so far, here’s a list of the top five rappers in the NBA family.
- Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace just announced that he is joining the BIG3 next season, and he had one of the best couple of months a rapper in the NBA could have. He hit the game-winning shot in Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics and said in his postgame interview that he had a single called “Champion” that was on the way. After releasing the song, World Peace’s record made its way onto NBA 2K11. In the song, he uses the right amount of AutoTune to make the record sound just right.
- Iman Shumpert
Shumpert killed his Flex freestyle, he definitely has bars and has proven for years now that he’s no scrub when it comes to putting music together. With a wife in the industry as well, Shumpert has all the tools to succeed and who knows? Rap might be the better option for him for the long haul. Last night, after the Flex freestyle, Shumpert scored zero points, grabbed four rebounds, and committed five turnovers against the Knicks.
- Lonzo Ball
Believe it or not, the face of the Big Baller Brand has flow. Ball’s “Super Saiyan” track is hands down one of the best tracks a player in the NBA has ever released and the only thing stopping Ball from being higher on this list is that he’s only shown his listeners one flow, which is the fast one. When Ball shows different rhyming patterns, he’ll definitely evolve into a top-two rapper in the game, literally.
- Shaquille O’Neal
The retired Hall of Famer is still handing out bars to anyone who wants it, including Lavar Ball. O’Neal has the old-school mindset of creativity and entertainment bunched into one and has stood the test of time. Most recently, his freestyle on his TNT show with Nicki Minaj and his infamous Kobe Bryant freestyle stand out the most.
- Damian Lillard
Dame Dolla is hands down still the best rapper in the NBA. The Portland Trailblazers guard now uses his free time in off-seasons to create albums where he’s featured acts like Lil’ Wayne. Lillard has flow, bars, and the skill of storytelling down. He uses his tracks to express his thoughts on winning an NBA championship and his journey to becoming a star in the league — and he does it all without cursing.
Watch and judge Shumpert’s freestyle for yourself after the break.