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Earlier this month, the Washington Wizards announced a new addition to their line-up: In the heretofore nonexistent position of “creative liaison,” local rapper-made-good Wale will lend his songs to promo videos, his star power to charity events, and his aesthetic sensibilities to the team’s merchandise.
A loud-mouthed sports fanatic of the highest order, Wale has the basketball know-how to justify his new role. He’s played in the NBA’s celebrity all-star game, written an entire song framed around Georgetown’s 1984 championship team, and critiqued the racial politics of owner-player dynamics on “Varsity Blues.” (“They don’t think you a nigga as long as you fill up they bleachers.”)
But while Wale’s name-dropped a few ’Zards ballers on his tracks (“Oh, I never fall off, I get my Beal, John Wall on”; “Otto Porter with all the water servin’ the corners”), he hasn’t played favorites. Here, a roundup of Wale’s sharpest basketball references—and a plea for his lyrical loyalty now that he’s on the team’s roster.
I wouldn’t fuck another girl out of the club I was Rodney Stuckey, wasn’t giving my number up “Goodbye” 2009
I look like a Don to you, a darker hue I’m sharp as hue, I’m Shaq to your Udonis dudes “The Bmore Club Slam” 2008
Young Ben Gordon, I play through all the bull shit “Nightlife” 2009
I could change a broad’s life in about an hour I turn Ducks into Bucks, Luke Ridnour “The Black N Gold” 2010
You got some paper for me? Hit me on the Hornacek “Barry Sanders” 2011
I’m feelin’ Chris Childs, you lookin’ like Kobe Bryant’s jaw “Mama Told Me” 2008
I’m Danny Granger, I’m just working with a different pacer “New Soul” 2009
Women be here, they be jockin’ And they be hawkin’, I call them hoes Josh Smith “Pot of Gold” 2009
With this recording I’m as sick as Jordan before game 6 “Barry Sanders” 2011
Photo by Darrow Montgomery