basketball by Alessandro Malave August 4, 2020
Rapper J. Cole could be headed for the big leagues, according to a new report.
When speaking with TMZ, fellow rapper Master P said that Cole is seriously training for an NBA career.
ALWAYS DREAMIN. NEVER SLEEPIN. @JColeNC KNOWS. NEW DROP TOMORROW pic.twitter.com/sFhixba2l8
— PUMA Basketball (@PUMAHoops) July 30, 2020
“When I talked to J. Cole, he was like ‘You know, big dog you did it. What do you think I would have to do to make it happen?'” said Master P.
“I said to get one of these NBA jerseys, it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be a lot of hate, it’s gonna be a lot of people not believing in you but you know J. Cole — he got the right size, he in the gym!”
The 35-year-old Cole has been an avid basketball player for some time, and is widely known as one of the best non-pro players in the nation.
He tried out for his collegiate team at St. Johns University, but ultimately decided to focus on his music and education.
“In my mind, I’d have made the team,” Cole said. “Who know what would have really happened? But I knew I wasn’t ready for that type of commitment and that lifestyle.”
His sacrifice paid off, as he graduated magma cum laude from the university in 2007, with a degree in business and communication.
After receiving an academic scholarship, J. Cole graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. John’s University. #JColefacts pic.twitter.com/anfZigpUJj
— Haraya (@HarayaSJU) March 25, 2015
“But, what I told him … this a different time we’re in,” Master P continued. “They’re going to pick you apart! You’re gonna have to be able to hit every shot and if you don’t hit every shot, they — you know in the NBA, they don’t hit every shot but they believe in them. So, you’re gonna have to go somewhere where the team really believe in you and the players believe in you.”
Cole recently partnered with Master P to film a Puma commercial, where it is strongly implied that he is training for a shot at the league.
Master P supposedly had his own fling with pro basketball back in the day. He has said that he earned an NBA contract with two different teams in the ’90s, after he had already gained fame as a rapper.
“They’ve been putting their whole life into this,” P warns. “So, you’re gonna have to prove you’re worthy of being on that court.”
J. Cole came back to his old St. John's stomping grounds. pic.twitter.com/zB9XY7qmtB
— pinpoint 📍 (@pinpointsports) October 15, 2016
One team did reach out to J. Cole after hearing the news. The Detroit Pistons made clear they’d welcome him for a tryout – for all the dreamers out there.
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Pistons told @realcoleworld to come through 👀 (📸 @__jsquared)
Cole was born in 1985 at an American military base in Frankfurt, West Germany. He began rapping at the age of 12, and started focusing on his production skills when his mother bought him an ASR-X music sampler for Christmas.
After graduating college, Cole worked various part-time jobs in Fayetteville before dropping his debut mixtape, The Come Up, in 2005.
His career began to soar after he released his second official mixtape, The Warm Up, in 2009. He partnered with Jay Z on his album The Blueprint 3, appearing on the song “A Star is Born.”
He appeared in a variety of other albums in 2010 and was named one of Beyond Race magazine’s “50 Great Breakthrough Artists” that year. His third mixtape, Friday Night Lights, featured appearances from Drake, Wale, and Omen.
As of now, Cole has won 8 BET Hip Hop Awards, 3 Soul Train Awards, 1 Music Billboard Award, and 1 Grammy, along with countless other nominations. He has released five studio albums with a sixth one set to drop this year and has headlined eight concert tours.
Cole’s transition to the NBA would make sense since he is a proven baller. He crushed the court in high school and has a profound love for the game.
“I’ve known Cole since kindergarten;” said high school teammate Matt Starks.
“We’ve played basketball together since we were in rec leagues. Anyone who knows him knows that Cole’s main love outside of music is basketball.”
More importantly, Cole’s contribution to the NBA would bring a fresh spark and a sense of a fearless venture.
The league has faced controversy this year, with its decision to resume play in Orlando criticized by many, and its choice to limit activist jersey names slammed by others.
Cole’s new career would bring a welcome distraction to the tension. Even larger though, the rapper has a serious chance to win a roster spot and become a professional rapper-turned-player.
His new path would not only bring a warm storyline to next season, it would also show how artists and other celebrities are not limited to their root strengths. It could bring a movement to stars who want to pursue other career paths, not limited to music, sports, or film.
We hope to see J. Cole in a jersey in the near future. To hold us over until then, his new album The Fall Off will release sometime this year.