Rap’s 1st Sports Star: Master P Talks Beating Michael Jordan In Pickup Game
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Percy “Master P” Miller has arguably had one of the most interesting careers in rap. It is common to see the merging of the entertainment and sports industries, but Master P was actually a trailblazer and knocked many of those doors down. Back in 1998 it was Master P’s No Limit Sports who set out on the same mission that Roc Nation Sports is currently on – landing University of Kentucky stars Ron Mercer, Derek Anderson and most notably University of Texas running back Ricky Williams.
In a recent interview with Young Jack Thriller on ThisIs50.com, Master P, who also has a well documented professional basketball history, reflects on beating Michael Jordan in a game of pickup basketball.
“It was a basketball game my son [Lil Romeo] was playing at his camp,” P said during the interview. Apparently, Romeo refused to wear the standard issue Air Jordans like the rest of the athletes at the camp. “Rome’ hit me and said, ‘Dad, he tripping,” P continued, “So I flew down there to the game.
“The next day at the game, I was like, ‘[My son] ain’t about to take no shoes off.’ They had a little game where all the pros play or whatever. When we first got into he said, ‘Man, you ain’t no baller. You make music.’ I said, ‘I make music and I play ball.’ I had Gilbert Arenas. I had Meta World Peace, me and two other college players. Jordan had all pros playing with him.’
“In a pickup game, you win or you go sit on the side. So I said, ‘I’m gonna go pick up Jordan and see what happen. The first time he go to the basket, I hit him. Then the guy who runs the camp came over like, ‘You OK, J? You OK, J?’ I said, ‘Yeah, he OK. He said he from the streets. Let’s play.’ I got Gilbert Arenas and Ron Artest real pumped up. They were like, ‘Yeah, we can beat these dudes.’ It was like a real street game. Then at the end we won. I turned all the way up. It was cool. Ever since then we been friends.”
Master P actually played basketball at the University of Houston, but a knee injury derailed his hoop dreams. A chance meeting with Rap-A-Lot Records founder J. Prince would change his focus to rap and the rest is history.
However, he is not one to give up on his dreams and Master P ended up spending training camp with the Charlotte Hornets prior to the 1998-99 season. P didn’t make the squad, but would get another chance the following year trying out for the Toronto Raptors – even scoring 8 points in an exhibition game against the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Master P’s basketball career did not last long, but he was able to get a sneaker deal from Converse out of it!!!
Now that’s BOSS !!!
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