NBA players are not only known for their skills on the court but also for their involvement in various projects outside of basketball. These ventures help them expand their marketing profile, reach new audiences, and showcase their personality and interests. Some of the projects that NBA players have participated in include movies, clothing lines, and music videos.
Music videos are a popular way for NBA players to collaborate with their favorite artists or create a buzz for both the song and the player, especially if they have a close relationship or a shared fan base. And sometimes it’s just all about the money.
One of the greatest players of all time, LeBron has four NBA championships to his name, and according to the NBA Championship odds for 2023, his Lakers team could be adding a fifth ring to his collection. LeBron James has appeared in several music videos during his career, such as “Diddy Bop” by Jacob Latimore and Diddy; and “Pop Style” by Drake and The Throne. He also starred in his own music video for “I’m King” by T.I., which was part of the soundtrack for his documentary More Than a Game.
However, one of his most iconic appearances was on the song “Forever”, which featured Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem, four of the biggest names in rap music. The song was released in 2009 as part of the soundtrack for More Than a Game, a documentary film about LeBron’s high school basketball team. The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and became an anthem for LeBron’s career.
The Hall of Famer and four-time NBA champion is also a rapper himself, having released five albums and collaborated with artists like Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg. He has also made cameo appearances in music videos such as “Men in Black” by Will Smith; and “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. One of his most famous appearances was in the video for “What’s Up Doc? (Can We Rock)” by Fu-Schnickens, which peaked at number 39 on the Billboard chart back in 1993. Shaq is one of the most charismatic and entertaining NBA players ever, and his presence in music videos always adds plenty of humor and fun.
The late legend and five-time NBA champion was also a rap fan and a rapper himself, having recorded a few songs with Tyra Banks, Destiny’s Child, and 50 Cent. He also appeared in music videos such as “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child; “K.O.B.E.” by Tyra Banks; and “Thug Poet” by Kool G Rap. His appearance on “Hold Me” by Brian McKnight saw the song peak at number 35 on the Billboard chart back in 1999.
Kobe was admired by many artists for his work ethic, passion, and talent, and his music video appearances reflected his confidence and style. His superstar presence guaranteed the song would get noticed.
When Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson filmed the song “Jam” back in 1992, both men were global superstars at the peak of their careers. “Jam” was released as the fourth single from the album “Dangerous”. The song performed well, reaching number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It also performed well internationally thanks to the pairs star attraction.
Jackson came up with the idea to shoot the video with Jordan because he wanted to bring together the world’s two biggest “MJ’s” on screen. Four years later, Jordan would star in the movie Space Jam (1996).
The two-time NBA champion and MVP has also shown his love for music by appearing in music videos such as “Want Some More” by Nicki Minaj; and “Still KD” by Dave East. He also released his own rap song called “Worried About Tomorrow” with Privaledge. However, “Berzerk” by Eminem is perhaps his most famous cameo appearance, with the song peaking at number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2013.
The 11-time All-Star and MVP is widely regarded as one of the most influential NBA players of all time, especially for his impact on hip-hop culture. He has appeared in music videos such as “40 Bars” by himself, and “Blow Ya Mind” by Styles P. He also recorded a rap album called “Misunderstood”, which was never released due to controversy over its lyrics. His appearance in “Money Ain’t a Thang” by Jay-Z, saw the single peak at number 52 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reach number 10 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Iverson is a legend both on and off the court, and his music video appearances showcase his swagger and attitude.
These are just some of the NBA players who have made cameos in music videos over the years. There are many more examples of how basketball and music have intersected and influenced each other, creating memorable moments for fans of both worlds. Music videos are a great way for NBA players to express themselves, connect with artists, and promote their brand.