NBA Finals Preview
Before I start, let's just say that my prediction of Milwaukee facing OKC in the finals with Milwaukee winning, didn't go well. Damien Lillard's amazing 30 ft shot eliminated the Thunder while the Raptors led by Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and a stifling defense, eliminated the Bucks in 6 games after falling behind 0-2. So how about we go over this year's Finals matchup between one team with lots of talent in the Golden State Warriors, and the team who made it after firing their head coach and trading away their best player in the Toronto Raptors.
The Golden State Warriors had a season that was less impressive compared to their others. Their home record was the worst among all Western Conference teams with home court, and they looked like they quit in some games. But counting them out isn't exactly the smartest thing to do. Especially when you have not only all stars like Klay Thompson, but generational players like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Even if they do complain more than any other NBA team so they could get their way.
In the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Warriors flaws at home continued as they went 1-2 at home during the series. In game 2, they blew a 31 point lead - something that would have never happened 2 years ago. But nonetheless, they also showed their skills on the road as they went 3-0 at Staples Center. Durant dropped a career high 50 playoff points in game 6 to move Golden State on the second. The semifinals brought up a rematch against the Houston Rockets dating back to last year's conference finals. Every game in the series was decided in the closing seconds and by the end of game 4, Houston had tied the series at 2. Game 5 saw the Warriors hold off a Rockets rally in the second half to go up 3 games to 2. Houston led for most of game 6, but Golden State kept coming back. Eventually, Thompson, a 33 point second half from Curry, and some questionable officiating, helped Golden State reach the Conference Finals despite Durant missing game 6 due to a calf injury.
In the conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Warriors surprisingly swept them in 4 games. It wasn't an easy sweep, as the final 3 games were decided by close scores. Lillard was also playing with bad ribs which was a big factor as he didn't look comfortable attempting the winning shot in game 2 even though he was kind of fouled, and missed the winning layup in game 4. Either way, the bottom line was that Warriors like Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green, were well equipped for this stage of playoff basketball, and the Trail Blazers weren't.
As they enter this year's finals, they won't be with Durant, as his return is questionable as well as Demarcus Cousins. But the weird thing, is that the Warriors have executed their system a lot more fluently without Durant. Durant has still made the Warriors a better team, but they are obviously an elite team without him. This factor will probably influence his decision in free agency in which I think he'll be wearing orange and blue next season. But for now, it'll be interesting to see if Durant's absence for some of these games will really hurt the Warriors this time.
This season saw the Toronto Raptors go through changes. They hired a new coach in Nick Nurse, and traded their best player DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for another great talent in Kawhi Leonard. These moves paid off. They racked up a number of statement wins en route to a 58 win season. Leonard played at a M.V.P. level, Kyle Lowry remained one of the top floor generals, and Pascal Siakam's play took a major leap this season. Their defense was one of the top defenses in the league, and it only got better when they acquired former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol at the trade deadline. So when they entered the playoffs, a deep playoff run was expected.
In the first round against the Orlando Magic, the Raptors stunningly lost game 1, but recovered to win the next 4 games thanks to Leonard and breakout performances by Siakam. The second round saw a star studded matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers led by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler. It proved to be a matchup of heavyweights and there needed to be a game 7 in order to decide this series. Defense ruled as Philadelphia shot 41% while Toronto shot 38%. Despite all of the scorers, only one of them had scored over 25 points. That was Leonard. In fact, he had 39, but he needed one more free throw to make it a 3 point game. He missed it and a Butler layup had tied the game up. Fortunately, Toronto still had time and that was all Leonard needed. He got the ball on the left side far away from the basket. He drove all the way to the right corner and attempted a falling jumper over Embiid. Four bounces, later the Raptors were on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. This was the first time in this year's playoffs where the Raptors didn't have the home court advantage. They lost it to the Milwaukee Bucks: a team that had won an N.B.A. best 60 games and seemed destined for a championship. For the first 2 games, the Bucks showed why they were the ones to represent the league, as they took a 2-0 series lead. But the Raptors managed to grind out a double overtime victory in game 3 and blew out the Bucks in game 4. Milwaukee got off to a good start in game 5, but Toronto clawed back. In the fourth quarter, back to back Leonard three pointers gave Toronto a 4 point lead. Milwaukee fought back to tie the game, but backup point guard Fred VanVleet and a clutch offensive rebound by Marc Gasol in the final seconds, gave the Raptors a 3-2 series lead. Milwaukee wasn't going down in game 6 without a fight, and it showed as they built a 15 point lead in the third quarter. But Toronto came back and built an eight point lead midway in the fourth quarter. The Bucks did everything to come back, but clutch baskets and offensive rebounds granted the Raptors their first finals appearance in franchise history. Leonard's health is a question, but he seemed fine as he posterized MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo in game 6. His finals experience which saw him win MVP in his second appearance in 2014, gives the Raptors a major boost. The only other players with experience on the Raptors, are power forward Serge Ibaka who played on the 2012 Thunder, and Danny Green who played with Leonard in the Spurs' last 2 Finals appearances. But Toronto is carrying a lot of momentum and confidence and sometimes, all of that can be the difference.
In what has been another N.B.A. season filled with lots of headlines, highlights, lowlights, and goodbyes to legends, 2 teams now remain standing. One team is now in the finals for the 5th straight year. With all the talent and great coaching they have, a three peat is in sight. The other team brought in a new coach and traded for an All NBA player after failing to make the Finals after 5 years with the same core. Their culture changed and they are now competing for a championship for the first time in franchise history. Those 2 teams are the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors.
My prediction? Raptors 4 Warriors 3
Yesterday was a day that will be one of the most confusing days in not just New York Jets history, but in NFL history. General manager Mike Maccagnan was fired. But you are probably wondering why it shows a lot of dysfunction and disagreement. Let's explain.
If you're going to fire a general manager, you have to do it when the season ends. The Jets thought differently. They decided to go in a backwards direction because that's what they seem to do all the time. It started with the firing of Todd Bowles where owner Christopher Johnson trusted Maccagnan to find a coach in Adam Gase, sign top free agents, and draft players. And yet 3 weeks after the draft, they fired Maccagnan. To make matters worse, Adam Gase has had a different perspective on some of Maccagnan's offseason moves.
Let's take it from the beginning.
The Jets offseason started off strong. They traded for all pro guard Kelechi Osemele and signed pro bowl linebackers C.J. Mosley and Anthony Barr. The only problem, was that on the next day, Barr decided to go resign with the Vikings. It was looked at as a soft move by most fans, but what wasn't noticed, was the fact that Gase and Maccagnan had lost trust in each other. Nonetheless, Maccagnan made up for the loss of Barr by signing all pro running back Le'Veon Bell. It was considered a steal for New York considering that they only have to pay Bell 52 million. But another problem rose from the organization, Gase didn't want Bell at that price. He already knows how good a player Bell is dating back to his 167 yards and 2 touchdowns against Gase's Dolphins in the 2016 playoffs. $52 million isn't a lot either for not only one of the best running backs, but for one of the best players in the league. It was probably the 35 million guaranteed money that Gase didn't like in his contract. So while all these feelings remained, the Jets' offseason was already viewed as a success. The draft also got good results. With Quinnen Williams, some think that the Jets picked the best defensive player in the draft.
Then rumors about a possible rift came out.
It happened two days after the first round of the draft. The reports talked about the rift starting due to disagreements over their free agency strategy. This was actually a surprising reason considering that the biggest controversial move in their offseason at the time was not trading down to get more picks in the draft. Fortunately, both Gase and Maccagnan both said that there wasn't any rift between them and that there's no reason to think that there was a rift considering how successful their offseason was. Everyone believed them and just like that, everything was fine. Right? Well you're wrong.
On May 15, the Jets fired him in what was a shocking move. Maccagnan was always in the hot seat, but if the Jets were to fire him, it should've been after the season along with Todd Bowles. But no. They decided to fire him after doing all of the offseason responsibilities. Now Adam Gase is the interim GM even though there's a strong possibility that they'll hire Joe Douglas who's a part of one of football's most respected front offices in the Philadelphia Eagles. As the Jets currently stand, Gase is the general manager and key players like Bell and Leonard Williams' aren't a lock to be on this team for the long term even though I personally think they'll both remain long term.
But New York now is in a lot of dysfunction at a alarming rate that hasn't been seen in football before. Even if they have a solid season which I think will still happen, they got to replace the chaos that's going on right now.
It has been a rough season for Carmelo Anthony. Despite accepting a role on the bench with the Houston Rockets, his tenure in the lone star state was still one to forget. On offense, his playstyle of midrange shots wasn't a good fit for Houston. On defense, opponents attacked him on pick and rolls which is a common strategy that teams use against unskilled defenders like Anthony. In November, the Rockets released him. Despite almost signing with the Lakers, he went the rest of the season without a NBA team. A shame for one of the best players of his generation.
So why am I saying that Carmelo Anthony is one of the best players of his generation? Because Anthony was truly an awesome player to watch. Let's start with his abilities.
For his entire career, Anthony's game hasn't been flashy. His moves are very basic. He would attack the rim with a simple drive to the basket off a dribble hesitation, a rip and go move, pump fake, or spin move in the post. His jump shot comes from a pull up off the dribble, a hesitation from three, pump fake, turnaround, or in transition. But his deadliest move, is the jab step. To explain it, let's go through through a simulation of 3 possessions.
On the first possession, Carmelo gives you a jab step. It has you thinking about whether he'll shoot it or drive. He then drives to the basket with ease and scores.
On the second possession, Carmelo gives you a jab step. You immediately think that he's going to drive to the basket and you move with him towards the basket. The only problem, is that he's still in the same spot with the ball and you can only watch him make another basket.
On the third possession, Carmelo gives one jab step. You're not hesitant at all. He gives you another jab step. You back up. A third jab step now makes you think that he's going to shoot. Then with a simple pump fake, you go flying by and then it's just a matter of whether he scores on a jump shot or at the basket.
So there you go. At least 25 points coming from 12 simple moves. What has been his accomplishments from those 12 moves? A career total of over 25,000 points, an average of 24 points both in the regular season and playoffs, 14 straight seasons where he averaged 20 or more points, and the 2012-2013 scoring title.
What has been overshadowed in his career, is his impact. Yes his PER and win shares isn't high, but that shouldn't overshadow the impact that he had on the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. In his first year with the Nuggets, he elevated them from a 17 win team, to a playoff team. For the next 4 seasons, Denver was a playoff team with Anthony improving his game. The only problem was that they kept losing. In 3 of those 5 seasons they lost to the finals participant of the West in the Spurs (2005 and 2007) and Lakers (2008). Then things changed in 2009. With a midseason acquisition of floor general Chauncey Billups and the athletic big man duo of Kenyon Martin and Nene Hilario, the Nuggets won 54 games and clinched the second spot in the Western Conference with Anthony leading the way averaging 23 points and 6 rebounds. They met a Hornets team led by Chris Paul who had won 49 games. But in what was supposed to be an exciting series, turned into a cakewalk for the Nuggets who won in 5 games which included winning the final 2 games by scores of 58 and 21. Their next series against the Dallas Mavericks, saw Melo hit a game winner in game 3 in what was another easy 5 game series for Denver. Despite giving Kobe Bryant and the heavily favored Lakers everything they had in the Conference Finals, they were too much for Nuggets as they won in 6 games. The 2009-2010 season once again saw the Nuggets as one of the top teams in the West. Melo was amazing, averaging 25 points. In one game, he hit a game winner over LeBron James in a marquee game against the Cavaliers. But they went back to their first round woes, losing to the Utah Jazz in 5 games. What happened in the offseason, got the entire NBA watching.
In July of 2010, LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat to join all stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Another close friend of Anthony in Amare Stoudemire signed with the Knicks. Later in that summer, LeBron called a toast advising that Carmelo and Paul join Stoudemire in New York to form a big three of their own if they wanted to beat the Heat. That got Melo thinking. With one year left on his contract, he could either go to New York in free agency or force a trade since Denver would probably want to get something out of him if he leaves. But with the collective bargaining agreement expiring, a lockout was likely to happen. Therefore, if Melo would want to be on a team during the lockout, he would have to force a trade to the Knicks which was his prime destination. But through the first 50 games, he grew unhappier since no trade was happening even though he was still balling out with the Nuggets. On February 22, 2011 Paul remained on the Hornets, but `Melo was traded to the Knicks.
Technically, this was a homecoming for Melo because he lived the first 8 years of his life in Brooklyn before moving to Baltimore. So when he walked out the tunnel for his first game as a Knick, the crowd was probably the loudest since Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing got his number retired. Melo didn't disappoint either, scoring 28 points in his first game which was a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Knicks would be inconsistent in the second half of the season, but still made the playoffs: the first time they made it in 7 seasons. They would however lose to the Boston Celtics in 4 games. The Knicks got off to slow start the next season since most players were out of shape with the NBA strike happening for the first 16 games. Fortunately they improved and by the time the season ended, the Knicks were one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Anthony was playing amazing basketball in April, averaging just under 30 points a game. His best game in not just his Knicks career, but his entire career, came in that season against the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks started off strong, but the Bulls who were the #1 seed that year, rallied to take what seemed to be a commanding lead. Then Melo hit a three pointer to send the game into overtime. Once again, the Bulls looked like they were going to escape with a victory. But Anthony had other plans. With the clock running down as well as the Knicks' playoff hopes, he hit a spectacular shot with Luol Deng's hand right in his face. The Knicks won the game and made the playoffs where they faced the Miami Heat. They lost the series, but they managed to break their streak of 13 straight playoff losses thanks to a 41 point performance by Melo in game 4. 2012-2013 was arguably the best season in Carmelo's career. The Knicks won 54 games and their division with Melo serving as the catalyst. He averaged 28 points which won him the scoring title and helped the Knicks win 13 straight games. In the playoffs against Boston, Anthony averaged 29 points and led the Knicks to victory in 6 games: their first playoff series win since 2000. But all of the happiness ended in the second round against the Indiana Pacers. The next 4 seasons had bright moments which included Melo scoring a career high and franchise record 62 points, reaching 20,000 points, and hitting many clutch shots and game winners. But he was playing those seasons with a terrible supporting cast which included playing with the likes of Andre Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Joakim Nosh amongst others. The coaches and the front office didn't help either, as they served as distractions to the team. All of these factors caused the Knicks to miss the playoffs in all of those seasons. Then Carmelo was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder one month before the 2017-2018 season.
He spent his only season in Oklahoma City as the third option behind Russell Westbrook and Paul George, averaging a solid 16 points and 5 rebounds. But the more was needed out of him. Especially in the playoffs against the Jazz where the Thunder couldn't afford to put him in during the final 3 games. In July, he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks before agreeing to a buyout where he was put on waivers. He agreed to a one year contract at the veteran minimum with the Houston Rockets. His season wasn't a success and even though he accepted whatever role Houston gave him, it wasn't enough to save him. He was released after only 12 games.
So that leads us to now. It's hard to believe that a player who has scored over 25,000 points with some of the most basic moves and turn teams from laughingstocks into playoff teams, wouldn't be on a roster. While some think he is someone that can only score, but not win, they are forgetting how great he truly was. As a huge Knicks fan, Carmelo is still my favorite player on that team and I think he had a good tenure in the Big Apple. When he retires, his ability to score and win should be the first thing that comes to mind when you say the name Carmelo Anthony.
As we all know, this is the time to keep tabs on football. All of the trades and free agent signings are passed us. It is time to see how every NFL team completes their offseason. Through the draft.
This year's draft brought excitement, disappointment, and curiosity about every pick. In the end, we don't know whether the #1 pick will be going to Canton, or end up as a huge draft bust. However, it doesn't mean that we can't give our own opinion's about what we have learned from this year's first round.
Like always, a good amount of quarterbacks were selected. This year, 3 of them were selected. They were Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins. What was surprising, was that they were selected at unexpected spots. Murray went 1 to the Cardinals which was expected, but not guaranteed since they had Josh Rosen who had just completed his rookie season. Nonetheless, I think Murray will thrive in Kliff Kingsbury's pass happy offense better than Josh Rosen would, and he'll make a positive impact on the Cardinals. I have a problem with Daniel Jones. I don't think he did enough at a small football program in Duke to be selected at 6. The Giants could've waited on him and select another talented player in the draft with more potential. The Redskins hit a home run in Haskins. In what was a season that showed a lot of dysfunction within the organization, Washington needed to get a quarterback and they got it in Haskins, a guy who threw for 50 touchdown passes and ran for 4 scores while only throwing for 8 interceptions. If there's someone that can turn around this franchise, he'd be the one to do it.
The star unit of players selected in this draft however, were defensive lineman. A total of 11 defensive linemen were selected in this year's draft. Five of them were in the top 10. Most notably, was Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Clelin Ferrell, Josh Allen, and Ed Oliver. Those who are most likely to succeed are Bosa, Williams, Allen, and Oliver. Despite putting up decent numbers, Bosa is seen as an impact player for the 49ers with lots of potential for a successful translation to the NFL. Williams, who was selected by the Jets, is seen as the best defensive player in this draft thanks to his size on the interior and his quickness on the edge. Both of those factors will be essential to Gregg Williams' defense in the years to come. Allen, who progressed in his career at Kentucky, will be going to a Jaguars team with a really good defensive line in Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. If he can impact the team's fortunes like Kentucky, he'll have an amazing career. Oliver will be another piece to a young and already effective Bills defense. It'll be a question if Oliver can adapt to the NFL as well as the cold weather, but if he can, Buffalo will have a defense to be reckoned with in the years to come.
The final thing that we learned from this draft, was that there were lots of surprising and statement picks. Some teams reached on players that they could've drafted with their other first round picks. The first surprise was that the Jets, who traded away 2 second round picks to the Colts so they could draft quarterback Sam Darnold, would trade down for more overall draft picks. But New York had other ideas. They decided to use the 3rd pick to get Williams, who has all of the skills for a really good career. Raiders had the 4th pick in the draft and they needed a pass rusher to fill in the void of Khalil Mack. With the Jets' selection of Williams, it appeared likely that Oakland would select Allen, but they instead went with Ferrell. I don't think that Ferrell will be bad, but I don't think he's a top 5 pick in the draft. The Giants raised the most eyebrows with their pick. Needing a quarterback to succeed Eli Manning, they selected Daniel Jones who in my opinion, won't be the savior the Giants think he'll be. The final pick that raised my eyebrows at least, was the Ravens' selection of Marquise Brown. Last year, they made the playoffs because of the improvement from their offense while their defense remained amongst the best in the league. But in the offseason, they lost 4 major contributors in Eric Weddle, C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, and Za'Darius Smith. So it was expected that they'd select a defender in this draft. But with linebacker Devin Bush taken by the Steelers, the Ravens decided to upgrade their offense with Brown. Since he now gives Lamar Jackson a go to receiver and is the final piece for a potential triplets duo along with the newly acquired running back Mark Ingram, Baltimore's offense will be exciting in the years to come.
There's nothing like a draft in which we can have lots of takeaways based on the selections that happened. There were some surprises such as Jones going before Haskins. Unsurprising were the 11 selections of defensive linemen, proving that it is now one of the most valued positions in today's NFL. The bottom line is that while we never officially know who's going to be good or bad, we can still learn from every draft class, and here's my analysis of this year's draft.
,There is a deep and undeniable connection between the superstars of rap music and sports. There are a lot of rappers that athletes can relate to, based on their past struggles and rise to the top. Most of today's rappers and hip hop artists, such as Drake, Meek Mill, J. Cole, and even Jay Z, have lots of ties to NBA players because their music is so popular amongst these athletes. However, there are 2 rappers that may not be living now, but serve as the biggest spark towards the inspiration of many athletes. That would be Tupac Shukar and Christopher Wallace a/k/a Biggie Smalls.
Tupac and Biggie are the 2 greatest rappers ever. Even though Tupac well known songs are California Love and All Eyez On Me, while Biggie's well known songs are Big Poppa and Hypnotize, their ability to paint a picture of their struggle to success through their music is seen as a spark for change.
Tupac is not only the king of L.A. rap, but of West Coast rap. His songs such as Changes, Keep Ya Head Up, Life Goes On, and Brenda's Got A Baby, serves as a major spark for change in favor of African Americans. He understood this, because he lived most of his childhood in a ghetto esque environment. Other songs such as Hail Mary, Ghetto Gospel, and Troublesome 96, gave people an idea of the troubles that he used to deal with, even with the success that he was having as a rapper. In a 1994 interview, he said, "I'm not saying I'm gonna rule the world or I'm gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world and that our job is to spark somebody else watching us." A legendary career perfectly summed up right there.
Biggie Smalls was the king of New York and East Coast rap. His deep voice and flow along with his ability to spark change, have put him in the pantheon of the greatest rappers. And while Biggie never directly called for change in his music like PAC did, you could easily identify that his message in most songs was for change. Songs like Juicy, Things Done Changed, Suicidal Thoughts, and Everyday Struggle, symbolized his goal for change. Other songs like Warning and Unbelievable, have painted a picture of his difficulties as a rapper. In Juicy, he perfectly summed up his career, saying "I went from negative to positive."
I think some of you may be asking about whether Tupac and Biggie were friends. The answer is that they once were. In their first few years in the rap game, they were great friends who were poised to create change for full equality. Then in November 1994, everything changed. Tupac was shot at a recording studio in Manhattan. Not long after, one of Biggie's songs from his album Ready To Die, was Who Shot Ya. Unsurprisingly, Tupac publicly claimed that Biggie and his fellow friend and rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs were behind the shooting. So how did Tupac respond? By allegedly starting a relationship with Biggie's wife Faith Evans which led to his own diss track in Hit 'Em Up. Other responses from Tupac included Bomb First (My Second Reply) and Against All Odds. So there you go. The 2 greatest rappers living at the same time period were now enemies.
What is also unfortunate, is that both of these rappers were killed on drive-by shootings. On September 7, 1996 in the MGM Grand lobby, Tupac and friends attacked someone that had jumped one of Shakur's entourage previously that day. Later that night, Shakur and the head of Death Row Records Suge Knight were driving before stopping at a red light. That's when tragedy struck. A white Cadillac pulled up and out the window came a hand holding a gun. Shukar was shot and hit by 4 bullets. He was rushed to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada where he died 6 days later. It's still question about who murdered him today. Six months later, Biggie attended a party held by Vibe Magazine in Los Angeles. While driving back to their hotel, he and his friends were stopped by a red light. What happened after that, was the same scenario that Shakur went through. Four bullets took another great rapper from us. In just 7 months, two of the greatest rappers of all time were taken away from us.
Even though it's been 20 years since these events, Tupac and Biggie still serve as an inspiration to lots of athletes. They aren't afraid to express their inspiration. Back when they were alive, the Mike Tyson had a special relationship with Shukar that is seen nowadays with athletes and rappers. Before some of his boxing matches, Tyson walked in to the songs Road to Glory (which was dedicated to him), Toss It Up (the Makaveli - The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory version), and Ambitionz Az A Ridah. Fast forward to August when LeBron James said, "I was raised off [rappers] Snoop [Dogg] and [Tupac] and [Jay-Z] and Biggie [Smalls]. . ." If you follow wide receivers Michael Thomas and Desean Jackson on social media, chances are that you're probably aware of their admiration for Tupac being expressed through most of their posts and stories. The Brooklyn Nets wore jerseys that were inspired by Biggie for most of this season which saw them make a surprising run to the playoffs. Strong safety Jamal Adams was caught on wearing a Tupac and Biggie t-shirt walking up to the Jets faculty for their opening day of offseason workouts. Even though those specific athletes have publicly expressed their admiration for Tupac and Biggie, almost all athletes listen to both of them.
Today, there aren't a lot of rappers who are seen as leaders of the rap game. Yet for about 5 years, 2 rappers emerged as leaders who lots of other people could relate to through their struggles. But what makes them similar to athletes? James answered that question in March when he said that rappers want to be like athletes and athletes want to be like rappers. But there's got to be some amazing rappers that athletes can relate to through their struggle toward success. Well those rappers are Tupac Shukar and The Notorious B.I.G.