Anyway, today you still get the occasional athlete-rapper hyphenate: Iman Shumpert, Stephen Jackson -- word is Durant is an aspiring MC. But the numbers appear to be dwindling. Why?
Paul: I don't know, but I'll give you my opinion on this: If Kendrick really felt like he could play my position, point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, I ain't gonna lie -- I'd have a problem with it. This is what I do for a living, and I put a lot of time and passion into it. I'm not gonna say I can do what Kendrick does and sell out Staples. You gotta stay in your lane.
Kendrick, when you hear that somebody like Stephen Jackson or Iman Shumpert is putting out a mixtape, what goes through your mind?
Lamar: I don't take it too serious if he don't take it too serious. [Laughs] No disrespect, but if he feels he's having fun rapping, I'm cool with it. But the minute he says, "N -- , I'm a rapper" -- excuse my language -- now you're competing, and you better be ready, because I breathe this s -- .
Kendrick, if you could take any job in sports, what would you do?
Lamar: I want to get into refereeing.
Paul: [Laughs] Oh, no you don't. I'm tellin' you, you do not want that job.
Lamar: Nah, man, 'cause the referees get to be on the court with those players for every game. I wanna be on the court too. I can't play ball, so I'll be a referee.
Well, the trend today is music titans taking roles in sports -- not as referees but guiding franchises and careers. Drake is a brand ambassador for the Raptors, Justin Timberlake is a minority owner of the Grizzlies. Then you have the management types: Master P led the way,(7) Fitty has his boxing promotion,(8) Jay Z jumped from owner to agent.(9) Why do music industry power brokers feel they're well positioned to succeed in sports?
Lamar: First of all, with the cast you named, this is the urban community. We've always been fascinated by and knowledgeable about sports. Now that you have people from this community in positions of power, like Jay Z and Drake, it's only right that they spread their knowledge and love of the game. It's passion, not just business. I mean, I've been to their houses -- they're watching each and every game!
Paul: And why is that any different than any wealthy person who always wanted to buy a team, so they go out and buy a team?