A few days ago, the NBA announced rapper J. Cole had signed a 3-6 game deal with the Rwandan Patriots for the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League.
Cole, 36, is not just Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum's favorite rapper, but is a legitimate basketball player, having played pick-up games with McCollum and Carmelo Anthony.
He was a walk-on at St. John’s University.
On McCollum’s “Pull up with CJ McCollum” podcast, he adulated the former Grammy winner on his approach to the sport being similar to music, as he’s also been nominated for a total of 12 Grammys.
“As talented of an artist as he is, I think he’s going to take that same approach to basketball from a work ethic standpoint. Paying attention to the small things, the little details, breaking down film, and locking in. I think that’ll help him have some success.”
Cole has mentioned NBA teams and players in his music and during the 2019 Dunk Contest showed he can at least touch the rim.
McCollum is as credible as they come on the court, and him speaking highly of Cole is one of the highest compliments he can receive.
“He’s always wanted to play professionally," McCollum said. “He’s always wanted to compete at the highest level. I think this is a step in the right direction for him.”
So, does J. Cole have what it takes to make it to the NBA?
McCollum said he can envision a situation where Cole receives an NBA or G League contract similar to how Master P did with the Hornets.
Time will tell.