Current NBA star Damian Lillard (aka Dame D.O.L.L.A.) appeared on a hip-hop podcast where he declared himself to be the best NBA-player-rapper.
Even better, Dame certified, than former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who released a couple of platinum-selling albums in the 1990s.
Shaq responded to the assertion with a diss record aimed at Lillard.
Lillard responded with his own diss aimed at Shaq.
Both songs are online. They’re funny.
So, who won?
We won. The fans.
It gives us something to talk, laugh and debate about.
It’s entertainment that’s novel and interesting, since neither of these guys is a good rapper.
Shaq recorded and sold his albums at the early peak of his basketball popularity, and at a time when the only way to acquire music was to buy the CD.
Great business move.
Shaq is over seven feet tall and very comfortable in his skin; his physical presence alone is a spectacle. He was the most dominant player in the game for a solid 3-year span. He did well and has done well to capitalize off of it.
But it should be noted: Shaq didn’t start winning championships until he stopped recording albums and shooting movies.
Dame is not nearly as popular or successful in the basketball world as Shaq was, but he has a loyal following who support the whole “more than an athlete” thing that many Black athletes are pushing today.
Damian Lillard is 6’3” tall, more normal-sized, and plays for the Portland Trailblazers.
If you’re not a hardcore NBA fan, I doubt you can name even one player Dame has ever played with.
While Shaq has MVP awards, 4 championship rings and a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame, Lillard’s team has only even made the Conference Finals once — this past season, where they were handily swept 4-0 by the Golden State Warriors.
Dame is the Everyman. He’s a normal guy who just happened to make it playing ball. He’s relatable.
Both of these guys are MUCH better at basketball then they are at rapping.
While I know that Dame D.O.L.L.A. considers himself a “serious” rapper, I’ve heard his work.
He’s not very good.
Dame is popular — which is not the same as good — because of his work in the NBA.
Were Dame D.O.L.L.A. not a famous NBA player, his raps would not get him far.
Shaq, of equally pedestrian rhyming skills, at least had the 7-foot thing going for him.
Which brings me to this point: no human has enough focus to be great at more than one thing at the same time.
You can LIKE multiple things.
You can have TALENT in many areas.
But to be GREAT, you need focus.
Shaq won his titles when his focus narrowed to basketball alone.
Dame has won nothing.
Were the Trailblazers a more serious contender, or Dame more of an attention hound, he’d probably be getting criticized for rapping in his spare time.
I mean, imagine if LeBron James made an album the summer after getting swept in the Playoffs?
Maybe we’ll get Round 2 of diss songs soon. Maybe it’s over and this is all we get.
Either way, Shaq and Dame will shake hands and laugh about this when they see each other.
And they’ll both get back to doing what they do best.
Which is NOT rapping.
Speaking of focus, I created a 30-day course on mastering your mindset of discipline. It’s called 30 Days To Discipline and you can start it here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/30