J. Cole Names His Favorite Current NBA Players & Talks Penny Hardaway Fandom
J. Cole is a huge basketball fan. The Dreamville rapper is so in love with the sport that he successfully transitioned into the big leagues when he suited up for Rwanda Patriots BBC of the Basketball African League in May.
Someone has to know a thing or two about players new and old to really say they love basketball and Cole falls right in line. During a visit to NBA HooperVision, J. Cole spoke about the players he’s been checking for in this current generation of hoopers.
“I love Luka Doncic, I love Trae Young, Ja Morant, man but honestly, bro, every game I watch, I’m like a hometeam dude,” Cole explained. “If I know you in real life, I’m supporting you. I’m watching the Portland Trailblazers cause Dennis Smith Jr. might suit up, and I watch every game he plays in. Caleb Martin, on a 2-way with the Heat going crazy right now, I’m watching him. Cody Martin on the Hornets, I’m watching him every game.”
J. Cole continued, “TJ Warren, he’s hurt right now but when he comes back, I’m watching every Pacer game. I watch a lot of Steph Curry, but I really watch the people that I know in real life, and I know their journey. I know the behind-the-scenes they deal with off the court. I’m rooting for people I know in real life because I know what they’re up against and how hard they work.”
When it comes to older players, Cole tipped his hat off to a legendary point guard that hoopers today are still trying to emulate, even if he’s been out of the league for some time. According to Cole, he still goes back and watches clips of this player.
“To say somebody influenced my game is a little stretch, but I was a big Penny Hardaway fan which is crazy because I still go back and watch his highlights all the time,” Cole said. “It’s funny to see that move, that spin step back that Andrew Wiggins did is like now dudes are putting it in their bag.”
He added, “I remember for years watching that highlight from being in college and just going back and being like ‘yo this move is like an alien move,’ and now dudes are doing it in 2021.”
After canceling his BAL season prematurely due to a family obligation, J. Cole revealed he would like to return and finish what he started. After three games, Cole had a five points, three assists and five rebounds statline.
“Thank you to @thebal and to @patriotsbbc for the opportunity,” he began. “Thank you to my teammates, the coaches and staff for treating me like family. I learned so much in the few weeks we were together. Congrats on that win tonight, and good luck next game.
“Thank you to the entire country of Rwanda and to the city of Kigali for hosting us. BEAUTIFUL land with BEAUTIFUL people. To anyone considering visiting or moving to the continent, from everything I saw and heard, I would recommend you consider Kigali and Rwanda in general.”