If 7 NBA Teams Were 2013 Rap Albums

We matched up the NBA’s hottest teams with the year’s top hip-hop albums to see who’s ruling like Kanye, and who’s sucking like 2 Chainz.

With the NBA season firmly underway, it’s that time of year when hardcore and casual fans alike start to analyze and scrutinize their hometown teams, either planning the championship parade or beginning to figure out which assets they would sell off if they were an overpaid General Manager. Fans will point to any stat they can get their hands on to reinforce their (totally non-reactionary) opinion. But stats don’t tell the whole story, and it can be hard to get a sense of where a team stands based purely on their FG% or how many points they’re getting off the bench. So we’ve come up with a totally scientific and foolproof way to explain how a handful of NBA teams will fare this season: By comparing them to 2013 rap albums. 

The Los Angeles Lakers are Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail

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He may have had a hand in rebranding the Brooklyn Nets, but the closest comparison to Jay Z in the NBA is the L.A. Lakers – a franchise that once stood tall above the rest that’s now a horrendous mess of fame, glamour, and disappointment. Both Jay and the Lakers were tough and gritty at one point, but then they found Hollywood and all the money, fame, and Rolexes that go with it. The Lakers currently have their star sitting on the sidelines; it’s felt the same way for Jay Z fans since American Gangster.

The Miami Heat are Kanye West’s Yeezus

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Two dominant years and primed for a third, the Heat are the team we all kind of want to fail just to reassure ourselves that they’re human. Same goes for Kanye – we love to see our kings fall from their thrones. Coming off of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne, we wanted Yeezus to flop harder than Anderson Varejao, but instead Kanye upped the ante and did it his way – removed from the criticism of any haters. As far as the public is concerned in regards to the Heat and Kanye: We know you’re the best, we’re just sick of hearing about it.

The San Antonio Spurs are Ghostface Killah’s Twelve Reasons to Die

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The Spurs, year in and year out, are so remarkably efficient and consistent that we never truly appreciate the talent; their greatness has been normalized. The same can be said for Wu-Tang wordsmith Ghostface Killah, who continues to slay with each and every album. Twelve Reasons to Die flew under the radar, like the Spurs do every year, but it’s packed with some of the best rhymes Ghostface has ever put to paper. We always take such steadiness for granted.

The Brooklyn Nets are Goodie Mob’s Age Against The Machine

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A bunch of old dudes living out their twilight years and trying to rekindle some kind of spark from the past. And that’s just describing the Brooklyn Nets.

The Toronto Raptors are 2 Chainz’s B.O.A.T.S. II: #METIME

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Serious props to both 2 Chainz and the Raptors for trying so hard to keep up with the pack, even bringing in heavy hitters to help pad out the roster (2 Chainz getting a hand from Pharrell, and the Dinosaurs throwing money at Rudy Gay). But like Rudy Gay in the paint, the percentage of hits here is laughable.

The Houston Rockets are Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap

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With apologies to Chance’s hometown Chicago Bulls, it’s the Rockets that bear the most striking resemblance to one of the finest rap albums of 2013. Like Chance, who released his debut album earlier this year and boasts a rapid-fire and totally unique flow, the Rockets are young and hungry and completely unaware that youth and inexperience is supposed to result in losses. The Rockets brought in Dwight Howard as a veteran presence, and Chance did the same with Chicago native Twista, assuring that the young guns have a guiding force for their flash and creativity.

The Chicago Bulls are A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP

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We keep expecting greatness from both A$AP Rocky and the Derrick Rose-led Bulls because they’ve got some serious talent and star power, but every year results in another disappointment. Some flashes of brilliance, but also a lot of unearned boasting and fading potential.