Match the Rapper with His Athlete BFF
One of the perks of being a pro athlete is access to the exclusive celebrity fraternity of the rich and famous; restaurant reservations become obsolete, credit limits disappear, and your phone's contacts read like the VIP list for the most coveted Grammy afterparties.
Hip-hop has long been one of the most visible natural accoutrements to the sports industry, providing the killer tracks that get an arena or stadium rocking and the larger-than-life attitude that embodies the confidence of a champion.
And like the gravitation of Uncle Joey to Uncle Jessie, or Paul Pfeiffer to Kevin Arnold, the stars of hip-hop make a natural pairing with star athletes. So much so that the business of both industries often intertwines.
From courtside to the VIP area of Miami's hottest clubs, athletes can be seen hobnobbing with chart-topping hip-hop artists—and for some, so much so that paparazzi and fans take notice.
The question is, Can you match the rapper to his athlete BFF?
LeBron James and Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd and LeBron James are pictured with which influential rapper at a benefit for the LeBron James Family Foundation in 2008?
Although the status of Jay Z's friendship with James is up in the air these days, he and Kidd are obviously still on good terms. Kidd was hired to coach the Brooklyn Nets in 2013, which Jay Z has a minor membership stake in.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has an awful lot of celebrity friends. The rapper here used to be one of his best. Name that rapper.
Mayweather and 50 Cent used to be the bestest of best bros until they had a falling out in 2012, which 50 said was about money. Although they haven’t been seen together recently, this past March Mayweather insisted the two no longer had a beef, saying of 50, “As a man, I respect him, I love him.”
Recently drafted Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is getting a rubdown from...
Manziel and Drake are, by all accounts, very good friends. Drake even mentioned Manziel in his recently released song "Draft Day" and performed at his draft party.
NBA great Shaquille O’Neal was presented the Athlete of the Year award at the Source Hip Hop Awards in 1999 by which rapper?
These two go back quite a while. Shaq actually made a cameo appearance in Master P’s video for “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” the first single from his 1997 album Ghetto D.
Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is pictured with this rapper, a native of Port Arthur, Texas, and a certified Texans superfan.
Johnson and Bun B have been friends for years. In addition to catching up at parties and social events, the two often team up for charity endeavors in Houston. This photo was taken at the Jordan Brand’s “Backpack for Believers” event at a local high school in February 2013.
In April 2014 Mariners All-Star pitcher Felix Hernandez was featured in an anti-bullying PSA with this rapper, a Seattle native.
I have no idea if Hernandez and Macklemore had any type of friendship before participating in the PSA, but Macklemore seems like the type of guy who would exchange numbers with a professional athlete and spend the next few years blowing up his cell with texts, trying to nail down plans.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was seen sitting next to which rapper at a Hawks game in February 2013?
There’s really no reason to assume this was anything but coincidental celebrity seating, but Ryan and 2 Chainz could own Atlanta if they combined their superstar superpowers and became besties.
Metta World Peace and Mike Tyson
Retired boxer Mike Tyson and Metta World Peace, then with the Lakers, look like three peas in a pod with which rapper at the Los Angeles premiere of The Hangover Part II in May 2011?
Who knows what the deal is with Metta World Peace (in this photo and in life, in general), but Tyson and Nas have been best bros for years. In fact, the rapper received some Oscar buzz in 2010 for the song “Legendary,” which was featured in the documentary Tyson.
NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony and which rapper are all smiles together holding Jordans at the “Carmelo Anthony Powers Through the Hudson” event in October 2011?
Anthony and Nas have been friends for years. After winning Olympic gold against Spain in 2012 as part of Team USA, Anthony partied till the wee hours of the morning at a London night club with Nas, who also performed at the event.
Then with the 49ers, superstar cornerback Deion Sanders is caught here chatting with which '90s rapper during a political fundraiser in October 1994?
Sanders and Hammer were great friends back in the day. The dynamic duo actually recorded a song tougher called “Straight to My Feet,” which was featured on the Street Fighter soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the video, which is one of the stupidest videos in the history of music, I suggest—nay, demand—you go watch it right this instant.
Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant offers a warm greeting to which rapper sitting courtside prior to the start of Game 5 against the Jazz during the first round of the 2009 NBA playoffs?
P Diddy! (Or whatever he's calling himself these days.)
Bryant and Diddy don’t seem to spend a lot of time partying together as friends, but they definitely run in the same circles. And judging by the elaborate handshake they exchanged in another photo in this series, they’re obviously well-acquainted.
In November 2009 tennis great Serena Williams was photographed courtside at a Bulls game in Chicago sitting next to this rapper, whom she was dating at the time.
Williams and Common dated for a few years but broke up 2011.
After winning his second consecutive NBA championship with the Heat, LeBron James and company were seen kicking it with this fanboy rapper. Name that fanboy.
Drake loves Kentucky basketball, Seahawks football, Johnny Manziel, Toronto Raptors and Heat basketball. It makes sense that he'd also love him some LeBron James, who often chats with him when he's courtside in Miami.
These days, embattled Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez doesn’t have a lot of friends, but there is at least one world famous rapper still in his corner.
Rodriguez and Jay Z have been friends for years and apparently remain so to this day. In July 2013 when A-Rod was facing MLB discipline for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, Jay Z spoke out publicly in support of him.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a pretty sizable entourage, particularly come fight night. His two most prominent celebrity bros are Canadian pop plague Justin Bieber and which rapper?
Although Mayweather and Lil Wayne are friends, Money looks a lot more concerned with what The Biebs is doing in this photo. There's something magical between those two.