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Rock The Mic Tour Report

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It's all about competition for Jay-Z. His mantra is, after all, "I will not lose." That applies to performing on his current Rock the Mic Tour, making sure his upcoming last LP, The Black Album, is a classic, and winning a championship with the team he puts out on the basketball court.

H-to-the-izzo has his own squad entered into the famed Rucker Park basketball tournament this summer in New York's Harlem neighborhood. And while in past years captains such as Fat Joe and Irv Gotti have called upon a bevy of NBA all-stars like Stephon Marbury and Baron Davis to be on their teams, Jay plans to go all the way this year with somebody who has never played an official pro game — highly hyped #1 draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, rookie point guard LeBron James.

The pairing of the ballas may seem like the ultimate business arrangement, but the two insist it's all for the love. Jay and LeBron are actually friends who hang out when time permits.

Sway and the MTV News crew caught up with Hova and the guy that sports fans are calling the second coming of Michael Jordan (L.J. even wears #23 like M.J.) as Rock the Mic stopped off near James' hometown of Cleveland. ...

 Rock The Mic tour photos
Sway: What brings you to the concert?

LeBron James: Come on, man, you know what brings me to the concert, this man sitting right here next to me. You know I'm part of the Roc, so I'm here supporting my man.

Sway: Now when you say you're a part of the Roc — are you signed to Roc-A-Fella or are you just a Roc fan?

Jay-Z: That's extended family right there.

James: And coming soon, you gon' see me in the Roc jersey at the Rucker too.

Sway: He's gonna play on the Roc-A-Fella streetball team?

Jay-Z: Oh, you better be very, very afraid out there.

Sway: You stacking them chips right now there, Jay.

Jay-Z: I just wanna show people a good time. They wanna see it, you know what I'm saying, they wanna see him play out there. That's what people come to Rucker for, it's a different atmosphere. It's not like the NBA. You can't believe the energy and the atmosphere out there.

Sway: I think Fat Joe's steaming in his boots right now.

Jay-Z: Eh, he not even in our bracket, he gotta make the championship game before he even talk to me (laughs). That's real talk.

Sway: OK, LeBron, so you ready for the league?

  Jay-Z and LeBron James:
The complete interview
James: Yeah, I think so. Me and my teammates are just trying to get real acquainted with our new coaching system. Me being the new point guard, trying to run the team, I think we'll be pretty good. We gonna shock a lot of people this year.

Sway: I can't think of another time a young man has had so much pressure on him and the weight of the world on his shoulders to perform. How do you think that's going to affect your play once the season actually starts?

James: I don't think it's gonna affect me a lot. I've just been playing my game and that's what brought the media and everything, so if I keep doing that I'ma keep bringing 'em.

Sway: Who are you looking forward to pairing up against? Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady ...

James: I'm prepared to play against the NBA, the Cavs vs. whoever we got that night. We trying to make the playoffs and individual things mean nothing, it's all about the team.

Jay-Z: That's why I love him. He do what he do. He takes care of his business, he works hard and everything is love. He got God-given talent.

Sway: Shaq, Kobe, Chris Webber and a few other NBA players have taken a stab at making rap records. I see you hanging with Jay and he's the dude ... is there a chance that you may be making an album?

James: No, there's no chance. No chance at all.

Sway: Ever?

James: I'm God-gifted in one thing, and that's basketball. I'ma let my man [Jay] handle the other side.

Sway: That's a good thing, man, because it doesn't always work out.

Jay-Z: Yo, Shaq went platinum every time, don't front on my boy!

Sway: OK, 'cause people thought you were going to be signing something with Def Jam. Or maybe they was gonna be marketing LeBron James — that's not a possibility?

James: Naw, no possibility.

Jay-Z: It's real family, and that's my boy right there. It's just that, you know, rap artists and basketball players, we joined at the hip anyway, so ...

Sway: It goes hand in hand.

Jay-Z: That's what I'm saying. But that's my family, on a real level.

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Photo: MTV News

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