Celebrity Favorites: Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Jadakiss
Harlem's Rucker Park is a necessary destination for hip-hop and basketball royalty. Top NBA stars — from Kobe Bryant to Allen Iverson — have all come uptown to 155th Street to hoop it up over the years at the Entertainers Basketball Classic, while top-tier performers such as Jay-Z, Fat Joe and the Ruff Ryders have all had basketball teams rep them.
A couple of days ago, it was the NFL's chance to show love. Friends, VH1 reality stars and Pro Bowl athletes Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco came out.
"The first time, I didn't really know what to expect," said T.O., who was suiting up to play. "It's been some years. I had always heard about Rucker Park and all the And 1 guys that have come through here. A lot of legends have been out here and played on this court, from Kobe, J.R. Smith, all those guys. I'm no different. I'm just out here trying to fit in. I play all the time. I been working out and training out in L.A. A number of NBA guys train out there."
Ochocinco coached the team opposing T.O. The man formerly known as Chad Johnson said he couldn't play because training camp is next week.
"This is how I grew up, in the 'hood." the Cincinnati Bengals star said. "It's always a good chance to give back. This is the first time I've had to be graced with the presence of the famous Rucker Park. It's a pleasure for me to be here. A lot of great ones came through here. I don't play no basketball, but it's a pleasure to be here."
Jadakiss played for Ochocinco's team.
"I might suit up," Jada said with a smile. "It's good for the people. They wanna see your boy. I might go out there and run a little bit. Plus, I got my tournament next week up in Yonkers. I usually don't bring the bigwigs to the playoff time. I'm pretty sure to have Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans. Hopefully John Wall, [DeMarcus] Cousins. All of the phenoms. It's good for the kids, just to bring them out. It's good for the community."
Ochocinco lists Jada as one of his favorite MCs right now.
"Right now I'm on that Albert Anastasia, I'm on my dawg Ricky Ross real hard right now," Ocho said. "I tweeted Jadakiss a couple of days go, showing him the love for everything he got going on. I listen to everybody, especially what's coming out of New York. I really listen to what everybody has to say. I like lyrical content. I support everybody. I don't care who you are. If you come out, I'mma get you."
T.O., who also DJs in his spare time, has a listening taste that varies as well.
"I'm flexible. Everybody's hot right now," Owens said. "Got my man Jada, Young Jeezy, Drake, Weezy. I mean, dude, it's so much music out. Keri Hilson. Everybody's got some hot stuff out right now."