LL Cool J may have the physique of professional athlete but he's always been wiser than most of his peers; by adhering to his God-given talents.
Being a Black rapper however, all but automatically makes him a sports fan and growing up in Queens, there was always plenty to fuel the interest. All basketball fans in NYC who cheered for the Knicks-- arguably the best/worst hardwood franchise of all-time--there was always a bigger force that Madison Square Garden had to contend with.
He didn't wear blue and orange and he seemed to always be clutch unlike those blasted Knickerbockers.
His name is Michael Jordan.
During a charity promotion for ACE Brand, SLAM caught up with the current star of CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles and asked his past sports aspirations, among a few other tidbits of good info. Here's a sample:
SLAM: Did you have dreams of playing in the NBA?
LL: I dreamt of playing professional football and being on the court like Jordan. Michael Jordan was a huge inspiration for me in my career, because [of his] excellence, determination, the right kind of ruthlessness, the right kind of passion, desire, drive. When you think about his famous game when he had the flu and all that, those things inspire you to be the best you can be, no matter what walk of life you're in. I've loved sports my whole life. Magic Johnson is one of my good friends—the things he used to do on the court were amazing. When he came back on the court after his announcement and played in the All-Star Game and then the Olympics and brought home the Gold, seeing those things was very inspiring.
You kind of have to have the drive of relentless champion to drop 13 albums in the Hip-Hop game, as LL has, never losing sort of his relevancy. There was also a time period when a pre-Charlotte Hornett Anthony Mason was his personal BBQ bouncer but you'll have to read the entire article for that skinny.
Check the entire article over a SLAM.