We live in a world where we love to compare things: cars, video games, ticket prices, cell phones, Macs and PCs, and athletes. For some reason, people have stopped comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan (I wonder why that is). But since more and more teams are starting to incorporate three “key” players, instead of two, I think it’s only fair that I try to compare Miami’s Big Three, not to Oklahoma City’s Big Three, but to Young Money Entertainment‘s Big Three. Oh boy, this should be interesting.
You could be a terrible singer, rapper, or musician, but if someone likes you then chances are they will try to groom you into becoming relevant. The biggest difference between sports, in particularly basketball, and music is that in the NBA one out of 30 people (GM”s) has to like to give you a shot at being on the team. In the music industry, there are so many recording labels, and if you have any talent at all, they will find you. You don’t have to be 6’5, 220-pounds of pure thoroughbred muscles or jump out of the gym. Nowadays, you don’t even have to sing or rap well. I am not saying you don’t need to have talent, because you have to have some talent, but look at Soulja Boy. The dude was made famous because of his “Crank Dat Superman” dance. Find me one of his songs that has good wordplay, flow and is clever, and I will buy you a new car. He is a millionaire though. There are over seven billion people in this world, and if ten million people like your music, buy your CD’s or find it on iTunes, money is flowing into your account. To make it to the NBA, you need to be good. Sometimes, good isn’t good enough, and in some cases, great isn’t either. There are 15 roster spots on 30 NBA teams. Think of how many players play in college at the Division I, II, and III levels. Then, there are players over in Europe, Russia, and China. Some of them might never make it to the States, but it’s not because they weren’t giving it their best effort. Being a professional athlete is one of the hardest things to become in this world. Right up along with being CEO of a big-time corporation like Microsoft, Apple, or General Mills. It takes hours upon days upon weeks upon years worth of effort, work, experience, and determination to reach the pinnacle. Once you reach the pinnacle of your profession, it’s all about “staying power”. So how am I going to attempt to compare the Miami Heat to Young Money Entertainment? I don’t even know the answer to that question. I want you to know that I am not trying to offend anyone with some of the comparisons. Like if I compare Chris Bosh to Nicki Minaj, I don’t think that’s a diss on Bosh because Bosh is an unusual character and no one knows what planet Nicki is on half the time anyway. Or if I compare Pat Riley to Lil Wayne, don’t try to tell me any bull that you want to try to tell me. Both have been ultra-successful in their careers, and while Riley may not be “stuntin’ like my daddy”, he still put together a trio of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. And Riley is stuntin’ more than my daddy. So, Young Money Entertainment is a record label created by Lil Wayne. He owns, runs, signs and fires artists, and runs the day-to-day operations just like any owner would. Riley does the same thing. While he doesn’t own the Heat, he still has the biggest say in whom he wants on the team (because the man has won multiple championships and his opinion and knowledge about how to win is very well respected) and decides who should lead the team from the sidelines. But for the sake of trying to make this make any sense, I am going to leave Riley out of this.
Without question, the three biggest names in Young Money are Wayne, Drake, and Minaj. Wayne discovered both Drake and Minaj a few years ago and both have made an instant and successful impact, not just in Young Money, but in the music industry.
I draw a unique comparison of James to Wayne. Besides their abundance of nicknames, these two have more in common than you think. No doubt both are extremely gifted and talented, and I know James doesn’t have the bad track-record that Wayne does, but no matter what these two guys do, they can’t win. While Wayne has been extremely successful, he has been accused, around media circles, to have stolen other artist’s beats and will never be as good as Eminem or Jay-Z. James has been accused, and it’s true so far, of coming up small when it matters most. Coming out of high school, he wanted to be the next Michael Jordan. The #23, powder toss and The Chosen One tattoo. Now, he will never be compared to Jordan unless he manages to win seven championships. I don’t believe that is happening.
I compare Wade to Drake. While Drake is still perfecting his craft, he is already really good. It seems he can do no wrong in the public’s eye. And the same goes for Wade. While LeBron shoulders most of the blame, Wade is seen as the hero on most nights. When I say “hero” I mean closer. Wade was once Lil Wayne, but since LeBron arrived, Wade has taken a back seat to LeBron and taken-on the “second best” role. Still no question, Wade can get it done, like Drizzy on the track.
That leaves Chris Bosh. I spent some time thinking about who I would compare to Bosh and it came down to either Nicki Minaj or Tyga. Bosh was a good player when he played for the Toronto Raptors, even leading them to the playoffs twice during his time in Toronto. But he went unnoticed, that is, until he got to Miami. Hell, he might even be less-noticeable now than when he was in Toronto (bad joke, sorry). He signed with Young Money in 2007, but became a recognized name back in 2008 when he released his first album No Introduction. It took Bosh to sign with Miami to get people to realize that he can play. And while I think he is soft most of the time, he can really play. Tyga has released four singles; Far Away, Still Got It, Rack City, and Faded in 2011, with Rack City cracking the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 (8). The other three songs didn’t crack the top 50. While Bosh is a very good basketball player, players such as Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, and DeMarcus Cousins are considered better players. One solution for both: Tyga – produce better songs and Bosh – play well in the Finals.
As for the rest of Young Money: Cory Gunz, Christina Milian, Flow, Gudda Gudda, Jae Millz, Lil Chuckee, Lil Twist, Mack Maine, Nicki Minaj, P.J. Morton, Shanell, Short Dawg, Torion, and T-Streets, y’all are like the Miami’s role players.
And you’d better step your game up if you want to win a championship.
- Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh calls return from injury his ‘biggest challenge’ (miamiherald.com)
- NBA Playoffs 2012: Which Team Has the Better “Big Three” (bleacherreport.com)
- You: NBA Playoffs 2012: Why LeBron James and Miami Heat Should Be Clear Favorites (bleacherreport.com)