Wiz Khalifa, YMCMB’s Lil Twist and Cory Gunz, Chiddy Bang, and Jim Jones were just some of the names in hip-hop who came out to show their skills on the basketball court in New York on Monday (July 11), for the taping of MTV2/Converse’s annual three-on-three “Band of Ballers” basketball tournament.
The competition went down at Lasalle Academy, and consisted of five teams — namely Team Swell, led by alternative hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang; Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang team; Team YMCMB with Young Money rapper Lil Twist and Cory Gunz; Team Brooklyn, led by boyfriend/girlfriend indie rock duo Matt and Kim, with Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover; and The Jones Family, led by Dipset rapper Jim Jones.
Each team was outfitted in different colored Converse uniforms, complete with the latest Converse sneakers to match.
A first-timer in the competition, Young Money’s Lil Twist mentioned before the show that he was interested in playing against two-time champions, Team Jones; while also mentioning that he was recently involved in a ad campaign with Converse.
Although excited to be playing against the likes Jim Jones and Wiz Khalifa, Xaphoon Jones of Chiddy Bang joked that his strategy to distract the rest would be to “rap all of Jim Jones’ lines”.
After catching a glimpse of the competitors two-time champ Jones, simply stated, “I don’t think the competition will be up to par, probably until a couple of seasons. People really get that we coming with a bomb squad all the time.”
However Jones added that what he enjoys most about the competition year after year is the camaraderie in bringing the artist together, it’s ability to show that hip-hop is not always about aggression, and plain and simply, the sportsmanship and competitiveness that goes along with the game of basketball.
As the teams went head-to-head on the court, longtime MTV correspondent Sway hosted, while a influential NY basketball community member, Bobbito Garcia, provided a play-by-play commentary.
The team taking home the “Golden Speaker Trophy” this year will be revealed when the show airs on MTV2 in mid-August. Will Team Jones take it home for the third year? Tune in to find out.