Listen: PNC/David Dallas - Kobe & LeBron

Someone once compared basketball to jazz - looking to draw a parallel between the improvisations of each medium. But you'd have a hard job selling that to a lot of latter day fans. With LeBron James and the Miami Heat currently playing in their third straight NBA finals appearance, now is the perfect time to listen to the always excellent PNC and David Dallas on their collaboration Kobe & LeBron (hit play on the widget above courtesy of

While we're on the topic, let's take a look at some of basketball's most memorable musical connections. Just as PNC and David Dallas are basketball fans, a lot of basketballers are rap fans, which has sometimes led to pretty amazing results. Check out some of our favourites after the jump.

I've never heard LeBron rap, but Kobe collaborated with Tyra Banks on this song K.O.B.E. and the secret history of his rap career is a fascinating read.

And who could forget his former teammate and legend Shaquille O'Neal trying to master basketball, film and music? Hate to tell you Kobe, but Shaq's got you here.

On the other side of the coin, during the 90s No Limit Records mogel and rapper Master P tried out for the Charlotte Hornets, possibly just as much of a publicity stunt as a legit try-out, but there's a pre-season boxscore somewhere with his name and two free throws made on it. Nothing says the 90s like the Charlotte Hornets and No Limit Records.

Meanwhile, amidst being one of the greatest small men to play the game, the sub six foot Allen Iverson drew controversy when he released a rap song called 40 Bars under the alias Jewelz. While the NBA threatened sanction over the lyrics in 40 Bars, the league has often courted the strong links between music and basketball. During the 1989 All Star game the players were introduced by a nine minute rap from
Ultramagnetic MCs, and more recently, this Kanye West-backed playoff promotional spot is a pretty flawless match of sight and sound.

But we'll leave the last word with the late Wayman Tisdale, the former Phoenix Suns forward and accomplished jazzman.

In addition to being a beloved veteran player in the league, he released a series of well received jazz albums with great basketball themed titles. We have a number of them in the collection at Auckland Libraries so click on the album covers if we can help you out with some funky jazz.

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