The intersection of basketball and rap music goes as far back (and probably even further back) to the Sugarhill Gang rapping about watching the New York Knicks play basketball in the 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight."
Since then, Ice Cube has "messed around and got a triple double," and superstars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been name-dropped in lyrics along with retired legends like Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal.
But rarely has an athlete had a verse dedicated to him as reflective as Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo.
It has brought attention to a player the casual NBA fan might not have known much about before the album was released in October.
On Kendrick Lamar's major-label debut album *good kid, m.A.A.d city*, Lamar raps on "Black Boy Fly" about being jealous of Afflalo, his classmate at Centennial High School in Compton:
"I used to be jealous of Arron Afflalo
He was the one to follow
He was the only leader for seeing brighter tomorrows
He would live in the gym
We was living in sorrow
Total envy of him
He made a dream become a reality
Actually making it possible to swim
He way out of Compton with further more to accomplish
Graduate with honors, a sponsor of basketball scholars
It's 2004 and I'm watching him score 30
Remember vividly how them victory points had hurt me
Cause every basket was a reaction or a reminder
That we was just moving backwards"
Afflalo's career at Centennial ended in Sacramento in 2004 with a Division III State Championship before he attended UCLA.
Afflalo said he had no idea he would be featured by Lamar, considered one of the up-and-coming stars in hip-hop.
"Like any adult or person that's getting older and you realize and appreciate some of the things you did to become successful," Afflalo said.
"You never notice it while you're in the midst of it, of all the hard work it takes.
"He's just another shining example of a kid coming from a city where a lot of people don't make it, especially the avenues he had to come through. So I'm happy for him."
This isn't a case of Lamar claiming to know Afflalo after he had reached the NBA.
"We didn't hang out every day or nothing like that, but, yeah, I knew him," Afflalo said.
Afflalo is in a new role this season. Orlando is his third NBA team after being drafted by the Detroit Pistons and later dealt to the Denver Nuggets.
As one of the established players dealt in the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers and Andre Iguodala to Denver, Afflalo is tied with Glen Davis with a team-high 16.2 points per game.
Afflalo was already known as one of the league's emerging defensive guards and averaged a career-high 15.2 points for Denver last season.
Afflalo has no intention of getting into the music business that seems to enamor so many athletes.
As for what he's listening to these days? Take a guess.
"Just Kendrick right now," Afflalo said. "I play his album over and over."
Kobe Bryant is 1,368 points from catching Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Bryant became the fifth member of the 30,000-point club last week in New Orleans.
Bryant begins play today with 30,051 points.