Here’s a truly forgotten fad: NBA teams would release slickly produced rap songs to gear fans up for the playoffs. The songs would be played everywhere—but only in the team’s home city—on the radio, at the games themselves, and proceeds from sales of the tapes would go to charity. Prepare to get nostalgic…and cringe.
“Rip City Rhapsody” (Portland Trail Blazers, 1990)
The Portland Trail Blazers were the Cinderella team of the 1990 NBA Playoffs, reaching the finals for the first time since the ‘70s. But they had a song ready to go: “Rip City Rhapsody,” featuring players Jerome Kersey and Terry Porter and a sample of the team’s announcer Bill Schonely uttering his catchphrase “Rip City!”
Result: The Blazers lost to the Detroit Pistons, who didn’t even have a rap song.
“Three-Peat Beat” (Detroit Pistons, 1991)
The aggressive, physical play of the “Bad Boys” of the Pistons—Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Bill Laimbeer—lead the team to two back-to-back NBA Finals wins in 1989 and 1990. They were primed for a third repeat, or “three-peat” in 1991.
Result: There was no three-peat, at least not for the Pistons. They were defeated in the Eastern Conference finals by the Chicago Bulls…en route to that team’s first of two three-peats.
“Not In Our House” (Seattle SuperSonics, 1993)
The main performer on this is Seattle rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot, best known for the 1992 #1 hit “Baby Got Back.” Singing the title over and over on backup: Sonics stars Gary Payton, Eddie Johnson, and Michael Cage.
Result: Despite claiming that a loss wouldn’t happen in their house, the Sonics lost Game 7 of the Western Conference finals to the Phoenix Suns.
Did your favorite NBA team have a rap song we forgot about? Tell us about it in the comments.
For more basketball trivia read Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sports Spectacular.