Music and basketball go hand in hand. Some basketball songs contain game related lyrics while others are basketball warm-up songs or themes, but one thing is certain, no other sport comes close to having the same relationship with music.
Here is my list of the ten best basketball songs:
10. “Michael Jordan” – Kendrick Lamar featuring School Boy Q
A song named after one of the best basketball players of all-time was bound to be great. Kendrick illustrates how most kids wanted to be like Mike when Jordan was the lead player in the NBA.
9. “Basketball Jones” – Barry White & Chris Rock
Originally released by the comedic duo Cheech and Chong in August 1973, Barry White and Chris Rock collaborated for an updated rendition of the song for Space Jam.
8. “Forever” – Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem
“Forever” was introduced on the “More Than a Game” soundtrack, which displays the rise of LeBron James career. The song was later re-released on Eminem’s “Relapse: Refill” album.
7. “Jam” – Michael Jackson
The King of Pop brings his hard pop and funk to the song while the video takes Jackson to the court against Michael Jordan. The popularity of the video and song enabled it to be a staple among highlight reels across the country.
6. “Winner” – Jamie Foxx featuring Justin Timberlake and T.I
Memories of the 2010 NBA finals and Kobe Bryant’s legendary season may arise while listening to this song. Lyrics indicating sports and basketball include “Just look at me soarin’ / Feeling like Jordan … I know they want me to fall / But ain’t nothin’ bigger than this / So just pass me the ball“.
5. “Basketball” – Kurtis Blow
This rap is the literal form of a song that shows the love for basketball ever recorded: “I like slam dunks, take me to the hoop, my favorite play is the alley-oop, I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go, cause it’s basketball”. The song was later remade by Lil Bow Wow for his movie, “Like Mike”.
4. “Space Jam” – Quad City DJ’s
From the animated movie about a basketball game against aliens. Granted this is Michael Jordan playing basketball with the Looney Tune characters, but the whole movie is focused on the basketball game.
3. “He Got Game” – Public Enemy
The song that shares the same title of Spike Lee’s iconic film was just as iconic. The title track interpolates Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” while dissecting the culture behind the game of basketball.
2. “Sirius” – Alan Parsons Project
The instrumental song “Sirius” was released in 1982 by the Alan Parsons Project, a British rock band. It soon became the Chicago Bulls theme song and was utilized during the dynasty years in the 1990s. Fans around the world recognize it as one of the most iconic basketball songs ever. Furthermore, “Sirius” is still popularized for introductions of opening lineups.
1. “Roundball Rock”- NBA on NBC Theme (John Tesh)
“Roundball Rock” launched for the NBA in the early 1990’s and remained the theme song for NBC until 2002. Most of all this song represented the 1990’s NBA players at their pinnacle performances. This tune brings fans memories of the 90’s basketball period.
Disagree with my list or think that I left something out? Feel free to comment below or to tweet me @BenParsons7.