Day 131 of the NBA lockout, and while resolution seems far from imminent, at the very least, the players continue to keep busy with charity and other exhibition contests in the meantime. Of course, for hoops heads, these highly informal and largely unstructured games come with an obvious question: Who the hell is coaching these things? Someone must be setting lineups, calling for substitutions, occasionally setting defenses, getting the superstar players to mesh with their less-successful teammates. Well, at NBA star Dwight Howard's upcoming charity game in Orlando—featuring well-known ballers like Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas and local favorite Penny Hardaway—the coaches will be a couple familiar faces: Rappers Lil Wayne and Fat Joe.
Now, we've never actually seen either hip-hop icon manning the clipboard on NBA court sidelines, but based on their previously established rap personalities, we feel like we can make fairly educated guesses about their coaching styles.
- Prefers a slower, grind-'em out style of game
- Big on defense, fundamentals
- Sees nothing wrong with playing zone
- Pounds the ball down low at every opportunity
- Emphasizes a team-first approach, but with a clear player hierarchy
- Pushes an up-tempo style with lots of scoring in transition
- Plays man defense with lots of switching and gambling for steals
- Mixes up lineups at will, often going without a traditional point guard or center
- Permits chucking threes early in the shot clock
- Still insists on his best player taking the final shot with the game on the line
If you had to find the most obvious NBA coach analogues, we're betting that Joe most closely resembles 76ers coach Doug Collins, while Weezy is more like Mike D'Antoni of the Knicks (with a healthy bit of ex-Warriors coach Don Nelson's kamikaze influence mixed in). No doubt, the heavily opposing coaching styles will be one of the more fascinating subplots of the contest, so if you find yourself in the Orlando on Sunday, be sure to check it out and give us the full scouting report.