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Remember the Name

J. Cole’s time in the Africa Basketball League is over, but we’ll always have this hilarious highlight reel

May 27, 2021

Over the past month, four-time platinum MC J. Cole entering the ranks of professional basketball has probably been sports’ least essential story. Since Cole first set foot on the court for his Rwanda Patriots debut, it was clear he was out of his depth, and there was little to no way of tracking his progress outside of grainy clips on Twitter a day or two later. An obvious publicity stunt by both J. Cole—who just released his new album ‘The Off-Season’—and the upstart ABL, the merger was clearly supposed to be a viral groundswell, but ended up being nothing more than a small burp.

On Thursday, it all ended as quickly as it came, with J. Cole announcing the end of his ABL stint after three games due to a “family obligation.” His total tally in the league? Five points, three assists, and five rebounds. But while the greatest international basketball failure since Darko Milicic was mercifully over, this incredible highlight reel of his ABL tenure will live on forever. Shine on you crazy diamond.

The whole setting-bad-highlights-to-epic-music bit is pretty predictable but this one strikes all the right, um, notes. First you have the decision not to use one of Cole’s own tracks, which flips expectations immediately on their head. In its place, is Fort Minor 2005's wanna-be ‘8 Mile’ soundtrack hit, “Remember the Name,” which saturates every turnover and bricked pull-up tre in dramatic irony. Then you have Cole’s game itself, which makes you wonder how he got this gig in the first place. We’ve seen better from Adam Sandler recently. No, really.

In the end, J. Cole’s great experiment might not have left us with much to remember, but at least we’ll always have Paris this.