This week, I finally had my first former NBA player as a guest on “Renaissance Man”. While you might know Percy Miller aka Master P more for his bars than his shot.
In the late 90s he signed contracts with the Charlotte Hornets and the Toronto Raptors, but he was also already an established rapper when these teams entered the league. Her monster hit, "Make Em Say Uhh!" abandoned in 1997, a year before it was taken over by the North Carolina team.
“I think my music got me out of the league,” he told me, noting that at the time the NBA was “strictly basketball”. He said in today's game: "I would be one of the best players in the NBA, my way of working [since] they are open to entertainment.
At the time, Master P was only one of the two ballers of hip-hop. The other one was called Shaquille O'Neal, and he had a verse with Biggie. But Shaq was a generational talent on the pitch, which gave him more leverage.
“In Charlotte with Bob Bass, he was the GM at the time, he said to me, 'Dude, you're one of the best players I've ever seen and you work hard. But when I listen to your music, your music is pure dirt. It got me out of the league. But they weren't open-minded, and I can understand. I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a biblical belt town. If I was in another city, [like] Portland, that probably would've been all good. It motivated me. I kept moving and creating things.
But let's be honest. It was never going to fit in a neat box. Instead, Master P checks them all and adds more categories. He's like George Foreman, who reinvented himself so many times, people forget he was a championship boxer.
Master P defies all etiquette. He's a music mogul, who mentored Snoop Dogg, turning him into an entrepreneur. He is a film producer and also owns food lines called Uncle P's and Rap Snacks. To me, he's the gazillionaire version of “Lootin 'Lenny” from “Good Times,” who always opened his fur coat and hawkers inside. This guy never stops selling.
Now he's trying to buy Reebok with former NBA player Baron Davis.
“I'm looking for bigger deals and deals, and I wanted to show my culture that it's possible for us. OK, we do multi-billion dollar transactions ...
“We know how to make it cool. We know how to make the right products. We know how to match the right athletes to this.
Of course, the company has to agree to the deal, so we'll see what happens. But I had to ask, if they get Reebok, who would be the first player he was looking for in a shoe market. He said Gonzaga goalkeeper Jalen Suggs, whom he called a “superstar on and off the pitch”. Master P knows Suggs is the real deal not only because he has a fantastic first name, but he knows him personally because he played AAU with Master P.'s 18-year-old son Hercy Miller.
As if Master P didn't already have tons of them, he has two sons, 15-year-old Hercy and Mercy, who are college basketball prospects. Master P grew up in New Orleans projects hungry for success. He has learned to sink blows in the dark. His children are growing up in a completely different way, but he managed to instill her courage by telling them that they have to work really hard because of their name. And just like their big brother Romeo, who played ball at USC and is also a performer, they are carving out their own niche for themselves.
“My kids are dogs and they kill in the field because I raised them with a work ethic. People don't realize that consistency is the most important thing in life, if you want something… you want to be good at something, you have to put in the time.
He told me that Hercy had narrowed his research down to six schools, but if Master P had his way, his son would sign up for Vanderbilt because he loves trainer Jerry Stackhouse, who he says would have an influence. difficult but powerful on Hercy. "But that will be my son's decision."
I have known Master P for a long time. I was even in her "I Miss My Homies" video. I've always admired that he's not afraid to admit when he doesn't know something. In the midst of this Reebok negotiation, he said he was trying to educate himself on financial markets, banking and initial public offerings. And he wants to reinvest resources in the black community. He's so dedicated to his hometown that I wondered what he would call a Major League Baseball team if he could bring one to New Orleans. He called them the “rebels”. He said his best buy during a pandemic was a home gym and that "Make Em Say Uhh!" is her favorite song "because it doesn't go away."
During this episode we covered so much that I forgot to bring up a debt he owes me. At the time, we were a bunch of ball players going to UCLA and playing in the offseason. Guys like Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and even Magic Johnson would show up to play. One day, Master P and I entered a shooting competition, and the winner took $ 20,000 from the loser.
My gratitude report is that Master P was a good combo guard. He could pull the blow open, but I won anyway. And he never paid. He once told me that he would compensate me with product, and now that I see everything he's selling, I'm going to hit him now. It's time to pay, Master P!
A native of Detroit, Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan iconoclast Fab Five, which rocked the college hoop world in the early '90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, before becoming a media personality. . Rose is currently an analyst for "NBA Countdown" and "Get Up", and co-host of "Jalen & Jacoby". He produced "The Fab Five" for ESPN's "30 for 30" series, is the author of the best-selling book "I have to give people what they wantA fashion designer, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school in his hometown.