Skip to main content

Back in 1992, Tupac criticized Michael Jordan for him not being a great role model.

tupac and jordan copy

Rap music and basketball go hand in hand together. You can see many connections in these two professions on several cultural levels, and for the most part, it has been that like that forever.

But there was a story that happened in 1992, and it involved two of the greatest stars of that time in their respective fields. Michael Jordan was asserted as the next big thing and the best player in the NBA, while on the other hand, you had a rising rap artist Tupac Shakur who was already well recognized.

Tupac was a great rapper, but he was also a very vocal and influential leader who raised many social topics in the first row. His activism was well established even at an early age. He was especially furious about other wealthy and influential African American community members who didn’t want to present themselves as role models to other inner-city kids.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

At that time, MJ was the most influential athlete globally and was criticized by Tupac that he doesn’t do much for the African American community.

"You know Michael Jordan? I never saw Michael Jordan in the 'hood. Let's see Jordan come down to the inner city, just a parking lot, and just shoot the ball with the kids. I bet you that would change their life. Instead of going to some suburban PAL unit, shooting the ball."

Tupac, via MTV

Tupas also reflected on his childhood, where he says he didn't have many role models growing up who could show him how to play basketball, and he thinks that is the main problem many kids still face.

What about the ones that [have] only one basketball court in the whole neighborhood and don't anybody — I still don't know how to play basketball to this day, 'cause instead of somebody teaching me, everybody used to laugh at me. And instead of me staying there being like, "Teach me! Teach me!" I just learned to be like "F— it. I won't learn." And that's real. I know nothing about sports because I had no kind of role model to teach me.

Tupac, via MTV

In the meantime, Jordan was often criticized for not doing more for the community, even though there were multiple occasions where he showed up and donated substantial financial amounts to various causes. His actions spoke more than words and helped diverse communities by delivering projects that will impact people’s lives on a larger scale. That is why he is so respected today more than in the early ’90s when 2Pac made his statements about him.

Portland TrailBlazers' legends: Clyde Drexler and Damian Billard

“From that moment, I knew it was possible”- Damian Lillard on passing Clyde Drexler’s Trail Blazers scoring record

Damian Lillard is set to break Clyde Drexler's Portland Trail Blazer scoring record next season.


Serge Ibaka shares an important lesson he learned from Derek Fisher

Ibaka is the type of player who never settles with what is in front of him. He constantly absorbs everything he feels will be beneficial for him. In the process, he became humbler and wiser

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I got aroused" — When Patrick Ewing testified in a strip club trial

Patrick Ewing admitted visiting the Atlanta strip club 10 times. His first time was in 1996 when he was in town for the Olympic Games

New York Knicks forward Latrell Sprewell

"One of the misconceptions about me is that I have this attitude problem" - Latrell Sprewell opens up about his off-court personality

Latrell Sprewell stressed that his fearless attitude on the court was far from who he was off of it.


Jerry West on how the Memphis Grizzlies almost picked LeBron James

Before Jerry West became general manager, the Memphis Grizzlies made a trade that hurt their chances in the 2003 NBA Draft.

Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is not the solution to the Boston Celtics' woes

Blake Griffin is already past his prime and there's little he could do to impact the Boston Celtics' title aspirations next season.

Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden

James Harden explains why he considers himself  "one of the most unselfish players ever"

James Harden talks about the upcoming NBA season for the Philadelphia 76ers, while also opening up about his mindset and the time he spent playing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for the Brooklyn Nets

New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul

"I'm a point guard and I'm that good" - Chris Paul's simple reply to a Hornets teammate who was baffled by his skills

Former New Orleans Hornets forward Jason Smith got an epic response from Chris Paul when he asked him how could he read the game while on the floor.