LL Cool J is an avid basketball fan that attends basketball games in New York and Los Angeles. He is very familiar with many NBA players, both past and present, and some are even his close friends.
In an interview he did for Slam Magazine, LL talked about some of his closest relationships in the NBA. After mentioning Kobe, Jordan, Magic, and Baron Davis, he brought up a funny story that involves the late great Anthony Mason.
Both Mason and LL were close in the mid-’90s when the New York Knicks were a basketball powerhouse, and LL spent a lot of his time in New York. They would often hang out at barbecues organized by LL in Queens.
“I grew up a Knicks fan, but you know what? I was always conflicted because Mike was so inspired when I was coming up in New York. But Pat Ewing was always a good friend of mine. Oakley [was a good friend] after he came to New York. I knew all the players. Anthony Mason was my man—he used to be in Queens all the time in my neighborhood. He used to throw guys out of barbecues for me. They were talking trash to me, and Anthony Mason used to come in and grab them and be like, “Y’all gotta go! Y’all gotta go!” He was my man.”
LL Cool J, via Slam Magazine
Anthony Mason was one of the toughest players in the ’90s and played a vital role in a Knicks team that was contending for a championship for several seasons in a row. He also had an attitude, which characterized the playing style of the Knicks during those years.
Unfortunately, Anthony Mason died too early. At the age of 48, he suffered a heart attack in 2015 and was later diagnosed with congestive heart failure.