As far as epic games are concerned, perhaps there was none bigger than “The Blackout at Rucker Park.” In the early 2000s, the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park was a big deal. The best streetballers were playing with legit NBA pros, as many famous rappers started to recruit NBA Stars on their teams.
It all started with Diddy bringing Ron Artest. That inspired other hip-hop artists to make their own teams, as Fat Joe made his “Terror Squad” which took over the EBC. Some of the names that played for him: Jermaine O’Neal, Stephon Marbury, Rafer Alston, etc. They were a must-see show as even the likes of former president Bill Clinton and commissioner at the time David Stern had to check it out.
But then in 2003 Jay-Z started a team and he quickly fell in love with everything about the EBC. He took some of Joe’s players as an intense rivalry was born. Jay-Z had some pretty good players of his own, including Sebastian Telfair and Jamal Crawford. The teams of the 2 artists were on course to meet for the championship, as they both canceled their concerts during the playoff run.
The title game was set for August 14, 2003, as the EBC allowed the teams to bring in any roster additions if they wanted. Jay-Z was going to take advantage of that as he had names like Lebron James, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O’Neal, and others ready to play for him. But Fat Joe wasn’t too shabby as he had the likes of Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, Amare, Carmelo, and Chris Webber ready to go too.
But upon that day thousands of fans flocked to Rucker Park, as the infamous blackout hit. Everybody was ready to play as Jay-Z even tried to line up cars to light up the court, but unfortunately, police shut down the game. It was rescheduled for next Monday but Jay-Z couldn’t make it and most of his players had to go their own way. Fat Joe’s team showed up and waited 2 hours before the refs called it a forfeit. Given all the star power and hype that could have been the greatest streetball game ever.