Damian Lillard (aka Dame D.O.L.L.A) is headed from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks for the upcoming NBA season. The basketball player is also among the professional athletes to try their hand at making music. Lillard joined NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal on the list of ballers-turned-rappers.
TMZ Sports caught up with Shaquille O’Neal to get his thoughts on who he believes is the best rhyming athlete of all time. Not surprisingly, the 4-time NBA champion named himself at the top of that Hip-Hop totem pole.
“It’s all competition for me. So when I hear other people that say, ‘Oh, I’m a better athlete-rapper than Shaq,’ I gotta step up,” said the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer. “Nothing personal. I just gotta let these people know who paved the way.”
Shaquille O’Neal later declared, “I put stuff out, they put stuff out. And we’ll let the people decide who the number one is. I know who the number one is. I’m gonna always say myself is number one, but they got a lot of guys out there that are coming.”
The former Los Angeles Laker went on to shout out Damian Lillard, Iman Shumpert, and Antonio Brown. Three years ago, Shaq and Lillard had a lyrical back-and-forth that made headlines in the sports and Hip-Hop worlds. Both NBA All-Stars released diss tracks directed at the other.
Dame D.O.L.L.A has released four studio albums since 2016, including 2021’s Different On Levels The Lord Allowed. The 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year recently dropped the “Paid In Full” music video featuring a cameo by Hip-Hop legend Cam’ron.
Shaquille O’Neal earned Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America for 1993’s Shaq Diesel album. He also picked up a Gold plaque for 1994’s Shaq Fu: Da Return. Shaq also appears on the Gold-certified “What’s Up Doc? (Can We Rock)” song by Fu-Schnickens.