ATLANTA — Former college basketball player, Atlanta native and, most recently, the Hawks’ acting CEO Tauheed Epps — known internationally as award-winning hip-hop artist 2 Chainz — got a chance to take on a player who grew up watching on Friday night.
In a photo-finish, 2 Chainz took down Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins in a (highly controversial) game of H-O-R-S-E.
To be fair, Wilkins, who was recently honored with a statue in front of Philips Arena, was at a disadvantage in his pregame suit. It also must be pointed out that there was some in-game controversy as to which letter each superstar was on:
In the end, Wilkins could not match 2 Chainz’s corner 3-pointer for the win, despite multiple attempts. This was not exactly a stunning upset. The 37-year-old rapper played college basketball at Alabama State before pursuing a career in music. Still, it was a devastating loss for Wilkins, a nine-time All-Star.
There are no immediate plans for a rematch.
(And in case you’ve ever wanted to watch a video of 2 Chainz counting money and screaming "I’m the champion" in order to distract Dominique Wilkins in a game of H-O-R-S-E, you’ve come to the right place.)
The game was part of the franchise’s season-long community outreach push, "True To Atlanta," as Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said in a statement: "We could not be more excited to partner with 2 Chainz, an Atlanta-bred superstar who has been one of the team’s biggest supporters and always remained ‘True to Atlanta.’ Working with Chainz is a perfect fit for our organization as we continue to attract an increasingly diverse, millennial fan base that values great entertainment both on and off the court."
In addition to the 2 Chainz-Dominique pregame festivities, the Grammy-nominated artist also spoke on a variety of topics focusing on the East-leading Hawks and the NBA:
On the NBA’s ongoing partnership with major music artists: "Music and sports, they definitely cross paths. I feel like we inspire each other. I can name 1,000 rappers that want to play ball and I can name 2,000 ballplayers that want to rap. I can show you the text messages."
On which Hawks player he would want to play one-on-one: "Shelvin Mack, because I can beat him. Make sure you print that."
On which Hawks player plays most like him: "I don’t know, man. See, the Hawks play defense — I ain’t with none of that. I probably wouldn’t fit in. (Coach) Bud probably wouldn’t let me play."
On if he will record a song if the Hawks win a championship: "I’ve already got a folder full of music for the Hawks. I can’t wait."