In the ’90s, you heard Boston Celtics commentator Tommy Heinsohn serenade forward Walter McCarty with “I love Waltah!” But did you know that McCarty, who is back this season as an assistant coach, has done some literal serenading of his own? As a matter of fact, some of the finest musical talents in the NBA have been Celtics. Gentle bigman Bill Walton once sat in on drums with the Grateful Dead, while onetime rental point guard Carlos Arroyo is actually a pretty famous reggaeton artist in his native Puerto Rico. Rumors even circulate that star Rajon Rondo will be recording some R&B material. Who will be next? Forward Kelly Olynyk is reminiscent of a young Walton — so perhaps Phish. Here’s a history of noteworthy musical endeavors by those who wore Celtics green.
Shaq is probably the most famous musician in NBA history, if not the entire world of sports. His rap finesse was showcased over four albums, including 1995’s “Shaq Diesel” which was certified platinum. In this particular selection, Shaq is joined by short-lived rap trio Fu-Schnickens for a rather Das EfX sounding “What’s Up Doc?” Also, don’t miss his cameo in Aaron Carter’s classic “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” Shaq did that one for the kids.
When Walter McCarty would drain a three from the corner, commentator Tommy Heinsohn would exclaim, “I love Walter!” That alone was music to our ears. But amid his tenure with the Celts, Walter also dropped an R&B album entitled “Moment For Love.” It doesn’t stop there. Walter’s silky smooth vocals kept on crooning after his NBA career had ended and he now has three albums to his name. Walter is now back in Boston, working as an assistant coach to the Celts. Perhaps we might see him sing the anthem one of these days???
“The Glove” only played a short stint with the C’s toward the end of his career, but the charismatic assist machine was talented off the court, as well. Along with acting roles in “White Men Can’t Jump” and “Eddie,” GP could also spit a rhyme or two. His flow is actually pretty damn good on 1994’s “Livin Legal and Large,” and it’s all done over a really tight ‘90s beat.
Legendary long-range shooter Dana Barros was about the best thing (other than ‘Toine, of course) that the Celts had going for them in the late ‘90s. On the mic, Dana also knew how to lay it down. A bit more of a cutthroat, Wu-Tang style, Dana namechecks a bunch of other rappers and even mentions “puffin’ on chronic,” which is pretty dope. Not sure how he got away with that one, but the best part of “Check It” is the throwback, bass-driven beat.
It was clear in his Celtics career that Marquis Daniels had an artistic side. From the diamond-encrusted bust of his own head that he wore as a pendant on a chain, he embraced this side with rap material under the moniker Q6. As an MC, Marquis has collaborated with underground legend Lil’ Boosie and gathered his own crew called 1090 Blok Boyz. Check out this “Grand Theft Auto”-inspired video for “Kome Here Nikki.”
Delonte West was always a head-turner, whether he was giving wet-willies to Gordon Hayward or making questionable decisions with other players’ relatives off the court. You probably didn’t realize that Delonte could rhyme for days, though. Not only has he been preparing his debut “Lockout: The Album” for some time now, but he’s also been known to freestyle for seven straight minutes while waiting in a KFC drive-thru.