A certain aura illuminates the state of New York now. After millions of homes were mangled by the devastating storm caused by Hurricane Sandy, many lives were depleted of happiness. Souls were deflated. Streams of tears and anguish flooded the streets after Sandy washed away homes with her overpowering winds. Spirits were crushed. People lost power, heat, water, and everything else needed in order to survive. Kids lost hope. You see, the day people were anxiously waiting for the newly developed rivalry between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets to begin, their dreams were demolished. Sandy gave our state a rigorous four quarters of havoc. We had no choice but to sadly watch Mayor Bloomberg call off the game.
Fast forward to nearly a month later. People are still recovering, but now life is being restored back into the city. On November 27, the Barclays Center served as the first game for the Knicks and Nets. With a playoff atmosphere, fans of the state and also the city of Brooklyn were finally treated to the biggest game they’ve been waiting to see. One fan in particular was Brooklyn’s very own Fabolous.
Having a team to finally call his own, Fab sat with joy and marveled at how things fell into place. New York’s two basketball teams are not only among the best in the Eastern Conference, but also in the entire league. Success is at an all-time high for the city of New York. On the entertainment side, New York could also smile at Fabolous for his recent success. Just recently, he released his new mixtape Soul Tape 2 which earned rave reviews from many acclaimed sites.
With Fab in a great mood about the state of New York as a whole, he sat down with Dime to talk about the state’s new found success in basketball among the Knicks and Nets, the city of Brooklyn, the’ 99 Knicks, Soul Tape 2, Loso’s Way 2 and why he’s rap’s Carmelo Anthony.
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Dime: The atmosphere in Brooklyn is crazy right now considering you guys finally have a team representing the borough. Describe the atmosphere knowing that they’re being represented by the Nets now.
Fab: I mean it’s exciting man. Like you said, we got a team to represent us. You know we have fans who’ve been longing for this. There’s so much pride that goes into representing Brooklyn. You could go anywhere in the world and say, “Where’s Brooklyn at?” I don’t care if you’re in Istanbul and one hand pops up like “Yeah! Yeah!” We have that pride. Now we have that team to represent our pride. So it’s exciting man. When I sit in there and watch the games and see people in there – even just seeing the people that work there who are from Brooklyn – I could see that it bought something good to the borough.
Dime: Have you found yourself in a tough spot yet when routing for both NY teams considering you’re a Knicks fan but also a Brooklyn Nets fan now? Which fitted are you going to be sporting on a regular basis?
Fab: Man, I’m always going for the home team, the hometown, which in this case are both. You know, the Knicks have always been a staple as well. You have a new squad that’s representing the home-team. It goes even deeper because it’s not just New York. It’s a deeper love. I represent both man. I still rout for the Knicks and Nets man at the same time. I always grew up wanting the New York team to be as dope as they can be and want us to get the best trades. Now we have the Nets. Like I said, they represent that hometown. There’s never been an opportunity like that available. Now, it’s more close to home so to say.
Dime: A lot of people have jumped on the Knicks bandwagon for their stellar play thus far. How far do you feel this team can go? Do you feel they’re better than the ’99 Knicks that reached the Finals?
Fab: Yeah. You know because the athleticism of the game is a little bit different. I think that the structures of the teams are a little bit different. I think that [this group] is a very talented team. I think that the ’99 team was a very well-rounded team. They were deep as far as their bench and they also had the knowledge of each other. They played with each other for a few years. Carmelo is kind of getting there. At first last year, they were figuring out the ‘Melo and Amar’e thing. As a team, they’re still very young compared to that ’99 team. I think they’re definitely talented. You know, Carmelo to me is a really stronger player than Allan Houston was. They both were scorers but I think he brings a greater dynamic. Also that ’99 team didn’t need a complete dominant scorer because they had a lot of pieces to the puzzle as well.
Dime: The biggest question concerning these Knicks right now is the status of Amar’e Stoudemire. If you were the GM, what would you do with a situation like STAT’s? Would you bench him, play him, or trade him altogether?
Fab: I think you definitely gotta play him if he’s still on the roster. I don’t know at the end of the season what kind of situation that would be. I definitely think you gotta play him and try to work it as best as you can. Even if maybe you swap it out where I know everybody likes to start. But it might be a good thing like when OKC had Harden coming in and bringing his energy. Maybe that could work when ‘Melo sits down and vice versa. Like when Amar’e sits down, ‘Melo is still playing. I don’t know. I’ve been thinking options and ways that it could work. But I definitely think you have to play Amar’e. You know, he’s a proven guy. Besides even being my friend, he’s done his thing in the league for years. Even on paper, you would think that’s a dope combination to have. So you know it’s all about making it work. I think it could work. As a GM, I wouldn’t make such a rash decision right now. I’d say we play a little bit and see how we ball.
Dime: You know New York has bred a lot of good point guards like a Mark Jackson, Stephon Marbury and Rod Strickland. Lately, we’ve fallen off as far as breeding point guards. Do you feel NY could still groom solid point guards?
Fab: I really think that right now we’re in a rebuilding stage of the point guard. I think Felton is really playing strong this year in that role. Then you also have Jason Kidd who’s a veteran and it looks like his wheels haven’t slowed down or anything. He still runs the offense the same way he has before. He may not be the 25-year-old Jason Kidd throwing full-court bounce passes but he’s still running the offense. That’s what you need out of a veteran player like him. I think that in playing with J-Kidd that you know, Felton might be one of those great point guards that when the time comes, he’ll be there with the people that we’re calling great. You know the Mark Jacksons, the Stephon Marburys, and the Stricklands. We’ve had time to see them and know their history. Felton is coming in like a baby and trying to prove himself still.
Dime: Switching gears, I remember when you were on First Take and you were talking to Skip Bayless. A topic that came up was, “Who would you rather have for the next five years?” The choices were LeBron, D-Rose and D-Wade. You chose D-Rose. Regardless of his situation right now, do you still stand by that pick?
Fab: Ummm… You mean regardless of the injury?
Fab: That injury was a very strong injury. So you know players aren’t usually the same. But you know, you have to see how he comes back. With Derrick Rose, when I made that decision it was because he’s a player that you can build a team around. The Chicago Bulls without Derrick Rose isn’t the same team. So you know when I made that decision it was because of how young he was. He’s the premier player to be playing within the next five years. Now with the injury, I think I would watch how that plays out because he had a very, very crazy injury. That’s an injury where people don’t come back the same or in some cases come back at all. Some people would have a hard time doing the same moves that they were doing before.
Dime: That’s fair. Switching gears, a lot people would associate Fab for being one of the wittiest when punchlines are concerned. If you could choose your favorite punchline that you either came up with or that you heard, what line would it be and why?
Fab: Wow. I’ve said so many man. I don’t even wanna say any of mine. I’m trying to think.
Dime: You know Joe Budden always had a lot of sports references too.
Fab: Yeah Joe has a lot. You know it’s hard to narrow down just one man. Let’s go back man. One of the first joints that I heard involving basketball was from an [Ice] Cube record. I think it was “Today was a Good Day.” It was like how the Lakers beat the Supersonics. You know, even though it wasn’t as metaphorical, that was one of the first times I’ve heard basketball terminology or sports terminology used in raps like that. That was the first one that popped up from the top of my head because I know he said something about that. I know he said something about a triple-double. You know, it was one of those things that made me realize that it was cool to talk about basketball and sports in a rap as well. And then what I think for me is that as time progressed, more metaphors got a little bit more complicated. But, I wanted to say that one because that was one of the first lines I heard and got wind of back then.
Dime: I know Cube would love to hear that.