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10 NBA Player Cameos in Music Videos

Basketball players
Elsa/Eliot J. Schechter/Harry How, Getty Images

Some basketball players like Shaq and John Salley have shown their musical prowesses off the court, or even made a second career out of their vocal skills (or lack thereof). But, at other times, NBA players without any vocal abilities have dipped their toes into the waters of the music world thanks to cameos in music videos.

Here’s a look at 10 basketball players who have turned up where you might not expect, and how those appearances turned out.


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More a testament to Melo than a song in its own right, Common’s ‘Be’ heavily features the then Nuggets star in a prominent role as he cruises through a neighborhood. This short tune passes muster, but it’s better seen as a commercial of sorts for a rising NBA phenom. Since then, Melo has gone on to become one of the most recognized stars of the league, and he’s playing on an even bigger stage than before in New York.


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What better way for Fabolous to show off his, well, fabulous lifestyle than to get Vince Carter to unofficially endorse him by appearing in his video for ‘This Is My Party.’ Back in 2002, it looked like Carter was going to set a new gold standard in the league. Fabulous strides around in sports paraphernalia, with jerseys from the Heat and the Cavs. Too bad he missed the mark on Carter’s teams.


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Before he was a reality TV star, Odom showed off his mean acting chops in the video for ‘We Made It.’ It’s hard to spot the athlete as he walks the streets with a gang of others in this Busta Rhymes and Linkin Park video, but his towering and daunting presence can be best seen at the 2:08 mark. Someone must have been impressed enough to take another chance on him.


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The young All-Star isn’t used to being turned away by any opposition, even from the ladies. In the ‘Never Ever’ video, Horford approaches Ciara and asks her to dance. She’s nursing the wounds from a past flame, and decides that she’ll give Horford a shot. It’s part of the healing process for her. Horford scores big.


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Common’s ‘Drivin’ Me Wild’ has a video that matches the lyrics to the song, and it is chock full of cameos, most notably from actor Jeremy Piven. The “family guy” mentioned in the song is played by Maggette; he’s not the only then Warriors player who shows up: Baron Davis makes a brief appearance. A short stint is standard fare for Maggette, who has traveled around the league in his career at the speed of light.


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Brown’s actually been in three videos, giving his time and face for the likes of Monica and Nelly, but it was his appearance in Toni Braxton’s ‘Yesterday’ that commanded the most attention. That’s because Brown’s position as a love interest is eventually taken over by a competitor played by Ron Artest. Thanks to Braxton’s typically high levels of sexiness, the acting of these NBA stars doesn’t require much focus.


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In a bizarre cameo, the bruising forward can be seen at around 1:09 playing pickup hoops in the park in ‘Root Down,’ the Beastie Boys’ video tribute to the Big Apple. The clip also has a very 1980s feel to it, too, from the cinematography to the clothing. Nonetheless, Mason does a serviceable job swatting away a weak shot and showing how hard he plays even when he’s off the clock.


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Dan Marino is the most memorable man to randomly come up in the Hootie and the Blowfish video for ‘Only Wanna Be With You.’ But the football scene is only one of many involving sports. And the one where the band takes on basketball includes Williams laughing at the camera in a closeup. Alonzo Mourning spends his time dunking, while Williams gets the profile shots.


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The swingman made his music video debut while playing for the Heat. He shows up alongside the Miami singer Trina in her video for ‘Here We Go.’ But Trina finds better chemistry in the video with Kelly Rowland, a guest on the track. Butler winds up on the losing end of the love game, and just a few years later he found himself out of the NBA, too.


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The white stiff didn’t do much to change the perception about him in the Aerosmith video for ‘Love in an Elevator.’ Since then, though, he’s gone on to star in such sports flicks as ‘Rebound and ‘Eddie.’ At 6″10, Haley is impossible to miss. His acting career fell short once it became clear he couldn’t continue playing himself or an NBA announcer for the rest of his days. At least we have Aerosmith to hang onto.

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