*There were a few surprises at this year’s Converse Band of Ballers. But, for those of you who know rapper Jim Jones, his super-amped ranting during the game will come as no surprise. It’s no secret that Jones is outspoken. He even calls himself “Back it up,” because according to Jones, “I pop … cause I back it up.”
Jones also is known for putting his money where his mouth is, which is exactly what he did when he repeatedly challenged Jermaine Dupri to “just get in the game” when their teams faced off at the Band of Ballers.
Separately, Jones and Dupri had made comments to the cameras, including Dupri, responding to EUR’s question about the trash talking videos that had been on the internet.
“I’m young. I’m fast. I’m fresh. Tell him to try to catch me and see if he don’t run out of gas….I’m like Floyd Mayweather,” Dupri said while bouncing and dancing around a few hours before his So So Def team faced Jones’ The Jones Family.
Jones never had a chance to “catch” Dupri because Dupri did not get on the court against Jones.
Jim Jones who had started with mild taunting about Dupri walking on to the court for the coin toss eating chips and a sports drink, ended up repeatedly and relentlessly in Dupri’s face, daring him to get on the floor
Members of the crowd and Jones’ camp were chanting, “So So scared,” while Jones stayed in Dupri’s face.
“Get in the game…I’ll embarrass you…I’ll take you to the middle of the court…I’ll dust you off,” Jones rattled off taunts.
“I got about 13, 14 thousand in my pocket. We can play one on one for that right now,” Jones challenged him.
Dupri waved it off, telling Jones to raise the stakes to $175,000 which escalated Jones who said he’d go from not only the cash but also include his watch, his jewelry, and “empty the pockets” and jewelry of his whole team to guarantee how sure he was.
After a while, Dupri was silent, or at least he could no longer be heard. Jones pretty much shut it down. Between Jones rotating into the game, hooping hard, running laps when his team made plays, yelling about going back to Harlem, but saying Bankhead was his too, the crowd was rooting Jones on. The crowd was also buzzing about one member of Jones’ team, Cam’ron, who after their two year beef made his first public appearance with Jones during the Band of Ballers. Cam’ron was teamed up with Jones, and edging Jones on in the bet.
The So So Def team fell to The Jones Family, who faced off against Southern Hospitality in the championship game.
Jones never stopped talking trash.
“This is easy as Sunday morning; they didn’t say they prayers,” Jones said of Southern Hospitality.
Shortly afterward, The Jones Family defeated Southern Hospitality, winning the Converse Band of Ballers trophy for the second year in a row.
EUR asked Jones what kept him so wired throughout the game, and even while accepting the trophy.
“Competition. Competition, brings out the best in me. I love a good competition. It’s good for the morale … It’s good for the hip hop. It’s not too often that you see hip hop artists or black men get together and come and do something for the sake of just having fun and supporting a worthy cause and no bullsh*t happens. This is what’s happening today,” Jones said.
He closed by thanking Converse for sponsoring and the city of Atlanta for hosting the Band of Ballers. The event was part of Converse’s weekend long Take Over in Atlanta evidencing the company’s focus on commitment to youth and community, merging music and lifestyle initiatives.
The weekend was studded with celebrities including: Elise Neal, actor Lamman Rucker, Melyssa Ford, R&B group 112, Wingo of Jagged Edge, 2010 Olympic Bronze Medalist Elana Meyers, NFL star Chauncey Davis of the Atlanta Falcons, Young Money artist Shannell, hip hop artist Mika Means, former NBA player & Converse Atlanta Local Hero Deon Glover, former WNBA All-Star Rushia Brown, former NBA player Shammgod Wells, And 1 street ball star, Spyda, musical artists: The Black Lips, Of Montreal, Bad News (featuring Jay Electronica, Sean Price and Donnis), Steel Train, Shawty Lo, OJ Da Juiceman and Pill who could be seen throughout Band of Ballers and at some of the other activities including “The Tip Off” three-on-three games and wall to wall party, a showcase of Converse’s new line of shoes, Converse’s Open Gym in Atlanta, a tribute to local basketball heroes, a BBQ and the Floyd Mayweather— Shane Mosley fight party hosted at Dallas Austin’s house.
The weekend closed out Monday May 3, 2010 at City Hall where Converse was presented with a Proclamation for its work in the community, including the Converse Open Gym program, a multi-year partnership with HOOP Atlanta, building a basketball court at Piedmont Park, basketball court refurbishments and equipment donations to over 3,000 local schools.
For more information about Converse, please visit www.converse.com
Also, stay tuned for video clips of some Jim Jones moments during the Band of Ballers game.