Notorious B.I.G. sporting mystery solved

By Jai Bednall of news.com.au

Notorious B.I.G. Photo / David Corio/Redferns via Getty Images
Notorious B.I.G. Photo / David Corio/Redferns via Getty Images

It didn't have the commercial success of Hypnotize or Mo Money Mo Problems, but of all the tracks on The Notorious B.I.G.'s legendary 1997 Life After Death album, I Got A Story To Tell has always been the song that's generated the most curiosity among fans of the rap star's music.

The 4min 42sec disc one closer tells the story of an encounter the rapper, who was also known as Biggie Smalls, had with an unnamed player from the New York Knicks.

As Biggie tells it, he was having sex with the basketball star's girl - in the player's bed - while he was playing a game against the Utah Jazz. But things got interesting when the player returned home and was about to catch the duo in the act.

In true gangster style, Biggie tied the girl up to make it seem like a burglary, put a scarf around his face and when the basketball player came into the room holding a drink he pulled out his gun.

"Flash the heat on em, he stood emotionless, dropped the glass screamin, 'Don't blast here's the stash, a hundred cash just don't shoot my ass, please!" the song goes.

Biggie filled a Prada bag with the cash and walked out.

Whether the story was true - and if it was, who was the Knicks player in question - has dogged basketball and music fans alike since the album was released almost 20 years ago.

Fans have forensically broken down the lyrics to form a timeline of the incident and attempted to narrow down which Knicks players it could be.

The co-hosts of ESPN's Highly Questionable - Dan Le Batard and Bomani Jones - have led the way, regularly inviting guests with a connection to the story on their show in an attempt to solve the mystery.

In September 2014, former Knicks guard John Starks told the duo the story was true and that he knew who it was about. But he refused to tell them.

A month later, Jadakiss, who rapped alongside Biggie on several tracks early in his career, was also asked to shed some light on the matter by Le Batard and Jones.

"Big wouldn't tell me," Jadakiss said. "I was doing my own investigation. He was saying 6'5". Trying to figure out what Knick was 6'5". He threw you off, though, because he also said 'rained out.' A basketball game can't get rained out. So, Big was trying to mess with you a little bit on there, too.

"Out of my candidates, it would have to be (Anthony) Mason, Larry Johnson, maybe Derek Harper," he added. "Could have been any of that team. Those were the crazy Knicks back then."

10 Nov 1994: Anthony Mason of the New York Knicks. Photo / Getty Images
10 Nov 1994: Anthony Mason of the New York Knicks. Photo / Getty Images

Finally, we have the answer. Rapper Fat Joe was today's guest on Highly Questionable. The New York native, who was friends with Biggie, said the Knick in the story was none other than Mason - the bruising forward who died of heart failure last year.

Mason was one of the chief enforcers on the Pat Riley-era Knicks, who regularly clashed with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.

"I could tell you but I don't want to be disrespectful. But it was about Anthony Mason, rest in peace," said Fat Joe, who added it was important to realise the specifics of the encounter may have been embellished.

"You also got to know this is entertainment so we (rappers) stretch the truth, we change things up."

- news.com.au

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