J. Cole shouts out Russell Westbrook on 'amari' on new album

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J. Cole shouts out Russell Westbrook on new album originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Hip-hop star J. Cole released his long-awaited album 'The Off-Season' on Friday at midnight, and the 12-track project included a mention of the Wizards star point guard, Russell Westbrook.

In the first verse following the opening chorus of J. Cole's song 'a m a r i,' Cole shouted out Westbrook in one of his lyrics, citing the guard's signature rock the baby celebration.

"How could you ever try to play me?" Cole rapped. "Kill 'em on a song, walk up out the booth, do the Westbrook rock-a-baby."

Westbrook's 'rock the baby' celebration has been a popular one of his in recent years, usually done after either making a tough basket or scoring a bucket while being fouled. By rocking the baby, Westbrook is sending a message implying that the defender is too small to guard him.

The NBA's triple-double king started doing the celebration at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. When asked about the meaning of it back then on Jimmy Fallon, Westbrook gave a very on-brand response.

“I’m pretty big for my position and I would say I’m probably stronger than other guys at my position," Westbrook said. "So when I have smaller guys on me you gotta treat them like babies. The guys guarding me don’t love it so much but everybody else loves it."

The celebration has carried over to his first season with the Wizards, as Westbrook has done it multiple times this year, too.

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Westbrook was not the only NBA star that earned a nod from Cole on his latest album. LeBron James, Ja Morant and Damian Lillard were also mentioned at one point on 'The Off-Season.'

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J. Cole referencing basketball stars in his music should not come as a surprise, especially considering the rapper's love for the sport. Cole played in high school and has participated in both the NBA Celebrity All-Star game and many famous pick-up games in the past.

In addition to dropping a new album, he is reportedly attempting to begin his professional basketball career this summer as part of the Rwanda club in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League.