The Dagger - NCAAB

Now I have a story that I'd like to tell,

about this guy named Austin who plays ball real well,

he's No. 1 in Rivals and is going to Duke,

his dad is Doc Rivers, so his game's no fluke!

Much like J.J. Redick, Austin likes to write rhymes

and, just like Redick's words, his are poetic crimes.

During a brief halftime segment during ESPN's Thursday night broadcast of the McDonald's high school All-American game, Duke recruit Austin Rivers talked about his love of rap, R&B and hip-hop. Then he dropped some rhymes for the cameras:

Today I woke up with a mindset that I have to be the best

these dudes coming after me, they don't want this test.

Every time I go to the court, man, I give it my all,

these dudes underrate me, they don't think I can ball.

Remember that "Cosby Show" episode where Theo and Cockroach rapped a retelling of "Julius Caesar"? Compared to Rivers, they sounded like 2Pac.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Rivers is a high school basketball player who likes to rap. It's his hobby. Golf is my hobby and I'm just as proficient at it as Austin is at writing rhymes. I certainly don't mean to throw stones at somebody's part-time passion.

My question is, why showcase your "skills" in the first place? You're already going to Duke, ensuring that you'll be heckled mercilessly during every road game. Do you really want to give more fodder to Maryland fans who are probably creating cardboard cutouts of Vanilla Ice as we speak?

A word of advice to all future recruits, Blue Devil or any other: When an ESPN producer asks you to rap during an interview segment, politely decline. If a magazine reporter wants to see your poetry, say you keep it locked up in your dorm room. And if you choose to ignore that advice, at least buy a rhyming dictionary. "All" and "ball"? Come on, Austin. You're better than that.

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