Rappers don’t really run on the same schedule as an NBA player during training camp. Those NBA stars — let’s say, hypothetically Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies — are having two practices a day, spending time in the film room, and generally passing out early exhausted. Rappers run on vampire hours.
So Kanye West didn’t blink at calling up Conley after midnight recently — and Conley was good with it, as he told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
“He said ‘I admire you. I really like what you do. I hate that you’re underrated,'” Conley said during the Grizzlies Media Day Monday. The call from the rapper/producer came after midnight, he said.
“He’s going through all of these things like he really watches me play,” Conley said with laughter. “He was like ‘You can be up here and they don’t see you like that.’
“I was like ‘I’m 100 percent with you. What can we do? Help me. I’m looking for a feature. Put me in the background of some of music or something like that.’”
Does this mean Conley is going to start wearing Yeezys around?
Conley is the NBA cliché for underrated at this point. Conley is a very good point guard who, unfortunately, is playing in the era of greats at the position in the Western Conference — Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and before that players such as Tony Parker — which led to him being overshadowed. Conley is a great floor general, averaged 20.5 points a game and shot 40 percent from three last season, he had an All-Star level PER of 23.2, and he is a strong defender. What awards does he have to show for a career of those kinds of numbers? One All-Defensive team (2013). That’s it.
The Memphis Grizzlies understand how good he is, which is why they maxed him out two summers ago and made him one of the highest paid players in the league. That’s respect he can appreciate.
And so can Kanye.