After 20 years, we finally have an answer to the identity of the New York Knicks’ player in Notorious B.I.G.’s I Got A Story To Tell.
In the song, Big describes a situation in which he was fooling around with a girl, who “get dick from a player off the New York Knicks,” and how he was “in his ass while he playing against the Utah Jazz.” Later in the song, Big describes how the unknown Knick comes home unexpectedly, “must have been rained out or something”, and how he ties up the girl and pulls his chrome out on the Knick, before demanding money.
The only clues that we had to who the player might be was that he was a New York Knick in the early 90s, 6 foot 5 inches, and potentially sat out the Jazz game, or forgot his sneakers.
When the internet became a thing, I remember doing some research into this song. Being an avid basketball fan, I was determined to find out whether the story was true and who it was about. The only extra info I found was the reference to the game being ‘rained out’ – a joke about a 1986 NBA game in Seattle between the Seattle SuperSonics and the Phoenix Suns that was cancelled on account of rain leaking through the arena roof. Basketball fact through hip-hop – life was good, but I still had no answer about the story.
I was not the only one on the case. Bomani Jones and Dan Le Batard, hosts of the ESPN show Highly Questionable, have been trying to figure out who it was as well. In 2014, former Knick John Starks was a guest on the show. Starks said he knew who the player was, but wouldn’t give any more details except for confirming that it wasn’t him.
But yesterday, Fat Joe appeared on the show with a breakthrough. “What I heard was, it was about Anthony Mason,” Fat Joe said. “That was the rumour, that was a very strong possibility rumour, that it was about Anthony Mason.”
I’ll take strong possibility rumour, if that is the best we can do, as there is no one we can ask to confirm as Mason passed away last year. Mason has appeared in more than one hip-hop track, and he appeared in the music videos for Best Kept Secret by Diamond D and Root Down by Beastie Boys. The Beastie Boys also mentioned him in the song B-Boys Makin’ With The Freak Freak “I got my hair cut correct like Anthony Mason.”
Watch Fat Joe talk about the song below, starting at 2:10 into the video, and listen to the Life After Death track below that.
— Highly Questionable (@HQonESPN) May 16, 2016
Image: Fox Sports