What are the best basketball songs of all time? It depends on who you ask and which criteria you use. Some basketball songs contain game related lyrics while others are basketball warm-up songs or themes. We have looked at factors as total sales, downloads, YouTube views, and iconic value. Here is our list of best basketball songs:
10.“Wing$”- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2012)
The song Wings ranks as one of Macklemore’s top songs and has accumulated 108 million YouTube views so far (November 2017). The Wings lyrics stirred up some controversy because it was about society’s consumeristic culture and even criticized the NBA specifically. Nevertheless, it was the introductory song at the 2013 NBA All-Star game. A bold move!
9.“Basketball Jones”-Barry White (1996)
The word, Jones, is the representation of having a fixation or craving for something or someone; for example, an addiction. “See I am a victim of a Basketball Jones, I’ll take my basketball everywhere.” Barry White references many basketball greats, such as the elite duo, Michael Jordan, and Dennis Rodman. The song showcases a fascination that everyone had with basketball, especially after watching Micheal Jordan perform throughout his career.
“Forever” was introduced on the “More Than a Game” soundtrack, which paid respect to Lebron James. The song was later re-released on Eminem’s “Relapse: Refill” album. it was “the best posse cut of the year” according to Rap mogul, Jay-Z. In addition, the track included some of Rap’s most successful and talented artists, such as Drake, Eminem, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne. Thus far, Drake and Lebron James have been compared with regard to talent, expectations, and criticism. The Hype Williams’ directed video has accumulated 189 million YouTube views on Drake’s VEVO page.
7.“Eye of the Tiger”-Survivor (1982)
This song is a lock on any top list of sports songs. In addition, it has earned over 9 million sales and 339 million views on Survivor’s VEVO page on YouTube. It is a great basketball pump up song and it also motivates non-athletes to excel beyond their limits. It motivates fans true hunger, as the lyrics state, “It’s the thrill of the fight…Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop.” It continues to reach success throughout different generations of sports fans.
6.“White Iverson”-Post Malone (2015)
Post Malone (a white rapper) created this song comparing himself to Allen Iverson. In the process, he references many glitzy NBA players, such as Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the noticeably gifted, Allen Iverson. The song has gained much hype with 25 million SoundCloud streams and 443 million YouTube views on his VEVO page. Rob Stevenson, Executive Vice President at Universal Republic Records, has said that “the things that should’ve killed [Post Malone’s] career have only made him bigger.” In comparison, Allen Iverson has made many questionable decisions in his career as well. By the way, he won Allen Iverson over with this song.
5.“Basketball”-Kurtis Blow (1984)
Kurtis Blow, a former rapper, and a newly ordained minister has released 15 successful rap albums. One of them was “Basketball”, which became one of the biggest international successes among basketball songs. It honors old-school NBA players and Kurtis Blow gives younger basketball fans a glimpse of the hard-nosed flashy performances of back in the day. The song highlights the performances of the pioneers that paved the way for today’s young NBA players. Bow Wow remade “Basketball” in 2002 for the “Like Mike” soundtrack.
4.“The Second Coming”-Juelz Santana (2007) (Nike commercial version)
When Juelz Santana, well-known Harlem rapper, released “The Second Coming”, he never realized the amount of acclaimed notoriety it would receive. Most noteworthy, it became Nike’s theme song which was used to show the spark of the NBA’s resurrection after the 1998-1999 lockout. In January 2007, Nike launched the campaign. “The Second Coming: Our Game, Our Time” which included many NBA greats, like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Shawn Marion, Rasheed Wallace, Jermaine O’Neal, Steve Nash, Paul Pierce, Amare Stoudemire, and Tony Parker.
3.“Space Jam”-Quad City DJs (1996)
“Space Jam” became a score for the movie and the Florida natives, Quad City DJs. Upon the release in 1996, Minnesota Timberwolves’ very own, Zach LaVine was only 1 years old. Nevertheless, he wore a Michael Jordan Toons jersey and “Space Jam” played as he walked on the court for the 2015 NBA All-Star Dunk contest. Consequently, LaVine made the biggest highlight dunk of the night and won the contest. Space Jam is also on the list of best basketball movies of all times.
2.“Sirius”-Alan Parsons Project (Chicago Bulls Theme Song) (1982)
The instrumental song “Sirius” was released in 1982 by the Alan Parsons Project, a British rock band. It soon became the Chicago Bulls theme song and was utilized during the dynasty years in the 1990s. Fans around the world recognize it as one of the most iconic basketball songs ever. Furthermore, “Sirius” is still popularized for introductions of opening lineups. For example, the Golden State Warriors. Draymond Green and Stephen Curry have dubbed it “The Jordan Song”. In addition, “Sirius” was re-introduced as the theme song for the NBA 2K11 game in 2010.
1.“Roundball Rock”-NBA on NBC Theme (John Tesh)
“Roundball Rock” launched for the NBA in the early 1990’s and remained the theme song for NBC until 2002. Most of all this song represented the 1990’s NBA players at their pinnacle performances. In addition, it was re-introduced in 1997 to coincide with the WNBA’s one year anniversary. This tune brings fans memories of the 90’s basketball period. Therefore, it ranks number 1 on the list of best basketball songs ever.