We've known for some time that Iman Shumpert likes to rap, recording under the name "DeBeau" before the New York Knicks drafted him and releasing more music under his own name after a left knee injury ended his rookie season during the Knicks' first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat. We've also seen him show the capacity to kick rhymes a capella, coming off the top with no instrumentation at a February party for Knicks season ticket holders that also saw former teammate Landry Fields sing a Travie McCoy song.
Given his skills on the mic, his willingness to go in spoken-word style and his predilection toward dressing like a member of the Native Tongues crew, it's not much of a surprise to see Shumpert get up on stage at venerable New York City music venue The Village Underground to share a poem he'd written about his late aunt. What is kind of surprising, though, is how affecting it is — even without a clearly overcome Shumpert choking up in midstream, even if you've never lost anyone to cancer, even if you've never lost anyone at all.
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The sophomore-to-be's got a way with words; it's just a shame circumstances dictated him showing us this way. Our condolences to Shumpert and his family.
In on-court news, Shumpert is not only upright and walking again (as you can see in the video above), but also dunking off one leg and continues to target a return to the court somewhere between December and February, aiming to provide a second-half boost for a Knicks team that looks thin at the two-guard.
Video via hoopdrive. Hat-tip to Sekou Smith at NBA.com's Hang Time blog.
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