Game Forms Amateur BBall Team, Drafts Ron Artest, Kevin Durant

While Game awaits the release of his long-delayed fourth solo LP, The R.E.D. Album, he has been keeping busy coaching and playing on an amateur basketball team in his hometown of Los Angeles. And due to the lockout in the upcoming NBA season, he has managed to attract some professional hoop stars to ball with him.

So far Game’s team, Go Ham—which is a part of South Central’s Drew League—has recruited the likes of Kevin Durant, Ron Artest and NBA rookie, Derrick Williams. He is currently trying to get Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose to join his rotating roster of marquee names.

But it wasn’t always this easy for Game to recruit heavyweight talent. “In the beginning I had to sell something like, ‘If you play on the team, I’ll go wherever you’re from and we can do a show or something,’ as a favor to him,” Game told Yahoo! Sports. “But now the word on the Drew League is everywhere, and guys are hitting me up to play.”

The Drew League—which has attracted NBA players before, but never at this level of talent—has games every weekend at Leon H. Washington Park near Watts that are free to spectators. But now due to the new interest, they may have to find a bigger venue, due in part to Game’s involvement.

But don’t expect Game to change professions any time soon. “Being a rapper is definitely cooler,” he said. “People don’t even know some NBA players. If you ain’t Kobe [Bryant] or Carmelo [Anthony] they might just walk past them and say, ‘Oh, you’re tall. What do you do, play basketball?’ As a rapper, you get all the perks.”

Game’s The R.E.D. Album drops on August 23. —Elan Mancini