Rapper J. Cole helped Heat land key player?
The Toronto Raptors may have Drake in their corner, but the Miami Heat appear to have found a counter of their own.
Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer reported this week on how rapper J. Cole helped the Miami Heat land forward Caleb Martin, who has been a key piece for them this year. According to Boone, Cole has a private gym in North Carolina where top players in the state often play pickup basketball. Cole saw Martin, who had recently been released by the Charlotte Hornets, at one particular session this past offseason and was impressed by Martin’s shooting and athleticism.
Upon learning that Martin was still unsigned, Cole went to work trying to get him a deal, Boone says. Cole, who is well-connected in NBA circles, ending up contacting Miami Heat assistant coach Caron Butler.
“He had reached out to me and told me he had a very, very talented guy that was just wrecking shop up here in North Carolina and had just got released from the Hornets,” said Butler of Cole. “Obviously, we were still trying to improve on our talent. He reached out to me and I just invited [Martin] to an open scrimmage in the summer and from that point on [Martin] really earned his way on. But J. Cole having the foresight in knowing Caleb can come and help a contending team was just amazing.”
Boone’s article has other interesting tidbits on Martin, Cole, and how exactly the Heat signing materialized. You can read it in full here.
Martin has been a diamond in the rough for the East-leading Heat this year. He is averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest and often earns crucial fourth-quarter minutes for Miami with his strong two-way play.
As for Cole, who is best known for his triple platinum album “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” he has a number of different fans in the NBA. Heat fans will be on that list too if Martin continues his excellent production into the playoffs.
Photo: February 15, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; American rapper J. Cole during NBA All Star Saturday Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports