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18 Best Basketball Songs: Ultimate List

Today, we’re going to check out 18 of the best basketball songs.

There’s a variety of everything. Some songs are from popular basketball movies, some are literally songs about basketball, and some are sang by NBA stars.

Let’s get started!

The 18 Best Basketball Songs

First, here’s a table of every song on this list. Scroll down further for a description and video/audio of the actual song.

Song TitleArtistLink
KobeDame D.O.L.L.A featuring Snoop Dogg and Derrick MilanoYoutube
Space JamQuad City DJsYoutube
Be Like MikeA&M Records / GatoradeYoutube
Sweet Georgia BrownBrother BonesYoutube
Roundball Rock (NBA on NBC theme) John TeshYoutube
I Know I Got Skillz Shaquille O'Neal ft. Def JefYoutube
BasketballKurtis BlowYoutube
BasketballBow WowYoutube
ChampionsRon ArtestYoutube
One Shining MomentDavid BarretYoutube
White IversonPost MaloneYoutube
Basketball JonesChris Rock and Barry WhiteYoutube
He Got GamePublic Enemy Ft. Stephen StillsYoutube
They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) Pete Rock Ft. CL SmoothYoutube
I wishSkee-LoYoutube
ForeverDrake Ft. Kanye West, Eminem, and Lil WayneYoutube
JamMichael JacksonYoutube
Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai (君が好きだと叫びたい )BaadYoutube

“Kobe” by Dame D.O.L.L.A featuring Snoop Dogg and Derrick Milano

Youtube link

Dame released this in 2020 as a tribute to the late, great Kobe Bryant who passed away earlier that same year.

Any kid who ever yelled “KOBE!” while taking a fadeaway, contested jumper can relate to this fantastic song.

The song was actually first released on the video game NBA2K21, and also features hip hop legend Snoop Dogg.

Dame D.O.L.L.A (a.k.a Damian Lillard) is the self proclaimed “best rapper in the NBA”, and has released quite a few great songs to back it up. Another track to check out is “GOAT Spirit

“Space Jam” by Quad City DJs

Youtube link

Space Jam is one of the most famous basketball-themed movies of all time (the 1996 classic one with Michael Jordan, not the recent lousy LeBron James remake 😂).

The entire movie’s soundtrack is great, but this is the main theme song. Hearing it will definitely make you feel nostalgic, and make you want to go out and hoop, or at least rewatch the movie.

“(I Wanna Be) Like Mike” by A&M Records

Youtube link

Speaking of Michael Jordan, any basketball fan growing up in the ’90s will remember this happy tune.

It was originally used in a Gatorade commercial in 1991-1992. The best part about the song is that it only spoke the truth: Everyone really wanted to be like Michael Jordan. 😂

I’m sure it also helped Gatorade’s sales a lot.

The song was originally written just for the commercial, and was inspired by Disney’s Jungle Book song “I Wanna Be Like You.”

After its popularity, Gatorade released the song through A&M records under the name Teknoe, and sold 100,000 copies! Here’s the full song.

“Sweet Georgia Brown” by Brother Bones

Youtube link

This is easily the oldest song on the list, way back from 1949. The original version was actually recorded in 1925, by Ben Bernie and his orchestra.

The NBA was not even founded until 1946, so what does this song have to do with basketball?

Well, it is the theme song of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters!

If you have ever watched the Harlem Globetrotters, then you would instantly recognize this song. Check out these old videos!

“Roundball Rock (i.e. NBA on NBC theme)” by John Tesh

Youtube link

Any basketball fan that was around in the 90s or early 2000s would instantly recognize this super iconic song.

It’s the theme song of the “NBA on NBC”!

For you youngins out there, the NBA used to be shown on NBC (1990 – 2002), before moving to ABC/ESPN and TNT.

This is the music that would play in the intro before every broadcast. It is easily the best TV broadcast tune of all time.

Here is an original broadcast clip from 1998 for a game between the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks.

“Know I Got Skillz” by Shaquille O’Neal ft. Def Jef

Youtube link

Before becoming a funny TV personality, Shaquille O’Neal was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He was also a rapper with several studio albums and singles.

His first album “Shaq Diesel” debuted in 1993 and actually reached platinum status (i.e. shipped one million copies). You could probably say that Shaq is the most successful NBA rapper of all time.

The song “(I Know I Got) Skillz” was the most successful song from the album. In the song, Shaq talks about how great his rapping skills are 😂

Another popular song from the album was “What’s Up Doc? (Can We Rock) ft. Fu-Schnickens

“Basketball” by Kurtis Blow

Youtube link

Maybe the most obvious song on the list is the literally named “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow.

Created in 1984, the song is all about how much he loves the game, and mentions all of the biggest stars in the NBA at the time like Dr. J, Magic, and Bird.

The music video is hilarious featuring kung-fu for some reason. If you want to experience the ‘80s, check out the video.

The song was also the main theme song for NBA 2K12.

“Basketball” by Bow Wow

Youtube link

Not sure if this should really be its own listing, but we’ll put it here anyways.

This is a remake of the above Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball” with a distinctive 2000s vibe to it.

If you want to know what was popular in the early 2000s, check out the video (i.e. Cadillac Escalades, And1 Streetball, and … Bow Wow 😂).

It was featured in the popular basketball movie “Like Mike”, also starring Bow Wow.

For another popular song from the movie, check out “Playin’ the Game

“Champions” by Ron Artest
Youtube link

Shaq and Dame aren’t the only basketball players with a rap career. Ron Artest — a.k.a. Metta World Peace, a.k.a. Panda’s Friend — currently known as “Metta Sandiford-Artest”, released this song back in 2010, the same year he won a championship with the Lakers.

The song is widely popular among NBA fans and gamers because it was featured in NBA 2K11 (probably the best 2K game ever).

Mr. Artest also released a full album back in 2006 titled “My World”.

“One Shining Moment” by David Barret

Youtube link

If you’re a fan of college basketball, you definitely know this song.

It’s the theme song used at the end of every NCAA March Madness tournament. The song has been played at every tournament since 1987 (except for 2020, thanks COVID-19).

Apparently Barret was inspired to write the song after watching Larry Bird play a game in 1986. So, it’s definitely a basketball related song.

Here’s the song without any basketball montage: Video

“White Iverson” by Post Malone

Youtube link

White Iverson was released in 2015, and is responsible for skyrocketing Post Malone’s career. It is certified 5x Platinum for selling over five million copies.

The song lyrics is full of basketball/NBA metaphors and references to the great Allen Iverson. Example:

You gon’ think about me when I’m gone
I need that money like the ring I never won, I won

Check out the full lyrics here.

Post thought he resembled a white version of Allen Iverson after getting his hair braided, hence the name.

“Basketball Jones” by Chris Rock and Barry White

Youtube link

This is another popular song from the soundtrack of Space Jam (1996 version). It features the unique combination of comedian Chris Rock and soul legend Barry White.

It is actually a cover of the less popular 1973 version by Cheech and Chong.

This was one of my favorite songs as a kid. The high pitched Chris Rock, combined with super low base voice of Barry White just works so great. 😂

The entire soundtrack of the original Space Jam movie is great…check it out here: Space Jam Soundtrack

“He Got Game” by Public Enemy Ft. Stephen Stills

Youtube link

He Got Game“, released in 1998, is one of the best basketball movies of all time (starring Ray Allen and Denzel Washington).

This is the theme song for that movie, made by hip hop legends Public Enemy.

The song is amazing, and has that distinct 90’s hip hop vibe. The lyrics itself discusses corruption and racial inequality in reference to basketball and society in general.

If you’ve never watched the movie, you should definitely take some time to do so.

“They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” by Pete Rock Ft. CL Smooth

Youtube link

This is one of my favorite songs, not just basketball related. Pete Rock brings it with the legendary jazzy beats and CL Smooth with his signature rap style.

What does it have to do with basketball?

Well, it was featured in the 2003 video game “NBA Street Vol. 2“, one of the best basketball games of all time!

“I wish” by Skee-Lo

Youtube link

Another 90s classic.

Catchy song about a regular dude wishing he was just a bit cooler so he could get a girlfriend. Lots of basketball references. This line captures the essence of the song:

I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller

Don’t we all Skee-Lo, don’t we all. 😂

This one hit wonder was certified Gold, and reached #13 on the charts way back in 1995.

“Forever” by Drake Ft. Kanye West, Eminem, and Lil Wayne

Youtube link

“Forever” is a collaboration between four of the biggest rappers of the last 20 years — Drake, Kanye West, Eminem, and Lil’ Wayne.

Released in 2009, it was a massive hit. In 2018, it officially went 6x Platinum (i.e. 6 million units sold).

What does it have to do with basketball? The song is part of the soundtrack for the “More Than A Game” documentary which follows LeBron James and his teammates through high school. That’s a good enough excuse to add it to this list 🙂

“Jam” by Michael Jackson

Youtube link

Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan. Enough said?

Released in 1992, the two biggest superstars in the entire world at the time came together for this song. Well, Michael Jordan didn’t sing, but he was in the video.

The song really has nothing to do with basketball, but I had to include it anyways.

“Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai (君が好きだと叫びたい )” by Baad (i.e. Slam Dunk’s opening theme song)

Youtube link

If you grew up in a Western country, you may have no idea about this song.

But, for any basketball fans in Japan, Korea, Taiwan (or other East Asian countries), hearing this song will instantly make you think about basketball.

It is the opening theme song for the greatest basketball anime of all time… Slam Dunk! (Also, my favorite anime / manga ever).

Released in 1993, the song title literally means “I Want to Shout ‘I Like You’ “. Here is a link to the full track.

The story follows the life of a delinquent teenager who discovers and falls in love with the game of basketball. Make sure you check it out if you haven’t already.

Did I miss any songs?

There you have it! 18 of the best basketball related songs of all time. There’s a variety of everything.

I will keep adding to this list in the future as I remember or come across new songs.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which of these songs is your favorite?

Or, perhaps I didn’t list your favorite basketball song?

Either way, let me know in the comments below!


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Larry Lee

Larry Lee

Larry is a basketball addict, and the founder of Hoop Dojo. He started Hoop Dojo to share his love of the game and help the next generation reach their full potential.