The hip-hop Hall of Famer stars in the new romantic comedy
Deliver Us from Eva and is performing in the NBA's All-Star Read
to Achieve concert this Saturday.
SI: Before the NBA show, are you playing in the celebrity game?
LL: No. I like hoops, but I'd rather leave the playing to the
SI: Tell us about the children's book you wrote, And the Winner
Is...about a young basketball player and sportsmanship. Why
LL: It's important to treat the opposing team with respect
whether you win or lose, and this is my way of teaching kids to
deal with success and with failure.
SI: You've done a rap version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame with
Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa. Do you think they could make it
as rap stars?
LL: Cute question, but I don't know.
SI: After playing a running back in Any Given Sunday and a former
football star in the sitcom In the House, do you think you could
have made it as a football player?
LL: I would have put everything into trying.
SI: How tough was the training for Sunday? You separated your
LL: The training was unbelievably rough. Running into 300-pound
linemen, the whole concept was crazy. I wanted to run the ball
myself, and I paid the price. But I got to live a lifelong dream.
SI: Didn't you and Jamie Foxx fight on the Sunday set?
LL: We had a fight, but in the context of the sport of football
and us out there doing what we were doing. It wasn't like me and
him were getting it on.
SI: Who was a better coach: Al Pacino in Sunday or Goldie Hawn in
Wildcats (in which LL is a rapper)?
LL: (laughs) How about, they both did their thing, and both my
SI: You have an album called G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time). Are
you afraid Muhammad Ali is going to come after you for taking his
LL: If he wants it back, he can have it. Just tell him to call
SI: Finally, do you think it would help me with the ladies if I
started calling myself LL Cool P?
LL: Yeah. But start by brushing your teeth. Then move on the name
change. --Pete McEntegart
For more from LL Cool J, go to si.com/scorecard.
COLOR PHOTO: JIM COOPER/AP Rapped with Ken Griffey