A 6′ 11″ former NBA star-turned-DJ and Diddy walk into a bar.There’s no punchline here, as Lebanese DJ Rony Seikaly has joined forces with the hip-hop mogul for a new tech house track called “Won’t Stop Now.” According to a press release, the two have been friends and neighbors in Miami for years. When the storied Syracuse basketball star told Diddy he was developing his debut album, he agreed to hop onboard.
Rony Seikaly RumorsAll NBA Players
Earnings: $27,031,000 ($53,077,069*)
Earnings: $27,031,000 ($53,077,069*)
Q: Do you see Luka Doncic as the player capable of changing the narrative on Europeans in the NBA? Rony Seikaly: Luka Doncic is one in a million. I think that he’s the best white player to ever play the game, regardless of being European. Period. He’s Larry Bird 2.0. To me, LeBron James is Magic Johnson 2.0 and Luka Doncic is a more modern version of the way Larry Bird played. I’m talking about him as a basketball player and a pure talent, not in terms of wins and championships. Now, in order to be the best player, you’ll have to back it up with multiple championships, like Larry Bird has. To get into the conversation with him, you’d better have 4-5 championships under your belt. That would staple him as the best player in the world. I think Luka is a combination of Bird and Pete Maravich.
Rony Seikaly: Even when I heard about Luka Doncic playing for Real Madrid, my first thought was: “He’s playing in Europe”. When he won the Euroleague with Madrid, I was like: “Wow, this kid is really good! I wonder what he will do in the NBA”. Then, he came in and started playing exactly like he was playing in Europe- and even better. The game comes very easy to him. Regardless of who’s guarding him, he’s going to set himself up. I believe that if Luka wanted to score 30 points on average in Euroleague, he would do it. In Europe, it’s a different brand of basketball. You have to make 2-3 passes to get an open shot, whereas in the NBA you can go one-on-one a lot more.
Rony Seikaly: The GOAT debate is something that people have fun with, but when you’re comparing two great players of two different eras, it’s very difficult to make a call. We’re talking about two immensely talented players and we can go back and forth on who’s better, depending on whether you’re a fan of the 90s or of today. If you’re the latter, you probably don’t know what Michael Jordan did in the 90s and you would automatically think that LeBron James is the best player. If you grew up watching Kobe Bryant, you’d think that he’s the GOAT. The debate is endless, but the only reason I’d give the nod to Michael Jordan is because he had more of an assassin mentality. If he smelled a little bit of blood, he would come after you and you were finished. It’s always the same with Mike Tyson. He was like a shark. LeBron is an extremely talented player, just as talented as Michael, but sometimes he’s more of a Magic Johnson when he has the ball; more of a facilitator and less of a finisher, like Michael Jordan was.
How did you make the jump from NBA into electronic music? Rony Seikaly: I finished my NBA career in 2000, but the music side of my life was never meant to happen. It was strictly a passion, a private affair that I had with music, going back to when I was 14 years old. I started with disco and RnB and went into house and went through the whole journey of music whilst I was in the NBA. Nothing has changed for me in that respect, but in 2002/3 when I played music in my house for friends, Erick Morello came over once and asked “whose mix are you playing?”. I said it’s not a mix, it’s me. He said I should go out and play, but I didn’t want it to become a public thing, it was for me, it was the for the love of music. But here I am!
Do you feel any similarities between your basketball career & DJ career? Rony Seikaly: None. They’re polar opposites, one is in the day, one is at night. The pressure of playing sports in front of millions of people and having reporters on the sideline waiting to criticise every move you make, I mean…Imagine if every DJ had their set televised, and a row of reporters grading him on every single track he plays, that’s pressure. I came to the realisation that the way I DJ is my style, and if someone likes it, that’s great. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to stay!
Thirty seasons ago, he was the Miami Heat’s first-ever NBA draft pick. Now, he’s an international house DJ, music producer and real estate mogul. From war-torn Beirut to South Beach, Rony Seikaly shares his incredible story for the first time in CloseUp360’s documentary. You’ll hear him open up about how he made it through the Lebanese Civil War (which started in the 1970s), how he signed at college basketball powerhouse Syracuse University as a complete unknown in the U.S., how he became the Heat’s first international star, and how he cemented his legacy within Miami’s nightlife scene as South Beach became one of the most popular destinations in the world. Over the course of his life, Rony has reinvented himself three times—through basketball, music and real estate—building a successful career in each one. Simply put, there is no more versatile or accomplished middle-aged man in the world than Rony Seikaly, whose trainer says he could still “give people a problem” in the NBA with how active and in-shape he is at 54 years old. #CU360 #SeikalyCloseUp