J. Cole is heading back to the United States after completing his commitment to the Rwanda Patriots.
According to ESPN reporter Marc Spears, Cole is returning to the states due to a “family obligation” and can say he lived out his dream of playing pro ball. In Cole’s three games with the Patriots, the team went 2-1 and the rapper’s final stat line for those three contests? Five points, five rebounds and three assists.
Cole’s stint in the BAL earned praise from his hip-hop peers and fans for living out a dream as a 36-year-old former walk-on but drew criticism for ballers in other leagues. Terrell Stoglin, the leading scorer for Morocco’s AS Salé, salted on Cole’s stint in the BAL and called it “disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this” and felt “he took someone’s job that deserves it.”
Rick Ross came to Cole’s defense on the subject, highlighting how Black men shouldn’t hate one another’s dreams.
“In no way is this meant to be disrespectful, but first and foremost, should no Black man’s dreams be censored nor limited,” Ross said. “Comin’ from a brother, I think you would understand what building these types of relationships would do for the business. For the eyes on the industry, you know what I’m sayin’?”
He added, “You should be there to support the brother. If he made one point on the first game, by the time he get to the 10th, you should make sure he makin’ six a game, you understand?”
Cole made his debut in the league shortly after releasing his sixth studio effort The Off-Season on May 16. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with roughly 282,000 album-equivalent units earned, Cole’s fourth consecutive No. 1 debut and his sixth No. 1 album overall.