The 15-year-old rapper stars in Like Mike as an orphan who finds a pair of magical sneakers that give him super hoops skills. Bow, who learned the game on the playground courts in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, got the role because he could play.
SI: You recently changed your name from Lil' Bow Wow to just Bow Wow. Why?
Bow Wow: I'm getting older. By the time I'm 20, I don't want to be known as no Lil' Bow Wow.
SI: How would you describe your hoops game?
Bow Wow: I've got a handle like Iverson, and I shoot like Kobe.
SI: A tot of NBA stars appear in Like Mike. Did you school any of them on the set?
Bow Wow: Of course. Tracy McGrady gave me trouble—he smacked my shot to the bleachers—but everyone else I beat at one-on-one.
SI: You mean guys like Jason Kidd, Chris Webber and Alonzo Mourning? Who was the easiest to beat?
Bow Wow: Mourning. He's got game, but he just couldn't keep up with me.
SI: You do a cover of Kurds Blow's Basketball on the film's soundtrack. The original had a line " Ralph Sampson is really mean." Do you know who Sampson is?