Hoops and Hip Hop

June has been deemed “National Basketball and Hip-Hop Culture Month.” I’m not exactly sure who deemed it so, but it’s a fitting commemorative. In fact, the NowPublic piece linked above declares it to be the 25th anniversary of the dawn of the “Dunkadelic Era.” What happened 25 years ago? Run-DMC released their debut album, and Michael Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. Seminal events, to be sure.

It’s undeniable that basketball’s close relationship with Hip Hop has helped make it the sport of black urban America. It’s been a symbiotic arrangement and, I’m sure, wildly profitable for both industries. That’s also why David Stern’s occasional bouts of “old white guy stodginess” can be self-defeating. He has a narrow line to walk–throwing the occasional sop to white ticket-buyers who actually care about such things as what the players wear when not in uniform while, at the same time, not alienating the young urbanites who buy Association merch.

In any event, this will surely help the commish’s street cred.


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