On Thursday, I laid down the Top 10 greatest influences of the hip-hop/hoops era.
Now it's time to focus on the other dimension -- the top 10 folks who represent the non-hip-hop side of the equation. Some of these folks are straight-up playa haters, and others are just on another planet entirely. Enjoy.
1. Jerry Krause
Krause, the Chicago Bulls GM during the Jordan era, ended one of the greatest dynasties in modern sports history. He refused to re-sign coach Phil Jackson, instead bringing in college coach Tim Floyd. Scottie Pippen moved on to Houston and MJ was prompted to retire, thus putting an end to a six-championship run that looked poised to continue racking up victories.
2. Bill Cosby/Bill O'Reilly
The two Bills share this distinction because of their repeated rants against the hip-hop generation. They have taken the art of playa hatin' to new levels. To those in the hip-hop world, their ravings about a culture that they know nothing about makes them prime candidates for the Latrell Sprewell choke hold.
3. Kobe Bryant
Like Krause before him, Kobe, along with a healthy ass whuppin' by the Detroit Pistons, helped break up another great dynasty in Los Angeles. His perpetually bitchy ways were responsible for sending Phil Jackson back to Montana and for sending Shaq to South Beach.
4. Damon Stoudamire
When this Portland Trailblazer guard was stopped in an Arizona airport attempting to carry weed, wrapped in aluminum foil, through the metal detector, he gave smokers everywhere a bad name. The fact that he did not know that aluminum was metal helps explain why he hasn't done a thing of note since winning the Rookie of the Year award back in 1996.
5. John Stockton/Karl Malone
The heart and soul of the Utah Jazz for 18 years, Stockton and Malone fit in perfectly inside the less-than-hip environment of Salt Lake City. Though the world had drastically changed around him, Stockton refused to wear the new, longer NBA shorts, instead staying with the "Daisy Dukes" that were popular in the '80s. Malone, the Clarence Thomas of the NBA, once referred to himself as a "black redneck."
6. Dennis Rodman
Though once a member of the hardcore "Bad Boys" squad, The Worm lost the crowd when he said in his best-selling book, "As Bad As I Wanna Be," that he didn't like hip-hop because it was too angry. What?! I guess kicking a photographer and pushing Scottie Pippen into the stands were acts of love? Besides, any man who parades around in a white wedding dress must be the complete opposite of hip-hop.
Magic Johnson belonged to a different era -- "Showtime."
7. Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Magic's place in NBA lore is secure, but his brief stint as head coach of the Lakers in 1994 proved greatness on the court does not automatically equate to brilliance on the sidelines. Magic criticized his hip-hop generation players for being disrespectful, lazy and undisciplined, though he himself bumped a ref when he returned to the court for a short time in 1996. Now he deserves respect as a highly regarded, successful businessman. Then again, who can forget his brief, painful tenure as a late night talk show host?
8. University of Michigan
Though the "Fab Five" brought the university a great deal of money and attention in the early '90s, they decided to erase all references to the Fab Five from their official records following a recruiting scandal. But you cannot erase people's memory, nor you can erase the impact that the team had on basketball and the culture at large. Besides, those who erase history are doomed to repeat it.
9. Duke University
Especially Coach K, Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill and the rest of the 1990-91 Duke basketball team -- this team from an elite private southern university, the favorite of many white fans, ended the short reign of a gangsta UNLV squad when they beat them in the '91 Final Four. Duke proved that white men can jump, in spite of the fact that hip-hop's team, the Rebels, had beaten them by 30 the preceding year.
10. True Playa Haters
Especially Al Campanis, Reggie White, Fuzzy Zoeller, John Rocker, and Rush Limbaugh. The racially insensitive and at times racist statements of these fools over the course of the hip-hop/hoops era makes them all enemies of the state, just on principle. If one were to start a Playa Haters Hall of Fame, these individuals would be included in the first induction ceremony, as a group.
Dr. Todd Boyd, author of "Young Black Rich and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the hip-hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture," is a Professor of Critical Studies in the USC School of Cinema-Television.