Okay, so we have talked about the past, we have brought things up into the present. The very natural next question is “well what does the future hold?”
As much as I would love to say that I have the answer to that question, the fact remains simply that I cannot have such information.
This coming year, the NBA Commissioner of the hip hop era is retiring and one of his understudies will take his position. It will remain to be seen whether that means that he will continue the non hip hop friendly approach that Stern attempted within the past ten or so years or if he will simply let things fall to the way of profitability of the time just before those years. What we DO know is that kids are still playing ball, even if not outdoors as much as they did when those around my own age did. What is known is that rappers are still dropping basketball metaphors and are still seen courtside at games. I cannot imagine that last fact changing as long as the prohibitive-to-regular-people cost of those tickets continues to freeze out anyone but the ultra rich.
As long as we continue to herald our sports stars as entertainers, the naturally most kindred of spirits will be between those who have grown up on basketball and hip hop simultaneously. In line with the fact that no one is playing outside anymore, it is only fitting that you will ONLY ever be indoors to view a basketball game, an advantage held over baseball and football; America’s former and current/next national pastime. Not to say that NBA ball will overtake either of those for the position of favor in the American landscape, so much as it will remain terribly comfortable in its current position and likely will not fare any worse barring any unforeseen disasters. Fights, financial woes, and lockouts have failed to derail basketball. Similarly, violence, legal issues, financial markets lending to lessened sales and artists needing mostly to go it alone at least in their beginnings have failed to derail hip hop. Similarly, there is a bitterness held against those who write the checks in both mediums resultant of the just-mentioned.
I say all of that to say this… We don’t know where NBA ball and hip hop as connected mediums are going, and it would be unfair to attempt to guess. The fact, though, remains that we never saw what we have gotten to this point coming and the fun has all come in watching it unfold. With that, you can bet I will be affixed to ESPN, TNT, ABC and NBATV to take in all of the NBA action that I am able to. Similarly, I will continue to follow hip hop – in whatever iteration I am allowed to do so – until I simply cannot take it anymore. As ever, the fun will be in the ride, so who it taking it with me?
Thank you for reading.