|The Fab Five: The Trojan Horse for Hip Hop that fans ultimately rejected|
All of these, and more, represent excellent examples of the blueprint for the creation of Black Run America (BRA).
This Sunday’s newest addition to the 30 for 30 family, The Fab Five, is most surprising because it documents -- indeed, celebrates -- the moment in basketball history when Hip-hop, ghetto culture, and Black-style all became fused with the game and has come to dominate the sport’s culture since. Simultaneously, this moment marked the repudiation of the white-style of play with its emphasis on the team accomplishments rather than the efforts of a single star.
College basketball in the early 1990s was already dominated by Black players, but the merger of hip-hop and the overt Black-style of play had not been embraced fully by the NCAA, the universities, or even the Black players. It was the Fab Five that destroyed this barrier once and for all, and it was the Hip-hop lifestyle personified by these athletes that was eagerly embraced by consumers nationwide:
The Fab Five brought short-term financial success, but ultimately the transformation of basketball into a hybrid Hip-hop, overtly Black game had devastating long-term monetary effects on the National Basketball Association (NBA). In essence, the overt Blackness of the game turned off white fans.
League and club executives decided to marry the NBA to hip-hop, and clearly didn't know what they were getting into. As my friend Brian Burwell wrote in Tuesday's
When a basketball player like Jimmer Fredette of Brigham Young University comes along, average basketball fans have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dog to proclaim “he’s pretty good -- for a white guy,” The perception being that basketball is a sport wedded to the image of a tall Black guy covered in tattoos, hair in corn-rows and selfishly playing the game instead of selflessly playing the game.
The possibility of contraction in a league that leveraged its future on the short-term profitability and marketability of the ghetto Black-style of basketball – which white fans have rejected and no longer pay to watch – should be on the minds of those who view The Fab Five 30 for 30 special.
Perhaps it is fitting that the legacy of the Fab Five has been virtually erased in the history books, thanks to rampant rule violations:
The true legacy of the Fab Five is the demons they unleashed upon the game, demons which haunt NBA accountants on a daily basis. Sure, it was cool, rebellious, and edgy back in the 1990s for white kids to emulate the Fab Five they saw prancing around the television; but those same white fans, now having grown up, are rejecting the subsequent ghetto-ization of the NBA. Young, Black, Rich & Famous by Todd Boyd documents with gloating terms the rise of hip-hop in the NBA. Boyd fails to address, though, the financial devastation of the merger.