There are basketball moments that scream Hip-Hop even when there isn't music, graffiti, or breaking involved. A person couldn't look at Earl the Goat snatching quarters off the backboard and not think, "that's Hip-Hop!."
While we've seen the NBA try to back away from its cultural connection — via a suspect David Stern-instituted dress code — Hip-Hop has always managed to stay intertwined in the Association.
May 7 might not be a well-known date for both basketball and Hip-Hop fans. However, I'd like to make the case that it's the most Hip-Hop day in basketball history (let's leave all the foolishness of the Malice in the Palace in the rearview).
"The Shot": May 7, 1989
Down by one with three seconds remaining, Michael Jordan buried a foul-line jumper over Craig Ehlo to end the best-of-five series and propel the Bulls into the second round of the 1989 NBA playoffs. The shot — where Jordan seemed to just hover in the air longer than Ehlo could stay up — and the celebration in the bred Jordan IV's, was everything we love about Hip-Hop. It's a reminder that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.
The Concords: May 7: 1995
Donning #45 on his jersey, Michael Jordan decided to switch up his footwear and debut the Jordan XI Concords during game one of the Bulls' second round matchup with the Orlando Magic. He didn't deliver as MJ fans had expected, so he switched his jersey number back to #23 for game two, but kept the Concords on feet.
Practice?!: May 7, 2002
"We sitting in here — I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talking about practice," Allen Iverson stated four days after the Sixers playoff exit. :I mean, listen: We talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We talking about practice. Not a game. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last. Not the game. We talking about practice, man."
It was the rant of all rants — quite possibly the best "verse" an NBA player has ever spit.