In the 1970s, when rap music was just taking off, legendary DJ Afrika Bambaataa of the Zulu Nation outlined the four pillars of hip-hop culture: MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti writing.
Today, while most of these elements have gone mainstream and already been integrated into NBA entertainment, one pillar has yet to fully reach the sports masses.
That would be graffiti and street art, and the Public Works Department is looking to change that with its "Art of Basketball" project.
Since 2010, through a licensing agreement with the NBA, the PWD has featured a growing collection of NBA-themed pieces by leading graffiti and street artists from around the world. Their work includes player portraits, canvases expressing elements of the game and official NBA backboards transformed into works of high-impact art -- all representing hoops culture from streetball courts to the pro hardwood.
"Our passion is graffiti, street art and the urban landscape, and then coupled with sports and fashion," PWD curator Billi Kid told ESPN Playbook. "For the last two years, we've been focusing on 'Art of Basketball' because we feel there's so much meat on that bone. Hip-hop and basketball come together well, and the NBA really supports what we do."...