Of course, he is right. However, NBA players represent a fraction of a percent of young black males in the country. Most of our young black males have little in common with these NBA players other than the do-rags and chains. They are, in appallingly high numbers, poor, unemployed, uneducated, fathers of children they barely know, and with little promise for any kind of future.
The hip-hop culture Pierce and others feel such warmth and sentimentality toward expresses values and attitudes that are destroying a good portion of their people. This is what they should be thinking about.
A handful of gifted black entertainers and athletes can afford to "express themselves." However, for the majority of all people, black or white, lack of adherence to personal discipline and traditional values is a formula for social and economic oblivion.
Sadly, the white customers who pay to attend NBA games have more significant differences with the cool inner-city hip-hop dudes than how they dress. More importantly, they are different in that most are married, educated and working.
Are we also going to say that dropping out of school, not marrying and not working is "part of our culture"?
Hip-hop culture is a statement against authority. It touches an injured part of the black psyche that percolates from a history defined by being forced to obey. A few talented black rappers are getting rich playing to these feelings.
But this is a culture of destruction. Growing up means understanding our choice is not whether to accept authority, but what authority we accept.
Snoop Dogg and company are happy because they are now rich. But they're playing a tune leading a generation of young black men into public rebellion, irresponsibility and lawlessness.
Although it may be for different reasons, I'm on the same page as Stern. Get rid of the hip-hop and opt for civility.