"Cool" flows through the veins of the NBA. Whatever you call it: swagger, style, flash or awesomeness, it is a ubiquitous part of the game. Fans can see it on every play, every marketing campaign and in the faces of superstars.
Why does the Association have a near monopoly on style? Basketball is a game ripe for improvisation. Much more than baseball and football, creativity is a necessary part of the game. Identities are born from a distinct on the court style and attitude.
The dirty secret is that cool isn't all about winning. Granted, winning is cool, but not all winners are cool (if that were true, we'd see more Tim Duncan jerseys in Jay-Z videos).
Here's a list of the teams that are cooler than the other side of the pillow. The teams are almost universally likable (or respected), made distinct physical and cultural contributions to the game and every kid wanted to be just like them.