KOBE BRYANT, 24
Guard, Los Angeles Lakers
With three NBA championships, five All-Star appearances and endorsement deals with Sprite, Spalding and McDonald's, Bryant is a new-generation Jordan. He ranks 31st among Forbes's Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities, and his next shoe contract (he's a free agent since parting ways with Adidas) should be worth at least $25 million.
ANITA DEFRANTZ, 50
An IOC member since 1986, DeFrantz, a '76 bronze medalist in rowing, is the senior and most influential U.S. representative in the often fractious organization. In '97 she was elected IOC vice president, becoming the first woman to hold the position. An advocate for women's sports, she helped get women's soccer and softball added to the Games.
BILL DUFFY, 43
One of the first agents to go global, Duffy became the hottest rep in basketball after landing three of the top four picks in the 2002 NBA draft, including Yao Ming (No. 7). Other clients are Canada's Steve Nash and 20 Europeans. Duffy's got game too: The former Santa Clara guard sealed the deal to rep Jay Williams last year by winning a game of H-O-R-S-E.
TERDEMA USSERY, 44
President and CEO, Dallas Mavericks
Steve Nash is not Mavs owner Mark Cuban's most vital point man. It's Ussery, a former Nike executive and an ex-CBA commissioner. In a key maneuver to improve the team's financial situation, he helped secure funds for a new arena through a $125 million bond that was approved by Texas voters. He also hangs with Roy Jones Jr. (No. 70).
OZZIE NEWSOME, 47
Senior VP for Football Operations, Baltimore Ravens
If players want a blueprint for becoming an NFL executive, they'd be wise to study the path of this Hall of Famer. The former Browns tight end was a player personnel director and in 2002 was named the NFL's first black G.M. Since Newsome, the league's 2001 exec of the year, two other NFL teams now have African-American general managers.
KEITH TRIBBLE, 47
Executive Director, Orange Bowl
Not all bowl presidents are white guys who wear ugly blazers. Under Tribble's direction, the Orange Bowl has seen an increase in sponsorship from $300,000 to more than $2 million annually. In 1997 Tribble helped form the Super Alliance, which ultimately became the blueprint for the BCS. So you can thank (or blame) him for the BCS.
KERY DAVIS, 45
Senior VP Sports Programming, HBO
The man picks fights all day. Two years ago Davis became the network's boxing czar, making I him one of the most powerful figures in the sport, which relies on HBO for much-needed exposure. His network's fight stable includes Vernon Forrest, Oscar De La Hoya (No. 63), Sugar Shane Mosely and, most important, Roy Jones Jr. (No. 70).
BILLY HUNTER, 60
Executive Director, National Basketball Players Association
The former U.S. attorney presides over the highest-paid union membership in sports. During Hunter's seven-year tenure, the average NBA salary has grown from $2.3 million to $4.6 million. Hunter held the players together during the 1998-99 lockout, but he'll soon be tested again. The current collective bargaining pact expires after next season.
DON NOMURA, 45
Nomura Grew up watching, studying and playing baseball in Japan. His stepfather was one of that country's all-time greats, Nankai Hawks catcher Katsuya (Moose) Nomura, the 1965 Triple Crown winner. Don played infield in the Japanese minor leagues for four seasons until 1981 but never conformed to the Japanese game's tradition of sacrificing individuality in favor of team harmony. (He was once benched for two weeks for asking why he wasn't in the starting lineup.) Nomura moved to the U.S. in 1981 in hopes of breaking into baseball as a coach or team executive but instead ended up becoming an agent, primarily for Japanese players and for Americans and Latinos who spent a season or two in Japan.