JOHNNIE COCHRAN, 65
Last September he and fellow lawyer Cyrus Mehri called out the NFL, criticizing the league's head-coach hiring practices. As a result most teams are interviewing at least one minority candidate for every opening.
JOHN CHANEY, 71
Basketball Coach, Temple
Chaney has long instilled in his players invaluable life lessons and fought NCAA rules that he felt hurt minority athletes. He has won a few games too; in 31 seasons he's 693-269, with 17 NCAA tournament appearances.
LENNOX LEWIS, 37
He who controls the heavyweight division controls boxing, and the 6'5" Brit is alone at the top of the sport. If Lewis ever fought Roy Jones Jr., it would most likely be the most lucrative fight in the history of boxing.
ROY JONES JR., 34
Pound for pound he's the world's best fighter. He's also the sport's biggest wild card. With talk of a Lewis fight, does he fight Evander Holyfield for $10 million? Or go for bigger bucks ($100 million, perhaps) against Mike Tyson?
PETER WESTBROOK, 51
A bronze medalist at the 1984 Olympics, Westbrook was the first African-American fencer to win an Olympic medal. Now his foundation supplies the U.S. with fresh talent. Three of nine 2000 Olympians were Westbrook-trained.
DOC RIVERS, 41
Coach, Orlando Magic
A cerebral point guard during his 13-year NBA career, Rivers is one of the league's brightest young coaches, having led the Magic to three straight playoff appearances. Coveted by other teams, he is a future general manager.
MARVIN LEWIS, 44
Coach, Cincinnati Bengals
Can he save the woebegone Bengals? Drafting Carson Palmer No. 1 is a good start. Lewis, who built the defense that made the Ravens the 2001 Super Bowl champions, has more power than any recent Cincinnati coach.
MICHAEL WILBON, 44
Cohost, Pardon the Interruption; Columnist, The Washington Post Amid the cacophony of 24-hour sports talk, Wilbon (with fellow scribe Tony Kornheiser) gives fans the smartest take to be found on TV. His columns are also insightful and reach a powerful audience in the nation's capital.
CHARLES BARKLEY, 40
He speaks. People listen. No other jock-turned-pundit opines so entertainingly on topics from Martha Burk to the T-Wolves' mental block about the Lakers. ("The only people who think they can win are their wives and girlfriends.")
FRANK ROBINSON, 67
Manager, Montreal Expos
Robinson remains one of the most respected figures in baseball. He was sport's first African-American manager, with Cleveland in 1975, and is now a member of the Hall of Fame's board of directors.