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April/May 2021
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Slam is the fastest way to bring home the entire world of hoops from playgrounds to high schools, college and the NBA.

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United States
SLAM Media Inc.
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the sixth man

I’M GOING TO OPERATE as if it’s obvious why SLAM is producing a Future Issue—because we know people look to us to learn about who and what is going to be next in the world of hoops, because we do it every year (last year being an exception, F U COVID), because it helps us get a ton of amazing digital, social and print content with the next generation. Instead, I want to focus on why SLAM is producing a Future Issue right now. I think that’s a little more important. The past is critical to understand, but the recent past is…trash. The pandemic has been a horrible experience that I never want to relive again. Sure, there have been some silver linings, but they’re so far outweighed by all the…

1 min.

If LeBron James was the “Chosen One,” LaMelo Ball is the sequel, destined for greatness from roughly the moment he played in his first organized game. His dad commanded us to watch, but we would have ended up watching anyway. He became known for his preternatural court vision and playmaking skills—as in, he would be the person to throw the pass that led to the dunk, not the person doing the dunking. So how did we get here? Well, he grew for starters, from shrimpy schoolkid to 6-6 pro, first overseas and then as Michael Jordan’s pick to man the point in Charlotte. While LaMelo came off the bench to begin his career, he still managed a near triple-double in his ninth game and an actual one in his 10th, all…

7 min.
bullish market

“THROUGHOUT THE organization, the line on Sexton is that he does not ‘know how to play.’” That’s a real quote that ran in a real outlet in November of 2018. The report came from The Athletic’s Joe Vardon just nine games into Collin Sexton’s NBA career. Plenty of other outlets ran that same report on their respective platforms, further spreading the negative narrative on the rookie, who had been drafted with the eighth overall pick less than five months earlier. The sources behind the report appeared to be older disgruntled players on the team. The paragraph read, “It’s becoming increasingly clear that when you hear a Cavs veteran talk about younger players not knowing their role, or knowing how to win, or what to do on the court, they mean Sexton. Throughout the…

1 min.
the jersey one-stop shop

DURING AN ERA when top recruits are ranked as young as age 13, it might be difficult to find a balance between books and ball. This is where Student Athlete Academy comes in. SAA was founded by two people from opposite sides of the game who know all too well how time-consuming academics and athletics can be. Tarik Robinson has coached nearly every level, trained NBA and WNBA players and played overseas. Michelle Cadeau wanted both of her sons to find a balance between school and sports. “We’re like a high school prep school,” Cadeau says. “The goal is for them to be able to make an impact on that team and be ready academically, physically and mentally to be able to go in and contribute to that team for all four…

2 min.
calling dibbs

THE PAST, present and future––a true fan feels all three. We romanticize the heroes of our past, agonize over the wins and losses of today, and get excited for the talent of tomorrow. A casual fan may not understand, but trading cards epitomizes this aspect of sports fandom perfectly. We look back on vintage cards and remember the athletes who inspired us to shoot for the stars. We survey today’s talent and decide which players personify our ideals in a competitor. We watch young talent preparing for the draft and speculate on which player’s value is going to shoot up over his or her career. Your trading card collection is both a piece of insight into who you are as a fan as well as an investment that leverages your…

3 min.
the inspiration

NO ONE ON THE internet gives me more hope than Jacob Crespin. Saying the word “hope” and “the internet” in the same sentence is against the law, and it should be, but I have to break that law to talk about Jacob. He’s part of a series of YouTubers/TikTokers/Instagrammers who have recently begun to dominate my algorithm. Like all algorithm-related things, it is unclear how this happened. When we talk about social media algorithms, the sentence usually ends with “…and they are now facing 12-14 years in prison for their role in the insurrection.” But Jacob appears on my timeline much more frequently now than my high school friends who think Bill Gates is Reverse Dracula, and life is much better this way. Jacob’s feed is pure joy and unmitigated ankle destruction. He has…