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Slam Vol. 3

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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.
editor note

The best birthday gift I ever received was a ticket to a Knicks game. This is weird, because as a member of the basketball media, I’ve now been to maybe hundreds of Knicks games. But this was no ordinary Knicks game. This was March 9, 2003. Knicks-Wizards. Michael Jordan’s last-ever game at Madison Square Garden. I was a shade under 15 years old at the time, and though the hoops stars who “raised” me were a trio of superstars who followed MJ—Kobe, Iverson and Sprewell—my earliest basketball memories are of watching Mike dominate the League. So to have the opportunity to see him play against the team I grew up rooting for, the team he perpetually destroyed throughout my formative years, was truly a pleasure. Not only because I got to see Him…

5 min.
high grade

Legendary designer Tinker Hatfield had been quarterbacking the trajectory of the Air Jordan sneaker line for close to a decade and had just produced maybe his most legendary silhouette ever in the Air Jordan XI. It was a tough act to follow. Much like His Airness, though, Hatfield was never one to back down from a challenge. What better way to push the culture forward than to build the next Jordan signature shoe based off something completely radical. Not basketball. Hell, not even sneakers. “When it came time to do the XII, I had taken a drawing of a woman’s fashion shoe and turned it into a basketball shoe with a heel and toe. That’s how the XII got started,” Hatfield revealed in Driven From Within, Michael Jordan’s 2005 biography. Yep, here was…

5 min.
god level

Throughout the history of the NBA, there have been clutch playoff performers. And then there was Michael Jordan. A list of his awe-inspiring postseason moments could fill every page of this magazine. A few moments stand out so vividly that they can conjure goosebumps with even the slightest allusion. Some only require the utterance of a few short words. One of those is The Flu Game. If you’re a Utah Jazz fan, a handful of dates on your calendar will never be forgotten. Will always cause you to cringe. One is June 11, 1997: Game 5 of the ’97 Finals, with Utah hosting Chicago, the series tied 2-2. As the legend goes, Michael woke up in the middle of the night on the off day between Games 4 and 5 of the Finals, shaking…

5 min.
jordan, inc.

Tinker Hatfield has always been one step ahead of the game. When Michael Jordan retired in 1993, Hatfield was so sure MJ would un-retire that he got to work on the Jordan XI—possibly the greatest basketball sneaker ever—even though Nike told him not to waste his time. Acting as the guru behind Jordan’s signature line, Hatfield spent so much time working with and watching MJ that he was able to anticipate Jordan’s next move and read his mind when it came to sneaker design inspirations. He came up with the idea behind the Air Jordan XIII without even talking to Mike about it first. “I didn’t have preliminary discussions with Michael about what he wanted to do with the Jordan XIII,” Hatfield said in Driven From Within. “I just had this flash…

5 min.
picture me rollin’

The 1996-97 season ended in fairy tale fashion for the Chicago Bulls. Following a Marv Albert-dubbed “courageous, classic performance” in Game 5 of the ’97 Finals, better known as “The Flu Game,” the Bulls returned to Chicago, where they clinched Game 6 on the back of MJ’s 39 points and Steve Kerr’s heroics. Two days later, the Bulls met their loyal fans at Chicago’s Grant Park for a public celebration. “Hopefully, in 1998, you guys can go out and celebrate and say we won No. 6,” Jordan told the adoring crowd. “And, hopefully, No. 7, No. 8, No. 9, No. 10…” Jordan’s dream of championship No. 6 became a reality, but there would be no No. 7. The ‘97-98 season marked the last time Jordan ever suited up as a Bull–and the last…

5 min.
final countdown

When he first got to the University of North Carolina, he was Mike Jordan, the freakishly athletic kid who could only jump high and run fast. Then he made that shot against Georgetown. People started calling him Michael. Then he elevated his game and vaulted all the way up to the third pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. MJ had arrived. He brought his unbeatable athleticism and a new wave style to the League. He was dunking on everyone. He was wearing crazy shirts, baggy shorts and his own sneakers. He was Air Jordan. Toward the end of his playing career, his game changed, and so did his fashion. The days of wildly ugly patterned shirts and out-of-this-world dunks had come and gone. The baggy shorts he was known for were…