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Slam September/October 2019

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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

2 min.
the sixth man

I am writing this on June 27, 2019, likely a few weeks before you’re reading it. A couple weeks ago, the Toronto Raptors (shockingly) won the NBA Finals, and exactly a week ago the New Orleans Pelicans (not shockingly) selected Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. In a few days, free agency will begin, and the entire landscape of the League will turn on its head. Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton (idk what’s up with the Ks this year), Jimmy Butler, D’Angelo Russell and a bunch more guys will make decisions that could change everything, or nothing. But it’ll almost definitely be everything. Because things change a lot in this business. It’s one of the reasons I still enjoy…

1 min.
on the bench

Born and raised in Cambridge, MA, Senior Video Producer Eli Selva developed his love for the game in high school while attending Patrick Ewing’s alma mater, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Upon graduating from the University of Michigan, he moved to NYC where he began his career in documentary filmmaking. Eli’s passion for storytelling has led him on shoots around the world, including 50-mile ultramarathons in the canyons of Mexico and soccer trick shots in the glaciers of Iceland, but he’s happy to be back covering the world’s best sport. In his free time, you can catch him routinely missing bunnies at Tompkins Square Park.…

3 min.
trash talk

Man, some of y’all crazy! When he was in high school, folks said, “Oh, he won’t do that in college”—lol, Player of the Year. Now some of you still doubt the kid! All he does is win! Good luck, kid—those that can’t, hate!Edward Harris via Facebook Y’all got rid of NOYZ? Guess you’re just gonna spread the smack talk throughout the entire issue now. @everydamnslam, Torrance, CA Nah, nah. There’s no NOYZ in the Future Issue because there’s no formal sections in the Future Issue. It’s back now tho.—Ed. It’s ya boy Ousmane out of Bamako, Mali, currently living in Kinshasa, DRC, deadass basketball fan as long as I remember. Fell in love with SLAM in 2012, love Trash Talk, the articles on retired ballers and streetball. I’ve traveled a lot and had…

3 min.
the opening tip

WOW. I thought for sure James Harden was going to win this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Or maybe Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant. Or even Stephen Curry. But the honor went to the Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo, aka the Greek Freak. And after more consideration, I guess that’s a pretty good pick. Maybe it’s a no-brainer. Shame on me for not paying closer attention. The Bucks forward/guard/center averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks a game. Those are, indeed, MVP-quality stats. And there is nothing the Freak can’t do offensively on the floor, except maybe shoot threes with the best, and his defense is spectacular. Indeed, because of Antetokounmpo, the Bucks had the best defensive team in the League. That they didn’t make it…

2 min.
sophie cunningham

SOPHIE CUNNINGHAM, Missouri basketball icon turned versatile rookie for the Phoenix Mercury, understands how lucky she is to receive daily basketball wisdom from her teammate Diana Taurasi. But Taurasi’s best advice so far for the 6-1 wing centered less around what she needed to learn, and more on reinforcing what she already has. “You’ve been playing this game ever since you were a kid,” Cunningham recalled Taurasi telling her during training camp. “You know how to play. I have seen you. You know how to play, so just go out there and have fun.” And that’s just what Cunningham has done every day since the Mercury made her the first pick in the second round (No. 13 overall) of the 2019 WNBA Draft. The on-court comparisons are difficult to find. She’s got the…

4 min.
short circuit

If you’ve been injecting NBA propaganda into your eyes and ears for the last few months (which I have, because it makes me feel good), you’ve probably heard the League’s newest, most escape room-like catchphrase: The NBA is now a year-round league. This is, for the most part, very true. The NBA Draft came exactly seven days after the Raptors clinched the NBA Finals. The Anthony Davis trade came somewhere in between that, creating a very dangerous Saturday where one-third of all Americans had to pretend to be violently ill so they could cancel plans and refresh Twitter all night. Then free agency. Then Summer League. Then probably a weird trade demand. The NBA! It never stops! There is no longer any time, the NBA wants you to think, for its fans to…