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Slam November/December 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

3 min.
the sixth man

I’ve touched on this briefly in this space before, but one of the best parts of this gig is watching a player experience their first SLAM cover. The whole thing: learning that they’re going to be on it, doing the actual shoot, seeing the cover for the first time. In a crowded media landscape, we still offer a rite of passage unlike anything else out there in the hoops world. The three stars of this month’s first cover (above, left) all have that moment under their belt. The seemingly born-ready Karl-Anthony Towns got his between his first and second years in the League; Devin Booker needed an extra season before he really got the minutes needed to break out and earn a cover; and following a pretty weird few years, D’Angelo…

3 min.
trash talk

What’s up SLAM FAM? The last issue with the KLAW is my favorite to date. It was no fluke that the Raptors won, and it was really a win for all of Canada. I’m writing because I wanted to clear some things up. Basketball is a Canadian sport. Canada invented basketball. The first rules, the first organized team, the basket, and the ball. Give Canada credit. It was the Ontario-born Dr. James Naismith, who was working at the YMCA in Toronto, that made this magazine possible. His motive was to create an indoor game that would distract his rowdy students during the especially long winter term. Dr. James suspended two peach baskets in the air and encouraged the boys to throw a soccer ball in it. He then invented the first…

2 min.
the opening tip

CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY at their best guarantee that talented, ambitious workers who labor very hard will climb up the business food chain and possibly become management some day, even owners, or at the very least, employees able to control their own working destinies. That’s what America is supposed to be about. We’re seeing it in the NBA, as star players decide which teams they want to play for and where they want to live and what makes sense for their careers. In many ways, LeBron James is the face of this wave of independence. He came into the League as a teenager straight out of high school, and there was no guarantee he’d be anything but a good play-er who made a bunch of money, then faded into the sunset. Instead,…

3 min.
hardest in the bay

D-LO ISN’T a household name in hip-hop yet, but in the Bay Area, he’s a bonafide legend. Since hitting the scene in 2009 with his breakout hit “No Hoe,” the Rude Boy Entertainment boss has fed the West Coast streets with bangers year after year. Unlike a lot of youngsters who grew up in the Bay watching E-40 and Too $hort make millions off of rap, D-Lo didn’t initially want to be a rapper. He was instead dreaming of dominating the hardwood. D-Lo came up playing against fellow East Oakland product Damian Lillard on the blacktop and in organized ball. The two even faced off when Lillard was a freshman at Arroyo HS in neighboring San Lorenzo, CA, and D-Lo was a guard on San Lorenzo High’s team. “He stayed at it…

2 min.
gold in the streets

YOU MIGHT STUMBLE upon one walking the streets of Brooklyn. There’s several out in Philadelphia, too, and in Oakland, CA. About 30 have been put up near the border between Mexico and the United States in a town called Nogales, Sonora. Some can be found outside the country as well, in cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg, and right off Treasure Beach in Jamaica. Somewhere in each of these unique settings, at least one golden net hangs from a basketball hoop. Pretty much all of them were attached by a man with a big beard wearing a white t-shirt and white painter’s overalls. His name is Jeremy John Kaplan. Kaplan grew up in Philly and played competitive basketball through high school. His passion for the game remained strong, even as he pursued…

4 min.
the hero new york deserves

DID YOU EVER GET that feeling there was a minor plot out to get you? Not the big, sweeping stuff. Not “the government is Truman Show-ing you, so you better not sing ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ all weird in the car by yourself.” But the slow, creeping insecurity that comes with being alive, seeing the unavoidable biases around you, getting a little too weird in public every once in a while, slipping into a B-flat in a world humming a synchronous B? In part because New Yorkers wind up in this city because they or their parents have all B-flatted their way out of their hometowns, they all see it happening right now. They see it in French Frank. As veterans of being abused by Knick-sian Goldfish Brain, where good young…