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Slam September/October 2020

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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

THIS IS SO WEIRD. Sorry, but I thought that was a logical starting point for this issue. Everything, everywhere, is weird right now—but things are especially weird in the basketball world, where, as I write this, the NBA and WNBA are about to kick off their respective seasons in two bubbles, within which none of the players or coaches are allowed to come and go. If you enter the bubble, you leave when your team is eliminated from playoff action. Or you win the championship, and you leave with a trophy in your hand, a smile on your face and those plastic Mickey Mouse ears on your head. These bubbles serve as interesting microcosms of experiments entire countries are testing (though not the United States, where controlling the pandemic has been a…

2 min.
trash talk

Last magazine was perfect: My man Ja Morant on the cover, the Raps historic 15-game win streak, and HYPE was on point, as usual. I’ve been reading a lot of my old mags recently and I can read those over and over again. The articles are still great! With this whole coronavirus thing, the only thing I’m worried about is Rudy and Donovan’s relationship going forward, because it could directly effect Utah’s success. Do you think there’s a good chance we lose one of them? Or is there some way we could make good out of a bad situation by, if it came to this, trading one for an All-Star? Jaron Mortensen via email Yo SLAM, what’s good? I look forward to getting the mag every month. We need that Beard * Brodie…

2 min.
the opening tip

WELL, THAT WAS an interesting four months with no NBA games, right? It was more than a little painful if you had grown used to watching the end of every regular season and the playoffs that follow and a champion always being crowned in mid-June. Which I am quite used to. So a big hoo-rah! to the League starting up again inside that so-called bubble down there at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. That’s with all the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck trappings everywhere to help keep the 300-plus players cheerful. But the players are there only to play ball, to never leave the confined area except for dire emergencies, and to think—for nearly three months—about nothing but hoops. Is it a perfect set-up? Of course not. There won’t even…

3 min.
come together

STEPHANIA ERGEMLIDZE made her way through the streets of Philadelphia, a full-sized basketball hoop dragging behind her. Those same streets, in the days prior, had seen massive Black Lives Matter protests. The air had been filled with tear gas, nearby buildings had been burned and chaos had broken out. Stephania’s city remained a site of unrest, but she felt compelled to join the fight for justice. About a year prior, Stephania, who creates content for social media and has over 174,000 followers on Instagram, launched a new project. She ordered a portable hoop online and started carrying it around with her, challenging others to play. “Whether it’s doing things to positively impact the community or female empowerment or social justice reform, those are things that I’ve been focused on for years now,”…

3 min.
jay scrubb

THE 2020 NBA DRAFT is expected to be historic for all types of reasons, as the sports world attempts to resume some kind of normalcy during these unprecedented times. In the midst of many milestones will be the selection of a 6-6 sophomore from a community college in Carterville, IL. He is expected to become the first JUCO player to hear his name called since Donta Smith was taken with the 34th pick by the Atlanta Hawks 16 years ago. Jay Scrubb’s remarkable life story has revolved around constantly beating the odds at every turn. Since he was declared ineligible for two years due to academics, Scrubb didn’t play on a high school basketball team until he was a junior. After failing his freshman year at Central High in Louisville, he transferred…

2 min.
devon dotson

WAY BEFORE Devon Dotson was the floor general on 2020’s best college basketball team and way before he all but locked up a first-round draft selection, he was just down in the basement with his older brother, dreaming. “We used to always go down there after school and just imagine that we were a team in the League,” Dotson says. “We grew up in Chicago, so he liked Ben Gordon a lot and [I was] Chris Duhon.” It wasn’t long before Devon was playing in a city league, beginning to uncover the skill set that has guided him from the basement in Chicago to an undeniable reign at Providence Day School in Charlotte to the University of Kansas, where he had been steering the Jayhawks to what was looking like a national…