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Slam February/March 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

2 min.
the sixth man

AT THE AGE OF 18, Luka Doncic was playing professional basketball in Spain and across Europe. He wasn’t only playing, either—he was dominating. He was named MVP of the 2017-18 season of the EuroLeague (he turned 19 during the season), averaging 16 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He’d go on to become the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, selected by the Atlanta Hawks but quickly traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He was a superstar before he ever walked on an NBA court and has remained one ever since. At the age of 18, Canadian Jamal Murray was a freshman and the starting shooting guard of the Kentucky Wildcats. If you’re looking for an “out of nowhere star” story to run counter to the aforementioned Luka…

2 min.
trash talk

People saying that s**t was boring not real fans. The bubble was holding s**t down for us when rona hit and now y’all saying Bron’s ring was easily given. Y’all mfs piss me off. Go for a run if you mad with ya life. davvvyswavey via Instagram First time writing to SLAM. Just wondering why all the hate for LeBron the guy is a once-in-a-generation player and the day he retires will be sad. An absolute beast basketball player and deserves more respect about his career achievements. Scott Rossiter, Australia GAT DAMN RIGHT! I’ve said it before & I will say it AGAIN! Houston should have known that they F*cked up when they let arguably the GREATEST PG go because they don’t want to move without the ball & play defense. Now look where…

2 min.
the opening tip

THAT WAS WILD: an offseason so fast and dull and isolated that we didn’t have time to do much of anything and we couldn’t have if we’d wanted to. Such is the legacy of a deadly pandemic forcing quarantines on the world. The 2019-20 NBA Finals ended in October, about four months later than a normal playoff would have, and the 2020-21 season kicked off with preseason games just two months after that. Teams are up and running again, back in arenas that mostly have been closed since the game paused last March until “Bubble Time’’ in Orlando brought us one more Lakers championship (their 17th, btw). Nothing seems quite real these days, with lots of people thinking first and foremost about a COVID vaccine and when they might get theirs.…

2 min.
kira lewis

IT’S NOT DIFFICULT TO get caught up in Kira Lewis’ speed. But there’s a whole lot more to the Pelicans rookie when he slows down. Kira Lewis doesn’t fit in. He doesn’t even stand out. He’s a lightning bolt, one that sprints forward with a never-ending jolt. The now-Pelicans rookie spent two seasons with the Crimson Tide and racked up career averages of 16 points, 4 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 65 career outings. And it was all gas the whole time. He’s so fast that it’s easy to miss the foundation of his game—an intuition for basketball that he compounded by watching film and by letting his mind run. “Sometimes I might not be in a basketball court,” the 19-year-old tells SLAM. “Just going through it in your imagination, putting yourself out…

5 min.
the connect

SET FREE RICHARDSON calls from Mexico, where he’s been quarantined for the past eight months. He feels good, he says, wearing his signature No. 7 hat while explaining how the AND1 mixtapes were born. To sit (virtually) with the very man who founded hoop mixtapes, who shifted the culture of basketball by creating a work of art that embodied it, is an honor. Hip-hop and basketball inspire the same kid, Set Free says over Zoom. Poetry in motion, set to a snare drum. “The ball is the sound of a drum,” he says. “The ball is the same beat as the drum in hip-hop.” The AND1 mixtapes were born out of Set Free’s personal connection with hip-hop. Born in the Bronx, he lived “bicoastally’’ between Philadelphia and Queens and found the best of…

5 min.
the games we play

BEN SIMMONS TALKS trash on the court, but SimmoTheSavage25, in his own words, “talks a lot of sh*t” when he hops online to play Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. As he runs around, sniping people left and right, Simmo lets it be known that there’s no competition. Man, we’re destroying these dudes, this isn’t even a competition. I might just have to end this tournament early. It’s November and Simmons is playing in a tournament, hosted by SLAM’s e-sports channel, @SLAMftw, against JaVale McGee, Josh Hart and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running back Leonard Fournette. While Hart had a viral reaction (don’t interrupt the man when he’s gaming) during the game, Simmons’ kill streaks backed up all of his spicy talk. He racked up 224 kills and 126 deaths, 1.7 K/D. Fournette also…