So the 200th issue of SLAM Magazine hit the shelves this week and I for one could barely contain myself.
When I first got into basketball at the age of 10, finding basketball magazines on sale was thrilling! I had occasionally stumbled across publications like 'Hoop' or the European magazine 'Fiba Basketball'. Yeah I liked them, but at that age I generally stared at the pictures and enjoyed the free trading cards rather than doing much reading.
I was 12 years old when I first saw SLAM, it was in the most random of corner shops in suburban Birmingham, in the UK. It was issue #10, and Scottie Pippen looked as mean in March 1996 as he ever did, cover to cover, I was hooked.
It was 1996 that I also began to explore the depths of Hip Hop. Hip Hop and the NBA seemed to go hand in hand, the fashion, the slang, the culture. SLAM made sense because it went deeper than the sport but shone the spotlight on the personalities donning the uniforms.
The articles were more than stats, we knew those. It was wild predictions, outlandish statements (like the headline on issue 17 for example) and poetry. Yeah I said it, poetry. The early writers Russ Bengtson and Tony Gervino composed concertos which gave us stories to remember. No one did it better than Scoop Jackson though.
I was always disappointed that Scoop was snapped up relatively early on by ESPN, his words were the most poetic of all and made the most well known of superstars sound like urban legends. Scoop returns to write a superb article on Michael Jordan for SLAM 200, go check it out!