When Slam was first published in 1994, it was a godsend. I was a burgeoning hip hop aficionado and a bona fide hoops junkie at the time, and I still vividly remember buying that first issue with Grandmama gracing the cover. (Nice work proofreading “Premier,” gents. Or were yall just being clever?)
It was like nothing I had ever seen. No other magazine had approached basketball coverage that way and half the reason I still consider myself a Stephon Marbury fan is probably because I eagerly read his High School Diary column each month. Hell, I even bought these 85-lb kicks on the strength of Starbury’s endorsement and proudly wore them in public.
Even though I stopped subscribing a while back and pick it up at the newsstand less and less often, the magazine — and particularly its covers — will always a remain hallmark of my youth. And even though I have little desire to make a career as a basketball writer, Slam will always remain one of the inspirations that made me want to write professionally.
Thus, I really enjoyed current editor Lang Whitaker’s alternate reality Slam covers today. I’ve tried not to pile on Dirk given his personal struggles, but the top cover line on this one is brilliant. Head over to Slamonline for two other good ones.