* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
I have been reading slam magazine since around the 96-97 Nba season. The magazine itself started up in 1994 as an idea to combine both basketball and hip hop. Dennis page was the guy who started it all and in 1994 Larry Johnson became the first ever player to grace the cover of this magazine that in the eighteen years since has seen a whole host of Nba,College,Streetball,and even the odd member of the Nba's sister league Wnba stars used to front individual issues.
The magazine has had loads of writers over the time and even a college diary element was added by the future stars giving a inside look at their thoughts and lifestyle while trying to make it to the big league as well as covering the life's and careers of those that have. Every month there are different stories about players both past,present and those yet to make it which help educate anyone who is truly interested in the history and heritage and how the game has evolved over all the years which I think is always important to understand as it helps you make better judgement on the greatest players, the era's they played in and the rule changes that have happened due to the absolute dominance of certain individuals.
Where the game itself has become more global since the 92 dream team rocked the Barcelona Olympics scouting has become more important to unearth future stars and not just from the USA as more and more stories have come over the years of how European and other foreign players that have the talent to make it at the top. All of these elements help you spot the future stars and learn about players that you would otherwise would of never known about beforehand and you can see how they will shape the league if they get there as mock draft positions can give a good gauge to what talent your team may acquire in the future drafts.
The magazine has plenty of life lessons in it as not all the stories are happy tales and paint the very true picture of drug and alcohol abuse that is rife in sports and life in general and how by not paying attention to education and the importance that it should be student/athlete and not the other way round to make sure you succeed. The tales that if you don't give it your all in both the classroom and on the court your sports dream can be over before it has begun and how many of the people that had great potential to have a good career and earn millions of dollars failed due to lack of grades or by being in the wrong crowd and they end up on the wayside but have tried to turn their lives around for the better.
The magazine has had certain anniversaries as in the 50th ,100th,150th edition where they have listed in their opinion the greatest players to ever grace the league,Career stats and a description of why they deserve their lofty place in the sports history as well as remembering the magazines history too. The magazine has had spin off editions that have covered both streetball and the shoes the stars wear as well in Kicks although the main monthly editions also have small sections dedicated to these subjects too as well as areas for readers to write in and give their own vies on the magazine itself.
All in all to as an English fan of the game apart from the internet and using nba.com this is easily the best source of the basketball information you can get and I see myself being a long time reader for many years to come.
Over the past 5 years I've really got into basketball and I bought loads of magz on the internet to do with basketball, but nothing comes up to slam.
Last year I subscribe to slam mag and it was the cheapest magazine to buy I paid like 50 dollars for 2 years worth of magazines (20 issues). And that works out at like £1.60 per magazine. When was the last time you paid that just for a magazine that had everything you need to know for the type of mag you bought?
Interviews with the players is great, they go into great detail about how the player grew up and what they did to get into basketball. There workouts during the on and off season, about making new mates in the NBA. How much harder it is than high school or the NCAA. And if there an older then they talk about the achievements they have achieved in the career. But there aren't only interviews with NBA player there are coaches' interviews, college player interviews, etc.
Every week there is a "Which NBA player are you" Where they compare a player every week to a celebrity. On how similar they are both on and off the court, some of which amuses me.
Not that I'm that bothered about it, but there is a part for the women. And its talks about what's going down in the women's NBA. So there is actually something for everyone.
If you got no posters in your room and you are a young kid that loves basketball, there is a flip side poster, a 2 in 1 poster so you can switch around when you get bored of looking at Lebron's face all the time. Lol
There's also a part for a reader to send in something about them selves if there not getting the recognition they deserve if there are in high school or the NCAA. So they can send in a bit about them selves to see if the scouts read it and maybe they get lucky.
And to top it all off the pictures of each player are great they always get the right player doing the right move when there playing in a game. Not everybody likes too many pics in a mag. But the ratio is 50/50 in this mag. This is why I would recommend anyone to buy this mag and give it a read.
I didn't capitalize bible, 'cause that is reserved for the Good Book, but this magazine is just that: a tremendous magazine that covers just about every aspect of basketball you can imagine. True basketball heads will appreciate this magazine, as well as people who really want the know-how on who's up and coming in the sport. Remember when LeBron James was just hyped beyond anything ever seen before, with appearances on just about every sports magazine cover? Well, Slam was way ahead of the game, already knowing about James in advance of anyone, placing him in a spot they call the basketball diary, an article in which usually a high-school player writes about what is going on in their life. So, they had the advance pub, not anyone else. Here is a typical sentence: "Y'all better get y'all s*@t together!"
Yes, this is one thing that you must be aware of. There is, not overly done, but some bad language printed fully in throughout the pages. Also, the "N" word is used, so if you are easily offended by stuff like this, you shouldn't read it at all. But look at the NBA. What is the race that is the majority? African-American. You can go through a whole game and not see one white player on the court. So, Slam is being smart in making the magazine a lot more accessible to this crowd and using language that is much more culturally accepted.
The cover right now is of Shaun Livingston, Sebastian Telfair, Dwight Howard, Marvin Williams, Al Jefferson, and Josh Smith. Maybe you haven't heard of them. That's because they are all in high school, with some of them, most notably Telfair and Howard, jumping straight to the pros. The cover is always of players in poses, never action.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and...oops, my bad. I mean, at the start, there is a section called the "6th Man" in which the editor gives a quick overview of why they picked the cover they did. Then, into "Trash Talk." This is where, we the reader, can write in and share our feelings. The funny part is, the editor always has some wise-crack response to a lot of letters and it is absolutely hilarious. Here's one response in reply to a letter concerning a guy who is moving to England. "Yep, we're available in England. Right next to all those magazines featuring whoever David Beckham's latest conquest is."
Next is "Hype," in which they have several little articles about what is going on in the basketball world, from college, women's, pros and two boxes called "Where Are They Now," showing a person who has just disappeared off the face of the basketball map and "Stat Box," in which they show either a really awesome stat line or really odd or horrible one in a recent game. Running underneath the pages is a bar called "Noyz," which gives amusing antecedents about anything going on in the world, especially about basketball, like "Jayson Williams may not do time, but he's gonna have some serious problems if he ever wants to hire a limo again." Williams is on trial for manslaughter in the death of a limo driver he hired.
The following pages have four or five one page articles of a certain player that doesn't usually get a lot of pub, such as a sixth man on a team. Then, an article called "Slamadamonth," in which they show an incredible dunk in print and a big photo, with a little screen-by-screen bar off to the side showing how it developed, usually from a TV camera. This is always something I look forward, 'cause the dunk is usually hard-core enough to get ya itching to go dunk on someone's head. In the middle of every issue, correlating to the slam picture, is a two-sided pull-out poster they call Slam-Ups, in which a player is usually dunking on someone. But sometimes it just can be a player doing a lay-up, ie Allen Iverson, or a player showing off a great pass, ie Jason Kidd.
Then of course, come the main articles, profiling superstars, usually. This issue has Lamar Odom, Quentin Richardson, Carlos Boozer (betrayer of the Cleveland Cavaliers and all, of course, this article was written before that happened; he reneged on a verbal agreement to the team and instead signed with the Utah Jazz), Dwight Howard, a profile of the top 10 juco stars, and Alana Beard (I hate Duke players; go Tar Heels!). As you can see, diverse articles, including the women's game, with great photographs. There is a particularly good one on page 71, showing Richardson going up hard for a layup against Gary Payton (it also helps there are both wearing sweet custom player colorways of the Air Jordan XII's).
One issue has a spread called "The Year In Photos" that is just so cool. Every photo could win a prize, they are just that good and eye-popping. As you can tell by the title, this is usually when the NBA season is over. Plus, the variety of articles is just unmatched by any basketball magazine. Slam consistently does articles on players no one knows about or pays attention to and puts them in a different light that no one sees. Grassroots, Nike, adidas, and one, and Reebok basketball camps, high school, both men's and women's, prep, juco, Division I colleges, DII and even DIII colleges, WNBA, and NBA, you name it, they have covered it and to a level of insight that no one can touch.
The articles are nicely written, usually quite opinionated, and controversial, which is quite cool to me. Granted, Plus along with the top high school guys list, comes the girls as well. Not that I care that much, not being a big fan of womens basketball, but the coverage is there (sorry, not trying to be sexist at all).
After that, they have an interview with an old player who is out of the league. They have interviewed such legends as Earl Monroe, George Willis, George "The Iceman" Gervin, etc. This issue has a Chet "The Jet" Walker interview. Next, comes probably the highlight and the section I turn to first when I get this in my mailbox. Surprise, its a section called, appropriately, "Kicks," in which they showcase the new joints releasing soon, or just out in the stores. There are two sections to it, one for oncourt basketball shoes and one for shoes off the court, such as runners or cross-trainers. A really cool thing is they sometimes show player exclusive shoes that have their initials and numbers, or special symbols engraved and in the player's specific colorway for his/her team. Man, if I could only get my hands on some of those, I would be in complete shoe heaven. After that comes two sections called "Pre-Game" and "Check This," the former being a review of the most recent sport video games, the latter being a showcase of apparel and equipment you can buy in stores.
Hope you all enjoyed reading my review. Thnx for reading
SLAM is a great magazine. It's the only magazine that I make any effort to go and get (or it was until I subscribed), which to those people who know me, probably says a lot. It's an American import, which becomes blatantly obvious as soon as you open it. Adverts for the US Navy kinda give it away just a bit. And being a US magazine, there is practically no material on the European game, so if you're looking for that, then SLAM is not the mag for you. It's not all that widely available, but if you go into a decently sized WHSMITH, they'll probably have it, and for £2.75 it's about the average price for a monthly sports magazine of it's size and without trying to make this op sound like an advert, it fills it's 148 pages full of great stuff. American sports magazines are fundamentally different to their more reserved British counterparts. For a start, the cover is a prestige position. The player has to earn himself a cover. As a result, the player with the most covers is.....Michael Jordan (6 out of the first 50 devoted to MJ). No surprises there. A neat thing SLAM also does is some months they do multiple-covers, ie they'll be two different people on the cover of the same issue. You could say this is exploiting collectors of the mag but it's nice to get a choice! The other major difference is that, even if you're followed and played basketball for years and years, you can pick SLAM up, flick through it and feel a bit lost. The slang and jargon used is sometimes quite obscure and initially it seems like parts of it are written in code, particularly on the letters page ("Trashtalk"). Don't forget that this product is aimed predominantly at the 16-25 male American, who is probably also quite into Hip-hop too (bball and hip-hop are eternally intertwined) and as a result there are a lot of references that are pretty much impossible to understand if you're not hip-hop enough (
like me!). However, I'm not saying that there is a music reference every few sentances, they just appear every so often. If you can get past this minor problem, which isn't really hard at all, there's a whole lot of reading to be done. The mag is produced in a regular format and is rarely changed from month to month. It's split into 3 parts, called "Front Court", "Features" and "Back Court". Clearly two basketball references there. "Front Court" contains the editor's column (often quite witty, althought the new Ed, Russ Bengtson, is not so funny as his predecessor, Tony Gervino), "Trashtalk" (letters page), "Hype" (a collection of shortish articles followed by a few pages of poster articles- ie A4 poster with a column running down one side) and finishes triumphantly with a double-page spread called "SLAMADAMONTH" (a poster of some amazing dunk, with a short article and slow-mo stills to accompany it). My two favourite parts of "Front Court" are SLAMADAMONTH and also "Noyz", which is a tiny little column running along the base of the pages in "Hype". The thing I like about "Noyz" is that it consists of random, basketball-related one-liners, running one after another over about 4 pages. Some of the comments are hilarious. "Trashtalk" is also often quite amusing. It ususally 3 pages long, and the letters chosen are usually of a high standard and aren't just congratulating the magazine on how good it is and actually do have something to say. I often find some of these quite witty, and the short replies they recieve from the Ed are often just as good. "Features" is the bulk of the magazine. The player on the cover of the mag always gets an article in this section by one of the senior writers or editors. In addition to this main piece, there are usually 8-10 major articles as
well, each recieving somewhere between 3-6 pages of writing. The accompanying pictures are always of a very high standard. I find that the best writer for SLAM is Scoop Jackson. He seems to have a superb flair for writing about basketball, (and also works for the NBA's own official magazine) although he does seem to bring the issue of race into a lot of his stories. He also appeared briefly on British TV alongside John Amaechi (Britiain's premier export to the NBA) on Channel 4's coverage of the 1998 NBA Finals. The other excellent writers are Michael Bradley and Alan Paul. You do get to know the styles of the main writers over a longish period of time, and I think that's better than the Britsh format, whereby articles are a lot more formal, and as a result a bit samey. Also included in this section is a double sided poster of A3 size and has a handy idea that other mags might find useful: it is attached by perforations for easy removal instead of messing about with staples! Although you do have to be careful not to rip it. "Back Court" is in three subsections: "Kicks", "Punks" and "Postgame". "Kicks" is a great idea which sees the best new basketball trainers on the market reviewed. In fact EMAP (the publishers) do a sister magazine to SLAM called "Kicks" which focuses entirely on the shoes! The study of bball trainers is done a lot more closely over there than say, football boots over here. I've never seen this in the shops though and I can't see it being introduced, although if you really wanted it I guess you could get it imported. "Punks" is a bunch of articles about the up-and-coming youngsters in high schools around America. You'll also find the odd basketball computer game reviewed here. "Postgame" is a column written exclusively by former-NBA champion Kenny Smith and is usually quite thought provoking and comments on the general state of bask
etball. There used to be a page called "Last Shot" showing a spectacular shot that won or lost some vital game, although I have not seen that for quite a while, they may have stopped doing it. Another thing that I think is great about the magazine is that it doesn't restrict itself to the NBA. It also gives a lot of coverage to the college scene (a concept vastly different to here in England and not one to be discussed at this point), the high school scene and also the women's game: from a professional level down to some college and high school (occasionally). Having said that, the male content outweighs the female and rightly so in my opinion, because the male leagues are far more competitive. And in almost every issue, one of the features is about some game in the past, or some former-great, which is useful cos they'll often get referred to. The big problem is the number of adverts. In a random copy I found 62 pages of adverts out of 148 which is not a good ratio. However, I don't believe this hinders the mag that much, and I sometimes like seeing the US ads we never get to see over here. Oh, and I'd advise you to ignore all the adverts for "growth drugs" you'll find near the back. I doubt very much they work. Another gripe some people may have, is the lack of stastics. There is no section at all saying results, standings, league leaders in scoring/rebounding/etc. This is probably because games are played so often in the US, results and standings would very soon become out of date. If you really want stats, look em up on the internet! You're on it now, ain'tcha! If you're a regular reader to SLAM, I'd suggest you subscribe to it. Over the internet is probably best, saves you posting the little form to New York. To subscribe costs $24 for 9 issues which is a good saving on £24.75 for the same period (note the currencies) if you just get it from the shops. Although having
only just subscribed to it, I cannot comment on promptness of delivery. The magazine has a very good website which contains some of the material from the magazine as well as completely original stuff and is worth checking out if you're considering buying the magazine. http://www.slamonline.com