SLAM Presents KICKS Logo


by Matt Lawyue / @mlawyue

As SLAM approaches its 13th issue of KICKS, there are 12 previous issues to contemplate, celebrate and fawn over. Beginning in September 1998, KICKS has become a staple of the SLAM identity. It’s never been enough for SLAM to bring you just the game on the court. Continuously and without fail, SLAM goes behind the scenes to plate every detail you’d ever want to know about the people who compete in the greatest game on this planet. And perhaps no aspect of basketball has transcended the sport than kicks.

Sneakers, shoes, high-tops, low-tops, retros, AF1, Air Jordan, AND 1s, Chuck Taylor, Puma, adidas, Converse Weapons, Reebok and so on and so forth. It’s the sole reason why KICKS is produced every single year, to fulfill the shoe obsession that has taken over basketball and culture, from America to Japan, from the ’50′s to the present. As Russ said in KICKS 2,

“Bottom line: if sneakers are cool, a whole magazine dedicated to them must be off the meter. We think it is. And if you come across a pair of purple-yellow-and-white Worthy’s in a 9.5, don’t hesitate to give me a call.”

Issue – Year – Cover Athlete – Team – Shoe Brand

1 – 1998 – Kevin Garnett – Minnesota – Nike


2 – 1999 – Allen Iverson – Philadelphia – Reebok


3 – 2000 – Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles (Lakers) – adidas


4 – 2001 – Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles (Lakers) – adidas


5 – 2002 – Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson – Los Angeles (Clippers) – Jordan Brand


6 – 2003 – Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and Kevin Garnett – San Antonio, Minnesota, Orlando – adidas


7 – 2004 – Carmelo Anthony – Denver – Jordan Brand


8 – 2005 – Dwyane Wade, Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson – Miami, Houston, Philadelphia – Converse, adidas, Reebok


9 – 2006 – Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas and Tim Duncan – Minnesota, Detroit, Houton, Washington, San Antonio – adidas


10 – 2007 – Michael Jordan – (Chicago) – Nike, Jordan Brand


11 – 2008 – LeBron James – (Cleveland) – Nike


12 – 2009 – Derrick Rose – Chicago – adidas


13 – 2010 – ______ – ______ – ______


I’ll leave you to ponder two things:

-Guess the cover athlete, team and shoe brand for our upcoming 13th ish. (You’ll find out the answer soon enough.)

-If you had to wear one pair of sneakers for the rest of your life, what would it be?