Friday, July 11th, 2008 at 11:24 am  |  102 responses

Links: SLAM 121: On Sale Now!

Paul Pierce and the Celtics get theirs…

by Lang Whitaker

The issue of SLAM that we produce each year just after the Finals is probably the toughest issue we do each year. Because we’re coming off back to back to back to back issues, with very little turnaround time in between, and usually with some kind of special issue squeezed in there, too. (This year was no different with the special issues.) From All-Star until the Finals, we’re on the run, eatin’, non-stop, which doesn’t even account for this here website and all the posts and commotion we generate. Then we get out and cover the Finals all-out, and then the Draft comes right after that. And in between the end of the Finals and the Draft, there’s always one last issue to put together: The Champs issue. After the champs issue, we know we’ve finally got a break coming before we get to our Kicks issue, so we’re literally fiending to finish the issue.

I’m not sure where the tradition began of doing a Champs issue, but we’ve been doing it since I’ve been here. (Actually, we’ve been doing it since well before I was here — since issue 20.) Timing-wise, it’s one of the few issues we can do each year where we can sort of be timely with our cover, and we can celebrate the work of a team, the best team in the NBA.

It’s also always an action photo on the cover, which we rarely do otherwise. Sure, we could find a shot of a guy posing with the trophy or probably even use some shot from a month or a year ago, but we don’t — we go through thousands of pics to find something cool and different that, more than anything, represents the spirit of the Finals. And I think this year, as we always do, we hit it on the head…

And it don’t stop. There’s a lot of great content in the issue that goes way beyond the Celts. We’ve got the annual Dome Shots (photos of the year). The imitable Rus Bradburd caught up with Tim Hardaway (who Rus actually coached in college at UTEP). DeMarco Williams hung out with DeShawn Stevenson, and DeShawn showed us his tattoos and let his mouth rip. The Backboard (last page) is by some guy named Kobe Bryant. There’s tons of cool kicks and gear, the debut of our newest high school diary keeper, a goodbye letter from Mike James, the usual nonsense from the ABA, a pretty ridiculous poster, and a ton of other dope stuff.

Look, I’m not trying to tell you what to do with your money, but if it was me, I’d go out and buy a few copies of SLAM 121. I mean, I’m just saying…

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  • Ken

    Love that cover.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Rus Bradburd is a great guy,did a lot while he was here.And for the love of God read his book.

  • Donn

    As a Laker fan…i’m pretty sure i’m gonna hate this great issue…i’ll probably skip through the Finals coverage and go straight to the Spree and Hardaway article…

  • http://www.neworleansnation.blogspot.com Toney Blare

    goodbye letter from Mi–what??

  • Andrew

    green & more green!!

  • boredatwork

    Sweet! Spree & Hardaway! Way to market to me and the rest of the over 30 crowd! Seriously, I’m buying this today.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    This cover is spectacular. Pierce cannot get enough credit imo, transcendent play in the Finals showed he should be a lock for the Hall one day. Also looking forward to Tim Bug, DeShawn Souljaboy, and you finally getting rid of Mike James, been a reader since ish 3 and the James’ column have been the most consistently annoying feature in Slam history imo. A confessed hater, I also look forward to seeing what 24 has to say, after his John Starks-impersonation in the Finals.

  • beantown’s Finest

    great cover!!

  • T Money


  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Ben, the cover is amazing and I cannot tell you how excited I am to get this issue. I’m probably going to buy 10 copies!!!! :D ps… A Kobe backboard? Perfect.

  • Jeronimo

    Dope cover, as usual. Congratulations and keep it up!

  • Jeronimo

    Lang, when you write “The imitable Rus Bradburd…”, I reckon you mean “The inimitable…” (then again, I’m not a native English speaker, so maybe I’m wrong)

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    OMG, why the f*ck do we need more celtics covers … i had enough with CP3 and Chubby Paul pierce, its getting ridunkulous.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    This is a f*ucking terrible cover, garbage.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Oops.. In my extreme excitement, I didn’t even realize I was reading the Links and thought this was Ben. Sorry, Lang! James, Chubby Paul Pierce just won a championship and was Finals MVP. Give respect where it is due. This cover is raw, it is passion, it is joy. Even as a Laker fan, I can’t hate that emotion.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    First of all, i never liked PP because he was one of those guys who never trained, or hit the gym, or … im going out on a limb here but “does cardio”. They bought the campionship … future HOF’s … KG, PP, Jesus, Sam, there aint no respect. Ill give a simple one handed clab to Mr. Ainge for pulling a Miami Heat.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    OH MY GOODNESS THANK YOU SLAM. I NEED TO COP THIS ISSUE, YOU DID AN ARTICLE ON SPREWELL?!?! Ohhh man I was hoping nobody forgot that dude, since he was a star in New York.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I’m glad Kobe’s words will be on the last page ’cause the backsplash from when I take a sh*t will have just enough force to reach it and I won’t miss it once I have to rip it out. :)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Great point, James! It’s much more refreshing when the Spurs, Pistons, or Lakers — teams full of amateurs who play for nothing more than their love of the game and their city’s fans, and none of whom would ever, ever so much as dream of going to another team, no matter what — win a championship than this bunch of mercenaries.
    Unless you were joking. In which case, good one.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James The Balla

    The Lakers are actually full of amateurs … and the Pistons are a solid squad, they didnt sell out. PP is a sell out!!!

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics/ Moose

    this issue is gonna be nasty.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Um, sure.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    James: I’m in for a long day at work, and you just made it much more bearable. Thanks!

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    can’t wait for this issue to drop here in the Philippines… i’m already lovin’ the cover…

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ H to the izzo

    Also not only did Bradburd coach Hardaway,he discovered him from relative anonymity.

  • http://firemitchkupchak.com Jackie Moon

    I can’t believe the Celtics players accepted money to play basketball. What happened to the love of the game?

  • Jprice
  • B. Long

    Can’t wait. When does it hit the shelves?

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    Anytime TAD …

  • celtics=champs

    Sweet cover. I can just feel the emotion.

  • TMT

    I hope Nike dosen’t get pissed off that Peice is repping his Adidas cap on it heh.

  • ian Cameron

    love the cover, but sales in Cali might be down

  • B. Long

    @Ian: Pauls from L.A. so he’ll still sell in Cali. Why do you think they put him on the cover w/o KG and Jesus? Slam’s Marketing department is smart!

  • the Monty Pistons

    I’ve turned 30 yesterday and it’s been 10 years since MJ’s last Slam cover as a Bull (the first I bought, in fact.)

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    Not enough gang signs for me.

  • http://www.slamonline.com GotHandles?

    Hate the Celts, but this cover is DOPE and Ray Allen’s J is a Picaso.
    -GO Knicks

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Double R

    In reference to the tagline of the cover: …yeah. We dripped all three just to get here.

  • BxBaller

    Whats up with the last 2 covers, they looked pretty lame. No more photoshoots for the covers?

  • UpandUp

    Print sales suck right now for everyone right. Gotta cut corners.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    sh!t is hoot. I guess Barnes and Nobles will get $12 from me this saturday for the Olympics issue and now this.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    BxBaller, we never do photo shoots for the finals issues, as Lang explained above. I thought we’d made up with it by shooting Carmelo, Kobe AND LeBron for our Olympic issue. KICKS has a dope photo shoot, too.

  • Richard Jefferson – Verified Athlete

    reading comprehension doesnt work well around here ben

  • UpandUp

    COME ON. Nike hooked that sh*t up for the Olympic Issue!!! Readers ain’t that dumb.

  • NBA

    this cover sucks!

  • Nashty

    Champs, Kicks, and Olympics 08…..the newsstand price for SLAM in Asia is $10. Oh, crap……..



  • Reddevilmarky

    This cover is amazing! Cant wait for it to come in the post. I always love the year in Pixs!

  • J Katainen

    In the Chamique Holdsclaw issue you guys claimed that it has been long overdue to get a female baller on the cover and that it’s not going to take nearly as much time to get another one there. That was in the 90′s, there hasn’t been a woman on the cover hasn’t there?
    Just came to mind; replace Pierce with someone prettier immediately.

  • Jack W.

    If you were going to put up the line Blood, sweat, and tears you guys could of at least put up a picture of Pierce flashing Horford the “gang sign” or Danny Ainge at the parade putting up the same sign

  • Dwyane

    It should have been garnett screaming anythings possible .. dope cover though . and whos on the poster???

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    UpandUp: we still took the shots for the Olympic issue. We would’ve loved to shoot CP3 but it was during the Playoffs and he was playing so well he was terrified to throw off his rhythm by scheduling a shoot. And again, the Champs issue NEVER has a photo shoot. I’m not saying we don’t have budget concerns, but we’re still as committed to dope cover shoots as any magazine in the game.

  • http://www.slamonline Jake Appleman

    There are other magazines in the game? When did this happen?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    James I agree. An NBA executive shouldn’t try and change their teams, especially when their shi*tty. Just look at the Wizards; they prevented themselves from being the absolute worst team in the history of basketball by getting rid of Kwamaay and getting an infinitely better player in signing Antawn Jamison. Those damn sellouts, no respect.

  • http://nbakingdom.wordpress.com/ Julien

    I’m looking forward to purchasing this ish!

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    James: with regard to what TAD said, you have heard of this little thing called sarcasm, haven’t you?

  • http://www.rubensborges.wordpress.com Rubens Borges

    Ben: wasn’t the cover for the 2nd Lakers title a photoshoot with Shaq?

  • Michael Mullery

    Yeh love the cover, and last years champs issue was good escpically the year in pix, they were sick, but even better this year is the CELTICS WHO WON !!! yeh not the stupid spurs

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Ben: when does Kicks drop.



  • Kiraye


  • liquidgold
  • Troy


    Out of general curiosity, will y’all be making your annual special edition PUNKS magazine again this year? It usually comes out around this time, but I’m hoping it only got pushed back because of the Olympics issue.

    Last year’s issue was nice and I really want to see an 08-09 edition.

  • B. Long

    Does anyone know where you can go online to cop a Team U.S.A jersey besides LeBron’s?

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Rubens, the Shaq title cover shot wasn’t a shoot, per se. It was a pose that NBA Photos got him to make after the title. Not a traditional SLAM photo shoot where we hire the photog and set everything up. BETCATS, KICKS will be out around August 20, and we will certainly debut it here first. Troy, PUNKS usually doesn’t come out til November, actually, so you need to be patient. We’ll keep covering high schoolers in regular SLAM, though.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    B. Long, nbastore.com is dripping with Team USA jerseys… (http://store.nba.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3192393&cp=&view=all)

  • adm

    Slam, Gilbert Arenas put you in his shoes http://www.sneakerfiles.com/2008/07/11/adidas-gil-ii-zero-x-slam-magazine/. Why can’t you put him in another cover????

  • adm

    Dear Slam, I’ve been a Slam collector since issue 1 and I can’t understand why you still haven’t given Kevin McHale an “Old School” feature! I know he sucks in Minnesota but he’s a helluva lowpost player during his days at Boston.

  • B. Long

    @adm: David Stern banned SLAM from ever writing an article about him. It was part of the Joe Smith fiasco.

  • B. Long

    Thanks Ben, but I’m looking for a CP3 joint.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    So go find one.

  • will

    cant wait to se the year in pix

  • L

    love the fact that you will talk about timmy..people talk about how great deron williams and chris paul are and they truly deserve it but some guys named tim hardaway or kevin johnson were doing their thing some 10 years ago averaging 20 points and 10 assists for several years..hope you’ll skip that stupid gay comment and focus on timmy’s crossover..L

  • GilZero
  • B. Long

    Random Thoughts of an NBA Superstar

    No one knows exactly what goes through the head of a Finals MVP as he stands on the podium and waits for the trophy ceremony, but if I had to guess…

    HOLY SH!T!…..HOLY SH!T! I’m a NBA Champion. A CELTIC NBA Champion. Life is crazy, man. The whole time growing up I always imagined I’d be doing this, just not in these colors. Damn, They’re gonna hang our banner up there. They’re gonna hang MY jersey next to Bill Russell and Larry Bird! I couldn’t have even worn these colors back home when I was a kid. I’d got my ass whooped. We beat the Lakers and this is STILL for Inglewood! God works in mysterious ways, man. Look at Scal over there, looks like the mascot that made the team. (chuckles to himself) I’ve been waiting on this since draft night. Coach Williams believed in me. I gotta call Coach Williams. Damn, I wish Antoine was up here with me. That’s the only thing that could make this night better. Thank God for Kevin and Ray though…and James. We did it , baby. I’m so proud of Rajon and Perk. Eddie played his ass off. We gonna be contenders for longer than people think, I guarantee that. Gotta enjoy tonight, though. Long road…but it was worth it. I gotta hug Danny. Where’s Danny at. If it wasn’t for him I probably WOULD’VE been spending tonight with Toine. Fu(k, my knee hurts. Gotta get this sh!t checked out again. I’ve been hurt worse though…got the scars to prove that. Fu(k Benzino. They should have found Glen a bigger shirt. He’s gonna look like a contestant in a wet t-shirt contest when we get in the locker room. Damn…there’s the trophy…looks even better than it did when we shot the commercials. Thats OUR trophy. Congrats Doc, nobody can doubt us now.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    adm, McHale has turned down NUMEROUS opportunities to be interviewed for Old School, which is pretty lame. We will keep trying to get him. B. Long, nice work on the Paul comment and maybe try calling NBA Store customer service for a CP jersey?

  • http://slamonline.com ueuygrhf vufjfcrnf v nvkfeifr u inuivnrfjirnrifcbrhrbvurvvr ihvrbfueudekdueweuwe7e6543b

    why so much boston in this years issues why have a amare cover or shaq with him on the heat and now with the suns the cover be cut in half with that

  • rjcortesjumpman

    great cover, guys…can’t wait to open up the Dome shots…

  • rjcortesjumpman

    hey SLAM, maybe you can check out your magazine’s sales in the Philippines… i’m only one of thousands (if not millions) of b-ball fans from the PI who love your mag, (just read agent zero’s blog for proof)… maybe you can feature an international/asian fan page in an issue soon???

  • Miguel Ferreira

    impressive cover, amazing foto cant wait to get it

  • olli

    what poster is in this issh, hopeful a group photo of the champions.

  • http://google Ivan Anderson

    I STILL LOVE THE LAKERS!! I WILL BE A FAN FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joe

    Slam, I love you guys. For real. But you guys are about to drive me crazy. Just got the new issue in the mail and for the second issue in a row you have the Adidas Top Ten 2000s in the Kicks section saying that they are out now… Those are not out and I can’t find ANYTHING about them. Those are the shoes I was wearing the first time I ever dunked back in the 11th grade and I NEED them in my life again. Can you PLEASE let me know where to get them or when they are really coming out? Other then that, keep up the good work. And Pistons 09, watch out. Stuckey, learn about him. DEEETROIT BASKETBAAAALLLLL!!!!!

  • CP3′sAdvisor

    I’m still waiting for this issue to arrive!!

  • Kevin (NBA FAN)

    Ben and Lang,

    I have been a dedicated SLAM reader since the Larry Johnson cover. I used to even call Gervino and aske him when the latest edition of the mag would hit the newstands. He would always return my calls because I guess I sounded desparate for the latest issue.

    With that being said, I feel let down by what you guys have been putting out the last several issues. The Champs issue really let me down. The year in pix is nothing like it was iin the past and when I saw Al Thornton’s name on the cover, I was expecting a full article and not the one pager I got. Guys, please don’t forget what made this magazine great. Although you’re ahead of the competition, you have to stay ahead of the game.

    Believe me when I say, there’s no hate here. I havve every issue of SLAM except for a few from the first couple of years. I had those too, butmy wife wanted me to de-clutter and I did’t realize what I had. Beacuse of my history with you guys, I can look back to the Grant Hill cover (ish #7), one of A.I.’s covers (ish #58) or the Pistons Championship cover (ish #81) and remember what you guys are capable of and what made you great!

  • Lucas Gaughan

    the pierce poster is badass

  • hi

    where are contests for the new mag

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Kevin (NBA Fan): we don’t have as many edit pages lately because we don’t have as many ad pages. I hope you agree we’re doing stuff AS WELL as ever, but just not over as many pages…hopefully the page count goes back up soon, but if not you can also look at it like we are complementing a still-great magazine with a great website, so if you like what we stand for keep supporting the magazine and website and we’ll keep giving you the best we can with whatever space we are allotted.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    hi, contests will go up this week. We weren’t in a big rush because with KICKS coming out next there is still a little while before we need to post the contests and pick the winners….

  • Havoc – Jack

    James da Balla i never heard so much bulls**t in my life – ‘the lakers are full of amateurs’ Where were the pistons this year………. Thats what i thought. I’m out like Avery in the first round…

  • mikesantos

    year 2001 or 2002, your champs/year in review cover was shaq posing and flexing his arms with the caption “2 big, 2 strong”.. definitely not an action pix from that year’s playoffs or finals.
    btw, this new issue has a nice cover picture. good job as always guys!

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  • http://nba.com Muazam

    i was going 4 celtics becuz i hate lakers but next year screw them.

  • Derek

    Who is the slam up

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  • fernandooo


  • T-pott

    Yeah. When does Ish 112 come out. I’m dying for it.

  • T-pott


  • http://slamonline.com msd

    ish 123 come on

  • http://slamonline.com msd


  • jn321

    i got nothing against the celtics but through the season u have been givin then all the love your mags have been centered around them-u should try an article on the raps no one ever goes there- except when u did one up about j-moon and jose caulderone and u did awesome jobs on those i might add!!!

  • Browny

    POster aint too great