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Friday, July 14th, 2006 at 8:00 am  |  10 responses

SLAM #4

Starks Raving Mad

Originally published in SLAM 4

The 6th Man: “YO T, WHO’S ON THE NEXT cover?”

Sigh.

Sometimes I think this publishing gig takes years off my life. Back in the day, it was easier just, you know, readin’ magazines and cutting out pictures for my school locker. I never had to think about things like…

“Yo T, who’s on the next cover?”

All the time. Every day. But hey, that’s what everybody-family, co-workers, my boys, kids on the subway, everybody – is lookin’ to find out. (I always say “Jamaal Wilkes” anyway.)

Last issue’s cover was cake. If you’re writing about hoops, ’95-style, Shaquille O’Neal is the cover, no question. This issue, however, was a much tougher call. As a matter of fact, after two weeks of deliberating, we came up with three guys who could fit the bill- Chris Webber, Penny Hardaway and John Starks.

And so we huddled some more, debated, flipped coins and had an office free throw contest, winner chooses cover.

I won. I chose Starks.

Why? ‘Cause I think Starks is the most compelling story the NBA has to offer. Think about it, folks: Here’s an All-Star, a guy whose team would not have even gotten tickets to the NBA Finals last season without him, tripping from hero to goat in the span of 16 unsightly bricks during Game Seven of the Finals against the Rockets. That night in June, he looked like World B. Free on acid-seriously- squeezin’ off shots from crazy angles. Bam. Bam. Bam. Clank. When he left the floor that night, he looked like one of those cats from Dawn of the Dead.

This season was to be his redemption. John was going to establish himself as the premier two in the league.

He started strong. Then the wheels came off. He shot. He missed. He stopped shooting. He sulked. He rode pine. His teammates froze him outta the offense and he looked…scared out there.

As of this writing, John is still shoulder deep in a slump, haunted, I’m pretty sure, by his performance in Game Seven. Whether he’ll finally regain his confidence, and with it, his shot, is the real story, and it’s an interesting one, I believe.

Anyway, read on. This issue’s solid. We’re bringin’ Webber, Penny, Tar Heel coach Dean Smith, the mighty UMASS squad, and Chicago’s Ben Wilson. And Starks’ three, which, even when he’s not hittin’ it, has perfect form. Plus a whole lotta stuff I can’t get into ’cause the next issue’s already here. Peace.

Tony Gervino

Issue 4 John Starks

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  • Max

    Now, now..can’t discredit the man’s entire career based on an off night during one game..

    Starks was nice for a bunch of years, hitting threes and dunking on Jordan..

  • VanillaGorilla

    Starks sucks!

  • Alan

    john starks, i don’t really like him, i think he’s just famous for the dunk on the bulls.

  • Garreth

    Knicks should’ve won in game 6… Damn!

  • riku

    that’s my first issue that i’ve bought. i was in high school back then… i feel bad for starks though. if only those shots would fall…

  • Chou

    HAVE YOU SEEN JOHN?!?!

  • adam

    Starks is pass hard way to become allstar,but game 7 is kill his uprising and he never be the same after that.But he was be my favorite player,and he is still.
    Garreth you have right,and how STARKS play the 4qouter in that game…damn,damn.
    SHOTS FROM CROATIA!

  • Pepe

    Starks -3- charisma, intensity, vision, efficieny… a hell of a player
    on top of that he made it nice, he got game
    he was the one we wanted to see on the court
    …and that moment… that dunk… there are no words to describe that moment

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