Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 12:31 pm  |  18 responses


Originally published in SLAM 2

The 6th Man: IT WAS EARLY March and the playground by my apartment was covered with two inches of ice rivaling Lillehammer’s best. So my best friend Rob and I were shooting baskets in the gym around the corner. We got a great hoop, one of those slightly loose breakaway rims that anything near the hole rings with a boiiiing, just like TV.

“So if he makes it, he’ll be the first Dominican in the NBA, right?,” said Rob, launching a shot with his toes just outside the three point line. Net.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I said as my miss clanged loudly. Boiiing. “But who cares?”

“Yeah,” said Rob, rattling off another swish. “Who cares?”

Who cares. We were talking about Felipe Lopez, the 6’5″ Harlem high schooler and the top vote getter in our SLAM All-American poll. Now you can be damn sure his family cares if he makes the NBA. The thousand-or-so screaming Dominicans who watch his every move probably care. Felipe cares.

But to my mind, I like Felipe just as he is. I’ve had as much fun this year watching Felipe play as watching Jalen Rose or Dennis Rodman or even Shawn Kemp. (At least Felipe can come say Yo after the game). And I’ve had even more fun this year playing hoop.

And that’s what SLAM is all about. The guys in this magazine aren’t statistics, they aren’t meat for future Rotisserie leagues. They’re players, just like you and me. Well maybe they’re a little better. For now. But I’m working on some new post-up moves, and if I can just… nail… this NBA three…


Cory Johnson

Issue 2 Shawn Kemp

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  • http://whatchusay.com Cheo Tyehimba

    I am a writer. This issue brings back fond memories of the early days of SLAM. I wrote an article for this issue on “The Rites of Trash Talk,” which, to this very day remains one of the most enjoyable writing experiences I’ve ever had. Here’s to a great magazine and many more years of publishing.

  • matt the jazz fan

    great gimmick
    i wish the links were all on one page like before, but i’m sure i’ll get used to it
    can’t wait till the season starts and you can do play of the night and other cool stuff related to the previous night’s action… right sam/lang?
    take care
    thanks for everything as ever

  • Marvin Hughes


    That picture killed it. I had a poster in my room, trading cards, jerseys, kicks, videotapes etc. When you came out with this cover I was shocked. From the beginning through midway 90′s Shawn did it all. I hoped from him to get back to the league seeing that he cleaned his act up. Wishfull thinking. Slam you changed basketball, magazines shit life. I ran redlightes whenever the new issue came out and some family member from new york sent it over so I didn’t have to wait on it to come out here. (it always takes 4 weeks after the new issue hits the streets in the States).
    Slam keep up the good work.

  • Sonics-206

    One of my first, and favorite issues of SLAM.

  • Derms

    Yo that cover was my first and I still have it. It is not in the best condition but when I was a ballboy at GT, I got Steph to sign his pic from the High School All Americans that year. It is crazy, I am feeling really nostalgic and good just seeing that pic.

  • SchW

    Just another victim of lockout and McDonalds… :(

  • http://thehype.wordpress.com Hype

    Just a question about the tag, what’s TOC? “The Old Covers?”

    But yeah, Reignman was the shit, when I just got into basketball a long time ago, the earliest images from those playoffs was Kemp’s nasty reverse jam against the Bulls. You know which one I’m talking.

  • james

    Seeing that cover makes me want to cry.
    Shawn Kemp is one of the reasons I fell in love with the game of Basketball.
    Happy memories………

  • Steve

    Does anybody know where I can buy this issue at. The only issues I need to have all of them so far is 2 32 41 67 and 96.


  • james


    Sorry but I do not know where you can buy this issue.



  • X-Man

    Steve, now on Ebay are running two auctions within it…but the prices are so crazy…

  • armand yiu

    I still remember reading this like it was yesterday. i was 8 years old at the time but it was the first time i fell in love with the game of basketball. i still remember that jalen rose article which inspired me to play ball. now, 12 years in, i sitll love the game. by the way, shawn kemp was dope during his prime.

  • Gilbert0

    Shawn Kemp was awesome then

  • Zachary Armstrong

    GO BULLS!!!

  • Zachary Armstrong

    GO BULLS!!!BOO SONICS[go kevin durant though]!!!

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  • Jake

    About 4 years too late, but the first Dominican in the NBA was Tito Horford–the father of current Dominican star Al.

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