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Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 at 11:37 am  |  112 responses

SLAM 120: On Sale Now!

Chris Paul’s season may be over, but his impact is still being felt….

This is always a tough cover to decide on, as we need to finish it before the conference finals even begin. Sometimes we do all-time greats (SLAM 100: Michael Jordan), sometimes we do Draft-related covers (SLAM 110: Oden/Durant). This time we decided to honor the NBA’s breakout star of 2008, a guy who has never had his own SLAM cover. This one is out in NYC now and should be nationwide by this weekend. New Orleans-based senior writer Aggrey Sam, who penned the outstanding feature that runs in this issue, explains why this cover was the right move for us:

When I moved to New Orleans back in January, the first Hornets game I attended was in a half-filled arena, with a crowd that could seemingly care less about their hometown squad—moreso because hoops was a lot further down the priority list than, say, getting their lives back in order after Katrina, even with tickets as low as $10. By the time the season ended last month, virtually every game was sold out, people were rocking Hornets gear all over the city and everywhere I went, people only wanted to talk about one topic: Chris Paul. A few things happened in between—such as the Crescent City hosting the All-Star Game and the Hornets becoming a legit contender—but without a doubt, the transformation of fans into devotees, casual fans into fanatics, apathetic non-fans into casual fans and a national audience into true believers was due to CP3.

A feel-good story became a gripping saga. Talking heads went from including him in the next great young point-guard debate into the convo about future all-time greats, a transcendent player, an MVP. I often think about how my relocation to the N.O. was good timing—a city on its way back, the All-Star Game in my backyard, the Hornets’ amazing run and the reason why I’m posting today, a cover-story assignment—but then I contrast it with the city’s good timing.

Name a player better than CP for New Orleans. I’m not even talking about on the court, though that applies, too. I mean for a city that’s been through what it’s been through. Honestly, have you ever heard anybody say something negative about him? Maybe Julius Hodge, but that’s old news. Seriously though, his universal magnetic personality, Iverson/Stockton mentality (more like a sub-six foot Magic, if you wanna keep it 100; Isiah didn’t set the table like him and I’m too young to compare him to Tiny) and his mental game are nonpareil in today’s NBA. He touches people here like you wouldn’t believe, and while it helps that he’s one of the nicest ballers around, it helps even more that he’s got the heart of the city.

I did my story right in the midst of the team’s series against the defending champs, so you would expect it to be chock-full of Playoff background scenery (although competing with beat writers on deadline for interview time and no photo shoot didn’t help my cause). However, the feature was less about his season and more about his affect—on and off the court. Ticket sales, playing style (as much as I enjoyed the AI Era in Philly, I can’t argue that young cats emulating CP is better for the game) and pride—something that definitely wasn’t lacking here, but every little bit of inspiration helps—are all tangible effects of his MVP run. Not to wake up sleeping dogs, but nobody else in the League carried a city, in addition to a team. Rebuild New Orleans, indeed.

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

    ABOUT TIME!

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

    Hopefully this will be the only cover with a player in a yellow jersey on it that I’ll see until next season. Can’t wait.

  • http://slamonline.com Logan Light

    Chris Rocks!?

  • http://www.nba.com AD25

    “Chris Rocks” is better than that time they called the NJ Nets the “best TEAM in the world”, which I think left a lotta people confused

    it’s all good though, I feel ya SLAM

  • j rich

    chris paul!!! yeah boi!!!

  • Silky Slim

    C – P – 3, woooooooooooo!

  • Knicks!

    niceee! second CP3 cover right?
    I haven’t even received the other one yet..

  • Rico

    Next season you should do a split cover for D-Will and CP3…maybe do one of those split face things. Detail their rivalry and where you/they expect it to go. Originally I though D-Will had the edge in the rivalry, but CP3 definitely took it back. But, D-Will is right there behind CP3…these two will be the most exciting players to watch during next season next to the usual suspects:Kobe & Lebron

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    the perfect player for a cover. Well done.

  • Knicks!

    nice idea Rico.
    do the ‘there can only be one’ thing on the cover with chris & deron.

  • Steven

    They should have Chris Paul and Deron Williams share a cover and call it “The Future”

  • tike

    Nice SLAM nice

  • Dark

    Brook Lopez?!?

  • ER

    this cover just made my day, a split between cp and deron would be sick.

  • B. Long

    Someone predicted this…Hmmm who could that be? Not that it’s that big of a suprise. CP3 could have been a Co-MVP and I would have been totally cool with that. Classiest dude in the league right now.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    where’s Ryan and his obligatory ball-punching jokes?

  • 5mooth

    Prince gettin some love

  • del negro

    Will the feature in any way address his ridiculous, near-comical flopping and questionable defense? (yeah, I’m a hater)

  • riggs

    really guys? chris rocks? brook lopez? only attention that brook lopel would get are from cats thinking that he’s a girl. but you guys made it up for having one of my fav dudes this season on the cover.

  • Mo

    I was hoping you’d do another CP3 cover soon. Good going!

  • B. Long

    Eboy should be nominated for Hater of the Year.

  • ciolkstar

    I’m still confused about that “best TEAM in the world” NETS cover. How the F*ck did that happen?

  • ciolkstar

    Cp3 has a million watt smile and may be a great guy in the community. But saying he’s got a “mean streak” is justa complementary way of brushing over the fact that he’s a dirty player. Every time dude is in a contact situation he dishes out something extra. The punch in the balls thing happened awhile ago, but it was on a big stage in NCAA tourney. He’s a great player, and the best PG on the game today (its not even close) but all the “He’s such a nice guy stuff is waaay overblown”

  • ciolkstar

    *ACC tourney not NCAA*

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

    And B. Long, your title is what exactly? Kobe sword swallower?

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

    B, I like you. You are taking up the mantle that my former posting partner Bryan (Shia) used to take up.

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

    Shia is missed. That f*cker.

  • Mo

    No ciolkstar, dirty players purposely try to hurt other players. CP doesn’t do that. And if you met CP you’d know that he really is a nice guy, which is why many people like him. Both his peers and people off the court. I’m glad everyone is still not trying to hold on to that college/Hodge incident the way you are. If everybody held on to that, his career would’ve been over before it started. And for what the people in that audience and Julius Hodge were saying to CP, any other player would’ve punched Hodge in his MOUTH! Forget the balls, just punch him straight in his mouth.

  • Mo

    Dirty players = Bruce Bowen. Players that purposely slide their feet under players trying to injure their ankles. THAT is a dirty player.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    i bet it hurts a lot more to punch balls than the mouth, not to mention it’s a lot more discreet. he really is isiah (the player) part 2.

  • Mo

    Some players wouldn’t have cared at all about discretion. Anyway Slam, nice cover. I’m out. Peace.

  • Aaron

    lol at calling cp3 dirty. no moreso then stockton, isiah, jordan, bird, etc etc etc. i bet you do a lil grabbing on the playground urself..if you play at all.

  • Rico

    @Mo…I did meet CP3 and he was anything but classy. First, I tried to give him a hug and he pushed me to the ground…then I asked for his autograph and he spit in my face! I think he is an alien.

  • Rico

    @Aaron…isiah=dirty….stockton/jordan=physical…cp3=borderline dirty

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

    Rico, are you a midget!! You got pushed to the ground by a 6′ 0″ point guard trying to give him a hug? That would be great if it was true. The spitting part is too over the top, unless it was Charles Barkley.

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

    I thought he ball-punched?

  • WhaHuh

    good cover but as far as negatives- he is a notorious flopper.

  • WhaHuh

    Since when is 6 foot short? The Bball has skewed peoples brains

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    TAD, you are wrong. how can you even think that ball punching is “purposely try(ing) to hurt other players” is beyond me.

  • Rico

    @Eboy… Technically no, I’m not a midget….I’m a hobbit. I have a greater arm span and strength that your typical midget. It’s possible he sneezed, not spit, in my face. Either way he didn’t apologize.

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

    *oooof*

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

    I imagine that’s the sound you make when someone — I’m not saying who — punches you in the balls.

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

    Obligatory!

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    is “oooof” the sound that Hodges makes?

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

    No Albie, I literally meant YOU.

  • hussam abdulhai

    cps is one of the succesfull players in this league n one of my favourites he really deserves that and lets go boston

  • Dave Kamin

    one hell of a cover…
    i was thinkin about some love for the pistons, i guess we wount see the “core” anymore!

  • B. Long

    @Eboy: I think I’m more Kobe’s unoffical lobbiest than anything else. Kinda like that dude in Thank You for Smoking….except Kobe is the cigarettes.

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

    That’s kind of a fresh metaphor, B. Long. Especially since Kobe actually does cause cancer.

  • B. Long

    @Ryan: Judging by his affect on your brain, Lebron must be crack.

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

    Perhaps. He does make me itch.
    Like any good lobbyist, though, I’ve gotten paid for my work. So I guess I win.

  • B. Long

    I figured Lebron was sliding you some cash under the table,guess that’s why he had 27 covers in a row, good for you Farmer Jones. J/K, you got me beat there. Where do I pick up an application?

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

    Too late, homie. Sorry.

  • B. Long

    Aww, come on Jonesy, you could call my section The Dark Side. I could right about everything most of you guys think but are afraid to say. Ya’ll need some fresh blood. Khalid’s article on the Celts was dope, though, I have to admit.

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

    Checkmate.

  • B. Long

    Myles and Cub are killa’s too.

  • B. Long

    @Tad: Refering to who? Hey I asked this earlier but I didn’t get an answer. Is Coach Curry the dude at Davidson’s Dad?

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    wait, Professor, I’m getting punched in the balls now? i probably wouldn’t even make any sound. i’d just lay there immobile for the next decade.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    or am i doing the one doing the punching?
    man i need a class on understanding insults.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    actually was that even an insult?

  • http://www.clutchfans.net/images/headline/kobe_bryant_rocket.jpg Hursty

    YES!

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    so what’s the insult about?

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

    B.Long is a good righter,he’s good at righting.

  • B. Long

    LMAO@H to the izzo: Your very write about my righting skills. Thanx for the complement. I actually have to get some work done today so I can’t really think while I type. Not that I ever do much of that anyways.

  • Jordan Carter

    Very nice cover for the upcoming slam magazine. I feel Chris Paul deserves more exposure in terms of the “media world” because he’s guided his team from the bottom of the food chain to the top of the mountain!

  • alphabet soup

    Hey whoever worked on this magaizne or whoever works for SLAM can you tell us who is on the SLAM UPS this issue?

  • B. Long

    I’m really disappointed that there are two Spurs names on the cover. I thought the Geneva Convention prevented that.

  • boobie_gibson

    Chris Rocks…
    Isn’t that something Dime would put on their cover.
    Not Slam.

  • casey

    I can’t wait!!! Thanks SLAM.

  • tealish

    Not to sound like a hater, but I think you guys could have come up with a better title.

  • http://www.heavyasheaven.blogspot.com DP

    I thought Chris had a cover with Gil arenas before. They were different covers guys.

  • T.J

    Pretty nice. no complaints but I’m still waiting for The Hawks cover….

  • Michael Mullery

    Finally, thanks

  • Michael Mullery

    Finally, thanks

  • Mo

    You’re right DP.

  • Thomas

    I enjoy reading SLAM but they are as inconsistent as a highschool news paper when it comes to writing and distrubuting their issues.

  • Thomas

    They better have something substantial about Kobe winning MVP, or is he still hated by the underground sports world.

  • will

    DP, it says never had his OWN cover, he has had one but he had to share it.

  • will

    Chris got robbed of the MVP so he deserves this cover.

  • bballer

    will, chris didn’t get robbed. Kobe simply deserved this one.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Thank you, Will.

  • http://Freestylestreetbasketball.com ChrisPaul3NO

    the best cover ever..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cp3_vc

    nice i was just commenting last issue saying they need a chris cover.
    FINALLY THO
    get some amare love tho, even tho he had a joint ish 103 with big ben
    and also an article on vince would be sick-
    he stepped it up in the last few pointless games of the season….

  • cp3_vc

    oh and yeh HAWKS COVER!
    maybe a smith, johnson, horford, childress and bibby combo eh?
    they really stepped it up they could definately be a force next season.

    well now the suns hornets and nets have finished up…
    GO BOSTON!

  • Joey

    finnaly, any dwest love in the article? come on 20/10 guy right there (big easys big 3 chandler west and of course paul should be a cover soon)

  • Kal

    Chris Paul is the reason why i’m a Hornets fan even though i dont’ live in New Orleans.
    CP3 for MVP next year!
    New Orleans all the way!!!!!

  • wedemhornets

    CP3 definetely deserves it..and the new picture has the fleur-di-bee patch on it..which is hella tight..the ONLY COMPLAINT is that it says CHRIS ROCKS>>>???? lame..but CP3MVP 09

  • youngmuggsy

    Paul had a Magic Johnson season, only with ALOT less turnovers, tell me that wasn’t deserving of the MVP.

  • youngmuggsy

    Yeah thats right, I suggested Chris Paul is a better point guard than Magic was.

  • wedemhornets

    del negro says:
    Will the feature in any way address his ridiculous, near-comical flopping and questionable defense? (yeah, I’m a hater)

    what team do u root for dud? i can give u bigger floppers Nowitzki, Manu, Bruce Bowen, manymore

  • Andrew

    its been a while since an action shot was put on thee cover!

  • ADM

    hey slam! when is the olympic issue gonna come out? I hope you’ll have an article on (the one and only) Dream Team.

  • GTA

    why Chris Paul?
    it should have been Kobe on the cover

  • Bradley

    i like that k1x animation ad on like the 2nd page, sayin “bx take-over” with the hoops in the sun tournament at orchard beach in the bronx, hot pic

  • rjcortesjumpman

    Perfect choice for a cover, guys! Though it helps when you get the creative juices flowing and put more into a cover shoot like the DH Come Fly With Me or the SIN-city type cover of the Diesel some issues ago…

  • BraD

    Hey SLAM,
    D-Dub and CP3 would be a excellent cover idea, but I think Deron is underrated. Deron is respectively right behind Paul without all the flash(he has a couple nasty ankle breakers of his own with one being on paul and a crazy dunk on T.C.)and glamour. Deron has proven to be “clutch” and has a “wet” shot, well wetter than Paul.

    P.S. What about a nickname for Deron and don’t do a cover with the split face. Think about it will ya’?

  • kid Juicey

    still not in stores !

  • QueenBee

    Great cover guys. Luv me some Hornets

  • drew

    dont have it yet in seattle

  • abby

    WHOS ON THE SLAM-UPS!!!!!!!!!!????????????!!!!!!!11

  • http://tzjht drew

    give beno udrih ink

  • warriorfansam

    How about another rookie fold out like you did for the 96 draft. This is one of the deepest drafts in years.

  • warriorfansam

    Also in regard to your nets (champs by 2000) i believe thats the title. That issue is in storage. As I recall the Nets were considered the beast of the east for a few years. They did also make back to back finals. So write statement but rong people on the cover

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  • adm

    Hi Slam,
    I hope you can put candace parker and lisa leslie on a slam cover.

  • will

    who’s on the slam ups??

  • Tay

    WHY HAVENT I RECIEVED THIS ISSUE YET! ive been running to my mailbox after school everyday to find bills!

  • will

    @Tay: I don’t even have the celtics issue yet

  • mat smith

    slam ups, t parker and t prince….hmmmm…. and t duncans name on the cover is like a tiny little feature in the cp3 article, i love the mag but the names on the cover are very misleading….

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