Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 5:11 pm  |  114 responses

SLAM Presents Olympic Hoops 08: On Sale Now!

Melo, Kobe and LeBron (not to mention CP and DWade) all on the same team? We had to blow it out.

Issue 120 is still on stands and the annual champs issue is coming soon, but there was no way we were going to let the basketball story of the summer go by without honoring it. And honor it we did.

I thought the best way to introduce this issue—which is on stands in NYC as we speak and should be national this weekend (note: like KICKS and PUNKS, this does NOT go to subscribers; it is a special issue)—to our online audience would be the same way I introduced it in the mag itself. Here’s my editor’s letter:

“These days, the NBA boasts players from nearly every corner of the globe (and is only too happy to, well, boast about that fact). Still, the NBA is ultimately an American game, with the games that count being played on American (and Torontan) ground, and the annual awarding of a ‘Word Championship’ to the Lakers, Spurs or whoever else always coming off as a little disingenuous. Our man David Stern knows this, which is why he is quietly exploring the feasability of launching NBA franchises across the pond. But, given the cost of oil and international drama, such expansion has got to be at least a decade or more from happening.

All this to say: when you want the world to see its best players compete in games that matter, the Olympics are where it’s at. This is surely true for all Olympic sports, but you know us: basketball is all that matters. And it is Olympic basketball that gives players—and the companies who are invested in their success—a chance to show and prove on the biggest of stages. Michael Jordan knew this in ’92. LeBron James knows this today. We at SLAM certainly know it, which is why we were so eager to devote a cover to this year’s Olympic team. We were actually planning to devote a regular SLAM cover to the players charged with bringing Olympic gold back to the States, but then Nike stepped in and offered to make our Olympic coverage so much more special by sponsoring an entire issue. The result is the very special—dare I say, unprecedented—issue you hold in your hand.

If you think about it, hardcore hoop fans are coming off about as good a main course of an NBA season as you could hope for. Kobe and LeBron reaffirmed their greatness, Chris Paul reached stardom, and the League’s two most storied franchises got back to the Finals. What more could you ask for? How about a dessert of our American cover subjects, coached by one of this country’s greatest basketball minds, going up against international stars such as Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Andrei Kirilenko, all with a pride-laden gold medal on the line?

Use this issue to get you ready for it all, and then enjoy the show.”

That’s it for my letter from the mag, but to expand a little further, the issue includes a long cover story on the creation of Team USA by Lang Whitaker (who was in Vegas with the team each of the last two summers), a “Slamadacentury” that lives up to its name, regular features on Jerry Colangelo/Coach K, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Yi Jianlian, The US Women’s Team, Basketball in China and a sick old-school piece on the Dream Team. There are also two two-sided posters and a feature on the new Nike Hyperdunk (and the chance to wear the pair Kobe wore in the Aston Martin video—signed by KB himself), exclusive new shoes from Converse, Nike and Jordan Brand in the KICKS section, and a look at who might be in the 2012 Olympics in Bethlehem Shoals’ story on this past spring’s Nike Hoop Summit in Portland.

You really should find the issue and buy it, since nothing on here will do justice to the exclusivity and uniqueness of it, but if you want a little more for free, check this microsite that we built for the issue. It’s live now and partially complete, and the whole thing should be good by tomorrow.

Lastly, you guys know by now that Team USA was introduced to a New York City audience on Monday. SLAM was well-represented at the event, with myself, Khalid, Russ and Susan working the room (catching a lot of props for this issue along the way, incidentally) and Michael Tillery doing what he does best: getting mad quotes so that you can learn what the athletes are about in their words. You wouldn’t know it from the way the event was covered by many outlets, but there were plenty of topics discussed that had nothing to do with the LeBron-to-Brooklyn nonsense (one thought: what if the Nets move to Newark instead, as they probably should? Would Bron rep Brick City? That’s even cooler). Thankfully, Michael covered most of the topics and we’ll have all his work up on the site shortly. In the meantime, make a plan to get your newsstand in the next week or so!

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


  • http://youtube.com/user/williegmusic Willieg

    is there punks in this one?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Tanny

    How do I get it in Sweden?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Tanny

    How do I get it in Sweden?

  • ancarr

    U-S-A!!!, U-S-A!!!

  • j rich


  • Sparker

    that would be “torontonian,” for future reference. and i’ll be grabbing this one as soon as it gets to montreal. esp looking forward to the dream team piece and lang weighing in

  • namik

    is this an international issue? if not how do i get this in india???

  • http://firemitchkupchak.com Jackie Moon

    I like this cover. I like it a lot. I will go get it at my local Los Angeles newsstand. I love America! I miss Sam!

  • http://www.lebron.com LeBron is King Obama President!

    LEBRON is the Greatest!

  • G-O

    is this going to come in the mail or do i have to go buy it :(

  • G-O

    nvm just read the story its 100+ outside but for slam i shall walk a mile to my local target :)

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

    Yo can someone from Slam answer these guys question … there has been three … can you get it in Sweden, can you get it in India, and will it come in the mail or should they buy??? Someone … damn.

  • Bubba Chuck

    R u makin a streetball ish this summer?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Sweet. I haven’t got the issue yet so I don’t know what’s in it, but it would be awesome if SLAM kinda did an international preview of the Olympics, a who’s who of each of the better players involved from each team. It’s always a great read when SLAM goes international to uncover some totally unknown star from across the globe, years and years before worldwide-followers-in-sports jump on an overcrowded bandwagon.

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

    From the above piece:

    (note: like KICKS and PUNKS, this does NOT go to subscribers; it is a special issue)


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

    capish … still doesnt answer the other two lol … :D sweden and india for the two up above!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Ben, this cover is RIDICULOUS! :D

  • WhaHuh

    I’m assuming all international issues are dealt with by another company. We get Punks issues but I have never seen a Kicks one. Just hope we see it in the shop in a month or two.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    does it go to Australia? I dont have the Paul cover yet either…. the jerseys are really ugly

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    that cover is one of the best ever, and their unis are tight..literally

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I will kill for those hyperdunks. We as the USA will Ride for ours, Die for ours, and F*cking supply the Flowers when we go out and bury each and every team for the gold. Did I mention that I will kill for those hyperdunks?

  • todd

    does anywhere in japan get it? i accidentally left my slam ish at home and im here for another 6 weeks. couldnt find slam anywhere (not even at LAX)! can you ship it to me? pleeeease!! :D

  • Logan

    amazing issue! looking forward to it….
    @Namik – I am in India right now, part of the Asia visit I have put together during my little time off…..came across a store in Bangalore that sells Slam issues and was pleasantly surprised..

  • Maeng

    Well…..still not sure bout this team winning the Gold…I’m gonna have to wait and see what happens in beijing…theres a lot of really good international teams. should be a great olympics. :)

  • http://wwww.maknba.com.mk Karakash

    I understand Kobe and Lebron, the two best, on the cover, but Carmelo again!?!?!

    With so many great guys on that team, you put him on the cover? I know he’s “your boy”, but he’s done nothing to deserve so much attention.

  • http://killbattyman.com Doc Fan

    Bron and Melo got kobe looking like “official lil nicca” status…dude must really be about 6’4 and a half,cuz they towering over him

  • http://andotsiry.deviantart.com/gallery/ Ando

    KICKASS!!!!!!! Is it on sale in France?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Karakash: Carmelo has been even better for Team USA than he has for the Nuggets. He was the USA’s leading scorer in Vegas last summer, and their second-leading rebounder. He’s done plenty.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Thank you Russ.

  • Ben

    TIME magazine sends its subscribers the special editions.

  • basketmasterf

    I thought i was the only swede reading slam I guess I was wrong.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazakhstan Borat

    U.S. and A…

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    so can you get it overseas or not? damn…

  • dwango

    hey russ : darko or carmelo?

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Caputo

    The kids on my team went crazy for the cover.

  • http://slamonline kj23

    r u making a new punks and a street issue during the summer and a slam with nash amare shaq on the cover that shoud be the next issue after the finals issue

  • http://slamonline.com ngfvbfhffd

    on the cover there should be jordon amare and lebron forget the other people like kobe he wont win us the gold look what he did with his own team he did nothing all he did was cry for a trade then stay and not walk out of boston with a ring on

  • ciolkstar

    I guarantee that the slamadacentury involves Vince Carter and one Freddy Weis.

  • ciolkstar

    C’mon now…Hook the subscribers up! Atleast those in the US. I might just have to go cop this anyway. It sofficial though, Team USA is really just Team NIKE.

  • Matt

    Is the issue presented by Nike? All the ads are for Nike and most of the articles are about Nike players.

  • http://www.complex.com/blogs/2008/06/10/celtics-vs-lakers-the-wifey-showdown/ SOUSS

    I am sure you’ve put Carmelo on the cover for his stellar Team Nike euhh USA play….
    Still should be a good read, how can we get this in Paris????

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Thanks for all the responses…
    -Our deal with the subscription outlet is for 10 SLAMs a year. Anything beyond that is treated differently and no subscribers are ever charged for issues like that.
    -Yes, Nike sponsored the issue, which I already wrote in my original post above.
    -It should be on newsstands in US and Canada wherever SLAM is sold. I am having a hard time getting confirmation that it will be at newsstands outside of North America, but there is one place ANY of you can get it: primediabackissues.com. Go to that site and click on SLAM on the left side, then scroll down to the bottom of all the old SLAM issues they have and you will see how to order this issue and get it sent directly to your house…wherever you live.
    -Lastly, Managing Editor Susan Price sends a special shout out to all the readers in Sweden.

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

    terrible cover. i thought this was all about Coach K?

  • B. Long

    @Ryan Jones: You notice who yall put front and center right? Just so you know…

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

    B, it’s easy to sucker idiot Lakers fans into buying all things Kobe. Pretty simple if you ask me.

  • B. Long

    E, your right, if it was Flash, they’d probably sell half the copies since all the Heat bandwagon bit(hes have commited suicide already.

  • http://elmagata.blogspot.com Mattu

    Hey, and what about the international suscribers? It’s any posibility to get this special?

  • http://nba.com bbfan

    jordan’s retired & amare won’t even play in the upcoming olympics, why should those two be featured on the cover of this olympics feature?

  • adm

    Congrats on the nice old school article on the dream team! I enjoyed reading it.

  • john


  • Thomas

    Looks like a good issue, Team USA should sweep the table with blowouts. There is really no team that can compete with us. Not Kobe, not LeBron, no one is going to let this team lose and the team is comprised of stars so anyone is capable of putting the team on their back and carrying it. But something tells me this won’t happen. I think we all expect this team to come back with the gold. Go USA.

  • http://www.gmail.com serevei

    does anybody know when these hit Australian stores???

  • http://wwww.maknba.com.mk Karakash

    @ Russ and Ben.

    I knew you would make that argument. Alright, if you look at things only from playing for the US, than i guess it’s a good decision to make – in your eyes.

    But from a clear player quality stand point, Melo should have no place gracing a cover of a something special like SLAM together with guys like Kobe and Lebron, that are changing the game.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics/ Moose

    i agree karakash. if they are gonna put one up there with lebron and kobe, chris paul needs to be the guy. as much as i like melo, there are a lot of guys on team usa who are better.

  • http://SlamOnline Rob Wells Jr.

    This team has the potential to be another Dream Team. Melo,Bron,Kobe,Wade, and CP3 all on the same team. Thats whats up.

  • http://SlamOnline Rob Wells Jr.

    From last year Team USA improved some of the players skills. Bron’s shotting improved alittle. As well as Melo’s 3-point shooting and one-on-one defense. I hope Team USA can improve my man Wade’s shpt so he can work off the ball this season for Miami.

  • http://SlamOnline Rob Wells Jr.

    Hopefully Team USA can improve WADE’s jump shot. If they can can do that WADE can be the best player in theNBA next to Kobe. Also, he must improve his free throw shootin.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Sweden is my peoples.

  • http://www.myspace.com/everybodylovesmush Mush

    You need an article about the come up of team GB, With the arrivals of Luol Deng and Ben Gordon & Pops Mensah-Bonsu, you should come watch the European Qualifiers in England. Of course they’re no match for USA, but hey no-one is.

  • Reddevilmarky

    I know it cant be shipped to subcribers but can I buy it over in Northern Ireland? Thanks!

  • Reddevilmarky

    I agree you should do an artical on Team GB Deng has played great these past 2 seasons and with Ben Gordan we can really do well! P.S. The covers Great!

  • http://nba.com stubbs

    go Australia :p

  • Jordan Carter

    What a great cover…Team USA is “radared” as the best squad in the Olympics. Hope they pull it off!!!

  • pero

    To the dude in Japan…..you can get Slam at Tower records…dont know if they have this ish yet (or if they’ll get it at all)…..I actually think USA might win this time, but watch out for Argentina, France and Spain!

  • todd

    thanks pero. but damn, i just ordered it off primediabackissues.com and it cost me $20. LAME. itll prolly also take a couple weeks to come. they sent me an email confirming my order, but nothing saying they shipped it.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty


  • tom fary

    does it come in the mail if you have a subscription by the way a sick cover,

  • Susan Price

    hey everyone,

    thanks again for all the great feedback on the olympic issue. just to reiterate, since some of you must have missed ben’s explanation above, the issue is NEWSSTAND ONLY, meaning if you have a subscription, you will not get it. it’s on newsstands, at bookstores, everywhere you buy a regular SLAM. and it’s also available on primediabackissues.com for those who are overseas. scroll down the list of mags on the left, click on SLAM, and it should be the last one. as for you todd, if you were charged $20, that means you are in some far, far away land, and it’s costing that much to get it to you. apologies, but trust me, it’s worth it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Half of my blood hails from Sweden, too.

    I have a question, will i get this issue if i am a subscriber?

    Props on including Melo, as many have said, he has been Team USA’s best player over the past two years. His NBA work is irrevelant here.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    With Spain taking Euro 08 and Nadal’s amazing win yesterday, I might get sick if Pau and the boys win gold in Beijing……

    And Sergio wins the British Open?

  • http://slamonline.com sprice

    cub…..are you being funny here? asking if you’ll get it? really? really?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    sarcasm rarely translates well over typed messages.
    Sprice, i do want to get it and I am still an actual subscriber.

  • B. Long

    Just bought the ish and it’s the best special issue you guys have ever put out by FAR. The OG Dream Team article was Slamtastic.

  • http://mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    Slamadacentury: Fabricio Oberto on team USA hahaha

  • http://mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    Or whichever Argentine it was

  • http://mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham


  • PeanutButterSpread

    All the haters are just hating, need to respect Kobe.

    Without Kobe, Team USA ain’t winning Gold, you can check it. 2004, 2006, no Kobe, no gold. 2007, with Kobe, GOLD, baby.

    Nobody has a better workout ethic than Kobe. Night in, night out he is always working to get better. His drive, his love for the game, will give TEAM USA the edge. Plus, with him being a threat at the perimeter, the other team’s defensive focus will be on him, thus allowing Lebron, Carmelo, Howard to do their things freely.

  • kingofclay

    DOC FAN: Well of course bron and melo are towering over kobe coz they’re both about 6’8 and kobe’s 6’6! bet you’re a lil midget

  • Anon02

    PeanutButterSpread..please shut up. LOL!! Kobe is a nice ball player, thats for sure, but some of you fans take sh*t over board with your man-crushes..its just not that serious. I just hope that team USA wins gold (because they will be playing a lot of other teams that are far better then the ones they had to go up against in the qualifying rounds that they have still yet to play) because if they don’t bring back gold, you same people will be back in here hating.

  • KB24

    nice cover!
    cant wait until my ish comes in my mail

  • Bubba Chuck

    Just copped this ish. Sick. R u making a streetball ish this summer?

  • todd

    haha its ok susan, i did order two issues though. so it works out. $6 an issue and $3 shipping comes around to $18. i would have paid $20 though ;) and if you ordered it off primeda (i ordered it 3 days ago) how long should it take to come? im anxiously waiting mang.

  • Donn

    Just got this issue and thoroughly enjoyed it…and man…i haven’t been hyped over a pair of “new” shoe in a while but those hyperdunks are crazy especially those country exclusives in this issue, i want all those!!! The story on the the Dream Team….i mean, the “real and only” Dream Team was awesome…and yes, i know jordan and pippen hated him, but Isaiah not being on that team was horrible…not because i love Isaiah or anything like that but the fact that it allowed Christian Laetner on the team…

  • Ben

    cover looks great, unfortunately being down here in Oz, we prob won’t freakin get it till after the Olympics are over, at least I can see what your new olympic unis are like, been waiting for someone to post a pic of them

  • PeanutButterSpread

    to Anon02:

    I don’t need to shut up. Freedom of speech. I’ll say whatever I want and that includes the truth.

    The cold hard facts is that the 04 and 06 teams didn’t have KOBE in them, so they always landed 3rd. By adding Kobe into the team, you got a true perimeter threat. THAT’S FACT. Has nothing to do with whether I like Kobe or not. The man’s got game. Pure and simple.

    And I’d never hate Kobe. I ain’t a hater. Supported the man ever since he decided to skip out of college to join the NBA. Check it. Respect Kobe.

  • Majority of One

    I just bought this issue and thought it would be great. Unfortunately, the printing of this magazine is a MESS!!! Articles are not complete and though it’s supposed to have 90+ pages, my copy only has 74 pages (pages 59 to 74 are REPEATED for some reason). This is a major screw up and extremely unprofessional for a magazine that has been around for so long.

  • Chris

    This issue is one of the best ever. Period.

  • ohio

    it was predicted to slam, ball will rule soccer from dis olympics but to reali do dat slam must nsure fiba equals fifa and get all the ballteams participating in the olympics 2 do the show[dance]like soccer mexican as they enter the stadium to their names and occupy the field…

  • ohio

    maybe stern-in a bid 2 grow world wide via expansion shld study fifa/soccer.. just maybe

  • ohio

    sorry mexican wave

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Majority of One: VERY sorry. This issue is all over New York, and now the world, as well as a couple thousand copies passing through our office, and not one that I’ve heard of has messed up pages. Occasionally printing presses make mistakes and reprint pages…sometimes in one issue, sometimes in one messed-up box. I’d say you should go to the store you bought it and show them. Ideally their other copies are correct and they’ll swap you one. If their other copies are messed up then they should return them to their distributor. If you can’t go back or they won’t exchange with you, email me your address (bosborne@harris-pub.com) and I’ll send you a new copy.

  • will

    chris paul is at least in the top three nba players, so why is he still taking the back seat in the media to players like carmelo. I know you’ve sayed not to mention CP, but it’s not good enough, he should be on the cover.

  • will

    nice cover, none the less.

  • Reddevilmarky

    I just ordered off primedia backissues! Only $3 for shipping over to N.I. cant wait for it to come!

  • Cyril

    USA got no frontline, one more time like the last 10 years USA will be stopped before the final ! It’s like that but you don’t want to face the reality !!

  • Trip

    thats nasty……… Kobe is No. 1

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    BEN! I finally picked up a copy today (after checking daily since you posted), and the issue is fantastic! You guys have outdone yourselves. Now I’m going to have to go back and pick up another issue “just in case”. I’m so proud to work with you all!!!! :D

  • B. Long

    I would have really liked to see how the Pau article would have been written had it been “post” finals. Alot diffrent I suppose.

  • wedemhornets

    DUDES! Why is CP3 not pictured or mentioned on the cover or in the article damn! 1st time ive been unhappy with slam..loyal subscriber still..

  • http://nba.com slickl23

    why isn’t the king in the middle i mean he is the best player on the universe and why is carmelo on the front he didn’t even make all nba 1st team chris paul should be on the front

  • tealish

    The cover: I look to the man in the middle, I believe. I look to his left – our right – I have more hope. I then gaze over to their cornrowed counterpart and I see bronze in their future.
    Sure he played well in the Worlds. That’s like the NBA reg season. The Olympics are the international NBA playoffs. I have no hope in him. Go Canada.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    wedemhornets, in all honesty, when we were closing the issue there was a lot of doubt if CP would be on the team. Stupid, I know, but VERY reliable sources were telling us he wasn’t on the team. Hence his relative invisibility in the issue. Thankfully for all involved, he IS on the team!

  • wedemhornets

    Ben, i pick up what ur putting down, I dig but was the speculation that he wasn’t goin to be on the team because he didnt feel like it or because he wasn’t worthy? Thanks..

  • Gerardo Enrique

    i bought this issuue yesterday, and it´s great, and now i waiting slam 121 and teh classic kicks, thanks slam

  • Majority of One

    I appreciate your attention to this matter. Since I posted the message, I went to another store and checked out the copy. It was completely intact so I bought it. I did let the other vendor know that his copies had been misprinted but couldn’t be bothered to return the original magazine I had purchased. Besides, I don’t mind having an extra copy even if it is not complete. Again, thanks for your response. You have renewed my faith that SLAM is a top-notch outfit.
    PS–I still think you guys should sell SLAM apparel on your web site. I’d wear it!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Majority of One: my pleasure. We’re trying our best. I’m not in the apparel business but I think it’s being discussed again…wedemhornets: I think the speculation was they were going to protect Jason Kidd’s starting job.

  • Oz

    cover lookin’ great. i guess i aint getting this from a newsstand at here in breezy finland.

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  • Raymundo

    This Olympic issue was never in the stands in Mexico. Can I order it on-line? Please advise.

  • Kyle

    It looks awesome!

  • http://www.slamonline.com andrew

    can i order this issue online?

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