Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 at 1:41 pm  |  187 responses

SLAM Autographed Cover Contest

Possibly our freshest contest yet. Only for true SLAM fans.

I know our contest page is already pretty off the hook with all the cool stuff we’re giving away of late, but I think this is one is special, particularly for true fans of SLAM. Check it out: SLAM art director and issue 123 cover artist Stephen Goggi has signed limited-edition (as in one of each) prints of his cover artwork, sans cover lines. The reaction to these covers has been tremendous, as we hoped it would, but in truth, having to put our logo and all those cover lines on the illustrations did muddy them up a little bit. So, in an effort to show you guys just how nice Stephen’s work is, as well as to reward a real SLAM fan with a one-of-a-kind keepsake(s), we are showing and then giving away, all five pieces of cover art to whichever commenter makes the best case for what their favorite cover in the history of SLAM is, and why. And, just in case this winner-to-be-determined likes the actual magazine version better, they will also get all five copies of the issue.

So get to writing (again, the entry is: please tell us what your favorite SLAM cover ever is, and why), and check back in a few days to see who wins this unique contest. Lastly, for all those of you who either don’t want to enter the contest or enter and don’t win but still want to get all the covers, go to this page and scroll down to find all five Dec. 2008 issues (A-B-C-D-E), and order any or all of them.

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  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Note: the prints are on thick paper, with the illo surrounded by a little paper-hued frame and Stephen’s signature in the lower right-hand corner.

  • http://www.ngunioamosotho.com Nguni

    my favourite SLAM cover has to be Shaq in September 2000. I had always seen SLAM and read it from my friends when I was in Lesotho. However, I was never able to buy myself one because they were just too expensive in Lesotho at the time. (about $20 off the stands) The first thing I did was when I first got off the plane in the US was look for a slam magazine and yes, it was Shaq after they won their first championship. I was just so overjoyed to have my first SLAM and I have never missed an issue since.

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

    Allen Iverson:Soul On Ice cover. I remember it vividly: AI, with his hair blown out, arms extended forward, bling on, trademark Iverson stare, tats in full view, wife beater on under the black Sixers uni, matching long black shorts, jersey half-tucked in, head half-nodded to the side, Answer kicks on….just classic Slam flavor mixed with AI flair. It also helps he is my favorite player….

  • p mo

    mine would have to be chris paul on SLAM 102..the new era point god lol..

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i like the quizzical look on oden’s face.

  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    It’s hard to choose one, so I won’t. In no real order:

    1. The ’96 rookie class, cause it was a dope group of players (both then and now) and it was one of the earliest issues that I got, if not my actual first.
    2. Any of the Iverson covers. The ones that especially come to mind are him with the blow out ‘fro and the more recent one with him and Melo…they’re both smiling, and we all know that sh*t never happens on SLAM covers. Personally, I loved it.
    3. Rafer Alston…Still remember reading “The Best PG in the world” *(that you’ve never heard of)…I was like 9 and I thought to myslef, sh*t, now I’ve heard of him and I’m way more on top of things than anyone I know thakns to SLAM.
    4. Dwight with the superman…even though that whole thing still pisses me off cause he didn’t dunk the ball (yeah, it was incredible, but he didn’t dunk it! it’s a dunk contest!) the cover was sick. Stretching across the back and the front? That just speaks for itself.

    Guess it’s pretty hard to narrow it down, I know I’m leaving a bunch out.

  • Stephen

    Slam 63: Lebron and Telfair. Back when James was living in obscurity (somewhat), and Telfair was ripping up Coney Island. These guys aren’t even my favorite players, and I still believe this is the best cover. Two prep stars, each heading in a different direction.

  • http://www.brisbane.basketball.net.au Deuce21

    I’m not sure if it’s my favorite cover but #15 Feb ’97 with the loaded draft class of ’96 was easily the most anticipated SLAM I ever got. I waited all summer in Australia to get that issue and graduated high school that same year so I felt somewhat akin to my peers! I really felt then I was getting a real look of the future of the NBA on that cover. (Plus it was a fold out! The 1st SLAM fold out, right?) 2 MVP’s in Kobe & Nash. Reef, Steph, RayRay, Antoine & Jermaine all became all-stars. (We’ll forget Samaki Walker for now) I also like the schoolyard look of the cover and the “Ready or Not” headline fits perfectly. All in all, a classic ish.

    (The Ice-Chair Timmy Duncan cover came a close second, that looked sweet!)

  • Boing Dynasty

    My favorite SLAM cover is the Telfair one. Hahahaha.

  • adbphilly

    My all time favorite SLAM cover is the one with Allen Iverson and his fists are up in the air with the caption saying MOMMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT. it is such an awesome cover plus its shows A.I. in his true colors: a rough around the edges ball player. This cover is also important to me because A.I. and the Sixers went to the Finals that year, the only Finals appearance I was able to witness. Plus im just a big fan of Allen iverson. Great cover. And great cover art for this one (i love to draw)

  • magicmike2k7

    SLAM 84 With A.I. in the suit. “Strictly Business”
    Something new, different. Not used to seeing him in. This was before the Dress Code

  • Tom

    SLAM’s covers in general have always been incredible even going back to when you guys were using action shots….I’d have to say my fav. cover ever is the Lebron logo cover….this cover was just iconic, and really put into perspective the impact he has already had and can still potentially have on the game. Literally the poster child for the new generation of ball players and all the good/bad that may come with it and that cover captured all of that in one still photo. Having him as the new logo was a ballsy move too as i’m sure it pissed off more than a few purists.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Nice entry, Adam, though I’m afraid you’re not eligible. We got you on the un-signed joints though.

  • dunkbar

    it’s funny how memories run wild when you flip through the covers … starbury in phoenix, chauncey as champion or big ben as bad boy. by the way, two covers for ben wallace?!

    nevertheless, my favorite one has to be slam issue #84: allen iverson all decked out in a suit with the awesome hat to top it off. i remember opening the mailbox and thinking – just by looking at the picture – “yeah, strictly business”. i think it is the one cover that brought across exactly what the story was about, and doing so by putting the man in a suit. I am still pretty sure that people did mistake slam – one time, at least – for gq.

    after all, i guess this cover made the sternbot decide to get this clothing thing going. just too many good reasons for this cover to be my favorite one :o ) …

  • Tom

    I also loved the Kobe black jersey 3 trophies cover but the lebron cover is my official entry.

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

    Latrell Sprewell’s “American Hero” cover back in 1999. The first Slam I ever bought. Something about him scowling defiantly on the cover, the same scowl he had when he poured in every one of those 35 points in Game 5 against that far-superior Spurs team in the NBA Finals, that triumphant, mocking scowl in the face of the seemingly un-doable. That cover captured every bit of Sprewell’s indomitable spirit, and inspired me enough to fork out what was then half my weekly secondary school allowance to buy my first Slam magazine. Sprewell’s career has come to an unfortunate end, but the guts and spirit he showed in the face of adversity during that NBA Finals series 9 years ago I’ll never forget, and are especially relevant on this unfathomably historic day. Spree on that Slam cover started a nine-year love affair with Slam. My first and by-far favourite Slam cover.

  • Ron

    Wow Magicmike was on point with that AI issue. That was also my choice for best cover. It was the fact that in my eyes it somewhat displayed a maturity in AI with the suit, but still the youthfulness with the braids and the bling. And at the same time he had his life in his hands – The rock! It was simple, yet full of thought and interpretation. It was photographic art in it’s true essence.

  • Nate Dogg

    SLAM! # 2: Kemp! This is when I began my love affair with Slam, being only 13 years old at the time, the 5 bucks I had to shell out for the mag was a good chunk of my allowance, and it was the pic with Kemp getting ready to tomahawk the ball in the hoop that made it not even a question that I had to have every slam since then!

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Chris O’Leary and I totally had this idea two nights ago. Went through our top covers, discussed how amazing it would be to have THESE pieces to hang on our walls (personally, I wanted to have them all on a wall, in a staggered layout, above my bed), and now it’s here. Creeeeeepy.

  • Tom

    Nate Dogg: I’ve always wanted that Kemp cover, I got into the mag around issue #8, and when I saw that Kemp cover, I literally search 20 or 25 bookshops/newstands looking for it….I think i’m gonna have to grab it off ebay.

  • namik

    The first three SLAMs I ever read were-
    1. KG cover- KG in all silver on a silver Escalade(???). Memorable.
    2. The Clippers cover with the reverse jerseys, need I say more.
    3. The Vince Carter 2000 dunk contest cover with the illest Domeshots EVER.
    But these aren’t my entries because I never owned any of these. They were a friends and I lost count of how many times I went through them, or just sat staring at the photos. I wanted mine. Only problem, I was in India and the nearest one was a 6 hour drive away. And even that wasn’t promised. I always made it a point to check for SLAM if I was in Delhi but I was always “a day late”. The vendor only got 1 issue and some other SOB always managed to get there before me. And then it happened. I went there with little hope and I didn’t even ask him. Didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of turning me down again. Quietly, I walked over to the sports section and there it was. It was the first thing I saw because it was all gold. WIth my man on the cover wearing…”what the f*ck is he wearing?”-exactly! But still, this was it! My first one. Back when Kobe was the good guy and Ryan still loved him. And even though, I’ve bought each and every one ever since (except the 100th cover, damn!), it never felt the same. That was and will always be my favorite issue of all time. Yeah, even with the Vin Baker and Darius Miles stories.

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

    I have 2 favorite covers. Now, even though alot of commentators on here think im stupid, or ignorant, or what have you. Deep down, whether my comments are ingenius or just stupid, I am a huge SLAM fan. My first favorite cover was the first SLAM i ever bought with my own Money. I am 22 years old, and have every Isuue 1-123, with only missing from about 4-9 (somewheres in that range). The first issue i bought was SLAM number 50. I bought it at a sobeys, in Halifax. The total came to 10 dollars because i bought some beef jerkey with it. At the time i was 15/16 … somewhere in that age range. Soon after i bought it i went to the Shearwater basketball court, near my home town, holding my basketball, my AND 1 shoe bag, and my SLAM mag. That night we played ball for a good 3-4 hours. As the gym staff kicked the 10-15 of us kids and older ballers out. Myself and my friends were outside reading the mag. Our ride ended up not showing up so we walked home. But we didn’t leave the front stoop of the gym for a good hour or two just reading the artcile on Mike and checking out what was hot in the shoes … o and finishing off the beef jerkey. Back than it was AND 1 shoes to the fullest. The next day, I went out looking for the other two SLAM mags that went with SLAM 50. It was a 3 cover shoot of Mike dunking. I did not find them, and with little to minimal finances, i wasnt ordering them off ebay. I still have every SLAM i ever bought or was given, and SLAM 50 is still my favorite one … i have the cover of him holding the ball above his shoulder!! Thanks SLAM for the great years.

    My second favorite SLAM is issue one. For 2 reasons … one, JKidd has a sick article in one. And Two, I paid 150 dollars for it. Along with Two and Three!!

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

    @Tom .. i boguht the Kemp cover for 150 dollars, and its sick, mint condition!!!

  • http://www.liveddb.com DDB

    TADone – Iverson didn’t have a black sixers jersey on in that cover. He had the royal blue throwback with PHILA in red across the front. You can’t remember that cover too vividly. I’m not too sure what my favorite SLAM cover is just yet, I’ve got to sleep on it and get back to you guys. Very Very tough question!

  • http://nsbacasakchbkl.com t.dot dude

    My favourite slam cover was ish 98, with billups. Not because i like Detroit(i dont), but because it was the first issue of slam i ever got. I was around nine years old then, and starting grade 4, and i havn’t missed an issue since, because i have a subscription here in Israel.This might not count, but ever since i saw that picture in ish 100, in the annual (wat up with that) reader survey, of the iverson soul on ice cover ive always wanted to get that.

    p.s If its possible can u guys at slam make another free contest with that iverson cover

  • bobby stew

    SLAM #103 has to be my favorite. It was the NBA Pre-view issue with Amare on the cover. After having to sit out a year due to knee surgery Amare returned as strong as ever. I was excited to see him comeback. He proved that hard work pays off. He also motivated me to persevere in my own circumstances. He came back a little less explosive but his love and knowledge of the game had grown exponentially. The cover was definetly worth the wait!

  • Kamran

    my favorite cover have to be kobe with the snake… i believe 06 or 07. He is the black mamba, and the cover is just amazing teling it all.

  • http://hoops4life.com overtime

    Slam Magazine: Issue 15. ”Ready or Not”.
    Despite the Answer being absent (think you made up for it over the years) this has got to be the best Cover ever. Camby. Starbury. Jesus Shuttlesworth. Mamba. Reef. All staring out at us, giving that hint of how they’re going to take over the league. Slam caught on, allready knowing this would be the best draft class ever, i just love being able to look back at this cover and reminisce about the younger days. (check the rookie game from this year btw, its awesome) Also, the absolute best cover Slam could do now is a revised version of this, get Reef back and everything

  • Myung

    SLAM #57. Michael Jordan. It was the come-back issue (the G.O.A.T’s return to the Wizards and more importantly, to the NBA). While I’ve been a Hawks fan for over 2 decades, it was MJ (and the Come Fly With Me VHS tape) and not Dominique who injected me with the disease known as NBA Addiction in the mid 80′s. I didn’t outwardly approve of his return, considering he went out in January of ’99 on his own terms with the only pro team he had played for up until that point, but deep down inside, I was thrilled that he’d be coming back (no matter how much he was going to taint his legacy). I loved the cover. It was just a simple shot of Black Cat’s face. Nothing fancy. But it was money (and I’m not going to lie; this issue also holds a special place in my heart because I got published in Trash Talk, but that’s neither here nor there).

  • Mike A

    My favorite SLAM cover of all time is the issue that had LeBron James and Sebastian Telfair on the cover as high schoolers. That article was crazy and defining for SLAM because it basically deemed these two the future of basketball. I couldn’t believe the amount of pressure Bassy and Bron must have had on them after that. It was a big risk for the mag because if both of them failed people would have looked at it as too much too soon. I love this issue because it’s them before they got to the NBA. LeBron is everything and more now and Bassy is slowly becoming a good point guard in the League. I remember the photos at the table of contents where they switched jerseys. That was hot. This issue was dope because it was a risk, and I think it paid off.

  • riggs

    Larry johnson: living large!, why? well when you have read through sports illustrated and various other printed pages back then (even SI: for kids!) none of it was as eye capturing as LJ going for the one handed slamma, i wasnt even the person who bought the mag, my cousin was and to be completely honest the only time he did have it was when he bought it to my house for me to see….then it appropriately went “missing”. ever since then i of course bought my own but i still remember that mag like yesterday, all the vibrant colors and LJ’s face looked insane with his body almost pointing to every corner of the magazine. sorry for the typos. also cory johnson FTW!

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

    Anyone for Holdsclaw? I ahve that issue and its sick as well but i guess you can only pick one or two as your favorite!!

  • Myung

    Whoops, SLAM #56 (the MJ issue I mentioned).

  • http://joebasketball.blogspot.com Joe

    My favorite cover won’t exactly go down in SLAM history as a classic, but a genuinely beautiful cover nevertheless. It was the May issue in 2007. I’m not exactly a long time SLAM reader, and this was my first issue. I was on holiday (vacation) in the states, eager to pursue my endless hunger for basketball, an obsession started during my last visit just one year ago. I saw this issue on the shelf and knew, despite my general lack of knowledge or current support of the league (back then), i had to get it. Allen Iverson in a fresh, dark blue nuggets jersey, a mink hood and ‘COLD AS ICE’, ‘Iverson starts fresh’ on the cover of ish 107. To this day I treasure what i consider a legendary issue. Kind of ironic compared to recent events huh?

  • http://joebasketball.blogspot.com Joe

    btw #123 STILL hasnt got here yet

  • adam perea

    the kobe cover with the black mamba, no words necessary. a pure intimidation cover.

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

    Can I enter if I recently won a contest?

  • Hibachi

    The Gilbert Arenas cover was my favorite because Gil is my favorite player and I saw the CP3 cover picked it up on the newsstands but then behind it I saw the Gilbert cover and this is when my love of SLAM started. Even though I haven’t been a subscriber for very long I still absolutely love SLAM.

  • riggs

    why did i get the kobe cover if i live in ny?

  • Garrett

    My all time favorite cover has to be my first ever Slam, the “Dynasty and the Franchise” one with Yao Ming and Steve Francis. It was such a cool portrait because of the big contrasts. First off there was the obvious height differences, Yao with the tucked in jersey and upright posture and Steve with the lean and un-tucked jersey that made him look even smaller. Once again with Slam the little details made such an impact as well; the ice that Steve was rocking, the all black back ground and the old school Rockets throw backs. All in all it was a classic that will have special meaning to me as my first ever ish.

  • C-Mac

    the best ever has to be Allen Iverson – Soul on Ice.
    that cover was a statement, not to mention just about starting the throwback craze. It defined the culture and depited AI in a very real way. Soul on Ice will go down as the best SLAM cover ever.

  • Jer Boi

    I’d have to say my favorite cover is the one of Melo and AI smiling. It was unique in a lot of ways. Since most of the covers don’t have players smiling, the cover made you feel like the players were actually real. That they did laugh and loved what they did.

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

    Favorite cover?……March 2000, J-Will and C-Webb…..ready to take over the league. Jason was ridiculous at that time, Chris was just coming into his prime and they looked like the future of NBA ball, right there on the cover of my favorite joint. Everywhere I played ball, 6′ 0″ and under cats were trying to mimic Eboy’s game and C-Webb was providing a “street-like” alternative to his main rival at that time, Karl Malone…….kind of like SLAM, not really being that mainstream at the time and where there was no love for guys like J and Webb in Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Mag, SLAM took those two cats, threw them on the cover, made a statement to all that paid attention that these two dudes were doing it big and doing it different out in sleepy Sactown, kind of like what SLAM had been doing for years at that point from the SLAMDome. Chris and Jason made me root for the Kings for a hot minute because of their style and the way they played the game, and I can trace that love back to that SLAM cover that gave them their rightful place in the sun.

  • Myung

    Garrett, you forgot to mention how Yao’s head was cut off at the top of the frame. =)

  • h00paholic@hotmail.com

    SSS L AAA M M 1 999
    S L A A MMM 1 9 9
    SSS L AAA M M 1 999
    S L A A M M 1 9
    SSS LLL A A M M 1 9

    SLAM 19
    This mag by far was the best cover and had the best gut insides to go along with it. For one it had the best player on the cover, for two the greatest dunker of all time. It is called slam mag for a reason. I remember when this mag came out and everybody wanted to look at it, even non-ball fans just to see the insides of who was ranked the top 50. This mag had so much hype. When i saw it, it wasnt even mine, and i wanted to still from a friend. Thats how much i wanted #19 and i got beat to the punch. Someone else yanked it before me. 19 hands down.

  • http://www.myspace.com/linkstigatorkevin Kevin Wilson

    Tracy McGrady’s cover when he signed with the Magic. Straight studio shot, but the look on his face let you know he was about to blow up. I always wonder what he could have done with a healthy Grant Hill, but that cover showed a man ready to dominate.

  • Tom

    Also the ’88 special issues with Magic/Jordan/Bird separate covers has a special place in my heart. Thats the years i started watching and playing ball

  • http://earfuzz.com Dane J

    The John Starks cover. Sure he’s not Garnett, or Shaq or even Patrick Ewing, but that cover inspired me to pick up my first issue of Slam way back when I was only 10. I devoured anything about basketball back then and it was clear to me that Slam was no InsideStuff. The Starks article was crazy, I don’t think I even understood most of it, but I knew I liked Slam and John Starks dunking like he just ripped out your heart from your chest and put it through the hoop sold me.

  • awesomepossum

    word to Nate Dogg as it was #2 is when i started this addiction.

  • awesomepossum

    my fave is the most talked about ish. you guys know it.

    April 2007: Like Mike. Only Better.

    In 2007 lingo, ’nuff said.

  • Bbfan

    Slam’s Olympic Hoops ’08 cover, my first ever slam. I was going to purchase the magazine when my husband gave it to me as a gift. That magazine had me anticipating for that summer’s olympic games.

  • Corey L

    It may seem like the cop-out answer, but this issue was my favorite cover so far. Why? Because of Hope. The Hope poster, which the latest covers were modeled after, does not, in my mind, refer to anything political or having to do with the election. It refers to something much more basketball-oriented, yet still very important.

    The Hope design, as I’ll call it, symbolizes that through all the tough times faced by the NBA, there is still hope that it will once again reach the peak seen through the 80s and 90s. It shows that a referee scandal, a so-called “ballhog league”, and a lack of a great rivalry (see Magic vs. Bird) will not deter the League from eventually reaching a popularity only before seen in the days of His Airness.

    These covers, and their great artwork, show that there is hope for all the used-to-be fans, that they may once again enjoy watching NBA Basketball.

  • Froggiestyle

    Fav cover – the one where Obama wins AGAIN in 2012 and is BAAAAAAALIIIIINNNNNNNNNNG :)

  • Dan

    My favorite SLAM cover of all time would have to be SLAM No. 1. Sure, Larry Johnson isn’t the greatest or most memorable player of all time and the cover lines weren’t the best or most beautiful, but it was the birth of something great that makes it so special. 123 issues deep (not to mention the multiple collector covers, KICKS, Streetball, etc.) and SLAM has become a masterpiece and a mainstay, not just in basketball but in sports writing itself. Through the ever-changing landscape of basketball and culture, one thing has stayed constant through it all, and that is SLAM. Despite the criticism SLAM has stayed true to its loyal readers since issue No. 1. So why is issue No. 1 my favorite issue of SLAM of all time? For the gift it was, and has continued to be for some 13 years. SLAM No. 1 defined what a basketball magazine could be, and has continued to redefine the market to this day. But perhaps the issue stands as my favorite for one simple reason: SLAM has been Livin’ Large since day one.

  • Khaled Al-Nasrallah

    Slam Kicks Slam Presents #27: Classic Jordan on the Cover. Original Picture of jordan when the jay’s first hit the shelves and the jumpman was revealed. Jays and the jumpman are the most well known sneakers for all sneaker heads and sneaker freakers and where better to make history then where it all started. Jordan started out looking at the original 1′s and said “You seriously think i’m gonna wear those clown shoes???” here we are today over 24 years later and hundreds of different styles later and jordan is still running the shoe game and showing what real sneakers really look like. Slam took that aspect of the game and the real meaning of KICKS to a whole new level by putting the man that started many legendary shoe trends on the cover of what was the best time for sneakers to hit the shelves. On the verge of dropping the new and much anticipated jordan 23′s and the all new special edition jordan collectizone packs worth thousands of dollars, hype and demand for jordan was at an all time high. Nothing beat the day Slam made that prediction for what they thought the 23′s would look like and what they were inspired by. Jordan is a man that represents love and desire to cop the latest and freshest kicks. kicks is what the magazine was about and who else to put on the cover but the man that started it all.

  • VA iLL biLL

    Allen Iverson is Soul on Ice. That was my favorite cover b/c it put me on to slam. That was the cover when he had the ‘fro and that smooth blue phila jersey. I remember ripping out the pages and trying to draw the pictures of him standing there with his hands out. Also, Glen Rice’s wife helped to make it memorable.

  • andrew mcneill

    My favorite SLAM cover of all-time has to be the Allen Iverson cover with the 76ers throwback on and the afro picked out further than the cover could contain. The cover helped jumpstart the throwback craze, endeared The Answer to true basketball / hip-hop fans (you know, the ones who weren’t already hooked the minute AI shook then shot against the G.O.A.T.), and has become one of the iconic images in the history of SLAM.

  • http://bonitagame.blogspot.com Aaron

    For me, it was the first SLAM I ever bought. It had Skip to my Lou on the cover back in his Fresno State days. I was just finding my love for the game and culture that surround basketball. In the pages of SLAM, I found players to pattern my game after, shoes to wear on the court and clothes to wear off the court. SLAM helped me find what has become a passion of mine and for that, I can’t be more thankful.

  • mark

    My favorite SLAM cover is issue 121 with Paul Pierce on the front. A Boston celtic all his career with no championship rings until Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett join and all three all-stars get what they deserved after years of blood sweat and tears. It was an emotional championship finals Lakers VS Celtics, and i feel the cover of issue 121 sums up Paul Pierce’s quest of getting hold of the NBA world title. The passion Pierce shows creates on the court inspired the Celtics perfomance throughout the playoffs and the inspiration, passion and determination is on show on the cover of issue 121 of SLAM.

    For me it was a special finals as it was the first finals i’ve watched all the way through. Living in the UK there isnt much coverage of the NBA, but they airred all the playoff final games, which i was pleased about. Even though the team i support (Lakers) didnt win the championship, i feel that Boston wanted it more than L.A but hopefuly 2009 will be the Lakers year!

  • Ball Dont Lie

    Hard to choose. Been a fan of the mag ever since I got a my first copy with Penny on the cover wearing those new alternate blue away Orlando jersey. Fav of all time was AI with the retro jersey and the fro’. Great read too, loved the articles but recently when I saw a copy of the current issue (123) it blew me away. Im a Graphic Artist and I was so stoked SLAM showed some vector love (a 1st for SLAM instead of using those typical player photos). Mr. Goggi did a great job! Ended up buying all five issues.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin doyouwantmore

    No question. Rafer “Skip to my Lou” Alston – The best point guard in the world…

    I love the NBA. Until Rafer it seemed like they were two totally different animals and the NBA establishment had a big nose up in the air for playground ballers. Skip-to represented for ME. He represented for the so called washed-up ballers I been playing with for years. The ‘Best point guard in the world’ cover meant that when a new young cat walked on the court you had to give us a second look. And it wasn’t because of the handles, the flashiness, the speed; it was the fact that a talented and fiery young dude could go from dominating in a shirts and skins game to dominating where the X’s meet the O’s. A mixtape baller could aspire to be a student of the game. The Rafer cover meant everything to a dude like me, a dude with no chance – scratch that – a dude with a slim chance. Sometimes that slim chance makes every drive to the hoop that much more meaningful, makes every shot count just that little bit more.

  • truce

    A.I.-Soul on Ice. After seeing A.I. with his fro out I couldn’t wait to see him rock it at the all-star game in Philly but the strike happened. So I waited a couple years hoping when they played it in Philly he would rock the fro but he didn’t. So the strike ruined everybody getting to see A.I. fro’d out.

  • Joseph

    My favorite was definitely issue 100. I’m too young to really remember how great the GOAT was. I did see the two Jazz-Bulls finals when I was a kid, but I didn’t realize how great it was. And of course, I did not subscribe to SLAM back in those days. But when I got 100, I was thrilled to actually have MJ on my cover. Brought back what little kid memories I have, and I’m just thankful for the videotapes I still have, and that people let me borrow.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Just because no one mentioned it, Shaq and Kobe. Shaq grinning like a demon, pointing to that soon-to-not-be-naked ring finger. Partly because of the look on Shaq’s face, but mostly because the Lakers actually came through and won the chip. Whew.


    Those prints are kinda dumb. Reminds me of what you would see on the side of a bucket of KFC chicken. Next well have Dwight Howard on a McDonalds warper. Ughh! And I though cover with players in game day jerseys was un-creative. P.S. I subsribe.

  • sefos

    it took me a couple minutes to decide. my favorite SLAM cover ever has to be “nice and smooth”. timmy and spree. still the illest, if not best, backourt of the past couple decades. i saw this cover in a big magazine store when i was about 13-14 or so, when i started getting into bball.i lost it years ago. im 27 now, and i’ve read every SLAM i could get my hands on, which is almost all of them. that first one got me hooked. and thankfully so. i used to read HOOP!

  • http://N/A The Matty Trip

    The best cover in SLAM history was Slam 32. Iverson Rocking the fro, it was almost a forshadow for the Hip Hop Take over in Basketball. Hands down my favorite.

  • Captain America

    That is SOooo KG

  • http://bamastatesports.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/kickingstallionsims_chief00.html d1n

    Holdin it down from day one, There are only two covers that still give me goosebumps when I pick them up same as the first time : one is issue 12 with THE interview with god, the other is #15 ready or not with the best draft class ever and yeah, I know both are over 100 issues ago and many important things happened to SLAM and to the NBA and the two covers are not designed in any groundbreaking way, but these two covers define the SLAM era better and were more powerful than any other….and no, after 122 issues, it’s not even close…(The AI soul on ice or the who’s afraid of Allen Iverson maybe, just in a different way)

  • http://slamonline jayferrick@yahoo.com

    my favorite one is dwight howard in the superman cape with the city in the background i just like the way it kinda looks like a comic book and the city at night looks dope nice job to the person that made that cover

  • B. McCombs

    To be honest I’ve only been reading SLAM for a year. But I would have to say that this issue is my favorite by far (and I collect all of my magazines so I did get to look back at all the covers I’ve gotten). I liked the issue 122 cover the best because of what it represents. Of course it means to beginning of a new season finally, but mainly its the alusion of the now infamous Obama poster. Now that he has been elected as our president it brings an overdue end to an ugly chapter in American history.

  • http://bamastatesports.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/kickingstallionsims_chief00.html d1n

    and oh yeah how come no one mentioned timmy’s ice throne yet?

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

    Well, since I obviously can’t remember my damn covers, ignore my comment. My thought was a Iverson cover shoot that was in an issue but it wasn’t the cover shot. I’m not thinking straight today.

  • MeloMan13

    The melo Ai one becauz it was just refreshing to see two players that have often been critisized for being bad guys to have big huge smiles on their faces. it was during a time( a time that is still present) where negative images affect how fans view the players (ie. tatoos, cornrows, fights, not practicing, etc.)and this cover just let everyone know that these guys have a light side, a side that isn’t often showed by other media outlets. i guess Slam has such a good bond with these players that they are the only ones to get those smiles out of them….or any player for that matter

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    gil sans jersey, tiger exposed. fierce. too bad i got school bus yellow chris paul and his eyebrows.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    meloman, “kind nuggs” was a nice touch

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    the cwebb cover was smooth, jkidd and webb in the classic pose. damn i wish cwebb wouldnt have got hurt.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    My favourite cover was the first issue ever. LARRY JOHNSON. “Grandmama”…He made taking the ball to the hoop with authority his trade and from his days at UNLV through to the “L” and SLAM made basketball journalism legitimate with that cover and the introduction of the magazine…as a side note it was also the only time that I supported cross dressing. Who else would have supported an undersized super athlete who could be found in a dress…? (10 years before Rodman ever did it…).
    Luke Tynan

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    white chocolate and cwebb was classic as well. gary payton was not.

  • Tzvi T

    It was my ninth grade year and things weren’t going well. I had just been told by Coach X that I was too short to play on the team; I was inconsolable. I thought the world was over. And then it happened.
    It was 2001– a year that will live in infamy– and I was struggling as aformentioned. With what was going on the world, compounded by my self-pity, my friends decided I needed a pick-me-up. Unbeknownst to me, they picked me up a copy of SLAM Magazine. As you would have it, Paul Pierce was on the cover.
    As a huge celtic fan I was blown away. In those years, pre the big three, the celtics didnt get much love. So for SLAM to put PP on the cover was awesome.
    I remember hearing an interview with PP where he said it meant the world to him to be on the cover of SLAM.
    I could understand that.
    It meant the world to me.

  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    @ Joel O’s comment 2:22pm:

    That was the first Slam I ever laid eyes on!! I was on holiday in England with my grandparents at the time, and they wouldn’t let me buy it because it was too expensive haha. First one I bought is the one with Jason Williams and Chris Webber on the cover. But the Sprewell cover is my favorite as well, because that was love at first sight

  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    that coverstory on Sprewell in 99 was named The American Dream, right?

  • Dwyane

    I remeber when I got suspended from school and was’nt a subscriber at the time I had to go buy the new SLAM but my parents would’nt give me the money. So i stole it and went to Safeway to get the new SLAM. It was right there I got goosebumps the second I saw it. Allen Iverson: Soul On Ice. It send shivers down my spine like damn this guys here now and he’s gonna change the game forever and he did do that. The articles were amazing and I read it 6 times I dont know why. But All I know is this is one of the Slam covers that made me feel different for the first 5 seconds that I looked at it. It was the reason A.I. became my fav player. Thanks SLAM

  • fernandooo

    my favorite slam cover has to be June 2008 issue 118 Dwight Howard come fly with me.i loved how you made half the body on the front and the other half on the back so when you would open it it showed his full body. i thought it was very creative of you guys to take such a fun dunk were dwight actually dressed like superman and make it into a cool cover. Slam has to be the best magazine ever made. Cant wait for the next issue

  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    oh yeah and it sucks that i have yet to get my hands on that soul on ice issue.

  • Mason

    My favorite cover was the one with kobe in the red white and blue and the headline was Kobe against the world. I’ve only been a subscriber since 2006 but i always would buy the magazine at the store and whenever i went on long flights. I’m currently in a computer graphics class at school and ish 123 is a great example of what you can do with photoshop and illustrator. you guys always have the best mag covers.

  • Daniel

    My favorite SLAM cover is LeBron James posing as the NBA logo man with the blue and red background. The only word that can describe it is ‘Wow’. The reason I liked it so much is because LeBron was one of my favorite players back then, and seeing it was only my second SLAM ever it was a joy to see this man grace the cover. This thing sends impulses through my muscles because it’s pretty much telling you Mr.James is gonna take over the L in a few years, if not now.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    You guys are the best. Thanks for all the great memories. Want to see what else people come up with but I can tell already that I’m going to have a very difficult decision…

  • Marin

    Allen Iverson Soul on Ice. I know it’s been mentioned a few times, but damn it was good. To me, Iverson and Slam will be inexorably linked. Both have soul, mad game, and bring a unique point of view to this game we all love.

  • Conman Hein

    My favorite is the Dwight Howard Flying over Gotham city with the Slam headquarters underneath. That’s the best one

  • JMac

    For me, the best SLAM cover was Iverson in all formal attire. He had it all in a professional look. From the leather shoes, slacks, great suit, and topped off with the hat. It was such an amazing cover that showed how the game was evolving. SLAM embraced the change of how the NBA banned wearing inappropriate attire to games and that players should dress accordingly as a professional. Not only did SLAM grasped this, but they also made one of the greatest, quickest, versatile, and unpredictable legends of the game follow suit to the rules. Allen Iverson looked good and to me, kind of symbolized Iverson’s commitment to the game, that he would not let off-court dilemmas get the between him and the game. It was one great cover made collectively by SLAM and AI, and that has got to be the best cover ever!

  • Derrick Smith

    My favorite SLAM cover has to be the Dec. “97″ issue with Rafer”skip to my lou” Alston. It was so special becuase he is a playground ledgend that made it to the pros. People always say that streetball and NBA don’t mix. A lot of people say that we should keep streetball where it is, the streets. Well he made it mix, he took his streetball game and brought it to the NBA. He acheived that dream that so many playground ledgends dream of every night. Looking back at that article no one thought he would be as good as he is know (except SLAM).

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

    Hands down the SLAM Presents Mike cover because it is a portal into a world of Jordan Jordan Jordan. My mom got it for me for my birthday THIS YEAR, and it made me so happy. No SLAM i ever got even the first one i got (TMAC December 04) made me so happy

  • Joe A

    My favorite cover was no.113. For a celtics die-hard, it was huge to see KG in his celtics uniform with that intense look on his face for the first time. It was almost like it was a prophecy of things to come, and a great start in what became an amazing year for celtic fans. Also the Rafer Alston one back in 1997 is memorable as it was the first Slam I ever bought.

  • Anton

    I love the cover of Issue 120(August 2008) with Chris Paul. The cover and story show how a single player can impact the NBA and his community. SLAM doesn’t ignore nor shy away from the social impact that players can have, and the determination of CP3′s face shines through as brightly as the hopes of New Orleans’ citizens.
    “Chris Rocks” indeed.

  • Rocky8

    There have been a lot of great Slam covers, but this series will for sure go down as one of, if not the best of all time. Each of the players has such a different story to tell. The artwork is just absolutely amazing and so fresh it just makes you want to collect them all…Slam just keeps on outdoing itself…

  • http://cedricalvinezyahoo.com cedric

    my favorite slam cover of all time is the one where kobe bryant had his 3 championship trophies infront of him and he is wearing his old number 8 black jersey.

  • http://cedricalvinezyahoo.com cedric

    sorry i forgot to put why.

    my favorite slam cover of all time is the one where kobe bryant had his 3 championship trophies infront of him and he is wearing his old number 8 black and gold laker jersey because this cover show what kobe bryant acomplished through his career that he is adding a new chapter to the laker history and he still he is gonna be adding more pages.i have another one i really like is the cover of kobe bryant with the american flag on his shoulders and the title say “me against the world” and he is wearing his u.s.a uniform and when i look at this cover it tells me that kobe bryant is gonna carry team u.s.a and win the gold and is gonna battle everybody around the world.i hope i win please pick me

  • jose

    my favorite SLAM cover would have to be Paul pierce(Pierce and the celts get theirs) with his trophy. Pierce’s expression defines everything.,His desire,his hard work,blood,sweat and tears of not only him but all the celtics. All that is put into that one photo.I see that ish. so many times and it still gives me chills just looking at it.He got his and he deserved it

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

    @Hisham: Yeah, something about “How Latrell Sprewell saved America”; I’ve got that issue stored somewhere in a box 12 time zones away now so I can’t refer to it. But yeah. And the C-Webb / Eboy cover was really good too.

  • Andres

    My Favorite issue was the one with Dwight Howard flying over the SLAM headquarters(issue 118). Not just was it a great cover but it had great articles on Dwight Howard himself, Amare Stoudamire,Anthony Johnson, and Rasheed Wallace.
    Another favorite of mine was issue 106 it was the first issue i bought and i started liking slam. It was also the first issue with slam the “Remix”

  • David Chong

    My favorite cover is definetly issue #15 the 96′ rookie class minus A.I. on the cover. Come on, Kobe, Nash, J.O., and Ray Ray, just to mention a few. I love it, it was my first issue and I keep it in a lock box!!

  • josue

    man theres a lot of covers i love, but the first one i ever saw and made me fall in love with slam was the one with KOBE “WINNING IS EVERTHING” KOBE with the purple throwback jeresy in front of 3 NBA championship trophies arms crossed gold backdrop just there looking all mean at me i was sucked into the world of slam ive bought every issue since, i wish i had discovered slam way before but it wasnt meant to be, ive never posted i comment or wrote anything for trash talk but had to let that out and that last issue is number 2 on my list

  • K-Dub

    My favorite cover has to be one of two LeBron covers: 78, because it was the first time I ever picked up the magazine I’ve been reading into my teenage years, or 93, because the playing card design with LeBron as King made the whole issue.

  • gii

    My favorite SLAM cover has to be ish 1 – Larry Johnson – grandmamma – Converse React Juice! Obviously that was the first issue of SLAM I had picked up and purchased and have pretty much been a fan of since. Back then, I read the mag religiously as it gave a fantastic alternate perspective to my favorite sport – a real contrast to Stern’s promotion of the NBA.

    I’ll always be a fan of the NBA, and appreciate everything that SLAM has done for it.

    [/end of ass kissing]

  • gii

    ps – these covers are seriously awesome. i would proudly frame it and display this in my house!

  • JMac

    by the way, my comment was on Issue # 84 – Strictly Business. =]

  • Justin

    The three covers of Slam #117 consisting of Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley, and Derrick Rose. These were clearly the top three players from the most talented nad influential college recruiting class in history. All three will go on to successful if not legendary NBA careers but time will also show that their accomplishments in college were not easy because future recruiting classes wil not produce at the level that they did.

  • will

    slam #97 was my first so im not the longest time reader, but I used to go to my newsagent and never saw it until this one just caught my eye, it was the one with Kobe holding the ‘black mamba’. I bought it and didn’t put it down for a month.

  • http://slam dan

    By far SLAM Ish 96 Best rookie class ever was the best ish ever!! Back then, AI being the thug he was, was my fav player, still is. First off, gotta say that class of ’96 was dope and stacked with elite players. AI, KB24, Nash, Ray Ray, Toine, peja and much more. What makes this such a great ish, is because it was my first one and the one that made me decide that SLAM was the best mag out there. I appreciate SlAM everyday for its greats articles and slamups.

  • tealish


  • tealish

    There were many goods, but the best had to be Issue 32 with “Allen Iverson – Soul on Ice”. It was amazing because the cover was just so dynamic. The authentic defiance of his c*cked head and smug look was exactly the way he played the game. There he was with his maxed-out fro, a throwback PHILA jersey, an old ABA ball — and blinged out, of course. All this on top of a vintage orangey-red backdrop, made for the perfect cover: Allen Iverson. New school, old school — whatever. This was a man who did it his way.
    (I don’t think the reason it didn’t show up the first time was because I didn’t censor c*cked…)

  • tealish

    Or rather, I think*. Man, this has got me all confused.

  • German Reignman

    The black and white “Got Mike?” cover …. (I am currently at work so I can`t check which number it was) … I was on vacation with my girl (now wifey) in France and walking through the trainstation in Rennés I saw this picture of Mike and I had to buy the mag asap (and it cost about 5times the US price, cause SLAM was not a regular mag you could just buy anywhere)… so I bought the mag, girl was rolling her eyes (her thoughts: money spend on mag = money not spend on her) and we went back to our ** hotel … so she was writing a letter home to her parents and I can still remember how she was writing down “I don`t know why he is laughung all the time” and I was reading the article about who is the best trash talker in the lig …. and then, when I came to Scoops “Here`s what money gave his dog” article, it was over … I was hooked, started my subscription soon after that and it don`t stop …

  • Sam

    My fave Slam cover ever? Thats a hard question but I would have to say it would be issue 109, with Shaq on the cover in the rain. Im loving the Sin City theme going on there! O’Neal looks like he’s ready for anything! Shaq versus the world!

  • D

    My favourite SLAM cover ever is Issue 74 with Kobe on the front, and truthfully it’s not because the cover is aesthetically pleasing, but rather because the article reminds me of life without basketball, and makes me appreciate it more. I love basketball, it has changed my life. That Scoop article on Kobe is probably my favourite of all time, because it made me think about how much basketball means to me and what life would be like without it. When I look at that cover it reminds me of all the things I felt when I was reading that article for the first time, as lame as it sounds it gave me tingles, still does, and makes me appreciate the love I have for the game, and the game itself that much more. This all probably sounds a bit cliché but its how I feel.
    Blazers for ’10 Champs!

  • vaL

    SLAM 106 the LeBron James NBA LOGO, the cover say’s it all, Bron is the ONE., and that’s the issue where Ben OsBORNe is BORN as the Ed.

  • http://cubshotmail.com boobs

    best slam covers 106 lbj nba logo, 123 kobe cover is tight, and ai back in the day with the fro

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    Summers in Saudi Arabia are horrendous, but winters are beautiful. It gets just cold enough so that you have to wear a jacket. The sun is not as forbidding. Five or six years ago, I used to go to this dingy little coffee shop and smoke strawberry-flavored water-pipes. I would always go with friends, but occasionally, I’d get the craving when everyone was busy. I remember that winter day, 5 or 6 years ago, when I went alone. On the way, I stopped at the one place that sells SLAM in Riyadh. And there it was: Kobe with the O’Briens. A cover as translucent as the cold sun. I’m glad all my friends were busy that day.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    I also like the recent Paul Pierce championship one because that issue had Holly’s Al Thornton IYF.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    P.S. I quit smoking in July of 2003, kids.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    Smoking is bad for you…ahem…Myles…

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    Speaking of Kobe and the O’Brien’s, I’m pretty sure he gets a fourth one in 2009. Anyone wanna bet against that?

  • stokesey

    whew you guys sure know how to make a tough contest!! after rummaging through my stash of SLAM….SlAM 90 august 05 – Ron Artest
    im not even a fan of his but, but it was the hottest topic at the time (motown brawl) the cover just hit you in the face(the free ron artest shirt) the idea was a stroke of genius in my book

  • einstein

    SLAM 128. Dwight Howard is flying over a city. And on the back? D12! I didn’t even saw it at first but then i’m looking at superman! great cover, great issue.

  • Paps

    Grandma ma, L J cover. That’s when change happened and it all started.

  • jay

    @ Nguni: Hey man I was just in Lesotho! Through the saripass and the drakenberg moutains and all that. Rep your hood youngbuck!
    South Africa & Lesotho are cool…even though I live in Europe :-)

  • http://www.asternwarning.com mookie

    Summer 2004. Basketball was still innocent for me. Living in Australia, we didn’t get a lot of exposure to the NBA, so to be a true fan, you really had to get out there and dig. We’d get our one game a week on TV and outside of that you’d read the basketball results page in the back of the newspaper (hidden behind such oddities as results for badminton and strategies for bridge games) — you’d read them over and over. Well, I did. We had an event in Sydney called “NBA Jam Session” and as part of it they gave away various NBA-related goodies. I picked up a copy of Slam with Shawn Kemp on the cover — issue 2. The wonder and excitement that the ReignMan generated personified exactly what the NBA was about for me at that time as a 14 year old. I didn’t know what this magazine was about and to be honest it looked very young and raw. Very fresh and full of potential — much like Kemp really, before he hit a rough patch called drug-induced-fatland.

    When I think back to those innocent days of the NBA (innocent for me anyway), before I started to see and hear the stories behind the players, I think of things like watching the NBA Top 10 once a week on TV and that issue of Slam with Shawn on the cover.

  • http://slamonline bighawk

    favorites soul on ice n respect the game for iverson kobes cold blooded winning is everything lebron-bassy lebron playing card covers i have every issue of slam great mag but 2 much advertising i know u have 2 pay bills but come on .

  • Peat

    The all black cover with Michael for the 100th was the best. I was hoping that you wouldn’t put one of your “SLAM era” athlete like Steph or AI for this one. You didn’t disapoint me and I thank you for that.

  • Hiro

    Hooded in a US Flag with the crazed look of a serial killer. The NBA’s best is ready to jump off and carry America’s finest.


  • http://Yahoo Carl

    My favorite has to be the MJ cover you did when he came back for the first time, that had to be the best because of what his comeback meant for the true ballers of the world. I know his comeback brought you guyz from underground to the GREATEST MAGAZINE EVER!!! I also have personal favorites like the Latrell Spreewell & Timmy Hardaway cover back in the day. And the Slam Classic covers you made were a special treat for the ballaholics, pound for pound you guyz are the BEST, actually the BEST is an understatement. “HE GREATEST” is more like it, keep up the great work. THANKS!!!

  • Kevo

    I love the Allen Iverson with the throwback and the fro blowed out I think that cover personafied A.I. it says i respect da game and its legends but I’m going to do me regardless of what anyone thinks.

  • T2C.WAH #4

    The “Free Ron Artest” feat Ron Ron himself.
    Because it represented so well why we all love SLAM:
    It’s a rebel & alternative magazine!
    I mean there’s no mainstream media that could have come to the rescue of Ron in the middle of Ron’s insane “mediatic beat down”.
    Slam as a supporter & actor of the game should not have defended Ron, because botom line is that he hurt the image of this game big time but all the medias were so unanismously hard on Ron that someone has to do something.
    & Slam came to the rescue right on time not only to reabilitate Ron’s image but also&more importantly to make another voice heard in the middle of the politically correct loud blabla of the mainstream medias.
    That’s why we all love rebels (Che Guevara, Gandhi, Bob Marley, 2pac, Maradona, Cantona, Sheed, Ron!…); that’s why we all love alternative voices, ideas, medias…
    That’s why we all love SLAM!
    Moreover the essence of Slam is the story telling about particular caracters (of the B.ball world) & Ron is probably one of the most singular & so the most representative of the Slam era.
    We all love the art of story telling since we’re kids & that’s why Slam’s such a great magazine & that’s why Slick Rick is one of the greatest rapper of all time!… but I digress.


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

    What about the dismembered head of Gary Payton?

  • http://farmerjones26.bebo.com jonesy


    my fave cover of all time was august 02(lebron n bassy in high school). it was the first copy of slam i bought. at the time i played and loved basketball, but i didnt have a computer and being in ireland i basically saw nothing about it on tv. so when i saw this i picked it up straight away. within 2 weeks, id picked my favorite team (the pacers) and now i cant get enough of the game. i subscribed to slam and ive gotten every issue since that one.

    ok, dats my own personal reason, but the other reason i like the cover i because those guys were in high school. not just high school, junior and sophomore year! it showed slam were willing to take risks and that it was always about basketball, it didnt matter these guys werent in the L yet.

    thanks, n lets all hope n pray bassy can get it back on track, he almost had me thinkin bout whether i should start lyin about why i wear #31!

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Myles wins…

  • Quentin

    My fav is the one that say lebron is the one in red white and blue colors, cause he is phenom and a awesome basketball player so he might take the Cavs to the playoffs this year cause he is the one.

  • http://nothinpersonal8.blogspot.com/ nothin personal

    Because Oden is my favourite player before I even watch him play a real Nba game. Because your mailing stuff messed up (twice)and I could never get the “sin city special” issue, that was the best cover by far until now (really big fan of illustrations), even with the Dirk crushing in the 1st round (It’s out of stock, and it’s the only issue I don’t have since the Gary Payton cover. Because I am probably your only reader in Cyprus. Because I haven’t won anything and I’ve been damn loyal to you! because it’ll really matter to me.

  • johnmac2147

    Because this is the best magazine ever!!!! Plus the art is A1. I would hang the pics all around my game room. I love basketball.

  • obeonekinobe

    my favorite would have to be kobe in the black uniform with the three championship trophies. It made me reminisce the good old days when I was in middle school. Lakers had won every year that I was in middle school, 6th, 7th, 8th. God how I wish i can relive those moments again. It also reminds me when the economy was still good, and how united we were even one year after 9/11.

  • matt

    SLAM 32. The Soul on Ice cover was by far the best. It defined the revolution of basketball. This cover, and pretty much anything else that AI did, was a face to the cultural change of basketball. The blown out afro, iced out, and tatted up, AI was the head figure of the cross culture of hip-hop and basketball. Now even though many people may complain about the culture, and what AI stands for, but it is what a lot of us live by. It is the mentality that is captured in the cover photo of “no matter how hard you come at me, imma be me.” Its the grimy, hard-nosed, “try and stop me” type of game that AI plays. This cover represents not just basketball, but the whole basketball culture. AI was and still is the answer!

  • http://nsbacasakchbkl.com t.dot dude

    if i’m aloud to enter again, my favourite covers are these, in no order.
    1)Chauncy billups, ish 98, it was my first issue and i was like 9 years old, and once i read that issue, i never missed another one.
    2)Allen Iverson: soul on ice. Although i never actually got this issue(I wasn’t even born when it came out), i still wanted to get it.
    3)LeBron James, NBA Logo, ish 106 I believe. That was sick with the logo thing, and that was the first ish with the “new feel”, because it was Mr. Osbourne’s first issue as editor.
    4) ish 118 with Dwight Howard on the cover in the sky like superman. I love that issue because I was featured in trash talk in it.
    5)This issue. I’m so happy im getting the kobe one in Israel!

  • Sean Gaudet

    Slam 15. Not only is it the greatest Slam cover of all time, it’s the greatest draft class of all time! Best cover=best players. This cover had Kobe, Nash, Camby, R. Allen, Stephon Marbury etc.

    It’s fitting your best cover ever contains some of the greatest players ever.

    Plus Steve Nash’s haircut was even awesome back then.

  • Ken

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned the Sin City covers of Shaq and Dirk. I thought those were amazing.
    If I had to pick the best cover ever, I think it’s pretty clearly the AI Soul on Ice one, just because its so iconic and representative of SLAM. From a purely artistic standpoint, I’d give it to the current covers, or the Sin City ones. I can also empathize with everybody out there who holds a special place for their first issue ever. Mine was the top 75 list with the 84 Walter Looss MJ photo on the cover. And while it wasn’t an official cover,the Stockton alternate for issue 100 made me laugh really hard.
    Thanks to everybody for sharing their memories. I had fun reading them.

  • cj

    my fav cover is SLAM MARCH 2006, cause it shows how often the game changes. Sebastain Telfair had a SLAM cover, a movie made about him, had all the upside in the world, and ruined it.


  • Danny

    My favorite SLAM cover has got to be the Kobe Against the World cover of Feburary 2007. I like this cover for a number of reasons, but mainly because it made me understand the true celebrity of kobe. Instead of a cover previewing rookies or players that are set to have career years, Kobe steals the cover because he has requested a trade. He has not been traded, or been shopped very well, yet there he was on the cover wrapped in an American flag, wearing his team USA jersey, staring into the camera with his cold, calculating eyes… even though by the time the issue arrived it was clear where Kobe’s heart truly lay, it was still a compelling issue and cover, and remains my favorite even though i have over 50 issues of slam.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Click my name and read a detailed article on a great basketball player and man! Comment! Comment!

  • Lentheric

    Roc-L.A.-Familia – Brand, Odom and Miles, the Clipshow looked like they had finally put together a team that would make the playoffs, I bought into the hype and like a lot of other people I got burned. This was my first ever Slam and I have every one since. The clippers may have burned me back in 01/02 but my love of the game has only grown.

  • http://myspace.com/bodiebarnett jbn74sb

    My favorite cover will be the July 2009 cover with the picture of Kobe saying “Back On Top – The Rise, Fall, and Rise of The Greatest Ever (?)”. The main article, by Ryan Jones, will detail Kobe’s trials and tribulations that culminated in the Lakers winning the 2009 title.

  • cp3mvp0809

    i still dont have my ish

  • Joel Torres

    My favorite cover is the Rafer Alston cover. Best Point Guard In The World(That you’ve never heard of). This cover, to me, established you guys as the, “Ima write whatever we feel” type magazine, take it or leave it. You took a little known guard(Except those lucky residents of New York who got to watch his wizadry at work) and thrust him in to the spot light simply because YOU believed in him. That is why I love SLAM. SLAM is the reason this fall term, I’m going to major in Journalism at Stony Brook University, and hopefully one day be interning and Getting Lang’s coffee or Ben’s copies, trying to work my way up. Even if i don’t win, thank you. Thank you for sparking my aspirations.

  • Julian Fadullon

    My favorite cover ever is the ’03 one of Jason Kidd. He is easily my favorite player, and he looks mean on the cover, with his jersey out and all. the cover itself was like a sick throwback even without kidd.

  • Will Imbo

    How about the one that started it all? Larry Johnson baby-taking flight and bringing SLAM along for the ride. Although it might not look like the coolest cover in the SLAM era, there is no question that it is an iconic cover (and issue) that launched this great publication and has given so much joy to hoop-lovers world wide. Surely there is no other cover that can claim that.

  • KC

    I would love to see a cover with T-mac and the rockets with the championship trophy titled “brotherhood” in July 2009

  • KC

    …Better still, a cover with T-mac in his rockets uniform and championship trophy titled “Prime #: 1″

  • GOAT

    March of 95 – issue #5.

    Even though I was a Hornets fan at the time (the Raptors were still a pipe-dream), and didn’t care too much for Spree or Timmy, they were still guy’s that I respected. Both could flat out play ball, and make your jaw drop, which is how I felt when I first picked up the magazine. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was in an airport in Ottawa and split the cost with my older brother. Slam was love at first sight.

  • LJ

    I would have to choose the Kobe against the world from February 08. I mean, like, during that time his imaged was recently fully recovered from his case and he was just then truly establishing himself as the best baller in the WORLD. He was also proving to people he deserved to be on team USA and that he wasnt just a selfish player. He had a whole bunch of haters and it was pretty much telling them screw off because im the best. That cover meant a lot to me and im sure it meant a lot to Kobe.

  • mistagogetta

    my all time fave would have ta be before last season started.. right when the celtics got ray allen and KG. SLAM came out with an issue whith “the big 3″ on the cover. KG has always been my favorite player ever since i was 12, when i heard the celtice got those 3 superstars i knew that they was gonna win the championship that year… i told my sister they was before the season even started, what can you say now? Like KG said =] well that would be my all time favorite SLAM cover

  • jub_al

    I was 14 years old when i bought that issue, my first… it wasn’t because i’d never heard of SLAM before. I’d borrowed quite a few from friends and skimmed through it and considered myself a fan. But i was never inclined to buy one. The Slam-Ups and Kicks section always made it tough, but my 14 year old pride got the best of me. To me, magazines were ‘all the same and a waste of space and money’…then, one fateful day, SLAM claimed that they had found the best point guard in the world, yet the face on the cover was neither Stockton, Payton, Hardaway nor Hardaway…instead, it was some sleepy-eyed, goofy looking kid wearing a jersey of a school i’d never in my life heard of…i remember thinking to myself ‘what are these guys at SLAM smoking?!’ Of course, then i saw in brackets and tiny print “you’ve never heard of”…that was the first time a magazine had ever struck me / spoke to me like that. It was as if SLAM creators were taunting me, saying, ‘you don’t know anything about basketball’…so, as i believe many other people did, i had to pick it up…Then there was the story itself. Till this day, that story is probably the one i re-read the most. And every time, I’d visualize a six-foot-nothing Skip, slowly walking through that crowd in the gym while steadily keeping his dribble between his legs…or rolling the ball down his right arm, into his left hand to drop that amazing dime at the Rucker…With this issue, SLAM connected the dots for me. Rafer Alston was not on the cover because he was an up and coming kid who had something to prove. This droopy looking kid was already established in his own right, and SLAM, not Sports Illustrated, or NBA Inside Stuff Magazine, pointed out to me that the game of basketball is larger than just the NBA. Just because these players aren’t part of an association symbolized by Jerry West’s silhouette doesn’t mean that they are not as talented or able…For a 14 year old, this was a huge find and this led to me developing a greater appreciation of not just the different levels of basketball, but all sports …this is why I believe that this cover especially defines what SLAM is all about. SLAM showed that they are not afraid to make bold but clever/educated statements (and YES, til this day, I still believe that Grant Hill, in the first 3 months of ’97, WAS Just like Mike, Only Better! Hehe…definitely, DEFINITELY my second favourite cover of all time!) they also took a risk by putting an unknown player from Fresno State on the cover instead of a star from the NBA or a highly touted college program, (which was what every other basketball magazine was doing) reflecting SLAM’s passion and focus on the GAME of basketball, regardless of level, location and/or gender…plainly put, the cover of SLAM #22 would have only mattered to true basketball lovers, and I’m proud to say that buying that issue of SLAM, along with all of my other issues, is my testament to this fact.

  • jub_al

    just in case it wasn’t obvious, i’d meant to put “Slam Issue #22 – Rafer Alston: The Best Point Guard in the World (you’ve never heard of)…

    and sorry about the length, i didn’t realize i’d written so much

  • arthur

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the best cover ever is the latest one, #123, even though I’m yet to see an actual physical copy. There are a few reasons for this- firstly, it’s such a brave and bold thing to do; I can’t think of another magazine, let alone another sports magazine, that would have the cojones to release something that looks as different as this does. And the covers are undeniably beautiful: the colour tones are warm and understated, and the division of the background cleverly suggests the NBA logo.
    But for me, what really sets these apart is what separates SLAM from any and every other sports publication: the awareness and embrace of the culture that feeds directly into basketball. Of course, Other covers have set the bar high, the most obvious examples being Iverson’s Soul On Ice cover, or MJ’s free throw line dunk triple cover on issue 50(the second issue I evr bought!), or KG and Starbury, about to rule the planet, or LeBron with crown and sceptre or… you get the point.
    What I’m trying to say is that SLAM has always recognised the culture of basketball, and I think it’s fitting that, on recognising that a culture which had been so clearly and cruelly victimised under the Bush administration and was about to be revitalised by Barack Obama, it would be SLAM that was first to recognise that this was a turning point for the future, for this culture, America, and by extension, the world. Not only this, but to celebrate this fact so vividly, and the fact that you guys saw this coming, months ago?
    And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that your greatest cover has 23 in the number.

  • cassidy is beter then lil wayne

    wow arthur what does the presidential election have to do with an autograph cover of slam magazine, and way to try to act smart buddy when you cant even spell color, or recognize, and who remembers what issue of slam was the second one they ever bought, and buddy, come on brave and bold its a fickin basketball cover, jesus.

  • lil wayne sucks

    shut up arthur u cant even spell and o yeah its so brave and bold that they changed the color of a fricken basketball magazine cover whats next there gonna change font size and, o that would be death defying

  • rhillips

    mine would ahve to be issue 118, Dwight Howard superman cover. It’s a pretty straight forward idea to have Howard and some sort of flying on the cover. But it could so easily have been cheesy. Imagine him standing there in the outfit, he would look stupid. Instead he’s in his full kit whilst streched out as if he is reaching for the hoop. Also, the trailing legs on the rear of the mag is genius. Not only does it coincide with the idea of flying, but you still get in the adidas advertisment on his trainers, PURE CLASS. Another thing, i love the backdrop to the picture. Since when was superman snapped over a sunlit city, never. The night sky and light buildings work very well with the writing and lighting on Howard aswell. plus, you added the cheeky SLAM in lights in amongst the buildings. Can’t get enough of theis, is there anything you didn’t add in this one. Again it’s genius

  • ArmoPimp

    my favorite SLAM is probably ish 114, since its about my fav player
    i also liked the article about Mo Williams and the Noyz section
    it was a good issue and the money was sure worth it
    keep doing ya thing SLAM

  • Halil

    my favourite SLAM cover would have to be Lebron James in a king costume and a sword issue number 93 in december 2005 because this was my first ever SLAM magazine which was handed to me by a friend. after i read it, i liked it and ever since ive been getting every issue of it. the reason why i liked it was because after i read this magazine, i started to really get into basketball and the NBA and also this magazine made me a avid cleveland cavaliers supporter. because i live in the UK there is not much places to get a SLAM magazine which is a bummer :( so i subscribed online to recieve them.

  • b-ri

    The greatest slam cover ever is the Premier issue of SLAM magazine. This is what started it all. This is started the history of the greatest basketball magazine then, and the greatest now. Larry Johnson ” slamming it was a great cover choice to kick off the magazine. A lot of the features then are still in the magazine now. With the action shot of the monster dunk, it was the perfect way to kick off SLAM. The lettering for the title slam literally looks like it just got “slammed” on. This is why the premier issue is the greatest cover of SLAM.

  • Michael Mullery

    The king shall reign lebron cover, simply because it’s true, we will be the best or second best player in the NBA for the next 10 years.

  • willis heathen

    my fav cover of course is the num 50 with the triple cover of jordan from the fouline bekuz that issue really got me into your mag nd now u guys r my bible u dnt even know. also bkuz i remember that was my sophomore year and right before i played a game i bought 1 for all my teamates nd i droped 44 that game nd that is why that ish is so memorable. the issues articles were off the hook as well haha peace

  • Doug Herbert

    Slam 100 was the greatest ever to me I started at ish 88 and thought how great it would have been to be part of the slam family and seeing MJ and the greats on those covers then ish 100 came out and when I saw Michael I freaked then the contest of the shoes wow I mean I went out and bought another so I wouldn’t damage mine when I sent the little send in sheet never got the shoes but I did get the spirit thanks SLAM for givin me that spirit

  • http://nsbacasakchbkl.com t.dot dude

    to arthur who said it was such a brave thing to do, to make the covers like this, just for u to know, MAD magazine (if youve heard of it) did a cover like this with the same colour (im origionally from Canada, and thats how u spell it there, so dont make fun of me), with there cover guy/maskot Alfred E Neuman. so arthur, ur wrong.and to lll wayne sucks, ur funny

  • ctab21

    i just finished watching Through the Fire again and would have to say that the cover with LeBron and Telfair is still my favourite because when i got it here in Australia, we hardly knew anything about these high school kids. from that day on, i have had a keen interest in all things these high school kids are doing.
    oh, and the cover. i love it cos they are both fresh. Lebron is a skinny kid compared to the m onster he is now and Telfair looks like a baby. Pity their careers haven’t both been successful.

  • Ali Naderi

    i beleive that the best slam cover was the one in two thousand and six that had a picture of flash and shaq in their heat jerseys which showed their road to victory in the nba finals

  • http://www.basketballpro.com Mike Jensen

    Top 3 Slam Covers Ever:
    1. Larry Johnson issue #1.
    My very first issue. I was so pumped a basketball magazine for real hoopers.
    2. Vince Carter #41.
    Strikes over. Vince wins Dunk contest. No Shawn Bradley on cover! Know your SLAM History and you will feel me!
    3. Black Mamba #97.
    Kobe is Deadly!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    175 Comments. Awesome! Seems like a nice round number to stop at. I will be contacting the winner shortly. Assuming they respond to me and affirm their identity and their interest in the prize, I will announce them here and close the post. So hold the comments for now and stay tuned for the winner. Thank you all for your interest and opinions.

  • http://celtics.com KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    I have to go with a more recent issue which is an instant classic: Paul Pierce on the cover of ish #121. Blood Sweat & Tears. This pic of P-Double epitomizes his emotion and true love of the game. The struggles this guy has been through to get to the top of the NBA world. He’s been stabbed and almost killed, called a thug, been on the worst team in the Nba for a period of time, called a ball hog and the list of trials and tribulations goes on and on. This cover shows just how strong a person and an athlete Paul Pierce is. The feeling of “Yessss!” jumps off the page. You almost want to give the paper it’s printed on a pound and chest bump!

  • Chris Carthern

    I have to go with the AI tribute to DR. J to Dr. J it was awesome him having the afro out simply because you always have him with braids. Added was that he played for the 76ers and it made it classic. Not to mention the ice that made it so cold. The only slam poster that can compete is the GOAT MJ the 3 separate covers.

  • JBlackburn

    The best SLAM cover is the Gary Payton “make Em Say Ugh”. It is great because it has Gary at his snarling best right when Master P was big and as a huge Sonic fan—OKC sucks, the owners at least–I was a Glove fan through and through–can’t blame him for getting traded, playing for the Celtics, Lakers, and Heat.

  • Taylor Hackett

    My favorite cover is without a doubt SLAM 28.
    “Back to back (to back) championships earns The Man back to back covers. And his back is turned too. You don’t even need to see his face. This cover celebrates that signature moment, the greatest of all-time ending his career and cementing his legacy with the perfect moment.” That paragraph sums up exactly what i was thinking when i saw it. He is the best, and will never be beaten. The same reason i think this is the coolest cover.

  • amrit

    i like the kevin garrnet because it’s mononchormatic. the baje color is neutral and the green shades make the picture pop out.

  • nick d

    i like the most recent Kevin Garnett cover. The greens nearly burst out at you. I think KG’s scream symbolizes how hungry we are in Boston for that 18th banner.

  • MD

    Despite not owning every SLAM issue so far printed, I got to say that my favourite has got to be number 115 (With Melo and AI). This is my favourite cover not because these 2 were on the team I supported, or because they probably made the highlight reel the day before, but because they truly represent what basketball is about: The friendship (brotherhood to quote a recent advertisement campaign) in a team. They show that no matter what you go through on and off the court, you gotta stick together because thats the only way you’re gonna make it through.

  • http://cedricalvinezyahoo.com cedric

    whozthe winner

  • N.Pawelczyk

    Ish 107…..Ivo, Fur Coat, Nuggets, Cold as ice….just looking at this cover gives me the chills…….O wait Nvrmind, the airs on at my house

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    And the winner is….
    Joel Torres (Nov. 6th at 8:04). Joel wrote:
    “My favorite cover is the Rafer Alston cover. Best Point Guard In The World(That you’ve never heard of). This cover, to me, established you guys as the, “Ima write whatever we feel” type magazine, take it or leave it. You took a little known guard(Except those lucky residents of New York who got to watch his wizadry at work) and thrust him in to the spot light simply because YOU believed in him. That is why I love SLAM. SLAM is the reason this fall term, I’m going to major in Journalism at Stony Brook University, and hopefully one day be interning and Getting Lang’s coffee or Ben’s copies, trying to work my way up. Even if i don’t win, thank you. Thank you for sparking my aspirations.”
    I must say, I really enjoyed reading all of these entries. I’m not saying Joel’s was the BEST written, although it was well done. And I’m not saying Rafer is my favorite cover (I’m tied on Iverson/Soul on Ice and LeBron/logo), but it was a very important one to me. For one thing, that’s the first issue that I was on the masthead for, and the first issue I had an article in (Bob Sura’s Slamadamonth on Stacey Augmon). Not that either of those reasons were on Joel’s mind. What mattered about that issue in the big picture–to both Joel and I–is exactly what he wrote: that SLAM was going to do what it wanted, how it wanted it. I’m not ashamed to say we’ve become slightly more commercial in the decade-plus since then, but I’d still say we at SLAM and Slamonline are unique in the way we cover basketball. And that Rafer cover might have been when we first made that crystal clear. So, thanks all of you for the great entries, and congratulations to Joel for writing the one I thought worked best of all. Your exclusive prints are on the way.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Also: to eliminate any confusion and prevent people from writing entries that are past due, I’m now closing comments on here. Thanks again.