Sunday, July 18th, 2010 at 12:00 pm  |  10 responses

SLAM #141

Hard To Earn

Originally published in SLAM 141

The 6th Man: You know which story I heard the most about from SLAM 140? The Steve Francis feature. On one hand, this wasn’t a total surprise: Stevie Franchise’s acrobatic game definitely captured the imagination of fans for much of the last decade, and then no one heard peep from him for a couple of years. Steve’s particular case (All-Star starter to out of the spotlight entirely in less than five years) is extreme, but the overall appeal of former high-profile players is broader than that.

Our “culture” (in this case meaning the star-generating basketball media, which SLAM is absolutely a part of) has a tendency to build young ballers up to remarkable heights, then stick with the ones who live up to the hype while acting like those who don’t pan out have basically disappeared. I get it: Everyone loves who’s hot and who’s next. Shoot, we’ve got “QUINCY MILLER” in bold letters at the top of this month’s cover. And yet, as a basketball-only publication blessed with experienced writers and a flexible publisher, we have an opportunity few other media outlets have: We can feature the guys who have “disappeared,” too.

If the Lenny Cooke feature in my first issue as E-i-C (SLAM 106) was one instance of that, and Francis another, then this issue brings perhaps the best example yet in Schea Cotton (leading huddle above). You young guns might not even know the name, but let me tell you: Even to someone who grew up on the East Coast, this L.A.-bred baller was the biggest name in prep hoops in ’94-95. Sports Illustrated did a feature on him. We had him in multiple issues. He was on ESPN when that meant only one channel. And then he was out. Not literally, of course. He got hurt, played a year of college, played pro ball overseas, got into coaching and even maintained a certain status in the L.A. area. But to the larger basketball landscape? Gone. Well, now we’re putting him back on the map, thanks to a lengthy feature by our man Aggrey Sam (pg. 66).

And while we’re talking about players who got ghost, check the Old School feature on Angelo Cruz, too (pg. 72), and trust that for every future star we help break, we’ll try and make sure there’s a former future star we help remember.


Ben Osborne

P.S. Don’t sleep on our Finals coverage either. Multiple writers at every game and the best designer in the business make this year’s Finals recap a must-read for any fan who wants to relive the most exciting Championship series in years.

Issue 141 Lakers

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  • http://www.myspace.com/3timechamp Thomas

    Mid as well call SLAM KOBE magazine already. Really another Kobe cover why not Fisher and Ron Ron on it as well? I mean Artest saved the Lakers in game 7 and it’s his first tilte. But y’all can put Artest on the cover when he got in trouble in the Free Ron Artest cover? That’s messed up!! Show the man some love already, not just Kobe Bryant. Where is Pau Gasol at?and what about the Zen Zaster? Oh so he had notheing to do with the Kakers repeating as champions!! C’mon SLAM your better than that. I’m no Laker fan but last time I checked the Lakers won because of a unit that pulled together. I understand Bryant is the best player in the game, but to act as if he won the Finals by himself is silly. I think most Laker fans would agree on this, and I’m a Spurs fan at that. And i’m not one to talk trash, but this Kobe cover stuff needs to stop for a while. It’s like only Kobe and LeBron are the only topics y’all want to talk about. What about the other players in the leauge? Don’t they deserve some respect? I think so and why not make a cover with Magic and Bird on it. Just anything besides Kobe!! Listen I’m not upset that the Lakers won again. But it just annoys me to see the same gut on the cover over and over again.

  • http://www.myspace.com/3timechamp Thomas

    Now I see Artest and Gasol I barely even notice them just now LOL.

  • Chris

    When the Bulls won, nobody complained about MJ on EVERY magazine cover because he was the MVP of the team. Same should go for Bean. I agree that it wouldn’t be possible without Fish, Pau, and Ron Ron. Hell even Odom was a required part of winning this. In the end there can only be one. He is the Black Mamba and he deserves his cover.

  • logues

    k, the kobe image is real nice, but the boxed photos of ron and pau? just not feeling it. i know you wanted to show them some love too cuz they were huge, but those photos just seem like a half-a$$ way of showing them “love”. i think a cover like the bulls one way back with pip and mj on the cover woulda looked better. otherwise, i think the cover would look much better with just kobe on it.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    for the record, this issue didn’t drop today. It hit stands last week, and we introduced it over a week ago on the site: http://www.slamonline.com/online/the-magazine/toc/2010/07/slam-141-on-sale-now/

  • Erik Hunter

    That Schea Cotton piece was ill. I’m a L.A area cat from the class of ’97, so it really hit home. I appreciate when you guys catch up with ones who fell through the cracks. I think you should do more pieces on these players. Like Lenny Cooke, DeAngelo Collins, Korleone Young, just to name a few. I’ve been down with you guys since ‘ish #1. I really appreciate this mag, now only if they could come up with a football one.

  • larry

    why is this clown on the cover of slam

  • str8 from samoa

    yall should release them best ol school issues from da past

  • http://fasho.com Kobe

    why do ppl worry about whos on the cover…you only look at pics?!?!? rofl

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