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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am  |  183 responses

SLAM 136: On Sale Now!

There’s never a bad time for a Kobe cover…but this is a really good time.

by Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson)

Kobe Bryant sits before a group of journalists in L.A.—on the Forum floor, no less—and he’s talking about SLAM covers. Not this cover of this issue that you’re looking at now, seeing that we hadn’t shot it (or even set up the time to shoot it) yet, but a SLAM cover for that other guy who has had more covers than him, the one who retired but didn’t. No, the other one. “Y’all gotta do one with him in Philly now,” he says. “It’s a good look.”

What’s that? Is Kobe Bryant sounding…content? A little while later, someone Kobe Bryant, SLAM 136asks him straight-up about his competitiveness. Does it carry over off the court? His answer is exaggerated, delivered with that familiar half-smirk: “Noooooo, why would I do that? Not at all.” The laughter comes from everyone, most of all Kobe himself. It’s pushed further—someone suggests the original questioner challenge Kobe to a game of NBA 2K10. And just like that, playtime is over: “Yeah, you talk to Melo,” Kobe fires back, “ask him what happened with that game.” Well, that about covers that.

Last night Kobe passed mentor and friend Jerry West to become the Lakers’s all-time leading scorer, dropping 44 points on the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s reaching new milestones daily, at the point in his career where each accomplishment is something else for the Hall of Fame plaque. When he laces them up on February 8th to take on the San Antonio Spurs, he’ll play in his thousandth regular-season game. Sure, it might not happen on that night. He could miss a game between now and then to rest his fractured fingers and sprained right ankle. But that’s not what Kobe does. That’s not who Kobe is.

A long time ago, some idiot wrote the following words in the pages of this very magazine: “I’m not sure if anyone really understands Kobe Bryant. In fact, I’m not even sure if Kobe Bryant really understands Kobe Bryant.” We ran them twice, actually—the second time in our 10th Anniversary issue—and went so far as to dub him “The Enigma,” like he wore a question mark instead of a number eight. Yes, some things about Kobe were hard to understand. But his center, his essence, that should have been clear even then: Kobe Bryant wanted to be the best player to ever play the game of basketball. We were missing the tree for the forest. What idiot, what moron, what brainless hack would even suggest that Kobe didn’t even understand himself? Yep, that would be me.

If anything, Kobe can be too easy to read sometimes. Like Mike, he’s polished and prepared in interview settings, but also like Mike, he can’t keep that competitive fire tamped all the way down. He just can’t help himself. It’s funny too—the first time I sat down with Kobe for an extended interview, he insisted he was nothing like Michael Jordan. I believe the words he used were “totally different.” He was 21, just coming off his first championship, and it was clearly untrue even then, but the way he said it left no room for arguing.

Now, 10 years later, he seems not only willing to accept the comparison, but he’ll even be the one to bring it up. Near the end Kobe Bryant, SLAM 136of our Q&A session in New York, which took place after we did get him shot (by world-renowned photographer Martin Schoeller, no less) I ask him whether there are inherent conflicts between the career-long goal of becoming the best player ever and the year-to-year goal of winning championships. He doesn’t even hesitate:

“No, I think the trick is to win. For all of Michael’s individual brilliance, he never would have been considered arguably the greatest of all time had he not won. It’s just as simple as that. And to do that, you have to have some kind of luck, because you have to have teammates around you. I mean, he played with one of the all-time greats in Scottie Pippen. So you have to have a support system around you to help you accomplish those things. So I don’t think those lines are blurred at all. You have to win. There’s been a lot of great individual players in the past—Dominique Wilkins, Bernard King—these guys were talented individuals. But they couldn’t get over that hump.”

Kobe’s been over that hump four times now, placing him neatly between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and tied with Shaquille O’Neal. The championship question has been answered. He’s won. But he’s still two behind Jordan and he’s only been named Finals MVP once and despite all the accomplishments there’s so much left to do. After the cover discussion dies down in L.A., I ask whether winning the title last year refreshed him:

“It made me hungrier. It made me hungrier, if that makes any sense. It’s like, OK, we’ve got it. I’m in the party now—before I was outside in the street, like begging Phoenix and them to let me in. Now we got in, kicked them out, now you can’t come in. We gonna hold our house down.”

Kobe Bryant, SLAM 136

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  • vongustedt

    i love the cover, its beautiful!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Tyreke Evans! And… Vlade Divac?!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    So nice when an idea comes to fruition. Big thanks to Russ, Melissa, Martin, KeJuan, Erika, etc…I couldn’t be happier.

  • Randy Brown

    Kobe looks old, but great cover

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

    _

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Lawyue

    An amazing cover, job well done guys.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Rumor is Annie Liebowitz will be shooting Matt Harpring for our next cover.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    “…with your teammates.” I can’t read that at the bottom of cover, but I assume that’s what it says.
    I kid. Dope cover. Love the clear logo. War metaphor a plus. You guys left nothing in the chamber on this one.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    PS Russ, who’s the bigger idiot: You for saying it the first time, or me for co-signing it the second time? Either way, I’m still pretty sure you/we were right.

  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    This cover is hot. And, no surprise, everything inside is looking on point, too.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Oh man…. Him… Again.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kobe stay on the cover. Damn, did we really need to be able to count dude’s nose hairs?

  • Billy

    GQ cover

  • http://www.eric32woodyard.wordpress.com Eric Woodyard

    Hot!!

  • http://www.basketball247.co.uk Greg Tanner

    Wow – Kobe’s eyes look mad tired in the cover shot.

    I guess he’s tired from Doin’ Work!

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I wanted to get there early enough to have Schoeller shoot me as a test shot, but it’s probably for the best that he didn’t.

  • riggs

    another kobe cover? really?

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    This cover is clean. Can’t wait to read the interview.

  • Hangtime Hec

    God. No. Please. This cover freaks me the hell out. I like everything else, expect the picture.

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?

    Not a Kobe fan but he KILLS everybody. Yea, he’s on the cover a lot but damn, dude kinda deserves it.

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/all-decade/main-page/i/65216/4259/euroleague-all-decade-candidate-dimitris-diamantidis?lang=en&itemid=65216&mid=4259&tabid=1143&itemname=EUROLEAGU DIMITRIS DIAMANTIDIS(click on my name)

    @SLAM…..:I wish you could publish the sales spread between KOBE and LEBRON covers…i estimate it somewhere between 20% and 30%…(in KOBE’s favor of course).Anyway, nice photo/cover for the world’s greatest (NBA included).

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

    Mr owl ate metal worM

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/all-decade/main-page/i/65216/4259/euroleague-all-decade-candidate-dimitris-diamantidis?lang=en&itemid=65216&mid=4259&tabid=1143&itemname=EUROLEAGU DIMITRIS DIAMANTIDIS(click on my name)

    @SLAM…..:I wish you could publish the sales spread between KOBE and LEBRON covers…i estimate it somewhere between 20% and 30%…(in KOBE’s favor of course).Anyway, nice photo/cover for the world’s greatest (NBA included)..

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Now that I think about it, this cover really is genius. It shows the age clearly in Kobe’s eyes. Really drives home the point that he’s not a kid anymore and he’s officially in the second half of his career.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ben York

    Great stuff, everyone.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    That is a beautiful cover. I agree with Billy…it has a GQ feel (this is not a bad thing aesthetically). The see through logo is really nice.

  • The Wize

    Has anyone ever noticed the similarities between Kobe and Lord Voldemort?

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Article on Tyreke is nice but…when will he get his cover?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    This looks pretty sick. Great work.

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

    So I googled Lord Voldemort lol… the wize is definitely a 14 year old boy wearing a wizard hat yelling at his mother, asking her where she hid his magic wand!! lol

  • texaspete

    “you’re one ugly motherf**ker.”

    another kobe cover? didn’t see that coming. thought slam went against the grain.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    The spineline is “We’re Gentlemen, Too.”

  • http://www.tinnoi.com tin

    Kobe is awesome .

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    @Dimitris: I don’t really want to put people’s business out there, and I don’t have access to proper percentages, but I will say that to the best of my knowledge, 2009 cover popularity went something like this:
    1: Jordan
    2: Kobe
    3: Iverson
    4: LeBron
    everyone else.

  • Lee

    Perfect cover, SLAM! Lacking the UGLY AND OVERUSED bubble letter thingys also makes it refreshing.

  • duece76ers

    Kobe actually does fit the description of Lord Voldermort
    1. Snake eyes check
    2. small nose check
    3.menancing eyes
    4. Both are related to snakes
    5. Many other reasons
    lol

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    When I sh!t on this cover, will he tell me how my ass taste?

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    I will be purchasing this issue.

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

    Anton is a secret Kobe fan!

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    Yo Ben did you put me in Trash Talk cuz my whole comment was about how Jordan is better than Kobe. Now that you put Kobe on the cover, I’m not sure my chances are good.

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    yo come on g

  • Dirtybird

    Have him back up a little bit next time!

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    @Ben Osbourne: Nice spineline then. I mean it is photographed by Martin Schoeller, the GQ look had to be what was up. “I’m feelin’” the new SLAM cover as David Aldridge would say.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    I actually went to Schoellers online portfolio and there is a hilarious photo of the Pistons championship team from the 2000′s all wearing afro wigs to match ben wallace. Even Larry Brown…hilarious.

  • Jordan man

    Its alot like the Jordan cover from 2001

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/all-decade/main-page/i/65216/4259/euroleague-all-decade-candidate-dimitris-diamantidis?lang=en&itemid=65216&mid=4259&tabid=1143&itemname=EUROLEAGU DIMITRIS DIAMANTIDIS(click on my name)

    @Ben Osborne…..:this rank is the most propable, Kobe definitely (and 100% rightfully IMO) has an edge over every other current player. I just think that his edge over Lebron is much bigger than the media/NBA wants us to believe….i know that you cannot give me the actual data (even if you had access to them) but at the same time the number of covers in this business (magazines) speak by itself. Anyway, thanks for answering.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    @Martin: We get a lot of letters. I don’t recall yours. Feel free to re-send (trashtalk@harris-pub.com if you want to email).
    @Jordan: That cover was black and white and we bought it from the photog. This one was shot for us, which is a great feeling.

  • http://slamonline.com Mo Money Bizzes

    Luv this cover. So freshhh. What a look. Like the Melo one in its uniqueness. But even better.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Uh oh, MMB actually likes something.

  • The Wize

    The child prodigy who has no real friends (no possibility of verifying that haha), eschews the idea of team but gathers a strong supporting cast who need him to be number 1, was lauded with praise upon leaving school and steadily went about becoming the greatest to ever do it…but at what cost?! Refusing to enter the fray against (the order of the) Phoenix.

    Tell me he wasn’t pulling this face all through the playoffs last year: http://www.linternaute.com/sortir/cinema/diaporama/06/casting-harry-potter-5/voldermort.jpg

    and I hadn’t even thought about the snake thing hahaha he claims to speak a variety of languages…english, italian, spanish, and…parselmouth????

    Plus he is pure evil.

    Only joking.

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    This mag is starting to piss me off with all of the Kobe covers. I mean he knows he is good and he gets love from fans like crazy as it is. There are a ton of more players deserving of a cover and Kobe is on the cover like every 3 issues. Come on this is starting to become bullshit.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    What if he was being sarcstic, Lang?

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    This is gay. If I see another Kobe cover within the next 5 issues Im canceling my subscription. This is starting to become bullshit!

  • Marvin

    Great cover, it’s not the usual “player flexes muscles and stares angrily outward” cover that Slam puts out on the regular. The cover is a reminder of how long Kobe has remained the standard at which every basketball player aspires to be. The stoic look on his face and signs of aging gives us a sense of the kind of person that Kobe is, which we rarely see regardless of the amount of media coverage he’s garnered throughout the years.

  • http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikebasketball/en_US/signature/moves?player=kobe_bryant&move=3 Jackie Moon

    Love that you got a top-notch photographer to shoot the pix (or did Kobe demand that, you know he needs creative control!)

  • KC

    Not happy at all with the influx of Kobe/leBron covers… I need a bit more diversity in my SLAM covers, let’s get some of the great rooks on there, Evans, Jennings, Curry, etc. or how about the surging Hawks?? I think there a lot of people in the NBA that deserve their first cover rather than the 60th Kobe cover. Come on SLAM step your game up

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Uh, KC: Jennings was on LAST issue.

  • http://twitter.com/socalgirl24 socalgirl24

    what a beautiful cover! can’t wait to have it in my hands.

  • T-Money

    how was lebron brought in the discussion again? you guys need to let it go. everything is not a battle between the two. kobe’s stans are some insecure mofos…

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    another kobe cover? whodathunkit?? and why the super mega zoom? its creepy. how bout a joe johnson, josh smith, al horford, jcreezy cover? ….also, on the chip issue last season, it was dumb to put”hey shaq how my ass taste?” because kobe only tied with shaq. it would be more fitting to use that if la won another one, which they wont. TIMMY!

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    @Lang 11:27. That’s funny!!

  • Coolah

    cant wait for this one!!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Yeah Slam keeps coming with the dopeness. Like kobe doesn’t this! Perfect timing too.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kobe sells magazines. Yes, dude is the new Iverson when it comes to Slam covers, but man it’s a business. Slam is in the business of selling magazines so it can sell advertising.
    You don’t get newstand purcases with Joe Johnson on the cover.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    I like my Slam WellDone.Check.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloMan2.0

    Honestly SLAM? again? u couldn’t give someone like Tyreke the cover after Jennings just got one… or Bosh whos the best power forward in the gmae right now? or even Dirk? Tim Duncan… we all know that he’s gonna be on the cover when u guys “predict” the outcome of the playoffs, and he has a very high chance of being on the cover to recap the playoffs. Slam is starting to get really predictible

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

    Just found a HUGE miss print in the last issue of SLAM!! #135!!! On page 73 …

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    Ben I just wanna say u and Lang and Ryan are the coolest and PLZ u need to put my comment in. The world (especially that dumba** in the last issue who said Kobe would end up better than Jordan)needs to know the truth. How could Kobe be the best of all time if he’s not even the greatest Laker of all time

  • Boney

    well… these pants are ruined.

    Thanks SLAM!

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    Ben I just wanna say u and Lang and Ryan are the coolest and PLZ u need to put my comment in. The world (especially that dumba** in the last issue who said Kobe would end up better than Jordan)needs to know the truth. How could Kobe be the best of all time if he’s not even the greatest Laker of all time?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Meloman: Bosh was in the last issue, and with his team on the brink of mediocrity, it’s tough to put him on a cover. Dirk and Reke are in this issue.
    -James: page 73 is the nba photo store page; what’s the misprint?

  • A.

    Paul Pierce may have a broken foot. Uh oh Celtics.

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    Obviously Magic is the G.O.A.T. when it comes to Lakers’

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    And Tzvi and Russ are awesome

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?

    tzvi, on the lakers magic shot, the date says June 14,2000. should say 2009*

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    God I hate all the piss-offed people who are honestly acting like dumbsh***. You know who I’d like to see on the cover (even though you just did an article on the Hawks)? Joe Johnson. He’s one of the most productive and quiet superstars in the game. Or what about B Roy? Just some suggestions.

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

    Gothandles!! Good job!!

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I really like this cover. It’s Kobe again, but still something different.
    @Dimitris – Yep, I agree.
    @Complainers – SLAM isn’t a charity; they are a business. They want to sell magazines. Kobe sells magazines. Kobe is also still the best player in the game. What is there to complain about?

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    @tealish: See that’s what I said, this dude knows what he’s talkin’ about.

  • dino

    and they say there are no W.M.D’s
    Kobe bryant is a Weapon of Mass Destruction

  • dino

    Great cover. Very stylish.

  • Lebron is greater than Kobe

    HE LOOK ASIAN!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Sick cover.Kobe is now the leader for most SLAM covers.

  • http://ww.kb24.com The Seed

    Great cover, lets get Jordan and Kobe sit down and compare games and shots in a magazine with Kobe and Jordan on the cover. Kobe is the closet to Jordan skill wise and just think if their was no Jordan, where would Kobe be in our eyes. Imagine if Kobe was first then Jordan, then people would be saying Jordan copied Kobe and Jordan would have to hear continously how he needs rings. Kobe has went from wonder boy to black mamba. He will be top 5 all time and has proven he will not give up the crown at the best not yet. A KOBE/JORDAN cover would sell like hot cakes. Also Slam what about a LEBRON/DOMINIQUE cover, because their stats are great, but no rings. (JUST joking Lebron fans), I meant a LEBRON/MAGIC cover since, Lebron game is closest to Magic, doing everything on the court for their team to win. I want 1% royalties on this idea. ALso MAGIC stated that if Kobe gets two more titles he is the GREATEST LAKER OF ALL TIME, BOOK IT!!

  • http://www.yahoo.com Logues

    not gonna lie the cover looks really nice, but seriously SLAM this is starting to get a little ridiculous with the kobe covers, but lookin back on the covers besides the 15th anny u havent had too much bron lately, which is good

  • http://lifeondumars.com/ toasterhands

    Waiting for the Beno Udrih cover.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Hmm, 1st MMC bashes Lang on multiple posts, now he reacts to a MO Money comment on a non Whitaker post? Either MMC is to Lang what Sasha Fierce is to Beyoncé, or the way to get Lango to notice ya is to SLAM his work.

  • http://raptorsrevelry.blogspot.com/ Aaron

    Kobe Kobe Kobe. Get him before he’s gone.

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    @The Seed: Bro Kobe isn’t gonna win two more titles and btw he will never be as beloved as Magic was in L.A.

    P.S. Jordan will never lose the Crown!!!!!

  • Jon

    hes getting enough love slam! this is bullsh*t! ure supposed to cover more under the radar dudes! not people like kobe lebron dwight kg, their faces are everywhere! what about durat (the special edition one a few issues back dosent count) or smoove or evans? hell even david lee would be cool. the jennings cover was sick and you follow it up with this…..great job really.

  • Joe King

    Cool cover (as old as kobe ones are getting) gerald wallace on next one please?

  • Ben__

    Good story, Russ.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Ben_: wait til you read the real one.

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

    How the hell doesn’t Divac get the cover?

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    The Seed: The talent level between Jordan and Kobe is as one sided as the talent difference between Lebron and Dominique.
    Kobe is far inferior to Jordan. If Kobe came first and Jordan came second, people would be talking about there was this player who is everything Kobe is, but twice as athletic and plays defense night in and night out, and not just when he feels like ‘locking someone down.’
    I GET the came comparisons… but I really feel like some people just remember the 32 to 35-year-old Jordan, and not the 24-year-old destructive force Jordan was.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Joe King: No.

  • Hubert

    Great job everyone. Commenters included.

  • http://anf.blogspot.com anf

    Wow this is really KB-HD

  • Michael

    really good, classy cover. It looks more grown up than some of the more cartoonish covers of the past. Hope this is the new direction you guys are going. And all the dudes asking for tyreke evans covers etc etc, they have to go with what sells, and kobe is money, look at all the laker jerseys in the crowd wherever they play. I am sure we would all like to see a cover of ‘my favourite team’s best player’ but you need to get with reality.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com The Hoopistani

    amazing cover – not that i’m happy that you guys went with the safe toss-up of choices again (kobe-lebron-iverson) – but still, amazing cover

  • davidR

    dope cover! makes me think i’m looking at vogue magazine or something similar though

  • Danbury

    Waiting for a Durantula cover. Kid is monster mashing these days.

  • European Idiot

    Man, that was one hell of an ugly cover. But I guess you guys were running out of cover ideas with KB24. The love shown to Smoove, Kevin Love, Vlade, Dirk, Tyreke and JJ was all good, though.

  • JoeMaMa

    It’s high time SLAM tested the readers’ love of the game. Choose between a cover of 1)Pat Summitt 2)Bernard King 3)The UNLV team of the early 90s 4)Bo Kimble/Hank Gathers. Four great stories. Champion, talent, Tark’s teams, insane collegiate domination. Let’s give the usual suspects a rest.

  • http://www.bluefont.com Hisham

    So is this SLAM #136, or Kobe cover #136?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Danbury: We just had one like 3 issues ago.
    @JoeMaMa: No.

  • Dan

    I’m so sick of kobe covers. by the way, how come there was no johnny flynn rookie diary in the brandon jennings issue?

  • JoeMaMa

    @Lang: The Curry Family, at an indian buffet? Being served drinks by Toni Kukoc?

  • http://nicekicks.com meloMan2.0

    @Tzvi: Before last night the Raptors were the hottest team in the league and havent been “metiocure” since the firs 20 games of the season… and thats what I’m saying, why couldnt Dirk or Reke get he Cover instead of same ol Kobe

  • http://alimartin07@yahoo.com Ali

    Right on JoMaMa!!!! Die-Heart Laker fan here. But I’d like to see SLAM give us some serious Throw-Back articles. Must not have anyone on their staff over 30 yrs old. Remember that Fighting Illini team with Kenny Battle, Nick Anderson and Kendall Gill, Marcus Liberty and Steven Bardo! WUUUWEEE, they was rough! and the L.V. team of Stacy Augmon, L.J., Anderson Hunt, Greg Anderson, George Ackles, WUUUUWEEE! Cmon’ Son!!!

  • http://courtcred.com coop

    Kobe is the truth and I think the next up in the new school will be Kevin Durant. Also, this kid Quincy Miller shows his Kobe clutch play of the game: http://www.courtcred.com/2010/02/last-minute-bucket-interupts-miller-time/

  • http://Www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Hahaha, Lang’s dry “no” to JoeMaMa’s suggestions is great. Prompting Joe to offer even more crazy cover ideas… Comedy.

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

    cool cover. A close-up like that wouldn’t work for my face. Don’t ask. Then again, why would anyone take a pic like that of my face, that would be weird.

  • http://www.addictedtobeauty.ca/ Kevin

    that’s an amazing cover photo.. love the Tyreke Evans love too

  • http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikebasketball/en_US/signature/moves?player=kobe_bryant&move=3 Jackie Moon

    I would like to see Slam completely ignore the economics the magazine industry and instead embrace diversity with a cover of the first Asian NBA player, Wataru Misaka of the 1947-48 Knicks.

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  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Jackie: we did a short piece on Misaka in SLAM 134, if that helps matters at all.

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

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Co-sign Jukai.

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  • http://ww.kb24.com The Seed

    Jukai: if you think Kobe cannot hang with Jordan, you must be a Steve Nash fan, because do you remember Kobe at 24 too. Yes Jordan was awesome at 24 years old, but the older Jordan after 7 years in the league is the Jordan everyone sees as the best, because the first part of Jordan career was all about scoring. I read articles where Jordan said I tried to get 4 baskets per quarter, which would give him 32 points just off two’s then add free throws, he had his points. I loved Jordan too, but a real basketball player can see that Kobe can do everything Jordan could do in games, even Phil puts them in the same breath now, but the smart Jukai knows basketball, Come on cat, even Magic states the obvious and feels if Kobe gets two more titles he is the Greatest Laker ever, no matter what yall dumb haters say. Listen to the real coaches and players, plus Phil coached MJ and KOBE, so you be the judge. Once this dude retires some of yall will truly understand how great he was. Kobe Bryant gets haters because he is seen arrogant, aloof, faking, horrible teammate, shoots too much, dislikes Shaq, and is the only player ever that will be able to challenge Jordan if he continues with rings. Also Jordan has alot of those same attritbutes and more, some of yall MJ lovers need to read some other articles than ESPN lovers and really find out how MJ was, MJ needs to be glad the media was not like it is today or he would have been Tiger before he got caught in the Woods.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Kobe,Bron,Dwight,Wade,Melo… Seems every other ish has one of these fellas on the cover.. How bout Bosh, David Lee, Lamarcus Aldridge, Aaron Brooks, or Z-bo?

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  • madis
  • http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikebasketball/en_US/signature/moves?player=kobe_bryant&move=3 Jackie Moon

    @Ben Damn, you ruined my joke. Props for featuring my man, but I want a cover!

  • The Wize

    I feel like Kobe’s public (ly percieved) persona is very similar to the more private side of Jordan. I know people that love Jordan but hate Kobe, citing the same attributes against Kobe that Jordan is (in)famous for too! Have I said that before? In other words: like what The Seed just said. Some people just want to hate.

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    @EDITORS AND WRITERS ONLY!!!!!!!

    Yes or No

    When his career is done, will Kobe be better than MJ?

  • JoeMaMa

    Hey Martin, I wrote a check the other day, so I’m allowed to respond. Kobe needs at least 2 more rings as the man…maybe even 3 to have 7, and 4 “on his own”. He also needs another 8,000 points and 2 more MVPs. He also needs to bag Karla Knafel, and lose at least 3 million on the golf course. By the way, I edited this too, so I’m doubly qualified to contribute.

  • doyouwantmore

    What a bunch of Kobehomers. “Beautiful cover.” “Wow, can’t wait to take this home.”

    I don’t hate Kobe, nor his game. I actually respect the guy. It’s the fans I can’t stand.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    So, are Marbury and T-Mac offically done???? Dear Slam- I know hes not exactly r.o.y. materal, but keep an eye on what Jeff Pendergraph is doing for a pretty much all-injured Blazer squad… Still Winning games with Juwan Howard as the starting center and Jeff as his relief..

  • Brickshooting J

    Beautiful beautiful cover (and I don’t particularly like Kobe): great picture, sober fonts, very classy. Seeing Vlade Divac in there kind of hurts my eyes, but other than that, I love it.

  • ADM

    This cover reminds me of the “Accused” Sports Illustrated issue.

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  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    Haha yeah JoeMama thats true if my letter to Slam is in the mag, you’ll see a laundry list of s*** Kobe didn’t do that MJ has. I may be young, but I have a boatload of bball knowledge so…

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    @The Seed: Yeah Phil Jax did coach both MJ and Kobe but if you sat down with him and asked him who’s better he’d say MJ every time. And btw Kobe’s not perfect either. Just like MJ’s clearly had his mistakes, so has Kobe. Looks like you and the Wize need to do some research and reconsider that Kobe DEMANDED a trade just three years ago, even with a championship-caliber team (yeah I went there). MJ endured 4 losing seasons and a first-round defeat at the hands of the Celtics in his first 4 seasons in the NBA. Yeah, Kobe won without Shaq, but he still has Gasol (an All-Star caliber player) and Bynum (who may be a premier center some day). You add to that the class of D-Fish, the Sixth Man of the Year type player in Lamar Odom, and the superathletic ability of Trevor Ariza. Man, you better win with that. Could Kobe come out of retirement and put up a double-nickel in just his second game back? No. How about win Defensive POY? Not at this stage of the game. MJ had the FULL package and will never be supplanted as G.O.A.T. Ever

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    SLAM: Who won the Junk Food T-Shirts Contest?!?!

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    The Seed: You really are crazy, bro.
    Offensively, what is the difference between Kobe and Jordan? Cause I would say that Kobe is a better shooter than Jordan. He has better footwork too. So why do I think Jordan is better offensively?
    I would say Jordan was almost twice as fast as Kobe was at the age of 24.
    I would say Jordan had a second more hangtime than Kobe.
    Kobe Bryant’s vertical is 38 inches… Jordan had a 45 inch on average, rumored to even reach 48 inches when they unofficially tested him at UNC.
    Not to mention, Jordan would push around Kobe like a ragdoll when they played.
    Kobe is a fantastic physical specimen, he can jump over players, bully other guards, and run circles around NBA players half his age. But he’s lesser in every single way compared to Jordan.
    So, take a superior physical specimen and give him the points and rebounds that Kobe just can’t get… and throw in -superior- court vision (Jordan’s 36 minute assist numbers look identical to Kobe’s full numbvers) and -superior defense- (I’ll even go as far to say that Kobe and Jordan are equally as good man-on-man despite Kobe liking to take off possessions.. but Jordan’s team defense was farrrr better).
    It’s just not close.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    I’ll sum it up for you:
    Kobe and Jordan are very close, skill wise.
    Jordan’s athleticism, court-vision, and overall basketball IQ is FAR greater, I could use the word ‘superior’ to Kobe’s, and that’s why Jordan is the superior player. And every single person the planet, just like Magic, just like Phil Jackson, will admit that freely if asked.
    And of course Kobe will be the best Laker if he wins more championships cause he’ll have six championships to Magic’s 5. I’d still build my team around Magic seven days of the week and twice on Sunday.

  • JoeMaMa

    Kobe came out of highschool onto a playoff team. Jordan had three years of college under a legendary coach, and came onto a sh*t team. Kobe had to bide his time and work his way in, whereas Jordan was given the keys to the squad on the first day of training camp. Kobe played with the third most dominating player ever (paging Wilt and Bill), and didn’t get his own team until what, 8 years after he came in?
    I think Jordan is the best ever, no question. But Kobe came into a different situation. If he has another 3, 4 years resulting in titles and another 27, 28pg/g, you’ve got to start a discussion. Also, I could see Kobe taking a pay cut in the last few years to grab another 2 titles. We wants the glory that bad.
    Last thing: comparing stats from different eras is practically impossible. Different rules, different number of teams, different offensive/defensive mentalities, different situations on the team.
    But…like I said. Jordan – Best.

  • Josh

    Beautiful cover guys. Can’t wait to check this out. And if I start seeing Joe Johnson covers or Gerald Wallace covers because there idiots are complaining, I’ll be pissed. Keep the Mamba covers coming.

  • therighttoremainsalient

    @Jukai – unfortunately, your going to start dealing with alot of “Kobe is near Jordans level” type comparisons, and it’s essentially going to come from the younger generation (that is to say, kids 6-9 years younger than you/us…). The young guys just didn’t see the 91-93/96-98 finals series’ and they didn’t see the pre-playoffs era he endured where he dragged poor teams to 42-45 win seasons averaging 35 ppg. They just don’t have that understanding.

  • Chazz Michael Michaels

    dang enough with all the kobe loving junk… does anyone see the real problem? we have a cover that is so close and personal we could tell kobe about each and everyone of the pores on his face!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Martin Shenn: You understand that Kobe can play ball right and that he still has six or more years left, so MJ is the only person he can be compare too and he is the Greatest. I believe Phil knows MJ was better, but if Kobe keeps hitting game winners and winning rings, he can go down as the Greatest, plenty of NBA coaches and players have said that, even Avery Johnson said it on TV a few years ago and even stated he is biased towards Jordan. WHO CARES if Kobe demanded a trade, I would demand a trade too playing with Smush, Kwame and Walton in your starting line up. MJ got a team as the Alpha dog. The thing people forget is Kobe worked his way up the hard way. Kobe’s whole career he was given nothing, he got it by his play. You bring up GASOL, ODOM and BYNUM, Ok so MJ playing with PIPPERN, RODMAN, GRANT, KERR doesn’t matter. People forget PiPPEN was the glue to those teams to me and played his role. If Shaq played his role in 04 and later he would have more rings. Also if you think Kobe can’t score 55 in game at Jordan’s age at that time, you are silly, Kobe has score 81 in a game and 62 through 3 quarters. Come on, Also who cares about defensive POY year, Shaq doesn’t even have one, so why put that on Kobe. MJ was a full package, but acting like Jordan played every possession on defense and got back every time and gave his full effort every game on defense is a LIE, I watch plenty of games where Jordan just shot ran back, shot and kept his energy saved for the Offensive end. He played defense on people that were compared to him, when Jordan played scrubs he didn’t care just like Kobe, Kobe plays defense on Melo, Lebron, Dwade, if you notice they never really guard him back. Martin you are blinded by HOLLLINGERS per and others who will do anything to keep MJ from being compared to Kobe, but its coming JUST WAIT and watch a TOP 5 player of all time, when he finishes.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    JUKAI: I am crazy in a good way. I have heard announcers and Players say Kobe is greater offensively than MJ. Who cares how fast MJ was and his hangtime and his vertical. A ball needs to go in the Basket, THAT’S IT!!! If you truly believe that Kobe would not rise to the occasion to guard MJ, you really don’t like Kobe, that’s it. So what Kobe does now can’t compare to what Jordan did against his oppositions is hog wash. I believe there are more athletic players in the league now. I watched those games, and every top player was not gifted athletically during those times. I am tried of these stats geeks finding numbers per 36 minute, when a player might have better players affecting these dumb stats. The statement about team defense is stupid, when Jordan played with to me the greatest defensive one on one player ever in PIPPEN, had Ron Harper, Grant and Rodman. Be quiet. Pippen made a lot of things look easy, plain and simple. The bulls without Jordan that year to me could have won title not for dumb call and their defense was ranked high with out MJ, so your team defense is a wash cat. Also people act like MJ did everything right on the court, come on, if you liked Kobe you would see how great he is, plus Stop saying Magic knows MJ is far better and Phil, but when I watch shows they don’t say that, Because Magic and Phil don’t hold their touges, they say what they want to. Also you can build your team around Magic who cares, I like Kobe, because he is going to prove give him a decent big he gets a title. And those Lakers and Celitic teams of the past were stacked and it does not hurt Bird’s or Magic view in peoples eyes, but now since Kobe has Gasol, its like he can’t win by himself who DID, NOBOBY NOT EVEN MJ. BOLD STATEMENT: I WOULD TAKE PIPPEN AND RODMAN OR PIPPEN AND HORACE OVER SHAQ ANYDAY, BECAUSE to me Shaq underachieved winning only one MVP, because that year he was unstoppable, but he never worked on his game enough to me. Being called the most dominate center is great but I want to see the rings, So saying he played with a all time great doesn’t work for me, because BOLD STATEMENT: Give Kobe, David Robinson who is the only player in NBA history to win the Rebounding, Blocked Shots, and Scoring Titles and Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and MVP. KOBE would have had more than just those three rings. Shaq for all his joking ways, underachieved and History will not look good on him, when you really break down his numbers and his accomplishments.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Plant that!!!

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    The Seed:
    Alright, let me explain some simple concepts first:
    The basket is higher up on the ground than an average person’s arm length. Ten feet actually. The ability to jump plays a pivotal role in basketball. Likewise, the court is very long, and speed comes into a factor as well, not just getting up and down the court, but running by guys who may prevent you from getting a basket. Strength also plays a huge role in basketball.
    Kobe has a great jump shot. Fantastic even. His footwork and ball handling is impeccable. But so was Jordan’s though. Jordan’s jumper was wet from day one: sure, he never had three point range, but right out of High School, Jordan had a sick-midrange game. Jordan’s footwork was as fundamental as it was flashy, and I’d say he had more moves than Kobe does from anywhere on the court. So, skillwise, they’re very close.
    SO THAT’S WHY THE ATHLETES COMES INTO PLAY DUDE.
    Also, I’m not talking about Jordan with Pippen/Grant/Rodman. That Jordan simply locked his man down and occassionally played the passing lanes, but his goal was offense.
    I’m talking about the Jordan before the championships. I’m talking about the Jordan who you were too young to remember… Before the trade for Grant and the draft of Pippen. I’m talking about the Jordan on a so-so defensive team. The Jordan who would lock his man down every night, the Jordan who would score 30 but also get steals and block shots. I know you hate stats, but you see, when Kobe was going crazy and averaging 35 points, he was only getting under two steals and not bothering to go for any blocks– playing man-on-man defense was hard enough. When Jordan was getting 35, he was getting three steals and over a block and a half! To have the STAMINA and WILLPOWER to not only score 35 and lock your man down, but block weakside shots (he did) and disrupt passing lanes (he did) is something unfathomable in this day and age. It simply isn’t done. It’s not something Kobe can do, ever.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    and I think I found this Phil Jackson interview you keep talking about… I think you’re quoting the part where Jackson claims Kobe has more SKILLS that Jordan… and ignoring everything else where Jackson claims Jordan had better hands and was much stronger, was a more efficient scorer, had greater control of the ball, and would raise his game against greater competition unlike Bryant who just goes on random scoring sprees.
    The entire interview seemed to suggest Bryant was an plain offensive player and Jordan was a complete package… but I guess we’ll take what we want out of it.

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    @ The Seed: First of all, it’s Fenn not Shenn. I advise glasses. Second of all, Kobe didn’t come up to the league the hard way. He was the first pick in the draft out of high school and the media treated him like a fu**ing playmate. He was the new, hot thing in the NBA. Also, you can’t go out on a limb and say Kobe is the greatest clutch performer of all time because Kobe won his FIRST FINALS MVP LAST YEAR. MJ: 6 title appearences, 6 titles and SIX FINALS MVPs. Next, Kerr could shoot, that’s it. Rodman and Grant could rebound, that’s it. Ok you’ve got a point with Pippen. And since when has Defensive POY never mattered. Ben Wallace was an All-Star because he was a defensive beast and rebounding vaccum cleaner. What did he do on offense? Next to nothing. You say Kobe scored 81 in a game. Yeah props to him for that, but MJ would definitely have been able to achieve a similar feat had he not been, essentially, a BALLHOG. Next: You say Jordan didn’t play defense? Bro, he has the third most steals in NBA history and was voted to the all-defensive first team NEARLY EVERY SEASON OF HIS CAREER. Like Jukai said, he Kobe could have 48 one night shooting like 60% from the field then score just twelve the next, hitting like 28% of his shots. Bro, you fail to realize Jordan AVERAGED over 30 POINTS FOR HIS ENTIRE CAREER.

    We’re not haters, but take it from a Chi-Town brotha’ who knows, when you try to compare Kobe to MJ ALL-AROUND, there’s gonna be some controversy.

    I respect your opinions and statements, but in the end, they’re fruitless

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    My bad, Jordan has the SECOND most steals in NBA history.

    ‘Nuff said

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    Martin Fenn: It’s amazing that Jordan had 259 steals and 131 blocks that season when he won DPOY… yet it was Grant and Pippen and Oakley doing all the defense.
    Oh, by the way, the most steals that Kobe ever had in a season was 181. The most blocks he ever had in a season was 67.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    I really want to drill in the point that Kobe is the closest thing to Jordan was in terms of offense. When he was averaging 35, it was watching history. Kobe is a ludicrous talent in every sense of the word.
    But what The Seed fails to realize, that Jordan and Kobe are neck and neck in terms of offense… but Jordan is just so much better in terms of defense, rebounds, passing, leadership, basketball IQ, energy, and making those AROUND HIM better.
    End of story.

  • Manny

    kobe agian …… still havnt got my issue in the mail yet hopefully soon thoe

  • http://slamonline.com anjoe intal

    Kobe needs to rest all of those injuries that he has. He needs to get his dominance back.! he can’t even dunk the ball now because of that finger injury and i guess they would have a hard time in the playoffs if this continues. :( By the way, the cover is very nice.

  • davidR

    for the photographers out there, or maybe the photographer or someone from slam can answer — what lens (do you think) was used? 85mm prime? 100mm prime? or 135mm prime? just curious

  • Soft [UA]

    “Kobe needs to rest all of those injuries that he has… The cover is very nice”.

    Yes, this is true. Cover is nice and he needs to rest. He reminds me D Wade at season 2007/2008 – a lots of injures and bad season at all.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Martin Shenn:, please lets analyze Kobe for a second. Who is on Kobe was 13 pick and went to a contender team and had to work to get playing time. You forget Del Harris didn’t like Kobe and wouldn’t play him. Shaq was talking junk about him and everybody thought Eddie Jones was better. Remember that cat. Ben Wallace can’t rub or touch Dennis Rodman shoes. If you think Jordan was not a ball hog you don’t know basketball he would shoot so much, Pippen wanted to leave and that’s why Grant and others didn’t play with him. OK dude, if Kobe plays another 6 years, you do know he will have a lot of steals right. So the steals don’t matter, AI led the league in steals, do you consider him a great defender NO!!!. Kobe made first team every year after he got to really start for the Lakers that were stack when he went to them. Its neat how you forget how much talent they had. Kobe has been consistent much of his career, this year his finger is acting up, but wait to he is healthy, his percentage will go up, plus he is only shooting 46% with all these injuires. That’s good to me, with two bad fingers. Lebron sat out three games for his sprain thumb or finger. OK MJ was great I loved him, but Kobe has the talent and has showed he is getting their, MJ knows it to and Phil just wait. Also Kobe has worked harder than anybody since he got into the NBA, and has all the awards to prove it except MVP from regular season, got job a couple of times and should have gotten Finals MVP on that year were he killed in the Finals. MJ=1A, KOBE=1B, until he retires.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Jukai: Ok about this strength and speed stuff, doesn’t matter with Bball, its how intelligent you are and how much you have practiced. Jerry West and Larry Bird were not the fastest or strongest, but could ball. Magic wasn’t all that althetic etiher, but was smart on his ball knowledge. Even the all time leader in NBA scoring, Kareem was not all that athletic like Dwight Howard, but practice and was smart. Skill wise Kobe is equal to Jordan, I watched both and Jordan never did some of the moves Kobe has done on ball fakes and making tough shots. Truth is truth, yes Jordan can get a easier shot off, but Jordan palmed the ball and pushed off a lot. Truth is truth. Jordan got hardly any triple doubles in the triangle offense all those years with the Bulls, but got more triple doubles before the triangle offense. Kobe leads his team in assists in a hockey style offense, where its hard to beef up assits and Kobe has always played with good rebounding bigs and who cares about block shots. OK, back then hand checking was allowed and Kobe has always improve on defense, remember he has been first team all defensive NBA for a lot of years in a row and to talk about the first Jordan is nothing to me, that’s not the Jordan we see as the greatest dude, you can say that about a lot of people=EXAMPLE Lebron, yes lebron has great stats right now, but the Lebron we will remember is the one that win rings and leads his team to the rings. Get focused dude. Your argument is weak and sad, Because their has been a lot of athletes that have been gifted. The thing Jukai, is that he worked on his game and practiced, that made Jordan who he became just like Kobe. Kobe is there man, you will bite your words seven years from now. BELIEVE THAT!!!

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    smh @ kobe is better then jordan. Kobe is nice but he’s all finesse…Jordan would eat your heart out. Thats like saying one of the UFC dudes like Brock Lesnar or George St. Pierre is better then Mike Tyson in his prime….Cmon Son! GTFOH wit that bull bull man…

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    @The Seed: You’re talking like an idiot. The Lakers run a triangle offense under Tex Winter too, just like he installed it when he was with the Bulls. Also, Jordan played in an era BASED ON DEFENSE. Back then teams would only average 95 points per game. Now we’re seeing teams averaging crazy numbers, some over like 105. Also, by pushing off, you refer to Jordan’s ability to create space, especially in the post. MJ had big hands and could control the ball with precision. He still has, I think, the deadliest fadeawy in NBA HISTORY. Pippen never wanted to leave Chicago smart one, he was MJ’s best friend. The reason he was mad is because he wasn’t getting paid the amount he should have been. Grant left only AFTER MJ RETIRED for the first time. What do you mean Jordan didn’t get triple doubles? He has way more than Kobe currently has or ever will have. You take MJ’s greatness for granted dude.

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    Until somebody…anybody…not just Kobe but LeBron too…wins MVP, All Star Game MVP, AND Defensive Player of the Year…only then can they lay claim to the greatest. And thats not EVEN gettin into the 6 rings and Finals MVPs…5 regular season MVP’s…averaging 37 ppg when he was 23 years old. Kobe Bryant is the best player in the game today and of this generation…but who was schoolin WHO in those All Star games? When Jordan was an ‘Old Man’ and Kobe was just a Young Buck. Kobe and Lebron wouldnt even BE in these silly puppets commercials if Jordan and Spike didnt pave the way for ALL of that…Kobe thinks his shoes are Fire but theres nothin like the J’s. Gotsta respect your roots! And remmeber this…before there was Kobe, there was Jordan…and before their was Jordan, there was Dr. J!!! And since im sayin that…i gotta bring up The Big O!!! U rite Seed…Kobe the man right now. But analyzing these dudes games is like comparing Masserattis and Lambos. ’57 Chevys and Pontac Coupe Devilles…these dudes were all on another level. But cmon son!!! Jordan changed the game…represented…retired…and re-represented! Dream Team wasnt a dream until Jordan woke us up to all that. The ultimate nemesis…Barkley can attest. Jordan creamed all over Bird and the Celts n straight stole Red Aurbachs cigar from his mouth…he gave Marv Albert “A SpecTACular Move” versus Magics Showtime. Fought his way through and dethroned Zeke’s “Bad Boys” like he was playing king of the hill. Straight Beast of the East had Pat Ewing and Pat Riley down Pat! Yammed righteously on Dikembe Moplolafuso Mpolondo Chris John-Paul Wanamutumbo Mutumbo. He STILL gives Craig Ehlo nightmares. Reggie Miller is still his son. Dennis Rodman is still his B*tch. Kobe is a Laker for life…good for him. But do u remember what it was like to wait all daamb summer to see the Bulls NBA on NBC?? And to turn it on at 1pm on a Sunday and see that fly azz United Center Bulls logo with the basketball in the back. That theme music they played was the theme music I played when i walked into my dang Wedding Reception! 1-2-3 Gametime Whooo! Ben Osbourne said it best…

    1. Jordan
    2. Kobe

    foreva…

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Martin: If you can read, you will understand that I know Kobe plays in a triangle offense DUH!!, and yall are all about stats and with different offenses you get different reb, assists. To me the constant is scoring, because if you can score you can score in any offense. Teams are averaging over 105 now and all those teams are not winning rings. Defense wins not scoring ask the suppose two time MVP Steve Nash SUNS about defense, Also who cares about big hands, useless fact, if you can play you can play, no matter how tall, strong, big, or how big your hands are. I read articles about Pippen not being happy with his role on the team and was blamed as the scapegoat when they lost, because it was never blamed on MJ. Also you have to realize MJ sucked as a teammate, and his persona outside of sports was awful, I bet if you asked his teammates, yes they would say he was great to play with, but imagine if they were real honest. Jordan didn’t have his back on more money either too. Also I remember reading articles where Grant felt his game would not flurious with MJ taking to many shots and was blamed for not having the best record in the league one year. MJ had 28 regular season triple doubles and two in playoffs and one in All Star game (only person ever). I think Kobe has 14 triple doubles in his career with none coming in playoffs. You also forget MJ’s triple doubles, 29 came before 1993. The other 2 in 1997. So when the triangle offense came Jordan got 9 in that offense. Kobe has gotten 14 in the triangle offense. These stats yall use are useless. Like I said before stats are great, and Kobe has half the triple doubles MJ has, wow what a difference. Imagine if Kobe got to start the NBA on a team that sucked and got to do anything he wants. Jason Kidd has a lot of triple doubles , so that makes him the best point guard ever.

  • http://aol.com Martin Fenn

    @ The Seed: Kobe sucks even harder as a teammate. BTW YOU WERE THE ONE WHO SAID ‘WHO CARES ABOUT DEFENSE?’ so don’t start complaining now dude.You’re also wrong with the stats. MJ had two triple doubles in the ’91 finals ALONE. In the end, Jordan is just miles ahead of Kobe in every department EXCEPT scoring.

  • jarrett

    nice cover photo,, but another kobe slam mag? yawn city….
    when is joe johnson gonna get a cover?
    when is tyreke gonna get a cover?
    when is a high school prep star gonna grace the cover? (like lebron nd oden did)

    havent got mine in the mail yet but im pretty sure its gonna b great articles. but keep it fresh with the covers SLAM…

  • jarrett

    when is john wall gonna get his cover???

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    LeBron James.

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    This cover is fruity,I don’t care how much u like Kobe,unless u a girl u shouldn,t like this cover. Next time leave that corny cover to GQ.

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    This cover is gay. I don’t care how much u like kobe,U should not like this cover unless U are a girl. Next time leave the corny cover for GQ.

  • Dunkathon jr

    @ Big Mel. I think you posted once too often to call anyone or anything “gay”. Now sit this one out.
    Kobe is the realness. Lebron needs a ring before he can be taken seriously. Truth. If he doesn’t do it this year, then we should all chip in to pay for him to have “chosen one” lazered off his underachieving shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a very good player, but he’s no Kobe and sure as hell no Jordan. This whole “changing my no next year” rubbish that he’s talking is maybe about 6yrs too late. You have that much hype around you before you enter the league and you use 23 as your no.? Fu(k that noise. He clearly had it in his head he was going to walk in a take over the L. Since he’s joined, Wade, Bryant and the whole Detroit Pistons have got rings and Little Bron-Bron doesn’t. Talk stats all you want. That one right there is the only one that matters.

    Sweet cover.

  • Zeke

    It does have a bit of GQ vibe to it. And I for one am sick of all SLAM covers being either Kobe Bryant or Lebron James. Some variation, please! Don’t play it safe all the damn time. I was never a “fan” of Bryant, even though he’s “my generation” (I’m the same age as him). He’s a great basketball player, but his attitude just never got me onto his side, unlike someone like Jordan did.

  • Robert

    Martin Fenn said Kobe demanded a trade from a “contender” Laker team that had Kwame Brown as its starting center, Smush Parker as its starting point guard, and Luke Walton as a starting forward. Then he said Kobe was the no. pick in the 1996 nba draft not iverson and the first high school player taken in the draft not lebron.

    Damn if Martin was a lawyer someone should revoke his license let alone his law school degree cause he’s so bad at presenting evidence.

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    Sorry if I offended anybody I guess U can just look at Kobe’s face all day,he is just so cute to U.

  • Manny

    i still havnt gotten my issue :( this is at least the 4th time when slam hasnt delivered my subscription n then they just say they will extend it ….

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wes 21

    Nice article but im really getting tired of hearing-seeing kobe. I know he is really good and most likely will surpass 30000 point if he keeps it up, but if you were to decide kobe or lebron PICK LEBRON he is haven a better year than last year’s MVP.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wes 21

    Nice article but im really getting tired of hearing-seeing kobe. I know he is really good and most likely will surpass 30000 points if he keeps it up, but if you were to decide kobe or lebron PICK LEBRON he is haven a better year than last year’s MVP.

  • James

    John Wall cover next for March madness!

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  • Jordan Bravo

    FIRST off I would like to get at “Will-I-Am” from Syracuse, Ny. LMAO this guy is funny running his mouth about the Raptors, I’m from Toronto And your from New York but if you look at the Eastern Conference to this day……….well you can see where my cities at and lol you can definitely see wheres urs at. An lemme fill you with some Raptors history. We had Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh.
    P.S If anyone wants to get at me on xbox live NBA 2k10 (TDOT 4 EVA)

  • Fernando Sanchez

    It says amar’e on the side…. HOPE hes actually in it.

  • James Allen

    this looks like a good issue, i have not recived this issue yet as i live in england

  • laura

    ahhh.!! ii luhv yuh kobe.!! :)

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