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Friday, July 9th, 2010 at 2:30 pm  |  96 responses

SLAM 141: On Sale Now!

The 2010 NBA Finals, Amar’e, Gerald Wallace and much more.

by Tzvi Twersky

As the smoke slowly rose and came to a rest near the arena’s roof, I checked my Twitter. Not expecting to see anything new directed towards me, I was semi-surprised to find one unread message, courtesy of Ben Osborne.

I know @TTwersky has goose bumps right now.

No offense to the E-I-C, but he was wrong.

I didn’t have goose bumps “now”. Three hours earlier, when I sat courtside to watch Ray Allen warmup, I had goose bumps.

No, the goose bumps were long gone. But now, moments before Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals, despite my customary sweatpants and hoody, I was shivering. Despite my laidback attitude, my heart was racing faster than a 100 Meter sprinter. Despite a seat high above the raucous crowd, my ears were ringing louder than a thousand school bells. Despite my need to run SLAM’s liveblog, my hands were shaking incessantly.

I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with Garden air.

I looked to my left—Ben Collins was also surveying the scene. I looked to my right—another reporter was pounding at his keyboard with malice. I looked down—Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum were circling center court, getting ready for the opening tap. Finally, I looked at my 13’’computer screen. Due to the lighting, I was greeted by my own reflection. A grin wider than Kevin Durant’s wingspan was staring back at me. And why not?

I was really there—my first NBA Finals.

*****

Between Trash Talk, Twitter, Facebook and comments on the site, those of us in the SLAM Dome get a feel for what our loyal readers like and dislike.

One topic of discussion the past few years is SLAM Magazine covers. Specifically, a nice portion of our readership think we bless Kobe Bryant and LeBron James with too much cover love.  We don’t need to explain ourselves—though we often do in the comments section—but this time we will.

In short: The first thing we look for in a cover subject is a player or story that’s deserving of the extra attention. Second, like every print publication, we try to pick a player who will help move magazines. Third, and this is as important as No. 1 or 2, we try to pick a player that interests you (our readers).

But like SLAM 131, 121, 111, 101, etc., the cover subject(s) of SLAM 141 wasn’t chosen by us, it was decided by them (the players).

As Lang wrote 364 days ago:

I told Marcel that I always think of the issue of SLAM that drops after the Finals almost like a yearbook. By the time the issue is on newsstands, it’s been almost a month since the Finals ended. Not only is the season always over, but the Draft has happened and summer league is in full swing. But this is what we do. SLAM started putting Finals winners on the cover back in 1997 (issue 20 — Scottie Pippen), and after a few years off, we’ve done it every year since the summer of 2000 with SLAM 45 (featuring the Victorious B.I.G.).

Since we’re obviously not breaking any news by having the winner of the Finals on the cover, I’ve always looked at this issue as a keepsake, something hoops fans can cop and hold on to and then look back on, years later, to remember which Finals game went to overtime or which game it was that Kobe made that weird face where he stuck his jaw out (all of the games!).

With our mission clearly defined, putting together this cover has become about highlighting the story of the Finals.

So, yes, Kobe Bryant is on the cover again (!), but if you’re an NBA fan, there’s no arguing this one—especially since Pau Gasol and Ron Artest, two of the most important players in the Finals, also grace the cover.

*****

OK, so 141’s got the Lakers on the cover and lots of NBA Finals coverage in it, but it also has plenty of other worthwhile content.

There weren’t too many bright spots for the New Jersey Nets last year, but the improvement of Terrence Williams down the stretch was certainly one of them. We got ink on of one of Seattle’s most inked players (I see you, Tiny Nate!). Late-season improvement equaling SLAM pages means Jrue Holiday and George Hill get some shine in this issue, too.

I’m excited to say, and I’m sure SLAMonline regulars are excited to hear, we also have an AppleSon production. Speaking of SLAMonline regulars, BETCATS, does Gerald Wallace’s name splashed across the cover make up for a slight lack of Charlotte coverage over the past few years (not that they deserved it)? Does knowing it’s a full feature make up for Charlotte’s ragged summer league play?

In terms of the soon-to-be and the already-was, we introduce our newest High School diarist, Quincy Miller, and we remind you about a cat named Schea Cotton, the original LeBron James.

Last but far from least, we present Dome Shots 2010. SLAM’s year in photos is always nice, but this year we outdid ourselves. Look for fresh pictures that recap the year in basketball in a way that can’t be done online.

And all of the above is just a piece of the cake known as SLAM 141.

*****

I covered some amazing games and events this year. I had some no-holds barred sit-downs with some of the games stars. I traveled the country to watch basketball games and meet basketball players. Yeah, I did plenty of things this NBA season that I never thought I’d get to do.

And none moved me more than my first NBA Finals game.

Just flipping through this issue, I suffer residual goose bumps.

If y’all enjoy it half as much, we did our job.

SLAM 141: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and the 2010 Lakers


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  • Bruno

    great cover
    this is what you call a KING
    LA KINGS
    not like the self titled former king hahaha

  • namik

    Love it. Bring it on Miami.

  • http://hoopmixtape.ning.com/ Simon S.Y Lawy

    KING BRYANT

  • LD

    Great cover.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Hooray.

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Lawyue

    Well said, TT.

  • Marcel Mutoni

    Yezzir! Bring on the 3peat (and the Heat)…

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Dopeness. I hope the 3peat issue is just as dope.

  • http://slamonline.com Maurice Bobb

    Lakers Baby! Gotta love it! Great Cover!

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    MJ is about to have company……

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Great job, Tzvi. Cover looks great. Really excited for Quincy’s diary as well.

  • jumpman3224

    This is the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen. Can’t wait til mine comes in the mail and I pick up a 2nd on a
    newsstand.

  • LA Huey

    Best post-Finals cover yet.

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  • Zibala37

    I’m a Celtics fan but even I have to admit that the cover is pretty ill

  • Alex Esquilin

    I was reminded that even the USA team (Bron, Wade, Bosh) could not get a gold medal until they got Kobe. WOW!!! and they werent even playing NBA talent

  • Atrain

    Cool cover. SLAM has a string of about 4 in a row they knocked out the park. Probably make it 5 when the new big three appears on the next ish

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    its really going to be nice when LA is on the cover of 151. Especially with a shot of Kobe draining a jumper over the “dream team” heat.

  • Brian

    Nice cover, but yah im a laker hater

  • Kent Kanada

    L.A. Kings are a hockey team you dummies. Just kidding…but seriously!

  • http://crohoops.com Tomislav

    Old school legend, please.

  • Suuu Wooo

    KOBE = GOD OF BASKETBALL
    dope cover!

  • Brian

    Dont mean to rain on kobe’s parade but the big three in Miami are gonna stop the big three-peat in L.A.

  • Kid Dynamite

    Good for the Mamba. Say “Queensbridge”

  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    I’m a Laker Hater FO SHO but that cover is FIRE

  • Young C

    Hate kobe and the lakers but the cover is cool.

  • Daniel

    I’m probably most excited for the Gerald Wallace story. He’s a great player who I feel like I know almost nothing about. I don’t know if it makes up for the overall lack of cats coverage, but I imagine that will be resolved next year, on cover 151… Just kidding, that’s not gonna happen.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Great cover and hopefully the Lakers can be on the cover next year.

  • c_cantrell

    nice cover.. we can expect to see a miami cover pretty soon too and a kd cover or 2 before too long also

  • chingy

    I was kinda hoping for a Ron Artest cover with “Queensbridge” all over it…I guess Kobe will have to do for now…

  • truthteller

    EBOY: That’s all you’re gonna say, “Hooray”?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl

    BROWN

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl

    POSTER

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl

    SHANNON!!!!!!!!! (SDRAWKCAB)

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi Twersky

    Really like the way the cover came out. Really like the way this issue came out.

  • hoodsnake

    i wonder who is getting the first mega 3 cover? oh inside stuff? sorry i asked…

  • http://sciacca.1@hotmail.com anthony

    the lakers era of championships is over. the miami heat era starts now

  • jesse

    Dope cover and great write up. It’s nice to know the writers care so much about what they do. Keep up the great work.

  • Saami

    Kobes shorts are so big

  • JTaylor21

    Come on kobe hit a 3 and 1 and all of a sudden he carried Team USA to gold. Anyone who watched that game knows that it was DWade who had the most impact in the fourth qt not the overrated closer. Kyra Sedgwick is the real closer.

  • http://slamonline.com tina

    Eboy’s still on cloud 9, heck i’d be too. He hit the lottery twice. I’m hoping that the Lakers meet the Heats in the finals next year, that would be awesome.

  • JTaylor21

    It also funny how he says the ron and pau were two of the most important players in the finals not your man love Kobe. When was that ever written about MJ. Never

  • http://www.shawnkemp.com JACO

    Excellent cover

  • Slam_Reader

    Great cover, SLAM. Great team. Congrats Lakers!

  • http://slamonline.com tina

    All this Kobe/Mj stuff is getting crazy. Nobody is saying Kobe is better than MJ, so people need to chill on these comparisons. Let’s enjoy each player for who they are & not someone’s shadow. When some of these great players retire you’re gonna miss them.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gerardhimself Gerard Himself

    I was critical in this section last month, wasn’t a fan of those two covers, but this one looks really good. Can’t wait to pick up the issue.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Wow. A Kobe cover.. Who didnt see that coming a mile away.. Lemme guess. Ish #142 will have Bron/Wade/Bosh.. all lookin’ tough?

  • Nate

    Sooooo much better than last yrs one

  • Sweetness

    Loving the cover

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    in all fairness great cover.

  • Joe

    when will this issue hit stores?

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Now THAT’S a fantastic cover. (multiple pics just look great here, nicely done.
    PS: eff mambiatch & them yellow/purple boys.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    I like it – that would be a Andrew D. Bernstein or Nathaniel S. Butler cover shot. And like Darksaber said, interesting use of the inset pictures. Don’t know if you guys have done that before. Always look forward to the year in pix too. Great stuff.

  • pepingguerrero

    bring on the heat!

  • Clay

    Cosign Tina. There doesn’t seem to be many players, if any, left with Kobe’s killer mentality so we should appreciate watching it.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Deserved.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    The black mamba doesn’t mind the HEAT of trying to score 30pts a game and leading a team to a title being the ALPHA male. BOOK IT!!

  • logues

    cool shot of kobe, but not feeling the boxed photos of pau and ron. just doesnt look SLAM, more like Sports Illustrated

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    and our summer league play wasnt THAT bad. But it’s just summer league so hahaha. We have a drug dealer, someone who went to the same high school i currently go to, a guy with heart issues, and less talented Pargo. Oh, and the fat guy from Kansas scored 32 points. It has been ‘interesting’ to say the least.

  • Lawrence

    KING Kobe.end of story.

  • http://www.nba.com Clay Fisher

    If I subscribe via zinio, when can I download this issue? Oh, and Kobe would rather face Boston again at least one more time before he faces Miami Thrice

  • Ali Saadat

    This is tight! I need one to frame and one to read. Can’t wait for inevitable “self titled former king”, the most hated man in Toronto, and Dwyane Wade issue.

  • hardwood classic
  • http://www.twitter.com/gerardhimself Gerard Himself

    I wonder: the people who complain about this cover, what did you expect? DJ Mbenga cheering them on from the bench? But seriously, it’s the end of the season, every year SLAM has the NBA champions on its cover, so I’m surprised that people don’t get why Kobe is on the cover. (plus the cool inserts of Gasol and Artest)

  • JTaylor21

    the seed i bet you would’nt mind the black mamba all in you huh. All ways on here taking subliminal shots at bron. Stop acting like kobe’s capable of carrying a team to a championship let alone getting out of the first round like he failed to do before his spanish knight came to save the day.

  • dada

    Dope effing cover. Nice intro by TT too.

  • http://www.slamonline.com doyouwantmore

    LOL What a bunch of groupies. “This is the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen!” and “Now THAT’S a fantastic cover!”

  • Will Tan

    ONLY KINGS HAVE RINGS!

  • skywalker

    that cover could have been better .jtaylor ,just accept that kobe already is and will go down as one of the top players of all time ,(and maybe the best of all depending how many chips he ends up with) while your “king” needs 2 other top 10 players in their prime just for a decent chance at it(not counting getting swept in 07)…i don’t even understand how you can be on lebrons nuts and hate on kobe if you actually know something about basketball

  • Rob

    That’s the REAL King right there!

  • Clay

    Any cover quoting Beyonce can’t be too great. Sorry.

  • mackymols

    AWESOME COVER! CAN’T WAIT..

  • mackymols

    3-PEAT VS 3-KINGS.. 2011 finals will the battle of BEACHES!LOL!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Nice write-up, Tzvi. Very excited to hold this in my hand tomorrrow…

  • http://www.NBHHCM.org DunkadelicKobe24

    The Ko P. DeLA-Ron Lakers will win it all again in 2011 and make it a 4th 3-Peat for coach Phil Jackson. Ko P. DeLA-Ron is a signature nickname for the 6-core players that make up the 2010 NBA Champion LA Lakers: Ko-Kobe, P.-Pau, De-Derek, L-Lamar, A-Andrew, and Ron-Ron. The signature nickname uses the first name of all 6 players.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    JTaylor21
    Your views are distorted, sounds like you didn’t get enough hugs growing up. Kobe leads the team as the MAN and can handle the HEAT. Lebron is second fiddle to a man called FLASH, who got a ring as the MAN of a team. Kobe got Gasol, and now Gasol is so great he took the Lakers to the Finals–OK. Dude you need to go look at Kobe playoff numbers for his whole career. A cat like you will say he had Shaq and Gasol, he did nothing. OK, then you will say Lebron is great, yes Lebron will be great playing PIPPEN 2.0 for WADE’s team. BOOK IT!!

  • Clay

    Anyone get their issue yet?

  • JTaylor21

    Okay, kobe’s seed Iooked up ur lovers playoff numbers and surprise the don’t measure up to lebron’s let alone MJs. The man puts up 25 per while bron’s at 29 and MJ 33. So his numbers reeks of 2nd banana to me. Bron will be playing Magic 2.0 to wade. BOOK IT.

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  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    That was nice to put the other 2 dudes on Kobe’s cover,but they won the chip so u new he was going to get the cover

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    JTaylor21
    Kobe averages 25pts, 5rebs and 5 assists a game. Dude you forget Kobe play in playoffs when he was coming off the bench for some years. So that distorted his playoff numbers. Kobe last 10 years in the playoffs he averages over 30pts. You forget Kobe averaged about 8pts a game his first year and improved each year in the league. He didn’t get all the hype like Lebron. Kobe made the hype with his play. Check Kobe numbers in playoffs when Kobe would average about 30 a game. I remember I think in 2001 title run Kobe average like 32pts 6rebs 6assits and should have been Finals MVP, but again Shaq had a scrub EAST center to play against so Shaq got his, but Kobe got his too. Kobe took over in Indiana series against Pacers and Kobe would continually have the ball in his hands to do what he want to in the 4th quarter. Kobe should have gotten Finals MVP that year, because of him winning one game by himself in that Finals and playing overall better than Shaq. Man you talking to a Lakers fan, who watched the games. Bron played on some teams that barely made playoffs like MJ earlier and could get any numbers they wanted. Imagine Kobe being the man of a team earlier in his career in the playoffs he would have averaged 30 a game. Dude check your STATS. And Cat Lebron is Pippen 2.0, Magic is not this dumb to join Isiah, Larry in his prime. BOOK IT!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wesley

    Love the cover. I hope they make it 3 in a row and smash the “mainly trader” Big 3.(meaning LeBron)Kobe>>>>>>>>>>LeBron!

  • Tektonik

    well-deserved cover! i can’t wait for my copy in the mail. hopefully there’s plenty of finals coverage!!!

  • James

    Too bad I have to wait a month before I can get my hands on it. Great cover though!

  • ere

    mista hardwood classics id like to pt out to u that as much as i love mj hes the one who drafted kwame brown……

  • iHATEkobe

    This always pisses me off!
    When someone wins the championship, they get caught up in the hype and like a bunch of retards start saying he’s the best player in the NBA!
    When the trio from Miami win, they will call them the greatest trio to ever play the game, forgetting about Jordan-Pippen-Rodman, Bird-McHale- Parish, The Bad Boys from Piston, Magic-Worthy-Kareem and so on.
    The best player in the NBA is Lebron, the best team s the LA Lakers! You win a championship with 12 players, a coach, GM, owner, assistants etc.
    So by Kobe winning doesn’t make him the best player! And besides when Kobe was alone (no Shaq, no Phil) he didn’t even reach the playoffs, but Lebron reached the NBA Finals with nobody,well…Ilgauskas, a lot of help (sarcasm)!
    P.S.-Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the magazine, but I think people who say that Kobe is better than Lebron even though Lebron has higher stats and won the f*cking MVP, are stupid and have an easy mind to control!
    P.P.S.-And the people that dare compare Kobe to Jordan should be killed in front of the Jordan statue so the last thing he sees is greatness!

  • Bisso

    Yeah enjoy it kobe its the last ring you can get after THE KING joined MIAMI

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    Man yall kill me arguing for Kobe the ship still count he was just number 2 back then,plus Kobe miss a game in that series. He has 5 ships and yall still cry about him not getting his props,but the rings speak for themselves.

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  • hitman

    if they beat this season’s miami big 3 then the lakers have official finished rebuilding the air jordan empire and his airness. except that its the lakers not the bulls. sorry mr. rose!

  • tato

    When drops slam kicks?

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  • Dylan P.

    Kobe? Again? He might have won his second straight Finals MVP, but I Think Ron Artest should have got the cover. Without him in game 7, the Celtics would have ridden again. Plus, since Dennis Rodman didn’t make the HOF this year. Do you think you could have an article for the most under-appreciated player to ever lace them up.

  • Benjamin Gordesky

    Great cover but forever screw the Laqueers

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