Friday, April 8th, 2011 at 11:00 am  |  96 responses

SLAM 148: On Sale Now!

Bron, Wade, Melo, Derrick, Kobe and Lamar ring in the Playoffs!

by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17

The calendar says we’re well into spring, but the last few days in NYC were still cold as sh…

Like I say in my editor’s letter for this new issue, I’m treating it as a good metaphor for some crazy days, which sparked some crazy covers.

As I should given my position, I actually love them (viewable in the gallery below in all their glory), but they are quite possibly the busiest covers we’ve ever done.

What gives? The editorial focus on the Playoffs was obvious. This will be hitting stands nationally next week, right as the Playoffs tip off, so I asked each cover story writer to envision readers opening their SLAM when they sat down to watch the first round. And I think all those readers will like what they find inside.

As for the whos and whys of the cover subjects?

The pre-season buzz about the Heat (cover 1, southeast part of the US, subscribers, foreign copies) focused on over-the-top celebrations, 60-plus wins and possible favorite status in the East. Now we’re supposed to think of them as a work in progress? Ryan Jones explores what to make of the season’s most debated team.

Carmelo Anthony (cover 2, mid-atlantic and northeast) spent most of the season in Denver. Now he’s a Knick, helping to sell jerseys, newspapers, tickets (and hopefully magazines!). We don’t know if he can actually do much in the Playoffs, but as Khalid Salaam explains, he sure has changed the face of basketball in the Big Apple.

Like just about everyone else, we saw Derrick Rose and the Bulls (cover 3, midwest) as a team on the rise, big and defensive-minded but a year or three away from being title contenders. Well, Thibs and his crew had a different calendar. As we go to press, Chicago is first in the conference and being taken seriously right now. But is it too much, too fast for these Bulls? Chicago beat writer Aggrey Sam takes us inside the locker room to break down the Bulls.

On the other side of the League, Kobe, Lamar and the Lakers (cover 4, western US) seem like clear favorites. Nima Zarrabi explains how the Lake Show stays on track.

The Playoffs will be filled with intriguing players and teams, but we say the guys we put on our covers this month may be the most interesting of all. Hope you agree.

Besides the covers, this issue has revealing features on Ray Allen, Gilbert Arenas, Vin Baker(!) and Charles Oakley, as well as some cool new columns in the Hype section that shed a little more light on what NBA players’ lives are like off the court. Honestly, if you’re a fan of the League and it’s players, this is the perfect issue for you.

Here are the covers (available regionally for the most part, but also all online via our back-issue department in the next week or so)…

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , , , ,

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

    Holy crap.

  • Scott

    I want all four.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    Good to see Lamar with some more cover love.

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    fresh.. cant wait to get it in the mail

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    hells yes.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Since I met with a scribe named Ryan Jones during the coverage of this particular Heat cover story….I’m curious to see the finished product. I’m certain that there will be little praise…little sarcasm…and little support of the Heat’s ability to make a run. I also half expect to see a written review of a Hooter’s cheese quesadilla.

  • Roc

    Was it intended to look like People Magazine? Just curious on the thought process by the creatives.

  • Luiyo

    No dissing any team here, but don’t you think that you’re disrespecting the Celtics?? They are the #2 seed and the defending Eastern Conference Champions. You can even make a case for Amar’e being disrespected to, he was the face of the franchise before Melo arrived, why you can have him in the cover with Melo?? Beside all of that, sick covers as always!

  • logues

    i like the feel of these covers. kinda old school SLAMish with the action shots, not tryin to be too flashy. disappointed celtics didnt get one tho

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

    It was decent, which makes it better than probably 90 percent of everything else on the menu.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford


  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    gangster as always. like the new look

  • Jasmine

    Damn! I want the Miami Heat issue! & why is just Carmelo on the cover!? WTF! Its Amare that is taking them to the playoffs! He’s the reason! No respect you guys have for him! Miami Heat!!!!

  • logues

    if u look straight down where it says “The playoff issue” on cover 4 into the stands u will see lamar odom’s twin brother

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevinwilson16 Kevin Wilson

    So is Boston or San Antonio winning the title? You cover jinxed their main competition.

  • 1982

    Bosh M.I.A. made my day. Agree that Boston deserved a cover, even if it just showed Pierce in a wheelchair. Also, Amare’s gonna be mad.

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai


  • logues

    ya boston def deserved a cover, but the more i think about it SLAM is prolly saving them for either 149 or 150 (hopefully), and prolly 151 baby!

  • Zarfan

    I’d take the Spurs over the Knicks. Other than that, pretty dope.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    They couldnt put amare on because he was on the last cover u nimrods

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    and i was sorta hoping for melo to get a solo cover… dah well, this is still tight

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    The one thing about SLAM that i hate is the cover for the playoff edition. Usually u guys put the likely favorite to win the chip on the cover, and usually the likely favorite wins, resulting in 2 covers in 3 months of the same team

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @logues lol at Odom’s twin brother.hahaha

  • Flight

    Enjoying that Rose cover.


    Why no Gasol being on the cover with Kobe? Gasol is definitely the Lakers Robin.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    i was going to complain about their being no celtics cover, but i see there’s an article on Ray, so i’ll just be happy about that instead.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. Definitely a unique look for us, and not one we’re likely to do again anytime soon, but I think it’s perfect for the next couple of weeks.


    Melo is clearly Batman for the Knicks, which is why he deserves that cover. Just sayin.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    @IAMORANGE Cover-worthy Pau pics are VERY tough to find. I can tell you we’ll have a big feature on him next month.


    @Ben Osborne: Awesome

  • rlz

    What’s with the teenybop covers? I half expected to find justin bieber on one

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nima Zarrabi

    Love the covers and stoked to read up on Vin Baker. Awesome work, Ben.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Great, I was expecting something like this, with different covers, for different playoff teams, last year we had the Thunder trio and Hawks trio, but this is even better. Love ‘em all, but I’m def getting the Rose cover. :P Great work Slam!

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    If I get anything other than the Rose cover in the mail, I’ma rip up the cover like I did with the D. Wade in a Bulls jersey Slam.
    Then I’ma go out and buy the Rose cover.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Love it.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    LOVE IT!

  • http://slamonline.com Chris O’Leary

    Loving the tabloid font on the cover. Awesome stuff.

  • matt

    lol @ NYK – have fun being a first round knockout team for the next few years.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    @Enigmatic Ha! Love it!

  • Josh

    Please god, send the LA cover to Nova Scotia.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Vin Baker. WWJD. Haha. I thought he was our ticket out of mediocrity when he came to the Sonics. Hmmm

  • Heals

    Wow so I guess Bos and SA don’t move mags, glad to see that a 6th or 7th seed gets a cover over better squads…

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

    Heals: It’s cool how you answered your own complaint there.

  • CowboysNation

    What cover is going to come in the mail?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Why are the Knicks on the cover? lol… No offense, but the Spurs and Celtics and Mavericks or even the Orlando Magic are more deserving… And I’m a Knick fan.
    Great covers though.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Besides moving units. Ha.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, what happens if Derrick Rose doesn’t win MVP?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The business is moving units. Come on people, stop being stupid.
    The balance is finding worthy topics and moving units. Sorry Celtics, Spurs and OKC fans, but your players don’t move units on the newsstand. Kobe, Bron, Melo and Rose do. People see those faces and stop to try to see what the magazine is saying.

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Slam u forgot 2 put the next NBA champions on the cover a.k.a THE BOSTON CELTICS!

  • dmoore

    will all 4 covers be available on the newsstands?

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Dan Gilbert: “I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will grace the cover of SLAM Magazine before the self-titled former ‘king’…sh*t, nevermind….”

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty


  • http://google J-Ro

    I like the “Noche Latina” jerseys….

  • Sigurður Einar (Iceland).

    Please send me the Lakers cover

  • Drew

    I like that the Lakers get a special purple color “SLAM” cover, while everyone else is red.

  • Alop

    What??? No Spurs on the cover?… Best record in the NBA. Best winning Percentage vs .500+ teams. Covers still HOTTTTTT

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ everything

    cant wait to read ryan jones take on the heat. and cant wait for the real season to begin.

  • Hugo Loon

    if the spurs had a cover, slam would sell like 7 mags

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    The Spurs would sell better if you would just print the mag in Spanish.

  • JD

    really dont see why you guys couldnt put San Antonio, the team with the best record in the league on the cover they’re in with as good a chance as any

  • http://Boom Aaron Laucke

    No Joke where the hell is San Antonio

  • ogog

    these r hot!

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    Amazing covers – i’m in international subscriber – disappointed that i’ll get Miami Choot instead of Knicks

  • http://www.slamonline.com big_ticket

    3 east teams and no celtics??slam must be kiddin?

  • adam warren

    boys are callin drose the mvp already wha

  • Sarah

    “The Playoffs will be filled with intriguing players and teams, but we say the guys we put on our covers this month may be the most interesting of all. Hope you agree.” Nope. Keep catering to the large market hypebeasts though.

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

    Love this look. Great stuff.

  • Akshan

    PLEASE TELL ME your sending the Miami Heat issue in the mail

  • jarrett

    would have been better if it didnt say El Heat…

  • Jono

    I swear I will unsubscribe if I get the Melo cover. (I live in Denver)

  • http://yahoo.com pandoy

    hahahaha! your cover tells it all.. the lakers will be celebrating in june!

  • Jer dawg

    Lamar & Kobe? Hahahah
    This is the one chance his name reigns first in ANYTHING.
    Khloe & Lamar? Kinda similar. Great cover. Very newspaper- like.
    I was expecting regional stand alone covers as with previous awesome SLAM covers, but this is definitely NY Times newspaper template. You’ve outdone yourself SLAM. Amare couldn’t be on the cover on consecutive issues. Of course a NY publication need to pump THEIR local team! You deserve it because Knicks have been trash for years.

  • Jono

    Can’t wait for next month’s cover the the Knuggets starting XI on the cover.

  • http://http//portlandfan1203.blogspot.com Karley

    LakeShow 3 peat is a BUST! Watch them get beat first round or second round. Watch the very Underrated Blazers go to the conference finals. Watch Kobe be a ball hog as usual. Watch The playoffs because this year it’s on!!

  • http://http//portlandfan1203.blogspot.com Karley

    Oh and how come this cover isnt in my mail yet my subscription was for 2 years and i just got it, so i should be gettin this shouldnt i??

  • http://www.slamonline.com Mars

    Hi Haters! Utah takes the West in a dogfight with OKC. Indiana upsets Chicago and Atlanta to face Miami Heatles. Miami wins in a sweep and LeBron is your basketball savior again.

  • Remo Williams

    @mars… cant wait for Utah to make that title run this year

  • http://www.DreAllDay.com Dre Baldwin

    These covers are great. A welcomed change of pace for SLAM. Very nice work.

  • raymagnet
  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Just got mine in the mail. Really like the redesign of the inner workings, feels very fresh.
    The Gazette look is really nice.
    Getting the playoff preview mag on the last day of the regular season, genius.

  • K.R.E.A.M. TEAM, San Antonio

    Just got the cover in the mail all torn up, guess that explains how lame that cover is!! ha What they should of done was put a champion team on that cover since its on!

  • John

    lol they did bosh wrong he should be in there

  • Rose4MVP

    Dammit slam, your magazine was amazing yet again this month and the four different covers were hot. Heres the only problem though, I live between the United Center and Englewood and what do i see staring at my face straight out of my mailbox? LeBitch and Wade!!! How hard is it to send the D.Rose cover to Chicago and the Miami cover to Miami?! You guys really need to find a way to fix this because that is unforgivable. Thats like sending a Redsox shirt to NewYork, get it together slam.

  • Nick

    Blake Griffin better be the poster this month!

  • larrylegend

    thanks and praise for the oakley interview! that made my day, really! as the horry interview a few days ago, you can give these to any kid to get their mind right towards bball. after a little slump over the last 1 1/2 years, SLAM is back better than ever!

  • Nick

    Hope I get Melos!

  • 123

    Is Blake Grifin the poster??

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Man Oakley’s grey hair make him look super cool in that q&a.
    A distinguisheg OG.

  • http://jaredmintzisthetruth.blogspot.com Jared

    you guys did it again, found a way to diminish the importance of gracing a cover by making four separate covers, and also sending your NY subscribers a non-NY cover for the second month in a row after we had to wait 11 years to get one of our players on the cover (which obviously, they both had to share). I’m getting to a point where the content of the magazine is starting to affect me less and the business oriented direction of the paper is completely turning me off. I loved SLAM because I thought it was the magazine for hoops heads, not the pokemon of basketball magazines because I HAVE to collect every issue that comes out, especially if I want the issues where my favorite team graces the cover. I get that you guys are trying to sell papers, I get that the moneys the motivation, and I really do get the business aspect of Journalism (got my BA and don’t have a writing job), but if you guys are going to keep churning out these multi-cover issues every month can’t you at least send them to the appropriate region and let your followers choose if they really want to collect multiple covers? It’s getting ridiculous at this point.

  • ali

    on the real, how can u have a playoff preview ish with only one team
    ofc u need multiple covers for this one

    however, i agree with u on the fact that it shouldnt happen every ish, and we should pick what covers we want

  • http://jaredmintzisthetruth.blogspot.com Jared

    they used to have playoff previews with one cover, it’s called prestige and really deserving to be on a cover. That’s like how can there only be one girl on the SI Swimsuit when it’s an edition that covers the hottest of hot girls. I’m not tryna compare a bunch of sweaty dudes with supermodels but you get my point. I wouldn’t have said what I said if three of the last four covers hadn’t been multi-cover issues…especially with the last two being the covers I’m not literally still subscribing to the magazine for. When I first started my SLAM subscription in the late 90′s I would be so eager to see who earned the cover of the dopest mag out, now I get my mag and open it up only to find I always get the cover with the guy I don’t want. My whole point of writing this to to let SLAM know that they’re losing appeal to faithful subscribers and I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

  • idrees

    what the hell i subscribed on feb. 10 and STILL haven’t got ish 145, 146 AND 147

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    As a subscriber in OH, why in the world would I recieve a LBJ cover if there a four different versions? Who made that call?

  • http://ballislife.com Stephon

    Great ish this month good piece on Ray Allen written by Tzvi one of the best I’ve read in a while.

  • Rashaan

    Great issue but i live in ny and got the lebron cover. how is that?

  • gamerkid

    Can someone please direct me or even sell me the Derrick Rose Cover edition of June 2011. I have searched but can’t find it.