Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 at 12:50 pm  |  58 responses

SLAM 149: On Sale Now!

Meet your 2014 NBA All-Stars.

As always happens at this time of year, we had to plan out a cover that would come out in the heat (no pun intended) of the Playoffs without knowing exactly who would be alive. And trust, if we had guessed based on who’d be alive we certainly had the Lakers lasting at least until the Final Four. Given that timing concern, and the fact that this year’s high school class is probably the best since 2007, we thought the time was right to put the game’s future in focus. And with Michael Gilchrist, Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis leading the way, that future is bright. Besides our cover subjects, SLAM 149 features our entire SLAM All-American teams (boys and girls), recaps of all the big high school all-star games, a super-intense book excerpt by Chris Herren (check back tomorrow for more on that), an old school q+a with Kevin McHale and features on current NBA big men LaMarcus Aldridge, Serge Ibaka and…Pau Gasol. Like we said, timing is tough with this one!

But back to the cover. It’s not only the first time these three great high school players have gotten exposure like this, but it’s also the first cover story by our man David Cassilo, who covers college hoops so well for us. As you’ll read below, the whole experience may have been as special for Dave as it was for these players. Enjoy the read, and then buy this issue as soon as you see it!—Ed.

by David Cassilo | Cover Shot by Kareem Black

Sometimes when you’re writing a story you almost forget how cool it is that people actually read what you write and care about it. I’ve always tried to stay humble, but you can’t really ignore the following: writing the cover story for SLAM is a really big deal.

But even as I flew down to Charlotte for the Jordan Classic to interview Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis and Michael Gilchrist, it didn’t really hit me till we were at the photo shoot.

It was there where the three players were trying to play it as cool as I was. They had their serious looks on and were trying to hide all their emotion. But then Gilchrist reminded everyone in that room what was actually going on. SLAM 149

“This is for the cover of SLAM!” he burst out while jumping up and down on top of Rivers and Davis. Nobody in the room could resist a smile.

You have to appreciate the moment, and while being on SLAM’s cover is a big one, there are many more to come for these three special players.

As you’ll read in the story, all three are very different from each other.

Rivers has the demeanor of a professional already, following his father Doc in and out of NBA locker rooms since he could walk. He’s a confident player who can score from wherever he chooses and should have one of the biggest impacts in basketball next year at Duke.

Davis is a Hollywood story. He was a 6-2 guard on nobody’s radar before his junior season and now he’s a 6-10 stud headed to Kentucky and widely considered the best high school player in the country. But he’s also humble, appreciative of the moment and still a kid in every way except his lengthy frame.

Gilchrist, Davis’ future teammate at Kentucky, is a quiet, thoughtful and passionate person, who in a five-minute conversation can make you wonder how some one could flip the switch so easily to become a ruthless, do-it-all, unstoppable force on the hardwood.

The entire weekend, the three players used their diverse personalities to play off of each other as if each was handpicked by the director of a big-budget movie. Those differences and interactions made things easy for me as I pieced it all together.

As a writer, I am always looking for some sort of symbolism to draw on. For this story, it didn’t take long to find the parallels between my subjects and my own life. Here were three high schoolers loaded with potential, their future ahead of them and about to embark on a special moment in their career. And here was I, just barely older than them, feeling all of those same things as I wrote about them.

This is my first cover story anywhere, and I am thankful and lucky to have the chance to write it. If my luck continues, I’m certain this won’t be the last time I’m writing about Rivers, Davis and Gilchrist.

SLAM 149


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  • Oh Nose

    I hope Rivers isn’t a bust..I’d like to see him “destroy Lebron”

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

    Love it.

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

    Congrats on your first cover, David. Really looking forward to reading this.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Yes yes.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    That’s a sick cover!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Wow, incredible. SO DOPE.

  • http://facebook.com 9steele9

    goofiest looking cover trio in history?

  • Zack Cooper

    Rivers should have came to the Hill!!!!

  • http://www.thescore.com/tbj Holly MacKenzie

    Oh my. This is exciting. Cover looks great, guys.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    It’s always great when SLAM puts the future of the NBA on the cover.
    Sometimes it works out (LeBron James), sometimes it doesn’t (Sebastian Telfair).
    For those of us that follow basketball at every level – high school, college and NBA, we’ve known about these kids for years (not so much Davis, but definitely Rivers and DEFINITELY definitely Gilchrist) and everyonce else will know about them too shortly.
    I still think Gilchrist is the best of the bunch, though I seem to be in the minority in regards to that these days.
    I’m loving the Twitter-esque hashtag on the cover too. So fitting, considering these kids live on Twitter.

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?

    illlllllllllllllll. Love me some HS covers.

  • http://www.chicagoskyblog.wordpress.com hoopla

    Three things: 1.Dope cover. The hashtag is a nice touch. 2. I’m sure the inside is dope as always, but please don’t read the Pau Gasol feature. Seriously. 3. DO NOT READ THE PAU GASOL FEATURE.

  • http://snakeskinroundball.tumblr.com/ Myles Brown

    My name is not hoopla. It’s Myles.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Trim ya eyebrows young fella #geesh Nice cover otherwise, SLAM In Da House!

  • Jer dawg

    Cool! For once a group of kids without tattoos and without hard looks. Looks like a confident group minus egomania.

  • http://www.saffoldink.com MXL

    Cassilo is the eff’n MAN. Y’all better ask somebody.

  • http://www.SoleCollector.com NDP

    Great cover. Good trio of dudes, but you gotta clean up Davis’ wild unibrow!

  • ben sin

    damn thang gets done, SLAM, damn thang gets done.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    @NDP: As you see, I agree.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    f*ck you guys always pull of the most amazing stuff… great cover… #readyforprimetime

  • marc

    I have a feeling austin rivers and gilchrist are going to have solid pro careers but Anthony Davis is going to be a problem he just has that face.

  • http://nba.com EJ

    Groom your friggin eyebrows!

  • deb


  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    We have a replacer for Boozer people!
    All kidding aside, Gilchrist is gonna be a beast.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bartonblokkfb2 Guest
  • Maurice Bobb

    All SLAM do is win, win, win, no matter what…everybody hands go UP!!!

  • Brian

    David Cassilo is the best up and coming sports writer around! Congrats on your first cover story!

  • logues

    i was just thinkin yesterday about who is gonna be on 149. and i thought maybe it would be the hs all americans. but maybe u guys already did that this yr? i was close tho! looks awesome btw, i love hs covers

  • logues

    ha nevermind i was right! (kinda)

  • MookieBlaylock

    I know its been mentioned, but what is dude thinkin walking around with that brow. 5 minutes in the mirror is all it would take, damn.

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    #readyforprimetime! THat kid is going to look back in a few years and be very angry at himself for that unibrow. If he were a hipster I would say it was ironic. But he isnt…so it is just sad.

  • http://countdownnba.blogspot.com/ Clay

    Three guys on the cover combined make one average size player

  • http://countdownnba.blogspot.com/ Clay

    Wasn’t hard to fit these three mini men on the cover

  • Silent Storm

    Davis looks like Oscar the Grouch.

  • http://slamonline.com David Cassilo

    Thanks for the compliments on the article. So much fun to write!

  • JET

    What I dont understand is that where is Gilchrist going to fit in the Kentucky rotation because Terrence Williams is returning as well as Lamb I believe?

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    @JET – SMH. I dont know what’s worse, that you mistook Terrence Jones for Terrence Williams or that you mistook a Kentucky player for a former Louisville player.

  • http://kb24.com DreXnaW21

    Austin Rivers!! i think Duke will win an NCAA title for next college season

  • ogog

    anthony davis!!!!!

  • toinefan88

    Damn son they both going to Kentucky?

  • logues

    kentucky is going to be scary good

  • World

    I think they should throw Gilchrist at the 2 where he would murder at that pos.lamb could score of the bench he a shooter.

  • DarkRushBeat

    Hopefully Doc Rivers wont regret his son ending up in the NBA.

    Have you had Kemba Walker cover before? The guy is the next level! He will make an impact on the NBA..

  • Carolyn St John

    I love the cover, we get to see these young baby ballers before the sic tats takeover(lol). These three look like they ready to skip “rocks”. As always SLAM delivers. I love SLAM!!!

  • caleb thomas

    is it in food lion write now i want it badddd

  • Mark James

    Love it!Cant wait to get it in my hands!

  • http://yahoo sean

    usually when they put one of the covers of high school future stars there is like one good player out of the group

  • manigault

    kentucky the modern day fab five
    terrence jones, gilchrist, teague , anthony davis, kyle or doron lamb

  • kit

    at least one of them is gonna be a bust…

  • Najee Fareed

    when did this issue go on sale?

  • c.a

    Every day on here someone is calling someone else a fa**ot, and then today everyone is complaining about the grooming of a man’s eyebrows.
    Queer Slam for the Closet Guy.

  • Student2TheGame

    last to appear on a cover like this

    Cover 1: Ricky Rubio & Brandon Jennings http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3580/3412111783_18f90e22c1.jpg).

    Alternate cover: Lance Stephenson & John Wall (http://www.slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/128jwls_0609.jpg)

    Wonder who’s going to be the “Lance Stephenson” of this cover…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Mars

    None of these guys are gonna bust. They all have pretty good support around them, not to mention very respectable programs….this is not Louisville (sorry Chane)

  • ripslam

    Davis actually looks scary with that eyebrow.

  • anthonys81

    great cover. lookin forward to this one..

  • http://www.slamonline.com big_ticket

    just got my subscription,you put amare and kg in slamadamonth,thanks,more power slam

  • joe

    davis best on the cover believe that

  • 123

    Whos the poster?