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Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 10:30 am  |  12 responses

SLAM 168 is On Sale Now!

LeBron James is doin’ it better than anyone you’ve ever seen do it.

by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17

LeBron James is the best player in the League. Having the best season of his career. And he hadn’t been on a cover all season! As we looked ahead to the Playoffs, we knew it was time to change that.

The past couple of years, we made our Playoff Preview issue a regional affair that nodded at both the wide-open title race and our friends at Juicy.

In concept, the inside of this issue is pretty similar to years past—look for our nifty, custom-made Playoff logo (nice work, Rich Tu!) on the top of feature-well stories on potential post-season game changers Ty Lawson, Nate Robinson, David Lee, Lance Stephenson and Ray Felton. There’s also an awesome Old School feature on Karl Malone, who certainly did his thing at this time of year once or twice. And we have a piece by Jesse Eisenberg (yes, that Jesse Eisenberg) about continuing his family’s heritage of supporting the Knicks.

When it came to the cover, though, we just couldn’t do it. We couldn’t claim there were six, or four, or even two equally interesting storylines. Barring injury, this year’s Playoffs will ultimately be about LeBron James and the Miami Heat. The best player in the world has somehow gotten even better. The League’s best team just posted the second-longest winning streak in NBA history. Yes, the NBA’s depth of talent, and said talent’s dedication to the game, means that every single series will be fun to watch. But really, if the Heat do what they’ve been doing, every other team is playing for second place.

And if LeBron keeps doing what he’s doing, every other player is playing to be second-best. Throw in the fact that the King agreed to give us a one-on-one interview on the night his team won its 23rd straight game, in the home of its archrivals, and his lack of covers since the famous “Hi Haters” joint, a solo cover for LeBron was one of the easiest choices we had all season.

We hope you enjoy all the games over the next two months. The crap teams will have gone home. The playing—and officiating—rotations will be tightened. The best basketball players in the world will be showing off the same offensive arsenal they do in the regular season, only in the Playoffs it will be complemented by equally impressive defense and, aided by more days off and motivated to stay alive, all-out effort. Our favorite sport, played at the highest level, with highlights and drama for weeks. It’s definitely the best time of the year for NBA fans, and just about every game is worth watching.

Just be sure to pay special attention to the games our man on the cover is playing in. And cop this issue to have while you watch.

LeBron James SLAM 168 Cover

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    To see LeBron win that game, then hear how happy the Heat were to win their 23rd game, and then chop it up with him after the excitement had died down, was pretty awesome. It’s not always smart to try and tell a story through one night, but I think I picked the right night. Hopefully it shows in my story.

  • Peter Walsh

    Classic issue…Born Ready piece is too ill.

  • http://twitter.com/thePharaoh_ A.Feroz

    dope

  • penny4ever

    SLAM covers aren’t as sweet as in the past :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/najee.fareed Najee Fareed

    I have seen Mike and Kobe play so no but lets hope the mag is still good. Disappointed they didn’t do the regional covers. But you are right. Bron did need some more cover love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/najee.fareed Najee Fareed

    price also went up… yeesh

  • acaciaerin26

    Kobe is playin’ like it’s his last day on earth. Completely on another level(better than Bron or anyone else in the NBA) Dudes need to stop actin’ like Lebron is the best in the league right now, ’cause he’s NOT!

  • KingCollin

    Kobe’s gonna be out for a while, so…

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    yezzy refrence

  • http://twitter.com/trueballer4lif1 Melvin flynt

    LBJ IS THE BEST UNBREAKABLE FREAK OF NATURE!

  • Mars

    The Heat are arguably the best team but not even close to best ever? 66-16? When or if they get a elite center, which is damn near impossible nowadays, only then will they be seated to the throne of all time great teams. In no particular order
    1. 1964-65 Boston Celtics 62-18
    2. 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers. 68-13
    3. 1969-70 New York Knicks. 60-22
    4. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers 69-13
    5. 1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers 65-17
    6. 1985-86 Boston Celtics 67-15
    7. 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers 65-17
    8. 1988-89 Detroit Pistons 63-19
    9. 1991-92 Chicago Bulls 67-15
    10. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls 72-10

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