by Ben Osborne
I don’t think Beanie Sigel gave a shit about Steph and KG, but I sure did. I had been a fan of Steph’s since I met him when he was a sixth grader, and I rooted for KG since he declared for the Draft. And then they were together! A promising first season. A very exciting second season. And in the middle of it all, SLAM hired yours truly as an editorial intern…
This cover, which remains one of my all-time favorites in SLAM history, is the one that was being completed on my first days in the office (those of you with serious SLAM collections will notice I’m nowhere to be found on this masthead but show up as “Editorial Assistant” in SLAM 22/Rafer Alston).
It was meant to be. SLAM had a bright future. These two great teammates had a bright future. And if I was looking for signs, maybe I figured I had a bright future if I could be lucky enough to be starting work at a publication cool enough to do this cover. Well, SLAM is still going strong…with a dope website that was only a dream back then, to boot. And if you’re on this site you probably think being Ed. of SLAM is a cool gig, so I guess I did okay. But Steph and KG? Steph got paid but has had more than his share of issues. KG has become a media darling and an NBA champion. But together? Not so much.
The rest of the history has been told and retold a million times, so I’m going to skip all that. But I did just want to share that last Friday night, when most bball fans were probably watching college hoops, I was watching Steph and KG together again in Celtics uniforms for the same game (and a hell of a game it was; road wins at San Anton don’t come easy) and tripping off what a long trip it’s been.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this hasn’t really been talked about too much—SLAM’s editorial tastes tend to be different than most other media outlets. And I’ll be the first to admit that Steph is hardly setting the world on fire. His gamelog, not to mention just watching him play, shows a man whose jumpshot has been way off. But he can still handle, he can still pass, and he’s still got a body that gives many opposing guards fits. As for KG, he’s just rounding back into form for the homestretch.
We’ll probably have a photographer at the last game of the NBA Finals, looking for potential cover images, and if it’s the C’s we will definitely be looking to get these guys back in this pose. Truth is, they didn’t rule the world back then…but win a title together and maybe they will.