Originally published in SLAM 51

The 6th Man: The best part about this space is that it’s all mine. It’s here and only here (well, OK, Slamadamonth, too), where I can write just about anything I please. If, say, I chose to write about why Troy Murphy has SLAM photos posted up all over his dorm room, I could do just that. Or if I wanted to post the cell phone numbers of various NBA players, I could do that, too. (Don’t worry, y’all—I’m just sayin’.)

Freed from the constraints of “Who’s gonna be on the cover this month?” and “When are you guys ever gonna run an Iverson SLAMUp?” (is now good?) and “Why haven’t you guys done a story on Glenn Robinson yet?” (page 54), I can waste countless words listing every team Eric “Sleepy” Floyd ever played for (New Jersey, Golden State, Houston, San Antonio, Houston and New Jersey again) or weighing in on Eric Willams’s tattoos (hope you never have a real job, E).

Basically, in a life full of chaos come a few moments of absolute freedom, which is much the way Vince Carter must feel when he steps out onto the basketball court. All the voices that surrond him on a regular basis are silenced, and he’s able to do what he does best. Which, in this case atleast, is blow Larry Hughes straight out of his headband.

And if you want to add your voice to the masses and be one of the countless people who tell Vince what he already knows, just wait a month or two. Maybe I’ll give you his number.


Russ Bengtson

Issue 51 Vince Carter