by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17

“Upstage the Finals”? In print, right now? Sure. We save our magazine Finals coverage for the issue that comes out right after the season ends, when we can celebrate the champ with a must-have issue for every NBA fan (will Rajon get his first cover? Ron-Ron his second? Kobe his millionth?). Besides, we’ve got these Finals owned online, with memories, live blogs (last night’s is here, with one slated for every game), analysis, and just killing it on Twitter.

So, SLAM 140. Look, in much of the NBA Universe, free-agent mania has already set in. Once this Finals gets out of hand (hopefully it isn’t already), the rest of the country will be in, too. Why not take the free-agent madness and break it down better than any other outlet in the game?

We started with the covers, which will both be on newsstands everywhere next week and were beautifully executed by image wizard Peter Possenti and Creative Director Melissa Brennan. They were designed to look good, grab your attention, attract eyeballs, etc (you know, like every magazine that needs to sell copies on newsstands does). I think they will.

As for the cover story, well, I’d say its as good a preview of what can happen come July 1 as you will find anywhere.

Looking for even more insight than the regular SLAM folk can provide, we reached out to the great Dave D’Alessandro to write an educational and funny piece explaining the myriad possibilities of what could happen to the NBA over the next two months or so.

If you like NBA journalism, you surely know who Dave is. And if you don’t, well… Dave is the NBA columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger and has been writing about the League since 1983. His recent work for the Ledger can be found here. I’m going to humbly stack this SLAM cover story up there with any of his work. Again, it’s educational and entertaining, like we strive to be every month.

If you’re sick of free agency already (in which case you may want to leave the country and the internet for a couple months), there’s still plenty of great stuff. The full version of Lang’s Rajon Rondo feature/interview. A dope catching-up-with-Steve Francis feature by Bonsu Thompson. Pieces on in-the-news ballers such as CJ Miles, Joakim Noah, Candace Parker, Brandon Roy, plus all the great photos, shoes and high school coverage we always deliver.

Get it.


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