Originally published in SLAM 1

The 6th Man: DO YOU REALLY “Love This Game?” Have you ever heard the sound of bouncing basketballs in your sleep? Have you imagined yourself with that dazzling crossover move that leaves your opponent in the dust? Have you ever dreamt-just once-of a soaring, slow-motion, monster slam dunk?

Then welcome home, this is the magazine you’ve been waiting for.

Last summer, we were looking at the papers, magazines, and the TV news, and we realized that they all looked alike-the basketball stories, the baseball stories, the figure skating stories. The sneaker commercials exhibit more of basketball’s soul than most media coverage of The Game. Can you picture that talking head in the lousy toupee: “Ahh, James, will you look at the beauty, the grace, the sheer athleticism of that: a.) no-look pass, b.) double-play, c.) triple-reverse-axel on the half-shell”… whatever.

Hopefully, you won’t find that kind of weak youknowhat in the pages of Slam. What you will find is basketball, basketball, basketball and, oh yeah, hoops. We aim to present a magazine about and for basketball fans and players. This is not a magazine for those arm-chair heroes who rediscover The Game on their TV’s every March and forget about it after that bald guy brings home the championship (and the bacon) to Chicago two months later.

This is a magazine for people who Love This Game. Period. Whether you play on an intramural team or you get kicked out of Big Ten games (after your pops kicks you in the shins two Knights, err, nights before) or you’re the weekend hero who straps on that Six-Million Dollar Man knee brace every Saturday afternoon-this magazine is for you.

The good part is just about to begin; Charles Barkley, Jason Kidd, Larry Johnson (no relation), Felipe Lopez (remember that name), John Starks and more. It’s our sincere hope that through the pages of Slam you’ll find a way to love The Game even more.

And send us some letters. Let us know what you’d like to see, “cause this is your magazine. What you want is what you’ll get… ‘cept ball. ‘Cause we got ball.

See you on the playgrounds.

Cory Johnson

Issue 1 Larry Johnson