Originally published in KICKS 13, 2010…

Sneaker Pimp: No one who gets paid to cover basketball for a living has a right to complain about much, especially in this economic climate, but don’t think working at SLAM is all fun and games. Between May 6 and July 29, SLAM’s tiny staff has put out five full and completely different issues: Kobe/LeBron, SLAM 140, SLAM 141, World Hoops 2010 and now KICKS. Needless to say, that is a grind that wears on all of us, no matter the subject.

As I have spent a lot of time trying to add and execute the extra issues on our schedule, I’ve spent more time in the office and less on the road writing and reporting. Generally, it’s all good—I did plenty of that last decade. That said, given my long-time friendship with Under Armour Director of Basketball Marketing Kris Stone (above left) and my belief that Brandon Jennings has the game and personality to make his shoe a big success, I (um, above right, pictured in this space for the first time?) took this cover assignment and headed to L.A. And I’m so glad I did. For the better part of a sunny day in SoCal, the three of us, along with the photographers (below) and a gang of folks from UA, shopped, ate, took a ton of pictures and rapped about basketball and basketball shoes. It was work, sure, but very fun.

Feeling extra grateful, I want to thank Kris and Brandon for the cover shoot, and Lang, Melissa, Ryne, Susan and Tzvi for holding things down in the office, whether I’m here or not. If we can keep having more good days than bad ones while pumping out one great issue after another, we’re gonna stay winning.


Ben Osborne

P.S. Obviously, UA is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the brands covered in this issue. From adidas to Nike, Dada to Fila, Converse to Reebok, we’ve got stories and photos on all the kicks you’ll need for fall and beyond. Enjoy.