Originally published in SLAM 134

The 6th Man: One of the great things about this magazine’s staff and the tremendous sport we cover is that the combination involved yields a seemingly limitless range of ideas. While the labor involved would be a bitch, I often say that we have enough ideas floating around here to make SLAM a weekly. There will be a Clippers-Knicks Finals before that ever happens in this media climate, but the point is: We’ve got concepts like DeShawn Stevenson’s got tattoos.

This month’s theme is a Lang Whitaker Special: the How-To Issue. Four special regional covers (if you don’t get the one you want in your region, hit up simbackissues.com and click on SLAM to order any or all of them) and expert—as in, dudes who play in the NBA expert—instruction on 18 different aspects of the basketball experience, relevant to many levels of the game. Do you play competitively? Then you’ll want to study this info-packed issue closely. Are you just a fan? We’ve got words of wisdom for you, too. And all of it is delivered in our typically entertaining fashion.

We didn’t stop at the oversized How-To package which begins on pg. 38, though. We’ve also got features on burgeoning big man Brook Lopez, the oddly built Dallas Mavericks, the fifth anniversary of the Malice at the Palace and a great Old-School story on Tom Meschery, only the first Russian and Chinese-born player in the NBA…and a gifted poet.

Plus top high school and college players, dope posters, new gear and Dave Zirin.

Where else are you going to find a mix like that? You can thank us, and you can thank the game (and maybe even The Game. After all, he’s in here, too).


Ben Osborne

Issue 134 Lakers

Issue 134 Dwight Howard

Issue 134 Kevin Garnett

Issue 134 Kevin Durant