Originally published in SLAM 38

The 6th Man: I have seen the future of the NBA and he ain’t 6-6, nor does he play in Toronto or L.A or even Boston. He’s 6-11 [Editor’s note: barely, Kid], lives in Minnesota and has spent the past summer proving to anyone who was even half-watching that he is the guy to replace MJ as, not only the game’s most versatile player, but as its global standard-bearer. Watching him smile and joke his way through those Olympic Trial crucifixions made the Dream Team spectacle tolerable this time around. And that’s saying a whole lot.

I have also seen the future of SLAM and he ain’t 6-4, he’s 6-1 [Editor’s note: barely, kid] and has red hair plus all of these really nasty-looking scars on his legs from crashing his bike. If you haven’t guessed, this is my final issue as Editor-in-Chief of SLAM. I’ve had a great time during the past five years and 35 issues, but frankly, my expiration date is quickly coming due, and I’d rather leave before I start phoning it in. You understand.

Russ Bengtson will be the new EIC (and yes, Ed. too) and I for one am really excited to see some of the stuff he has cooked up. As for me, I’m sure you’ll see my name popping up somewhere or other.

Anyway, that’s all I have left to say. Over 4,480 pages, 1200 references to “the next MJ” or “Air Apparent” and 144 Reggie Miller insults have left me winded and yet fulfilled. And no, I won’t let the door hit me on the way out.

Our friends at South Park sent us this over a year ago, and we never ran it. (Mostly because we didn’t want to, you know, show off or anything.) I thought it would be a good way to mark the end of the era. Here’s to the beginning of the new one.

As always, thanks for playing.


Tony Gervino

P.S. No, I’m not fat. I’m just big boned.

Issue 38 KG