By now, you’ve probably seen our recently revealed SLAM 199 cover, which features soon-to-be NBA star Ben Simmons paying homage to an iconic ’03 SLAM shoot with LeBron James. And if you read the cover story already, then you also know that the shoot and interview took place in The Bronx, where Ben’s father grew up and attended high school. So with the issue now out on newsstands and the NBA Draft lottery just hours away, we bring you some behind-the-scenes footage from our day walking the streets of the Boogie Down with the potential No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.
On the morning of March 31, 2016, SLAM met up with Ben Simmons and his team at St. Raymond High School for Boys in the Parkchester section of the Bronx to kick off the photo shoot for SLAM 199. After spending some time shooting on the court (actually taking jump shots, not photography shooting), Simmons headed off to the locker room to change and prepare for the shoot. We started with the cover pose itself, then headed off to the rooftop with Tom Medvedich for some outdoor photographs in different wardrobes (we actually did the cover pose up there once again to see how it would look with natural light) before stepping out for some street shooting. The weather was perfect and so were the images that came out from our time with the Australian star.
Huge shout out to St. Rays for allowing us to use their gymnasium and rooftop for the shoot!
Check out the behind the scenes video above. Thanks to James Miles (@thegreatmiles) for the camera work.