SLAM Presents DUKE Special Collector’s Issue is OUT NOW!

SLAM Presents DUKE traces the history and legacy of the men’s basketball team and shines a light on the Blue Devils’ future. Get your copy here.

History. Legacy. Longevity. Tradition.

I live by these four words in my own career. Whether I am teaching, deejaying, making 
beats or even working with basketball, these are foundational to everything I do. Throughout life and experience, I have admired, revered, supported and studied people and institutions that believe in those same pillars and that same sturdy foundation. Those ideals are what lead me to Duke Men’s Basketball.

Why Duke Men’s Basketball, you ask?

As an African American, I’ve had to answer for many years. Any university can be judged simply by the sports team, especially by race. As a kid, I thought that Georgetown was a Black school, due to what I saw on my television set. It even became a fashion statement in hip-hop itself (thanks, Chuck D). Duke has always been judged by what you’ve seen on the court. Maybe it’s the way the kids played. Maybe it was the tenacity and fire of the winningest head coach in DI history, the only coach who’s known by one letter: Coach K. Maybe it’s the five championships, the 17 Final Fours, the 21 ACC tournament titles, the buzzer beaters, the comebacks and the memorable moments. Could it be the Cameron Crazies, the campout in Krzyzewskiville or Cameron Indoor Stadium itself? Maybe it’s the rivalry—arguably the best rivalry in American sports—or the conga line of players who enter the NBA year after year. Maybe it’s coach Jon Scheyer, the first coach to become head coach at the same program where he won a championship as a player and an assistant coach…


…Maybe it’s the African and African American Studies program, one of the tops in the nation. Maybe it’s Washington Duke’s connection to Black Wall Street in Durham and his business partner, John Merrick, the Black businessman who started NC Mutual Life. Maybe it’s the works of the legendary architect Julian Abele, or the John Hope Franklin Center. Maybe it was all the kids I saw with that infamous haircut, “The Duke Starting Five.” Maybe it was that time we saw Tupac Shakur in a Jeff Capel jersey. Maybe it’s my good friend Grant Hill, Duke Men’s Basketball legend and head of USA Basketball. Could it be the many faces in NBA front offices, NCAA coaches and ESPN broadcasters who all carry the shield of what my brother and Duke Basketball alum Jeff Capel coined “The Brotherhood?”

Whatever the reason is, whatever your journey was toward hating or loving the program, the institution or the brand, there is no denying the History. The Legacy. The Longevity. The Tradition.  Welcome to the story of The Brotherhood. 

Welcome to Duke Men’s Basketball.

—9th Wonder, Guest Editor

SLAM Presents DUKE is available now.

SLAM Presents DUKE is also available in this exclusive Blue Metal Edition. Crazies, this one is for you.