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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Love Letter (Updated)

Posted by Eboy



**** Following the lead of my partner in crime, TADOne, I too reached back in the archives of my former singular blog and pulled the first piece I wrote for it, this ode to SLAM, as a lazy way to add some content to our page through this long and winding summer. As anyone who reads out collective blog knows, we are in forever debt to the SLAM universe for allowing us to be the group we are and this was my way of thanking the mag for it's years of being good to me. Enjoy.****

Well, well, well. Where to begin. I guess this post should start with a disclaimer. I am going to talk, alot, about SLAM the magazine & SLAMonline in this post and what it has meant to me since the inception of the mag back in 1994. Part of the reason I created this blog was due to the fact that several of my fellow posters at the SLAM site were opening their own and it seemed like a good place to put out some of my own thoughts and ideas.

The 1994-1995 NBA seasons were the two most horrible years of basketball for me as a fan and a basketball lover in general. My idol, (as well as millions of others) ,Michael Jordan, left my favorite team on some out of the blue whim to pursue his dream of playing baseball. (It wasn't until much later that the talk of the Sternbot forcing Mike's hand to keep him from handing out a year long suspension for gambling even made sense to me) The Bulls went from being world-beaters to just another generic ball team. It was almost like I was in some dense fog from the day MJ packed up his Jordans and took the Brand Jordan product to the baseball diamond for the first time. I was out of it. Coincidentally, he retired on my 23rd birthday in 1993 (made it even worse). So there I was, a fan without his hero, my team stranded without it's life preserver and my love for the game was sinking deeper than a Bernard King fadeaway. And then, one day, something amazing happened.


I was in a local Borders store reading through some magazines before I headed off to my late-night job building pagers, damn that dates the beginnings of the mag, and while I was looking through the racks for a couple more mags to get through the last free hour of the day, I saw these jagged red letters and a basketball perched in someone's hand behind a pile of SI's and pulled it out thinking it may have been another MJ tribute magazine which flooded the racks for months. Well, to my surprise, it was Larry Johnson on the cover, in a great pose, and I had watched him in a few Hornets games but really remembered him more from his time at UNLV. So I sat down, flipped through the mag, and started to feel some strange urge to go watch a game, or play in one, to quench the desire I stated to feel for the game again. I was hooked from the jump. I went through that issue probably 15 times reading and rereading article after article and couldn't wait for the next issue to drop.


Surprisingly, on my weekly stops at Borders, I kept seeing that first issue sit and sit and sit, and after one day counting the copies on the rack, realized that besides my copy, only one other copy left that rack. I couldn't believe it. How the fuck could no one else who even remotely like ball, not be interested in reading this mag. I got one of my boys to buy a copy and he liked it (not as much as me) but thought it needed more pictures. Moron. I told him to suck a dick, and go read Good Housekeeping or Playgirl and don't ask me anything else about the magazine. I know it's been years, but I think SLAM was published quarterly initially (or seasonal) and I swear it seemed like 6 months would pass by waiting on the next one. After enjoying the next few issues that were released, issue 6 brought everything full circle for me, with MJ's return the subject of the cover story. Damn, that was big. I didn't have to want for long either, as I opened my subscription with the mag, and saw MJ's mug on the cover 8 more times over the years.


Years passed, issues came and went, more Bull's titles were won and my basketball life was running on a full tank. SLAM was now a part of my monthly life just like the utility bill was and the editors & writers were like silent voices who translated life in the league, on the streets or in the dorms to the casual or die-hard fans. The "intranets" was the next big medium SLAM tackled and while the first few years of SLAMONLINE revolved around a group of loyal readers waiting on Lang Whitaker to post his "blog of the day" (Lang was ahead of his time) The Links, it provided an up to date report each day of the goings on in basketball, pop culture and whatever else crossed his mind that day. I would read about Lang and his daily life with his wifey, Starbury the dog and felt a connection to his world as it seemed like a true fan of the game I loved had a vested interest in providing honest feedback to the Linkstigators. Waiting on the new Links to post each day around 3:30p was what would get me through the later part of each work day and provided unlimited enjoyment in a thankless work environment.

A year or so ago, SLAMONLINE expanded it's site content and now there were several "blogs" to read each day and getting the views of the other writers and editors on a daily basis made the SLAMONLINE experience even better. By the way, my name that appears on this blog and used as my ID when posting on the SLAM site was a direct rip from an article that mentioned Heat point guard Jason Williams from the SLAM site (probably Lang's comment).

SLAMONLINE is now my favorite site at work and home, most viewed, most posted on, etc. I would like to thank all the SLAM guys who keep us entertained and informed, Lang (the master of his domain, nuff said!), Sam (long may you run and you are missed), Russ (ball wisdom to a fault and sarcasm drippin' like a chewed up Krispy Creme), Ryan (the man I long to be nothing like), Ben O. (running things like the King Of New York), Mutoni (Canadian, efficient, a national treasure), Khalid (the King), Myles (hater and a Kobe lover wrapped in one. Gangsta!!!!), Cub (my old school pop culture partner), Caputo (the man of the streets keeps it the realest), Holly (the goddess of Canada with a overactive basketball gene), Ryne (from dopey poster to Online EIC, gotta love it!!!) and everyone else involved that keeps the site going and the mag still relevant. And to my fellow former Linkstigators and the new crop of SLAM posters, Cheryl,(ASPOV), Izzo, Tariq, DP (play wit it), Co Co, B. Long, Sesa, Jukai, BETCATS, TADOne, Bodie, People's Princess, Shia, Hursty and the rest of you guys (and girls) keep the jokes coming, the comments light and the stories fresh. SLAM is what brought back my love to the game and I'm forever in it's debt. I know some of you guys will call me some sentimental fool but that's fine because as a great man once said "Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?" SLAM, thanks for the great years. Indebted always, Eboy.

12 comments:

BETCATS said...

i am touched like a child at catholic school that i would get a shout out in such a beutiful piece of art!!! you are a bigger a$$hole then Vida Gurrea's for not being white hot anymore. i still hate you in a good way for when you made me switch my name to BETsucksCats. I will now stop being such a girl (i never new i coud) and finish this post.
sincerly,
BETCATS

Eboy said...

Oh, the old days, when things were fun and free.......

BETCATS said...

broham, how did you forget Mike Tillery, Bethleham Shoals and Vincent Thomas?

TADOne said...

How am I just reading this for the first time??! Anyway, great piece.

Eboy said...

You weren't a "regular" when I first typed this out, TAD. And yes, BET, I left some people out, first because it was written before a couple of them were regular contributors and second, I just plain forgot. Sorry to anyone I missed.

Hursty said...

I remember when the magazine didnt even regularly advertise the website. When it finally did it was still the old model site that pre-dated this one. Thats when I started reading. I didnt comment, but I would always read the things Chukaz said because they were funny and rude and stuff that James said and Eboy. Izzo was not gold and betcats had no blog. Ryan was the EIC of SLAM and the Links were done more often and less news was done. I second the statement BET makes about being touched. I was looking for my name.... yes! I was nervous for a bit but you remember. Good times, ah nostalgia. Peace, Hursty.
P.S I remember BET pretending to be an adult and everyone knew he was lying... he denied it hard, eventually he cracked like Van Horn with Steph on the Nets. That was a rage for the ages, Lord of the Rings be damned.

BETCATS said...

hursty you werent even around for Chukaz. I came out of retirement ( put the account on ice for a while) after he went away. You were never their. Unless you are Chukaz (why everyone thinks i was, i will never know) in that case, @sshole.

Eboy said...

For clarifications sake, I noted that this was an updated piece from when I originally wrote it back in June 07. I added some commentors names, added some SLAM peeps also that have recently made their marks, so this is just a way of giving props to some of the people I missed originally.

Hursty said...

bet- like I said I didnt comment but I would read, dont get all amped up dude. I read for about 2-3 months prior to commenting and my first post was on an Ater Majok article and involved the acronym OMG many times.

Hursty said...

Eboy if you click on the picture of the dolphin girl you will notice that she has a back tattoo. Then the picture has a watermark on it 'We Live Together.com; mmm... sounds kinda fishy. Google the site and.... it turns out she is a lesbian porn star. Whether that was intentional or not its pretty funny.

Hursty said...

again my comments keep disappearing, I said the girl was hot but that was before I googled her picture and found out she was using a double edged sword. So there was no reason for it to disappear.

Hursty said...

for some stuP8d fu*king reason my comments are being delayed and now one version of this site has my response to eboy and one doesnt have any comments at all. Wow, thats messed up. Yes E she'd be a catch, looking at that half @ss on the left too. Girls are funny.