Since Larry Johnson first graced its cover in May of 1994 SLAM Magazine has been pumping out iconic cover after iconic cover.
NBA superstars, college studs and high school prodigies have all served as cover-boys for the hip-hop influenced publication, with Kobe Bryant and Lebron James sharing the record for most times featured.
Let’s take a look at the dopest covers SLAM has given us.
10. Allen Iverson, May 2007
After his trade to Denver, a reinvented Iverson adorned SLAM’s cover rocking a jacket straight out of Cam’ron’s closet. A.I. appeared on 13 SLAM covers during his career, with most of them coming in his more familiar 76ers uniform.
9. Lebron James, July 2003
SLAM ordained Lebron an NBA All-Star before he ever played a game in the Association for its High School All-Americans issue in 2003. The NBA should bring back these jerseys for the All-Star game instead of some of the atrocities fans have had to witness over the past few years.
8. Jason Williams, August 1999
White Chocolate? Chewing on a toothpick? Sounds list worthy to me.
7. Carmelo Anthony, November 2012
If only Carmelo played in the playoffs like he did in the Olympics than the Knicks might actually win something.
6. Gary Payton, June 1998
Na-nah Na-nah na-nah na-nah
5. John Starks, March 1995
Everything about this cover screams nineties.
4. Allen Iverson, March 1999
Another dose of A.I. To show you how iconic this cover was, it was recreated for SLAM’s milestone 150th issue in August of 2001.
3. 1996-97 NBA Rookie Class, February 1997
Just look at the star power on this cover: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Ray Allen … Samaki Walker? Together the players featured on this cover from the 1996 draft class have totaled 45 All-Star appearances, nine championships and three MVP Awards.
SLAM recreated this cover in 2002 but it wasn’t nearly as successful.
2. Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett, October 1997
Only on a SLAM covers countdown would Stephon Marbury be featured two in a row. The jersey’s adorned by Stabury and KG look like the jerseys worn by the T-Wolves in the original NBA Street and the no numbers, logo on front style is an eerie foreshadower of this year’s Christmas Day jerseys.
This cover was also restaged by Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love in 2012, visor and all.
1. Elton Brand, Lamar Odom and Darius Miles; February 2002
Everything about this cover is amazing: the Jay Z reference, the switched (backwards) jerseys, the du-rag. Imagine if a team posed like this today? David Stern would have a heart attack.