As much as we talk about SLAM jinxes and the curses of long production schedules, sometimes our timing is pretty nice. Take this gorgeous Kobe cover and the long road it took to today, the first day we’ll be seeing hard copies of it:
I first talked about putting him on this, our “All-Star cover,” with some of his people before the season started. We started going back and forth about concepts (note: Kobe is not a big fan of just standing in front of the camera. He wants a concept before he agrees. Think about it: the snake, the American flag, etc.) in early December. Thankfully, we like things that way too, which is why we have a nice history with KB. We sent Senior Writer DeMarco Williams to L.A. for the Nike webcast about Kobe’s new kicks on December 11, and then to Memphis on December 21, where he was on set while the great Atiba Jefferson shot this cover (De’s impressions of his time with Kobe is below).
One thing we didn’t think about (honestly) was that the release date for this issue was the day after Kobe and the Lakers would be in the Garden, which was almost guaranteed to be special (not neccesarily this special, but the dude obviously knows when to turn it on.)
But it was, and we’re grateful. Big Apple residents, start checking for your cover today. National newsstand buyers and subscribers should be getting it next week. As for folks who will be in Phoenix for ASW, just look for members of the SLAM team—we should have lots of copies on us.