Basketball News

SLAM and the Tuff Crowd Keeps It Hostile

Since I was growing up, SLAM was the hottest and biggest magazine. Every beginning of the month, everyone knew to go to 7-Eleven and pick up that new SLAM Magazine.

Obviously, I always was. My mom took me to 7-Eleven and to the donut shop, and those were the first two things I ordered in the morning, every beginning of the month.

Seeing that new SLAM in 7th grade, it made me work harder. As I was setting all my goals as a hooper – playing in the McDonald's Game, becoming a national champion in High School, and eventually making it to the NBA – being in SLAM was at the top of my list.

When I was 12 years old, I knew that if I made a SLAM cover one day, our lives would change.

The first time I thought I might be in SLAM was when I saw Sebastian Telfair and LeBron James on the cover as high school basketball players. That right there took me to another level. Just two years later, before my 10th grade year at Dominguez High School in LA, there I was, doing my first photoshoot for SLAM.

I was in the locker room, meaning to hack the whole time. Just to inform the world: There is a hostile young child from Compton coming.

I've always loved fitness, and I see some of the best basketball players from around the world in magazines. It was the first time you heard the noise about the players. Like our competitors, everyone wants to go head-to-head with the best, and SLAM always let you know who's up and who's next.

Fast forward to now, and hearing that SLAM will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in its 30th year — well deserved. It's just a big time of real basketball. With everything they put into the streets, the love of basketball has paid off. I'm happy with everyone I've known from the magazine over the years.

To celebrate 30 years of SLAM, I wanted to connect my brand Tuff Crowd and SLAM with a collection of fire. Working on this fellowship is another full circle moment in my life.

As everyone knows, I never went to college. Crossing the country to Oak Hill early on, then making the decision to skip college, move out of the country and go overseas – my path in life has always been different. Even retiring early and starting Tuff Crowd was different.

That's what this collection stands for. That taking risks is nothing, if you have that belief in yourself.

The joy of taking risks and not knowing what's coming is the beauty of life.

At Tuff Crowd University, we keep it hostile. It is a school and a mindset for everyone who has taken a different path in life to get where they want to go.

We wanted to use the original SLAM logo in this collection, in that sense, to take it back to '94. We have a coach jacket, two hoodies, two tees and crazy game shorts. It's about having that coaching swag, and celebrating the idea of ​​school spirit and playing by your rules.

This collaboration just shows how much this game means to me. Back when I was 12, I was infallible. Being in that SLAM Magazine as a 10th grader, then being on the cover at 18 years old in Italy and again as an NBA rookie, it really changed my life.

All these years later, this collection once again shows how much more we are always than just basketball players. Being able to put the ball down and go into something outside of it, but connected to the game of basketball, is a great feeling of pride in what I'm building with the Tuff Crowd and where I've been in my life. .

And I have SLAM Magazine to thank for giving me that inspiration from the start.

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