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Filling the Void: SlamBall

The sport that is equal parts hard to remember and hard to forget.

Corey vs Ivan in 2008 by Gotoenter is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Filling the Void: SlamBall

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

That’s right. SlamBall. The short-lived amalgamation of basketball and hockey you may have forgot was ever attempted.

Or maybe you have some vague recollection of the short-lived sport stored deep in the back of your mind. Some fuzzy memories of those massive yellow-and-red trampolines, of guys in headgear crashing into each other within a glass-encased basketball court. Those thoughts probably live in the same part of your brain that remembers who Chingy was, or what the worst auditions were from the early seasons of American Idol.

But if you’re looking for a refresher, we’ve got you covered. Back in the day, SlamBall was sold to us as a full-contact form of basketball, in which slam dunks were worth 3 points (instead of 2). Players sporting head gear and elbow pads could launch themselves off of four trampolines that took up all the space within the 3-point arc, in order to complete huge dunks or alley-oops. But they could also find themselves on the receiving end of some big hits from defenders.

On paper, the idea was there.

Take the hits and collisions from hockey and add it to the most entertaining way to score in basketball. What’s not to love? Apparently, not all that much. The SlamBall league lasted just two seasons from 2003 to 2004 (and was revived for one brief season in 2008).

But lucky for us, the internet still houses some full SlamBall games for our viewing pleasure. So for those of you who may have completely missed this train, or are former Rumble, Mob, Steal, or Slashers fans looking to relive the glory days, check out the game below from SlamBall’s first season. And brace for the nostalgia. The grainy, standard def footage. The bold, baggy jerseys. The fact that this aired on SpikeTV. You’ll be whisked back to the early 2000s as you watch superstars Stan Fletcher and Craig Johnson slam it home.

(And if you’re in the mood to bask in a little more sports nostalgia, check out our ongoing “Filling the Void” series.)

Ryan Kelly lives in Cambridge, MA, a stone's throw away from his beloved Boston teams. When he is not working as an editorial assistant, he is providing commentary on the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins for The Turf.

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