He was named MVP, and his closest friend was shot to death. That's how Allen Iverson, the best player in the NBA, will remember 2001. And that's how his year should be remembered by all the people who can't get past his cornrows and his tattoos. Iverson is the new NBA--uncompromising and armed with a crossover move that would crack Bob Cousy's ankles. He may be misunderstood, but he's not an enigma anymore, thanks to an intensely personal Playboy Interview by Larry Platt. Then there's the transformation of Bret Boone. For much of his career, this third-generation baller bounced around the league putting up numbers apt for a journeyman with a touch of avoirdupois. Then, in 2001, Boone set home run and ribbie records for American League second basemen. The secret behind his apotheosis? An iron man diet and workout program outlined in The New, Improved (and Buff!) Bret Boone by Mark Ribowsky. (The comical artwork is by J.J. Sedelmaier.) Says Ribowsky: "Boone's idea of exercise is so radical, he will not get down on the ground before a game to stretch with the team." That part, at least, sounds like a workout we can get behind.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), March 2002. volume 49, number 3, published monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611, Subscriptions: U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues, Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $45 U.S. currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 730 Fifth Avenue, New York 10019 (212-261-5000); Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000); West Coast; SD media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575); Southeast; Bentz & Maddock Inc., 5180 Roswell road, Suite 102, South building, Atlanta, Ga 30342 (404-256-3800); for subscription inquiries, call 800-999-4438.
Because we were in public: "I met this nameless blue-eyed man at a club and we talked for half an hour. For whatever reason, that night I was intrigued by the anonymity of a one-night stand. I didn't want to know his name, but for the sake of the story let's call him Marco. I had a few cocktails and was feeling good, so I asked Marco to take me for a walk to get some air. There were people coming and going and the valet was close by. We ducked into a marble stairwell in the middle of Century City and began groping each other. My top came off and I was slammed against the wall. My first thought was, Oh no, someone is coming! My worries ceased when Marco stuck two fingers inside my wet pussy. My knees buckled and I pulled him closer. The club was closing in five minutes and people were starting to pass us by. We had sex frantically and I came almost immediately, people watching in awe." --K.M., Los Angeles
We got our first glimpse of the tantalizing Scarlett Chorvat in a Michelob Light commercial. There she was, all innocent and itchy in a negligee, stumbling in on a surprise party that included her father. Gulp. Then she landed a role as a guerrilla on the short-lived UPN series Freedom. Her kicking booty in skintight leather outfits on the Matrix-like show worked for casting agents, so Scarlett put aside dreams of professional tennis. She can next be seen with Jerry O'Connell in the romantic comedy Buying the Cow.
Faithfully (Arista) is Faith Evans' finest album, polished and well crafted. Evans is wistful and melancholy on I Love You, Don't Cry and Brand New Man. She can also be a dance diva, as on Back to Love and Burnin' Up.
Look, MA, No Tops Department: Rockbitch, a topless all-girl heavy-metal rock band, was asked to tone it down when they played Liverpool. The performances will be restricted to the over-18 crowd. Reeling and rocking: The Quincy Jones-produced Tupac documentary, Thug Angel, will be released on home video. . . . Jennifer Lopez is gearing up to star in The Chambermaid, in which she plays one in a New York City hotel. . . . Eminem's film now includes the likes of Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy and Mekhi Phifer. The movie is still nameless but plays out a week in the life of a character just like the rapper. NEWSBREAKS: British photographer Tom Murray has a permanent exhibit of Beatles photographs at POP International Galleries in New York City. He took five rolls of film of the group one day in 1968 but kept only 23 negatives, which until recently had been in a drawer. . . Stanford University is the latest seat of higher learning to offer a course called the Language of Hip-Hop Culture. ... A poll of 800 teens by retailer Sam Goody revealed that they are not listening to boy bands. They're listening to rock bands, and singer-songwriters are getting more play than the packaged pop stars of a year ago.... The Strokes already have their own tribute band, but you won't hear any guitars. The DiH'rent Strokes have formed to play cover versions on Casio-style keyboards. Just don't look for Arnold or Willis.—BARBARA N ELLIS
Sean Penn can transform himself completely on-screen--as he did most recently in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown. In I Am Sam he plays a mentally retarded man who becomes a devoted father until a social services agency questions his ability to raise a child. Michelle Pfeiffer is wonderful as the self-absorbed, ruthless LA attorney who handles the case. This could easily be a formula tearjerker, but director Jessie Nelson (who co-wrote the screenplay with Kristine Johnson) steers clear of that. I predict Penn will win the best actor Oscar for this one.
"My favorite movie of all time is The Philadelphia Story," says Laura San Giacomo of NBC's hit show Just Shoot Me. "I could watch it anytime. It's not thrilling or sexy, but it certainly is romantic. Actually, it is sexy. The type of movie I watch depends on the mood I'm in. But I can always laugh. Waiting for Guffman is one of my all-time favorites for that. But it was All the President's Men that had a real impact on me. It's compelling and feels like you're zooming in on a world that everyone held to a certain standard."
For those who like their humor without smiles, The Art of Buster Keaton (Kino on Video, 11 discs, $200} should give a season of delight. Here are all of his 10 features, 19 shorts, the complete Hard Luck, Jail Bait and Allez Oop, his educational shorts, Keaton's TV show from the Fifties and some home movies. His studio forbade him to be caught smiling on film or in public, but Keaton has kept the rest of us in stitches.
Writer and director Kevin Smith, whose Chasing Amy (1997) ranks among the most sharply observed and unsettling sex comedies in recent memory, enjoys cult status. The DVD of his recent film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Dimension, $30) offers deleted scenes and a gag reel that reward Smith's fans--and the uninitiated. Strike Back is essentially a stoner road movie in which Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith)--minor recurring characters from the director's earlier films (including Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma)--race to Hollywood to block production of a film based on characters they've inspired. The movie swings hard and misses frequently, but there's a lot more going on here than in such gag-fests as Dude, Where's My Car? Home Vision continues to introduce DVD versions of many historically significant European films. The latest, Marcel Carné's 1945 Children of Paradise, arrives on the heels of the company's release of Federico Fellini's extraordinary 8 1/2, and it is no less praiseworthy.
She's strong, she's sexy and she would jump at the chance to pin you to the mat. Wrestling superstar Joanie Laurer took it all off in her second pictorial in our January 2002 issue. "People have no idea what a goofball I am," she says. "I'm a given for a superhero. My role models when I was growing up were Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman. It's time to put some substance behind the boobs." Now available on VHS and DVD, this video provides a behind-the-scenes peek from the set. Playboy's Joanie Laurer Nude: Wrestling Superstar is available at music and video stores, or through playboystore.com. It's a winner.
Cyber Club members have their own special Valentine in February Cyber Girl of the Month Jeanette Martinez. Playboy discovered this Florida beach bunny at a swimsuit pageant in Las Vegas. See exclusive videos and pictorials of Jeanette at cyber.playboy.com. And don't forget, there's a new Cyber Girl every week in the Playboy Cyber Club.
Islamic terrorists have never represented the Muslim world to me, because in my years of living there (in Turkey, primarily, with forays into Lebanon and Egypt) I found life, not death, and love, not hate. I found friends who were full of kindness, a highly intelligent population, a fascinating reservoir of ancient history and an abundance of beauty in nature as magisterial as any on the planet. To put it bluntly, the Muslim world--for all its faults--is a gorgeous, lively and wonderful place.
I'm really uninhibited. I feel that life's too short, so dive in and indulge. If I have chemistry with a man, if the sexual energy is there and we know we're going to be together, I go for it. For example, after a party we might start touching and kissing in the car. He would probably have to pull over to the side of the road because we would be so hot for each other that I would give him a blow job. We'd continue our passion into his house. It's the kind of intense energy where we'd want to rip each other's clothes off and just go at it. Who knows if we'd even make it inside the house. It's like, take me now!
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 29, 39-40, 80-85, 106-108, 114-115 and 167, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Special Music Issue--Tune in and crank it up. Our annual tribute to everything that rocks includes poll results (could a group win the hall of fame induction?), music buzz by Alt-Country Cool Guy Ryan Adams and a nasty chat with Princess Superstar. And then there's...