Sakuragi is Back

It’s been a long while since I drew Slam Dunk again. I’ve been real busy with a lot of things, writing, talk commitments, regular work, a lot! There are times I upload artworks in my IG for my new comics and other stuff — and some followers tell me they want Slam Dunk. It’s kind of a mixed emotion for me.

Hi, guys, I missed drawing SD too

and I know that most people follow me for this. But I’m an artist —and a fictionist, a writer too– I believe I can draw anything or write anything I want as long as I don’t harm anything. Make that anything.

There are actually many times that when I draw SD, I get more followers—flooding the numbers up. And when I post NBA illustrations, some unfollow me. It’s funny, really. I got nothing to say about that, but I just want to thank those who stayed with me even at times I don’t post anything.

Truth is I gained friends—a lot of them—since having my artist IG account. And these “friends” aren’t just regular followers who comment every now and then, we connect. We chat when we have time. We share thoughts. We wish each other good things. We ARE friends, despite not seeing each other, despite miles apart.

Posting this image of a simple Hanamichi Sakuragi in casual clothing got me a lot of “welcome back” greetings. It may just be words, but I truly appreciate it. It was very warm and welcoming, reassuring I might add. Making me want to make more —not just SD of course. I draw what I want. I know my friends will always be here.

Slam (Dunk) Covers 2

More (fanfic) Slam covers for Slam Dunk ballers!

Fan favorite Akira Sendoh on Slam by Erik Pingol
Believed as the GOAT of Japanese High School Basketball—Eiji Sawakita on Slam by Erik Pingol
Main man Hanamichi Sakuragi on Slam by Erik Pingol
Another Eiji Sawakita on the special Kobe issue by Erik Pingol

NBA x SlamDunk: Sakuragi

Sakuragi in Spurs for a dunk. Illustration by Erik Pingol

I’m planning on creating an artbook for all these 🙂 Maybe a hundred page of illustrations is enough?

Sakuragi x San Antonio Spurs by Erik Pingol
Sakuragi x San Antonio Spurs by Erik Pingol

A lot of guys emailed me asking how can they buy my artworks. The truth is I still don’t know how. Whether to create a “store” in this site or sell the artworks somewhere—I really don’t know how those things work. If you guys have suggestions or ideas, you can email me. I just need all the help I can get. Thanks 😭

Nintendo Jump Rope Challenge x Slam Dunk

Your classic default jumpin’ bunny

I recently came across Nintendo’s Jump Rope Challenge game on Switch. It’s weird. And undeniably fun. It’s just simple, you jump rope everyday and see your daily stats. But its cuteness really carried the appeal, in my opinion.

So what does a Slam Dunk fan artist like me do?

Mobile Wallpaper: Sakuragi X Chicago Bulls

The NBA X SLAM DUNK posts I had for my Facebook page and Instagram were ultra-successful. And the most popular request was Sakuragi Hanamichi on Chicago Bulls uniform. Yes, I did it for all you guys who liked, shared and made comments! You are all awesome!

The said artwork was at the previous post in this website, go check it out!

I’m posting here right now some goodies—mobile wallpapers for you to download. It’s not much but I took the time and effort required because you gave me much love. I appreciate it, guys.

The promo image I used on FB and IG

The other promo image I used on FB and IG

You can save or download this image for free and use it on your phone. Because I love you.

You can save or download this image for free and use it on your phone. And please don’t complain about my signature—it’s my signature! 🤩

Please do follow my Facebook page Art of Erik Pingol, Sports Illustrator and my Instagram account Erik Pingol for more cool artworks. Thanks, all. You are cool.

Sakuragi Loves You

My Facebook page Art of Erik Pingol post and Instagram posts NBA X SLAM DUNK series were really successful! Reached tens of thousands and counting! Shares were just so many for me to remember and responses in the comments were really fantastic! If you are one of them who liked, shared and made comments, THANK YOU! The responses I got were really heartwarming.

The most popular request was “Sakuragi to the Chicago Bulls”. Yes, I heard (read) you well. And when I promise, I deliver. Here’s a thank you art for all of you, guys. I love you. Sakuragi loves you as well!

By popular demand, Sakuragi for the Chicago Bulls. By Erik Pingol

I just hope Takehiko Inoue-san loves me as well.

NBA X Slam Dunk

What if Slam Dunk (anime) ballers got drafted in NBA? What teams suit them best? I certainly can’t say which one is the best team for each player but I could give my own fantasy draft, for sure.

In my Instagram account some say Sakuragi should go to the Bulls, Fujima to the Celtics, etc. Yes, of course, Shohoku guys would fit nicely in the Bulls uniform, Shoyo guys should bleed green with the Celtics jersey and Kainan to the gold and purple Lakers—but we have (almost) already seen that. Those NBA teams were clearly the inspiration of author Takehiko Inoue in designing the school varsity uniforms. So I wanted something fresh. Something new to my eye.

I hope I could make my favorite mangaka Mr. Takehiko Inoue proud. Or at least, not disappointed.

Also, you guys can comment down below which team you want the characters to play. Who knows, if I get the extra time, I could do those too. Your (likes and) share would be much appreciated.

I figured Sakuragi would be fantastic under Coach Popovich’s guidance
Miyagi is like my Penny Hardaway’s resurrection
Rukawa could do well in the Madison Square Garden
Mitsui is one of my top guys in the series. So he goes to the Lakers, no question 😂
Houston would love Akagi’s dominance in the paint
Rukawa goes to New York, Sendoh goes to Indiana. Interesting!
I don’t know. I just think this uniform fits “Fukusuke” well
Fujima goes to training under Steve Nash, and dons the Mavs jersey
Miami wanted a “tall” guy with range, Hanagata was just at the right time. Had to improve his eye glasses though, into something more sporty but won’t change his looks.
Two things: I wanted to represent Canada in this collection and I just love that classic Raptors jersey. Just tossed Kiyota in the mix 😂
Maki goes to the Cavs. I was actually surprised the wine and gold looked great on him. So I let him have a pair of LeBrons.

Unfortunately, even in fantasy I didn’t think Kogure could make it in the NBA. Sorry, Megane-kun fans. Okay, I’m not serious. This is just my little joke. How about Kogure discovered his real greatness was in baseball all along? And he made it in the Major League with the Dodgers! Not bad, Megane-kun, not bad.

Kogure with the Dodgers! FTW!

Also, Coach Popovich thought Sakuragi’s red hair gives away his stealth defense/blocks from behind. He suggested a more toned down color. Well really, the Spurs owner thought it violates the SAS colors, so here we go.

Sakuragi in his alternate hair color

Guys, I had a lot of fun doing this. I hope you do, too. Please, do message me what NBA teams would you like to see them in. It would be a nice discussion. Also please share (and like) if it’s not much. My Instagram is erikpingol and my Facebook page is Art of Erik Pingol. See you around.