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.

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NBA X SLAM DUNK 2

The first set I did was my personal fiction. What would happen if the Slam Dunk characters went pro—or more specifically were drafted in the NBA? What team would best suit them? That was my take.

This time, me, my friends and some great guys who supported the first run of the NBA X SLAM DUNK, collaborated in thoughts about how the great Takehiko Inoue—Slam Dunk author—imagined the creation of the players and teams and what they really represented.

These came up:

Our great idol Takehiko Inoue must have imagined Shohoku as Bulls, Kainan as Lakers, Sannoh as Magic… well, we’ll never know until he told us personally. Illustrations by Erik Pingol
Maki, Sakuragi, Sawakita and Rukawa in alternate NBA jerseys. Illustrations by Erik Pingol

Guys, I regularly upload artworks like these and mostly they premiere on Instagram. Please check out and follow my Instagram, it’s a lot of fun! See you there.

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.