With this issue of D Magazine, Dirk Nowitzki has earned an honor that I’m sure means as much to him as his league MVP trophy from 2007. He joins an august group of people who have appeared multiple times on our cover. Because I spent way too much time in our archives researching this topic, I will tell you that the D Mag Multiples include John F. Kennedy (three times), Laura Miller (also, oddly, thrice), Janine Turner, Ross Perot, Mark Cuban, Jessica Simpson, and the all-time champ, with four cover appearances, Troy Aikman.
Dirk’s first D cover published in August 2011, and I’ll never forget the shoot. Just two days after the Mavs had won the NBA Finals, we got 10 minutes with the Big German on the court at the AAC. Photographer Marc Montoya and his producer wife, Kristen, had set up a portable studio hours in advance. They captured a great image of Dirk’s bearded, championship smile. Then senior editor Zac Crain and I got to take a picture with him, at which point Dirk said something to the effect of, “Will I get the cover this time or are you going to use the pork jowls again?”
Some context, so that you can understand why I laughed so hard that I nearly hurt myself: for a 2009 story timed to his 10th anniversary with the Mavs, Dirk had suffered through an earlier photo shoot for us. That story appeared in our annual Best Restaurants issue, which meant that our cover featured a dish from Bolsa. So, yeah. Dirk gave us some of his time, and then we put Kurobuta pork jowls on the cover.
That he remembered the dish both delighted and horrified me. You need to know what sort of MFFL I am. The day after the Mavs won the championship, I dropped off a six-pack of Heinekens with a thank-you note at the gate to Dirk’s house. Bolsa is clearly awesome. But in terms of the history of Dallas, Dirk is more awesomer. Read a complete oral history of his time in Dallas here, by senior editor Zac Crain.
Above this post you have a video about the making of the August issue. Intrepid designer Emily Olson is to thank for that—it’s incredible. Give it a watch, will you?