Behind The Scenes

Say LeBron, Wade: Your Heat fans are stars of The Magazine’s fashion spread

ESPN The Magazine‘s “One Day, One Game” issue, on newsstands now, covers the Jan. 29 Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat NBA game from every angle imaginable.

On pages 70-75 of The Mag and online at, you’ll see photographs featuring 19 of the more eye-catching fans in America Airlines Arena that night, including Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson (first in the slide show above).

“We wanted to capture the real flavor of Miami, and who better to provide that than the fashionable fans,” said Jim Surber, deputy photo editor.

The Heat crowd is “a fun scene, like something out of a Michael Bay movie: sexy people who say funny things, minus the slow-mo and fireballs,” said contributing writer Sam Alipour.

Writer Sam Alipour (left) came to photographer Pouya Dianat's rescue after a wardrobe malfunction. Photo courtesy Sam Alipour

Photographers and photo editors including Stephanie Weed, Nick Galac, Pouya Dianat, and Nathaniel Welch, as well as NBA editors Rebecca Nordquist, Otto Strong, and Ty Wenger — and Alipour — were among those who contributed to the project. Many scoured the arena looking for fan fashionistas.

The Magazine set up a studio beneath the stands at the western end of the court. About 75 people were photographed in all.

Said Weed, general photo editor:”I found a guy wearing Louis Vuitton sneakers covered in rhinestones! It took a ton of convincing to get him down to our set, but unfortunately he didn’t make the cut.”

Said Galac, associate photo editor: “When I was escorting the couple, Ligy and Ashare, back to their seats they asked ‘So, how many people read this magazine?’ When I answered ‘about two million,’ they said ‘well, so much for keeping our relationship a secret!”

Alipour saw Jackson’s “ridiculously iced-out necklace” but didn’t recognize the Eagles star at first.

After Jackson introduced himself, “it dawned on me: ‘Um, wait…DeSean Jackson, of the [Philadelphia] Eagles?’

“He smiled and confirmed: ‘That’s me.’ All I could think to say — or shout, rather — was, “Shut up! Wow, sorry, dude, should’ve recognized you.’ I felt like an idiot.”

This feature wasn’t all about glamour.

Sometimes, ESPNers need to improvise, as Alipour explains.

Photographer Dianat “tore his jeans at the, um, posterior area.

“Dude’s boxers were hanging out. So, as you can see in the photo above, I helped the guy out by taping his pants shut.”

“One Day, One Game” translates into dozens of great photos and a whole lot of duct tape.

To read the ESPN The Magazine story, visit by clicking here.

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