The list of seriously relevant basketball players always dwindles as the regular season draws nearer to the playoffs. You’re seeing it this week with the NCAA Tournament (Anyone heard from Jodie Meeks lately?), and in the NBA it’s especially true — heading down the playoff stretch, only a select few dominate the nightly highlight shows and blog rolls.
You have to consider these things when putting together a magazine. Cover options are plentiful earlier in December, but as the postseason gets closer, they become limited. This year that seems to be the case more than ever. Almost every night, the top three NBA stories center around, in some order, Kobe, LeBron and D-Wade. The League’s MVP front-runners are all over the place, and it makes sense for any mag to slap one of them on the cover right now without giving it a second thought.
But, as we like to do at Dime, we wanted to go in a different direction. One of the things we’ve always prided ourselves on is not becoming a revolving door of the same athletes over and over again, rehashing the same stories you can get anywhere. And in our relatively short history in the business, that risk-taking has paid off: Dwight Howard (Dime #9), Dwyane Wade (#13), O.J. Mayo (#17) and Chris Paul (#23) can all count Dime as their first-ever national basketball magazine cover, before they became — or in O.J.’s case, will become — sales-friendly go-to covers for everyone else.
We’ve never been afraid to take chances with our covers, and with the magazine in general, two things that will become immediately evident once you get a look at our newest issue, Dime #48.
On the cover we have Brandon Roy, making his national magazine cover debut, another first-timer Dime is honored to put out there. In just his third season in the NBA, the two-time All-Star has become one of the young talents expected to carry the League into the future. The Portland Trail Blazers handed him the keys to their franchise from the moment he stepped into the practice facility, and B-Roy has responded by putting them in position this year to make their first playoff appearance since 2003. Dime’s Austin Burton and photographer Aaron Hewitt spent a day in Portland with B-Roy for the cover shoot and story, both of which came out great.
Also in this issue, Andrew Katz penned a feature on Stephen Curry, one of the biggest stars yet also one of the biggest question marks in college basketball. AK also wrote a feature on Tennessee high school sensation John Jenkins, the most explosive scorer you’ve never heard of. “Mr. BET” Christian Grant-Fields got up with Devin Harris for this month’s fashion spread, which we shot at an upscale Harlem auto showroom — you might have seen highlights from Devin’s photo shoot on “Harlem Heights” two weeks ago. Plus we’ve got stuff with Chris Paul, Shaq, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, and more.
Finally, throughout this issue you’ll see that the design is a lot different than in issues past. Nothing too complicated there; we just felt it was time to shake things up and give the book a more crisp, clean look. Whenever you get a chance to look inside the mag, let us know what you think either in the comments section or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for Dime #48 on newsstands nationwide this week, and remember, we’ll be dropping the digital version a few weeks from now.