It remains one of the most hilariously iconic photos from NBA photo lore: The awful photograph taken for a Sports Illustrated article featuring Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban wearing cowboy hats.
It was taken back during the inception of the Dallas Mavericks Hype Machine, when the Mavs were an up-and-coming team on the rise — way back when Nowitzki and Nash were on the cusp of superstardom and owner Mark Cuban was riding these two young stars as he transcended the game to become one of the most popular, controversial and notorious owners in the NBA.
Only in the photo, Nowitzki is riding Cuban instead of the other way around. And literally instead of metaphorically.
It’s awkward, cheesy and as far as Nash is concerned, permanently regrettable.
Sweet sassy molassey. That’s all kinds of awkward.
During an interview with Grantland’s Zach Lowe, the topic of the infamous photograph came up:
How much do you regret the photo, from all those years ago, with you, Dirk [Nowitzki], and [Mark] Cuban — the one with the cowboy hats?
Oh my god. I don’t really believe in regret [laughs], but it’s highly embarrassing. That was for [Sports Illustrated].
I hadn’t actually remembered which outlet ran that thing.
I think it was gonna actually be the cover, but it ended up just being an article. It was right when we won our first playoff series. But, yeah, I’m just glad it wasn’t me on someone’s back. But, really, it’s all bad.
All bad, indeed. But fantastic. One cannot help but chuckle when looking at that hot mess.
[H/T The Basketball Jones]