Behind the Scenes at the Mavericks White House Visit

Between the overwhelming German press corps and the underwhelming holding pen for journalists covering the visit, the scene wasn't exactly what you would expect.
Behind the Scenes at the Mavericks White House Visit
Photo by Patsy Lynch

Don’t be fooled: the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House is remarkably small. As journalists squeezed through it Monday morning en route to President Obama’s meeting with the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks in the East Room, the prevailing language overhead was … German.

The German press corps was out in force to cover their native man, Maverick Dirk Nowitzki—the second European ever to be named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player—who would present the traditional team jersey to Obama.

A kind of cultural cognitive dissonance momentarily ensued as the Germans took turns approaching two of their countrymen sitting in the front row opposite White House spokesman Jay Carney’s lectern. Given their highly photogenic mugs, perfect teeth, and the group’s overall deference to them, one could surmise they were television announcers of note.

As the press waited, a young man from the University

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