Matthias Clamer photographs Nicki Minaj with Kobe Bryant, Eminem with Calvin Johnson, Kendrick Lamar with Chris Paul, and more for ESPN The Magazine’s 2014 Music Issue

Last year, for its first-ever Music Issue, ESPN The Magazine asked Matthias Clamer to re-create famous album covers using sports stars in place of the musicians. And it was a big hit. So this year, with the bar set high, the magazine once again turned to Matthias.

The theme for the 2014 Music Issue is the convergence of the worlds of music and sports, so Matthias photographed seven dynamic pairings: Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers with pop star Nicki Minaj; Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions with rapper Eminem; rapper Kendrick Lamar with Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers; U.S. Women’s Soccer star Hope Solo with singer-songwriter Skylar Grey; Dustin Penner of hockey team the Anaheim Ducks with the indie band Capital Cities; Cam Jordan and Kenny Stills of the New Orleans Saints with Trombone Shorty and the Grambling State marching band; and baseball players Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles) and Yonder Alonso (San Diego Padres) with reggaeton star Yandel.

The Music Issue, which hit newsstands last Friday, features three different covers and an online complement with behind-the-scenes videos, interviews, and more. Below, some highlights, plus a couple of behind-the-scenes images. View the complete package at espn.com/musicissue and the gallery here.

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Matthias Clamer_Kobe Bryant and Nicki Minaj cover

Kobe Bryant and Nicki Minaj. Photo by Matthias Clamer for ESPN The Magazine.

Matthias Clamer_Calvin Johnson and Eminem cover

Clavin Johnson and Eminem. Photo by Matthias Clamer for ESPN The Magazine.

Matthias Clamer_Chris Paul and Kendrick Lamarr cover

Photo by Matthias Clamer for ESPN The Magazine.

Matthias Clamer_Yondel

Reggaeton star Yandel (in sunglasses) with San Diego Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso (left) and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Photo by Matthias Clamer for ESPN The Magazine.

Matthias Clamer_Kobe Bryant and Hope Solo

Two-time Olympian Hope Solo with Skylar Grey. Photo by Matthias Clamer for ESPN The Magazine.

Matthias Clamer_Kobe Bryant and Nicki Minaj 1

Bryant and Minaj. Photo by Matthias Clamer for ESPN The Magazine.

Matthias Clamer_Calvin Johnson and Eminem 2

Johnson and Eminem. Photo by Matthias Clamer for ESPN The Magazine.

ESPN Music Issue BTS 1

Matthias reviews his images with Johnson and Eminem. Photo by Nancy Weisman.

ESPN Music Issue BTS 2

Matthias photographs Dustin Penner and Capital Cities. Photo by Stephanie Weed.

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