The 2020-21 NBA season is underway and I couldn’t be happier about it. Sure, there have been some mishaps with the new Covid-19 protocols, but I’m thankful to have my favorite sport back on. My boyfriend and I were watching a game earlier this week, and I found myself exclaiming, “I wanna be friends with him” about multiple players, so here’s the piece no one asked for – 10 NBA players I want to be friends with and what I think we’d do when we hang out. Can you tell I’m lonely?
10. Marcus Smart
My boyfriend is going to be appalled when he sees that Marcus Smart is on my list because he despises him. But I’m an independent woman and I think for myself! Marcus Smart is always cracking jokes in interviews, and just seems like a really genuine guy. All of his teammates seem to love him, which is always a pretty good sign that he’s not an asshole.
What we’d do: Have a Pixar movie marathon.
9. Serge Ibaka
If you haven’t watched Serge Ibaka‘s YouTube channel, YOU MUST. He has a series called “How Hungry Are You?” where he cooks unconventional foods and feeds them to other NBA players while he interviews them. Yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. One of my favorites is the episode with Demar DeRozan, in which Serge prepares fried worms for DeRozan to “enjoy”.
He also does a ton for charity and has a great sense of humor.
What we’d do: Walk around Los Angeles and take ourselves on an all-day food tour.
8. Kevin Love
Kevin Love is next up on the list. I really admire his work surrounding mental health (as well as Demar DeRozan’s). He’s also from the Pacific Northwest, like me, and we PNWers stick together. I’m also a big fan of his sweater collection.
What we’d do: Go to Portland, near his hometown of Oswego, and check out all the cool small businesses in the area – you know, maybe pick up some woodsy scented candles and pop by a local farmer’s market.
7. Steven Adams
I wrote a poignant piece two years ago called 5 reasons Steven Adams is the f*cking best. All of those reasons still stand. If you don’t feel like reading that piece, let me just share with you one of the reasons Steven Adams is the f*cking best – his recollection of the first time he hugged Gregg Popovich.
“As we went through and said good luck to all the Spurs guys for their final series rematch against the Heat, I dialled in on Pop and made sure he didn’t leave before I could embrace him. When I finally got my arms around him … mate, it was beautiful. I just held that legendary man and got a quick sniff of his hair. He smelled lovely. Don’t act like you wouldn’t do exactly the same thing if you had the chance.”
What we’d do: Go mini-golfing, then I’d ask him to show me his favorite animes.
6. LeBron James
In addition to being the best player in the NBA, LeBron James seems like a genuinely cool guy. I’ve always admired all that he does outside of basketball (please don’t ever just shut up and dribble). His show, The Shop on HBO, is a great watch too.
What we’d do: Have Taco Tuesday at his house with his family and share a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon.
5. Blake Griffin
Ah, Blake. My OTL (one true love) in the NBA – how I miss you so. But seriously, Blake Griffin seems like an awesome dude to hang out with. He’s always down-to-earth in interviews – as down-to-earth as an extremely famous basketball star can be, at least – and he’s funny as hell. I love how much he loves comedy and admire his courage to do standup and pursue that passion of his in addition to basketball. His cameo on Broad City is one of my favorite things ever.
What we’d do: Go to an improv show at UCB or a Middleditch and Schwartz performance followed by a nightcap.
4. Jimmy Butler
I love Jimmy Butler as a player and as a person. His performance in the bubble was something to behold. If you don’t know his story, I highly recommend reading about it. The guy has experienced so much adversity and his success has been hard-earned. He has a great sense of humor and seems like such a fun person to be around. He’s also one of my favorite guests on Hot Ones ever.
What we’d do: Go on a coffee tour of all his favorite coffee spots in Miami and see how they measure up to Butler-run Big Face Coffee.
3. OG Anunoby
Last year was the year I discovered that OG Anunoby was one of the funniest players in the league, perhaps in any league. Don’t believe me? Watch any number of the compilations on YouTube about it. He’s funny without trying, and I mean really funny.
What we’d do: Anything, anything at all.
2. Boban Marjanović
There’s no doubt that Boban Marjanović is one of the most beloved players in the NBA. Everyone seems to love him, and watching interviews with him it’s easy to see why. I always love when he’s one of the “wired” players during Mavericks games, so I can hear how he’s joking around with everyone and how he treats every person, player or not, with kindness.
What we’d do: After watching a video of him going to the Texas State Fair, that’s all I want to do with him.
1. Damian Lillard
I don’t know if I will ever think any other players are as cool as Damian Lillard. I can’t be alone on this one, can I? He just oozes cool to me. I’m a big hip-hop fan, and genuinely really like his album, Big DOLLA (Money Ball is one of my most-played songs on my workout playlist). He exudes confidence and is absolutely savage without (somehow) being a complete as*hole. This video he made after fans told him to stop being lazy and practice is hilarious:
And, if you haven’t seen it yet, he created his new Adidas shoe in OKC colors for his series-winning performance in the playoffs. I MEAN.
What we’d do: Go to a Jay-Z concert.
And there you have it! The top 10 players I want to be friends with and my dream hangouts with all of them. Thank you for reading this silly post, I appreciate you.
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