Whether or not you enjoy watching professional basketball, the NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. There are so many reasons to love (or hate) the NBA, but you have to admit that it dominates the headlines in the mainstream media. Its players win games, suffer losses, party hard, participate in charity events, have kids, decide to prolong family life; but of course, they can't do all those things at the same time. They'll either rack up a notorious reputation or remain as the same old good guy.
Unless if you've been living under a rock, you've heard about quite a few NBA players who had several children with multiple baby mamas, but there are plenty of basketball stars who don't have children. Well, at least not yet. They're likely trying to focus on their careers and immediate families or they simply just don't want kids. Most of the child-less ballers are happy with their decisions. Either way, we should let the fathers (and bachelors) live their lives the way that they want.
If you're like us, you enjoy your regular fix of professional sports and pop culture, so we've compiled a list of seven NBA players who had kids before rings and eight without a family. You might recognize some of these names as Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson currently play for the defending champion Golden State Warriors, but there are a couple of guys who you may not be familiar with. Check out this list for an in-depth look on this offbeat topic.
15 Kids: Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal currently works as a studio analyst for the TV show Inside the NBA, but he has played for six professional teams over a span of 19 years. He's one of the best centers in the league. He won three consecutive championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat.
When it comes to his personal life, O'Neal has an intriguing personal life, fathering a child before earning his first championship ring. He married Shaunie Nelson on December 26, 2002. The couple have four children (Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, Me'arah) together. He also has a daughter (Taahirah) from a previous relationship with his ex-girlfriend Arnetta Yarbourgh.
In 2007, O'Neal filed for divorce from Nelson, but she said that they reunited and that the divorce was put on hold. However, Shaunie filed an intent to divorce, citing irreconcilable differences in 2009. O'Neal dated reality TV star Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander for two years from 2010 to 2012.
14 Kevin Durant (Without A Family)
There's no doubt that Kevin Durant is one of the most polarizing players in the NBA. Most of the time, Durant's Warriors jersey is a best-seller on the league's website. He's also one of the top recipients of NBA All-Star votes.
Remember when Foot Locker dubbed Durant as the nicest guy in the NBA in 2013? They're definitely not lying as Durant has a kind aura around him. He treated the Oklahoma City Thunder staff with respect. He has also partnered with KIND Snacks to launch StrongAndKind.com to show the general public that being kind isn't a sign of weakness.
Durant's father left him, his three siblings and their mother during his infancy. Don't get us wrong, the once-absent father reappeared in his children's lives in the early 2000s, but it seems like Durant doesn't want to have kids until he's ready, because he has no desire to be a deadbeat dad like his biological father.
13 Kids: Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan, also known as MJ, is arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time. You can refute that statement, but you can't deny the fact that he was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation. He was also a reason why the NBA became an international sport for fans around the world.
MJ is also known for his product endorsements—most notably, Nike's Air Jordans sneakers since 1985. In addition, he dabbled in acting—starring as himself in Space Jam—and later became the first billionaire NBA player in the league's history. He's the third richest African American with a net worth of $1.39 billion, trailing Oprah Winfrey ($3.1 billion) and Robert F. Smith ($3.3 billion).
With a large sum of money, it shouldn't be a surprise that MJ has five kids (Marcus, Jeffrey, Jasmine, Victoria, Ysabel) with two different women. Marcus was born in December 24, 1990, just one year before his NBA superstar father won his first championship with the Chicago Bulls along with the league's MVP award.
12 Kevin Love (Without A Family)
Kevin Love has found love with Canadian fashion model Kate Bock, but he doesn't have his own family yet.
While Bock may not be a household name, she has had her own career since she was 12 years old. She was named Rookie of the Year for Sports Illustrated in 2013. She has also appeared in Maxim and Elle. On top of that, she has done some modeling for Victoria's Secret. She told the Fashion Post, "I really love this profession — especially the fact that every job is totally different from the last...I want to do amazing, creative fashion editorials, but I also love beachy swim shoots and family catalog clients. I like to stay busy with a mix of things."
Love seems to be in love with his current girlfriend and his life in general so he doesn't look like he's in a rush to start a family anytime soon.
11 Kids: Marc Gasol
Unlike his older brother, Marc Gasol has a family of his own. Gasol tied the knot with Cristina Blesa in 2013. The couple have a daughter named Julia Gasol Blesa. Not much is known about the family as they're quite low-key, but it seems that they're continuing to hold onto their Spanish customs and traditions.
Marc is one of the many immigrants who live the American dream. Shortly after Pau moved to the United States to pursue a career in the NBA, Marc followed suit and achieved similar success instead of living in his brother's shadow like other siblings would. He hasn't won a championship ring yet. However, he got married and started a family, which may not be a career accomplishment, but a general effort en route to a happy, healthy life. As long as he's happy, that's all that matters, and it seems like he's doing just fine.
10 Pau Gasol (Without A Family)
Pau Gasol is the first half of the well-liked NBA brother pair. His brother, Marc, is married with a daughter named Julia. Despite that, Pau doesn't have a family yet.
In fact, Pau took some time to cope with a breakup from his longtime girlfriend, Silvia Lopez Castro, before moving onto a California girl named Catherine McDonnell, who currently serves as the vice president of Guggenheim Partners. McDonnell graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications along with a master’s degree in business and communications management from the University of Southern California.
Last year, Pau told Fox Sports that he'd consider freezing his sperm before heading to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Olympics due to the effects of the Zika virus. So it's safe to say that he's not going to father a child anytime soon, unless if he changes his mind and he feels that his relationship can go to the next level.
9 Kids: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh is currently a free agent, but he had quite a career in the NBA. He played with the Toronto Raptors from 2003 to 2010 and Miami Heat from 2010 to 2017. He was selected by the Raptors with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2003 draft.
Bosh won back-to-back championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013. He was also an 11-time NBA All-Star and a three-time NBA Shooting Stars champion. Besides his on the court accomplishments, he also dominated off the court. He graduated with honors from Lincoln and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Dallas Association of Minority Engineers. He's married to his wife, Adrienne, and the couple have four kids (three sons, one daughter). Two of those kids (Trinity, Jackson) were born before his first championship win. Nothing wrong with that, but just pointing out a legit fact.
8 Harrison Barnes (Without A Family)
Harrison Barnes is just your average 25-year-old guy. He just happens to have a championship ring with the 2015 Warriors squad and more money than the most of us. He was selected by the Warriors with the seventh overall pick in the first round of 2012 draft.
The way Barnes' career has played out so far reminds us of how his personal life moves-slow and simple. He began his career with the Warriors, where he worked his way up as a center, until he signed a four-year, $94 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks in July 2016. He made his debut with the Mavericks on October 26, 2016, and recorded 19 points and nine rebounds in a 130-121 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers. He then scored a career-high 31 points in a 106-98 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Harrison had an all-star wedding with his bride, Brittany, in August 2017. The Barnes couple look happy to be together. Maybe they'll start a family one day, but for now, they're just enjoying the married life.
7 Kids: Ray Allen
Ray Allen isn't in the NBA anymore, but he had a great career with two championship wins with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and the Heat in 2013. He was a 10-time NBA All-Star. He also was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2005, All-NBA Third Team in 2001, NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1997. In addition, he won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2003.
Allen got a taste of the league after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft. He played for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1996 to 2003, then-Seattle SuperSonics from 2003 to 2007, Celtics from 2007 to 2012 and Heat from 2012 to 2014. He announced his retirement on November 1, 2016.
Allen married Shannon Walker Williams (actress, singer) in 2008. The couple have four kids together. He has a couple of championship rings to share with his kids, but not enough for all four of them.
6 Klay Thompson (Without A Family)
Klay Thompson shows that life is good on and off the court. The Southern California native was born to an athletic family. His father was the first overall pick of the 1978 NBA Draft. His mother was a volleyball player in college. Don't forget that his brothers also play sports—Mychal most recently played with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Developmental League and Trayce currently plays as an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Thompson's rumored girlfriend Abigail Ratchford is a super hot Instagram model who has posted a photo of his dogs. Ratchford has 8.1 million followers so the rumors definitely spread like a wildfire after she made the adorable post. Whether or not they're dating, he doesn't have any kids and might not have any until he's older. It seems that he's just enjoying life and seeing what happens with the lovely ladies that stop to speak to him.
5 Kids: Nick Young
Nick Young has always made headlines for the wrong reasons. In 2007, Young's exploits, shortcomings and successes were discussed in a documentary called Second Chance Season. In 2013, rumors emerged that Young was in a relationship with Australian-born rapper Iggy Azalea after they tweeted to each other and were spotted on a date. Azalea confirmed the coupe was dating and they later got engaged on June 1, 2015.
It seems like the pair was meant to be until Azalea broke off her engagement to Young in 2016. She reportedly cited her two reasons: a video of Young talking about cheating on her and a second baby on the way from Young's baby mama Keonna Green. We don't blame her for walking away from a man who had another baby with the woman before her.
If a third child is going to arrive in the future, Young might want to consider honing his basketball skills and earning a championship ring first.
4 David Lee (Without A Family)
David Lee began his NBA career as a center after being selected by the New York Knicks with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. In 2015, Lee got traded to the Warriors in a deal for Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf,, and a future second-round pick traded to the Knicks. Lee subsequently signed a six-year, $79.64 million contract.
Lee suffered a strained left hamstring injury in the final game of the 2014 NBA preseason and was sidelined during the first 24 games of the 2014-15 season. Draymond Green continued to start for Lee throughout that season. In spite of all that, Lee won his first championship after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games.
Lee hasn't had a stable tenure with a single team since the Warriors. He played brief stints with the Celtics, Mavericks, and Spurs before hitting the free agent market. Off the court, he's off the market as he's dating Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, but the pair remain childless, despite their past achievements.
3 Kids: Paul George
In case you didn't know, Paul George was traded to the Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis on July 6, 2017. He made his debut for OKC in their season opener on October 19, 2017. He scored a team-high 28 points in a 105–84 win over the Knicks. He originally began his NBA career with the Indiana Pacers, who selected the star forward with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2010 draft.
George is a four-time NBA All-Star, three-time member of the All-NBA Third Team and two-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. He was also named the league's most improved player in 2013.
George has been in the NBA for seven years, but still no championship ring. Yet, he's a father to a young daughter Olivia with his ex-girlfriend Daniela Rajic (former stripper). The former pair amicably reached a joint parenting agreement in 2014. Hopefully, he'll achieve some success on the court for the sake of Olivia.
2 Kobe Bryant (Without A Family)
Kobe's now settling into retired life and he had a nice gift waiting for him in retirement, as his wife Vanessa gave birth to a third baby girl this past December. The Bryants now have three daughters, named Natalia Diamante, Gianna Maria-Onore and Bianka Bella. The oldest, Natalia was born in 2003, which was after Kobe's three-peat between 2000 and 2002 with the Lakers. Kobe and Vanessa met back when Kobe was 21 and Vanessa was 17 and by the time they had their first daughter, Kobe was well established as a winner in L.A.
With five rings and three kids, Kobe said that he would still like to have a son with Vanessa after having three daughters. After all, we have to see a Kobe Jr. in the NBA someday, right?
1 Kids: Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers is often considered one of the worst players to win an NBA Championship and he managed to do it twice, both with the Heat in 2012 and 2013. Then again, he was also on a team with a big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Before winning those rings though, Chalmers had two children, one son named Zachiah A'mario and a daughter named Queen Elizabeth. Yep, they actually named her Queen.
In any event, while he was in his championship season, Chalmers was ordered to pay $2,000 a month in child support payments to his baby mama. Chalmers saw that number increased when it was revealed he was paying his personal assistant more than he was paying in child support payments back in 2014.