I don’t think there is a professional sports league that has as much fun as the NBA. The players are encouraged to express themselves, be vocal about their opinions, and have a good time on the court. It is way less fussy about celebrations than the NFL. Its players have way more personality and flair than the NHL. It is generally more interesting to watch in the regular season than the MLB, particularly now when the NBA is full of super-teams, each packed with all-star players. The playoffs this year don’t seem like they’ll be a cakewalk for the Warriors again either, as teams like the Celtics, the Cavs, and the Rockets all seem capable of taking them down. There’s no clear-cut league MVP either, as many of the players on this list have an equal shot at the award. It’s a good time to be a fan of the NBA, and I can imagine it’s a better time than ever to be an NBA player too.
While NBA players have always dated some of the hottest women in the world—think of the goofy Dennis Rodman somehow marrying Carmen Electra in her prime—there is probably a record amount of NBA players dating models, actresses, and other beautiful women right now. It’s a wonder that some of these guys are able to keep their focus and maintain a high standard of play at all. If it were me, I’d probably be tossing up air balls on every free throw. But that’s why they’re the best in the world. The romantic lives of NBA players are always swirling with rumours and misinformation, so let’s take a look at who 15 of the best NBA players in 2017 are dating this year.
15 Anthony Davis - Celina Powell
Anthony Davis is obviously one of the best young players in the league. He’s going to be a star for years, especially if the New Orleans Pelicans can turn things around and really start putting up some wins some time soon. But it’s no secret that Davis is also one of the ugliest guys in the league. He has that big unibrow and birdlike features, and is generally just not pleasant to observe. On the other hand, his girlfriend is hot as hell, and constantly posts revealing photos on her Instagram, @xocelina187, where she has well over 100 000 followers. It’s a classic example of how, if you’re a man, talent and money can totally overshadow subpar looks. If Davis was a regular guy, and not a sports hero, there’s almost no way he would have been able to net someone like Celina Powell.
14 Paul George - Daniela Rajic
Paul George is a funny guy. He recently posted a photo of his girlfriend Daniela Rajic in the hospital, about to give birth to their second child. The photo was captioned “Let’s do it.” Daniela is twenty-seven, and she used to be a stripper. It’s likely that, supported by George’s huge pay checks, she has not had to work at clubs for years. She’s from Florida, and the couple met at a strip club she worked at there. A few years ago, the couple were in the media when rumours started to surface that he was trying to pay her a million dollars to get an abortion. We don’t know whether that’s true, but if it was, she must have refused the money, as they now have a pair of kids.
13 Kristaps Porzingis - Bambi
Porzingis has emerged as a big time fan favourite across the league this year. The 7’3" Latvian enigma has been putting up big time points for the Knicks, and you get the feeling that he’s just getting started, as he’s only 22-years-old. Life is good for Porzingis on the court lately, and it’s going just as well off the court. He has recently been spotted with a new girlfriend: an Instagram model named Bambi. Hardly anything is known about her besides what can be gleaned from her Instagram account, but the Instagram account is worth a long look. Porzingis is an instant legend for this one, as he is only in his early 20s and already has one of the hottest girlfriends in the league.
12 Giannis Antetokounmpo - Mariah Riddlesprigger
Look at the length on those names. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the Greek Freak, and the man with the name nobody is confident in pronouncing. He’s only 23-years-oldold but he has emerged this season as one of the most exciting, talented, and determined players in the NBA, and he honestly has a shot at the MVP award this year. If you haven’t been watching Bucks games this year, do yourself a favour and tune in; you won’t regret it. Giannis has been dating Mariah for a few years, and they’re always posting about one another on social media. She went to Rice University, and was a baseball player there before getting a job working for the NBA, which is likely how they met. Giannis is a pretty intense guy, whereas she seems laid back, so it’s easy to see how they complement one another.
11 Julius Randle - Kendra Shaw
Julius Randle is an example of a guy who has things going pretty well in his love life, even if his on court performance has been worrisome lately. All sorts of websites and blogs have been speculating that the Los Angeles Lakers are gearing up to trade Randle, as he has been playing well but has been reduced to a reserve role lately. He played only 8 minutes in a game against the Rockets recently, for example. However, he had a beautiful wedding to Kendra over the summer, and they seem to be truly happy together. There are videos out there of all the young Lakers having a great time, going crazy at the wedding. He’s only 23 and he has a beautiful wife locked down, so whatever happens on the court, Randle has got it made.
10 Blake Griffin - Kendall Jenner
Does the Kardashian Curse extend to the Jenners? If it does, Blake Griffin better be careful, because there’s a long list of athletes and other famous people who have seen their careers take a dive after messing with the Kardashian family. It’s easy to see what he sees in her though. Like him, she lives in L.A. She makes her own money, and is as famous—if not more—than he is, which takes some of the spotlight off of him. Also, she’s indisputably beautiful, as evidenced by her many huge modelling deals and magazine appearances. I wouldn’t count on this relationship working out long-term. They both seem pretty volatile and unreliable, and there’s just too much pressure from the media on their relationship. However, if you’d told me Kim and Kanye’s relationship was going to work out, I would not have believed you, so you never know with this kind of thing.
9 DeMarcus Cousins - Mrs. Morgan
For some NBA players, their relationships are front page news on websites and magazines, and they live in the knowledge that the personal details of their lives are everybody’s business. Other players like to keep things more on the DL, like DeMarcus Cousins. Just like how he is putting up the same number of points per game as players like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant without nearly as much fanfare, he has been keeping a relationship with this complete babe named Morgan going without anyone able to find out much about her at all: not even her last name. He also apparently has an ex-girlfriend with whom he has a child. You’ve got to credit Cousins for not only being a great basketball player, but also for knowing how to stay largely out of the public eye.
8 Ben Simmons - Brittany Renner
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How good has Ben Simmons been this year? He was picked first overall in the NBA draft in 2016, and he has not failed to live up to the hype so far. The young Australian has been tearing up the league, and has been constantly making the highlight reel for his high flying dunks. He also deserves to be on some kind of a highlight reel for nabbing Brittany Renner, who is probably better known by her Instagram handle, @bundleofbrittany. She has over 3 million followers on there, and you could make the case that she’s as culturally influential as Simmons. She’s constantly posting extremely seductive videos in her underwear, where she rants about being pissed off and being screwed over by men. Before she became a fitness enthusiast and Instagram model, she was apparently a soccer player at Jackson State University.
7 Draymond Green - Jelissa Hardy
Draymond Green is one of the most exciting players in the league. He gets it done at both ends of the court game in and game out, and has managed to never be overshadowed by the other all-stars on his team, like Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. He frequently loses his temper and pushes things too far, which is what makes it surprising that he seems decidedly more tame in his love life. While maybe you’d expect him to be chasing Instagram models like some of his peers, he has been with the same woman, Jelissa Hardy, since his college days, and they seem to have a happy, stable relationship. She’s a former model who packed it in a few years ago, and she has a kid from a previous relationship.
6 Kevin Love - Kate Bock
On this list, there have been quite a few fairly ugly guys who have ended up with model girlfriends because of their high pay as NBA players, as well as high social status. That doesn’t really seem to be the case with Love though. Even as a man, I can admit the dude is good-looking. He was a hell of a college player, and has been a winner in Cleveland too. His girlfriend is Kate Bock: a Sports Illustrated model. She’s from Vancouver, Canada, and has also modelled for Maxim, Elle, and Victoria’s Secret. Her Instagram, @katebock, has hundreds of thousands of followers, and is absolutely worth a look or two. Kevin Love is a prime example of how to do things right in this world.
5 Chris Paul - Jada Crawley
Chris Paul is another example of an NBA player who is extremely dynamic and exciting on the court, but has a more domestic existence than you’d perhaps expect. He has been married to Jada Crawley for six years. He is always posting cheesy Instagrams about her. He gushes about her in press conferences and interviews, saying that her support has allowed him to succeed. They’ve been dating since he was 18-years-old, and now they have two kids. The relationship between Chris Paul and Jada Crawley is a great example of how you can have all the money, fame, and success in the world and still be a normal person who wants what we all want.
4 Russell Westbrook - Nina Earl
There’s a bit of a trend emerging with the girlfriends and wives of NBA players, in that it’s often the most flashy and gregarious guys that have the simplest and most chill-seeming relationships. Take Russell Westbrook. Dude is constantly getting heated as hell on the court, and his fashion sense is truly wild. Russ and Nina went to UCLA at the same time, which is where they met. In addition to playing every position in basketball, she was an English major too. They got married in 2014 and had a kid, and they’re constantly posting cute photos of their little family on social media. I think the moral of the story is that keeping things reliable at home allows people to really wild out professionally.
3 Kawhi Leonard - Kishele Shipley
It’s not just Spurs fans who are bummed at how long it has taken Kawhi Leonard to recover from that mysterious quad tendon injury. He’s one of the best young players in the league, and it’s a pleasure to watch him night in and night out when he’s at his peak, so hopefully he’ll finally be back soon. Leonard has probably been using his time off to spend more time with Kishele, his girlfriend since he was in college. Though Kawhi is an absolute best on the defensive end of the court, he’s pretty private about his personal life, so not a whole lot is known about Kishele so far except that she’s a beauty. She is from San Diego, which is where Kawhi played his college ball. As soon as he was dealt to the Spurs, she packed up and moved with him to Texas.
2 Bradley Beal - Kamiah Adams
Beal is a 3rd-overall pick from back in 2012, and he’s an exciting player to watch. For example, this season he’s had 40- and 50-point games, and the sky seems to be the limit for his NBA career, as he’s still really young. Things are going pretty well for Beal on the court, but you could argue that things are going even better for him off the court, as he has been dating Instagram model Kamiah Adams for a while now. She’s a total stunner, and seems to make a living by doing ads on Instagram. She’s a big supporter of his career and the Wizards overall too, as she’s always posting photos at their games. Apparently they’re a religious couple, as they can often be seen posting references to the Bible.
1 Kevin Durant - Jasmine Shine
Kevin Durant seems like kind of a weird guy. He has been lightening up lately in Golden State, as the pressure to perform probably isn’t as great when you’re on such a stacked team. Still, he’s an intense guy, and he comes off as pretty shy and reserved in interviews. His girlfriend is Jasmine Shine, and hardly anything is known about her. He reportedly once asked her to move out during a playoff series so that he could focus better. Hopefully he has toned things down since then and learned to be nicer. Before Jasmine, Durant reportedly dated Rihanna for a time. It all started back in 2009, when Durant tweeted that he wanted to bite her butt cheek before he was in the NBA. Again, he’s a weird guy. Durant and Rihanna had some dramatic moments in the playoffs earlier this year as she heckled him when he shot free throws and he stared her down after making them. I guess we’ll never know what really happened there, but it’s fun to speculate.