There’s a reason the NBA is as popular as it is. As great as the action is on the court, everything that happens off it is what makes the league a complete entertainment package.
From locker room feuds to social media beefs and everything in-between, the NBA is so much more than just which team is winning and who’s scoring how many points.
With that said, here are the biggest personalities to follow as the new season gets under way – players who will be interesting for what they say and do, just as much for their play.
It seems obvious starting with the best player in the league, but highlights aren’t the only thing LeBron provides season after season.
Ever since he joined the Miami Heat in 2010, James’ teams have had no shortage of drama every year. That’s because even though they inevitably reach the Finals, it’s seemingly always a roller-coaster ride getting there.
Plus, he’s LeBron, so of course every move of his is going to be under the microscope. Still, he doesn’t do himself any favours when he subtweets teammates or throws shade in interviews. And now that he’s in Los Angeles with a group of divisive personalities, things could go to another level this season.
James is also one of the most outspoken people in the league when it comes to social issues, so when it comes to being more than just a basketball player, there’s no one better.
As far as personalities who are simply fun, there’s no one that comes close to matching the Philadelphia 76ers centre.
Embiid isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers with his non-stop trash talk on and off the court, or ask out A-list celebrities like Rihanna (can you blame him?) on social media.
While most athletes present a guarded, refined version of themselves on social media, Embiid has no issue being completely himself and saying what’s on his mind.
Follow him on Twitter if you haven’t already. You won’t be disappointed.
Russ makes this list on his wardrobe choices alone, which are must-see on social media before every Oklahoma City Thunder game.
in honor of russ' big night, my favorite russell westbrook outfits: pic.twitter.com/VuobSKaLxy— Becca Laurie (@imbeccable) April 8, 2017
If his rim-rocking dunks and triple-doubles weren’t enough to draw your eyeballs, then his carefree pregame dances, prickly interviews and general unintentional hilarity should do the trick.
NICK YOUNG, J.R. SMITH, JAVALE MCGEE
These three misfits deserve a category of their own because they almost solely exist in the NBA zeitgeist due to their antics.
Unfortunately for Young, Smith and McGee, we’re often laughing at them and not with them. But they bring a lot of it upon themselves, whether they’re having in-game gaffes, getting into a war of words with their peers, or just leaning into their goofiness.
Find a more meme-able trio, I’ll wait.
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