The NBA’s Top Bromances
Remember when Metta World Peace tried to kiss a clearly unwilling Paul Peirce to smooth over a slight argument on the court? That’s an example of the exact opposite of a bromance. Peirce had zero interest in being World Peace’s close man friend.
Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas used to share a kiss on the cheek with when their respective teams – the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons – played against each other. Thomas and Johnson were a bromance before bromances were a thing.
During the 2012 London Olympics, Dwyane Wade shared with USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt, that Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and himself have been close friends since they began playing against each other in summer camps and AAU games over a decade ago.
Wade explains that: "We really had a chance to spend a lot of time together.” "You know who you gravitate to. You know who it is that you want to be around, the people who make you feel good and challenge you at the same time. It was all of us, and we just kept coming back to each other."
Urban Dictionary defines the bromance as “a non-sexual relationship between two men that are unusually close.” In the NBA, when teammates have these closer than average bonds, it tends to produce above average results for a team.
From the Los Angeles Clippers #GotEm squad, to the back and forth twitter insults between the Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, to the Miami Heat’s championship winning big three, which duos are the best bromances in the league?
6. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph
The dominant frontcourt regularly encourage each other on the court but the friendship goes far beyond that.
Last year, while anticipating the NBA lockout, Zach Randolph told the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Ronald Tillery, that remaining teammates with Marc Gasol would impact his decisions on where to play during the lockout:
"I'm going to wait and see what's going on Nov. 1," Randolph said. "That's when I'll make a decision. And then I'm going to see what Marc is doing. I'd like to go wherever he goes. I'd want to talk to him and stick with my big fella."
Staying together seems to have worked well. Together with Rudy Gay, the three make up the core of the Memphis Grizzlies and certainly look like they're going to make things happen this season.
5. Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant isn’t a player that is known for being great friends with his teammates. Although, he tried to make it work with Shaquille O’Neal, famously, they were never friends. In his autobiography, Shaq, frames Kobe as never being “one of the guys.” He tells stories about how Kobe refused to comply with harmless rookie hazing during his first year in the NBA.
Former teammate Smush Parker recently gave a low down to TMZ., He told the gossip site, Kobe “didn't talk to most of his teammates” and that during a team dinner, Kobe sat alone instead of sitting at same table as his teammates.
These episodes were pre-Pau Gasol.
Bryant is probably more fond of Gasol than any other teammate he has ever had. The two built a Los Angeles Lakers era together. At the beginning of last season, Kobe protected Gasol when trade rumors came up and they hurt his game. Trade rumors again came up during the Olympics but Bryant quickly shutdown them down, telling reporters in Europe, As long as I'm there, (Gasol's) going to be there."
Gasol returned the love via twitter, tweeting, “Thanks Kobe! It’s a pleasure to play with you game after game.”
Fun fact about Gasol and Bryant, they used to co-own a racehorse named Siempre Mio.
4. Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields
The teammate bond between the two Ivy League graduates came to an end when Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin both landed big contracts for different teams, in different countries.
Lin and Fields share a “secret handshake,” which is a key factor to a strong bromance.
Prior to Lin becoming the NBA’s breakout star, he slept on Fields rental couch.
Lin might have found a replacement bro in Chandler Parsons as he's using the same pick up technique he used with Fields with his new teammate.
3. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade
Poor Chris Bosh, when he left the Toronto Raptors to go play for a good team, he probably didn’t realize that he would become a third wheel to LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.
James and Wade signed with the Miami Heat because of their friendship and because they knew they could win together.
Although, in a USA Today article, Wade told Jeff Zillgitt that “Bron is as silly as it gets,” Chris Paul explains that "When we step on the court, we're always about to fight."
And, sometimes, Wade and James actually do.
Wade told ESPN:
"I read Twitter," Wade said. "When I turn on the TV, I know everything comes back to LeBron James being a punch line. It's just everything that piles up, and I'm like, 'How does he deal with it without having, really, someone who can be his outlet?' I'm the closest thing to his outlet."
In order for James to meet his potential, Wade explains that he had to make a huge sacrifice, which was to allow James to lead the team, “It was probably one of the hardest things I had to do in sports was to, in a sense, take a step back.”
2. Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio
Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio regularly take to twitter to lovingly insult each other. The odd time, they’re even actually nice to each other.
Other times, not so much
So I walk in to the training room this morning and Ricky Rubio calls me a douche. Looks like the Spaniard learned his new word for the week.— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) March 5, 2012
1. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin
DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin’s bromance seems to go a bit deeper than that of any other teammates, in the entire league.
It's a new level of comfort when you’re okay with someone sending this to over a million twitter followers.
When it was announced last year that Jordan would remain a Clipper after the Golden State Warriors threw him a big offer sheet, it pleased Griffin. He told ESPN Los Angeles:
"I'm very happy," Griffin said. "It's good to see him back. He's a huge part of this team, not only defensively but offensively also."
"It was more of a friendship thing for me," Griffin said of Jordan's re-signing. "I wanted to see him get what he deserves, and I think he did and he thinks he did too."
"We're close. We're as close as we've ever been, and obviously I was talking to him throughout this whole process."
And, a few short months later, Lob City was born.