By Lou Flavius @LouFlavius on August 19, 2014
The NBA hosts a plethora of unique characters. They entertain, bring joy and bring sorrow to our lives. We look up to these athletes and coaches, frown down on others and some we simply do not notice. The league has its heroes, and villains alike; all of them are generally good people, with the exception of a rotten few. Some characters are loved while others are detested. Here are 15 of the most likeable NBA personalities.
The two-time champion is the most scrutinized athlete on the planet. He angered many fans with "The Decision" in 2010, but has come a long way since. He spent four seasons in Miami, and led the Heat to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances. The King decided to return home this summer; the circumstances were less acrimonious, and he is still loved by many Heat supporters. His fanbase is much bigger now that all of Ohio is on his side again.
Doc Rivers is one of the most respected coaches in the league. He is well-liked around the NBA, by players and coaches alike. He spent nine seasons with the Boston Celtics, and led them to the NBA title in 2008. He currently coaches the Los Angeles Clippers. Rivers won over many hearts when he spoke out against Donald Sterling, and stated that he would not return under his ownership.
The point guard took the league by storm in 2012, when he put the New York Knicks on his back during a shocking winning streak. Jeremy Lin endeared himself to NBA fans, and the brand "Linsanity" went viral. He has an engaging character, and is also a devout Christian. Lin recently moved to the Los Angeles Lakers after a brief spell with the Houston Rockets. I pray that his personality isn't ruined by Kobe Bryant.
The Argentine shooting guard has spent all of his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs. He has been with the team since 2002, helping the defending champions to four titles. Manu Ginobili is a great teammate, and he is a big presence in the locker room. He has formed an unbreakable bond with other team veterans, and the guard is a fan favorite in San Antonio. You don't have to like the Spurs, but you just can't hate Manu Ginobili.
After an 18-year playing metier, Derek Fisher is about to embark on his first spell as a head coach. Fisher won five rings with the Los Angeles Lakers -- the team with which he spent most of his career. He is a professional on and off the court, a leader and motivator; these attributes will serve him well as a coach. Fisher is another devout Christian, he was quite successful with the rebuking of Kobe Bryant's wiles.
Erik Spoelstra is quite the sport. Loved and respected around the league, he also boasts two NBA titles. The Filipino-American head coach has been a member of the Miami Heat organization since 1995. He started as a video coordinator, and worked his way up to the top. He has proven his worth, and he was able to deal with all the egos during the "Big 3" era. Apart from that spat with Dwyane Wade, he's a pretty good guy.
Jason Kidd ended a wonderful playing career, and immediately went into coaching. He was hired by the Brooklyn Nets, but his coaching rights have been traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. He is a good mentor as a coach, and he was a great leader as a player. He was one of the best colleagues one could ask for; he made those around him better with his unselfish nature. Kidd is sure to succeed as a head coach. He already had a good season with the Nets.
Ray Allen has been around a long time. The veteran shooting guard has had a stellar career, and he has won two titles in the process. He is the deadliest 3-point shooter the league has ever seen, and he currently holds the record for 3-point field goals made (2,973). Allen is a model teammate and is very influential. His willingness to diet and keep fit has been an inspiration to his colleagues over the years. Jesus Shuttlesworth does save.
Derrick Rose is revered in Chicago, and the rest of the league. He continues to be a popular figure, even with all of his injury setbacks. Rose won the MVP award at 22; he is the youngest player to ever accomplish such. He has brought so much hope back to the Chicago Bulls, and he is the best talent to hail from the Windy City since Micheal Jordan. If he can remain injury free this season, he should gain a few more followers on Twitter.
Did you see his MVP award speech? Enough said.
The three-time MVP is a pleasant chap. He currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Nash is an all-round fan favorite. He is also the founder of the Steve Nash Charity Foundation, and he plays an active role in assisting both on and off the court. The point guard formed a great friendship and partnership with Dirk Nowitzki, and helped him settle in when he arrived from Germany. Nash is also quite the clown.
The French point guard is quite winsome. Tony Parker has played for the San Antonio Spurs all of his NBA career -- winning four titles with the team. He is a great teammate to everyone, but he enjoys a special friendship with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. The player has even released a French hip-hop album called "TP." How could you not love a French rapper?
Dwyane Wade is probably the coolest cat in the league. He doesn't know how to love Lil Wayne, but I'm sure he loves everyone else -- just ask Gabrielle. The three-time champion has played for the Miami Heat all of his career. He has made sacrifice after sacrifice to keep the team in a good financial position. He recently opted out of a $41 million dollar contract, and re-signed for significantly less. So who cares what Lil Wayne thinks?
Timid Tim Duncan is one of the nicest guys around the NBA. The power forward has plied his trade with the San Antonio Spurs all of his career, and won them five titles. Duncan's on-court aggressiveness is nothing like his personality; he is known for his soft-spoken and philanthropic nature. He may be a man of few words, but he is an excellent teammate. He was also named by Sporting News as one of the "Good Guys" in sports.
Mike Miller is the epitome of likeable, the small forward played an integral role in both of the Miami Heat's title-winning campaigns. Miller is loved by his teammates and fans. LeBron James was gutted when the Heat let him go. He was a big personality in their locker room, and always provided a spark off the bench. His departure may be one of the reasons James returned to Cleveland, but the two are set to reunite this season.
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