The NBA season begins tonight, and (duh) that means basketball players are getting a lot of attention. But what better time to shine a spotlight on the relationships they’ve formed off the court? Even the tightest zone defense can’t protect your heart, you guys.
5. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
You probably know Dwyane Wade as a three-time NBA champion shooting guard for the Miami Heat, but you should also treasure him for his delightful fear of birds. You probably know actress Gabrielle Union from movies, TV, and that whole being mind-bogglingly beautiful thing. While the Heat face the Bulls at home tonight, Union will be celebrating her 41st birthday. Yup: 41. This woman does not age, in what may or may not be a Picture of Dorian Gray scenario. D-Wade, who’s ten years younger, sent her a cute message on Twitter this morning.
They’ve been dating since 2007, though – as she told Conan last year – Wade banned her from sitting courtside long ago for her irrepressible heckling.
4. Serge Ibaka and girlfriend
Serge Ibaka, who previously dated singer Keri Hilson, seems to have a new lady in his life. We don’t know much about her (including, well, her name), but we know we like her. The pair came to Ibaka’s teammate Nick Collison’s Halloween party dressed as Prince Akeem and Lisa McDowell from Coming to America, and it was amazing. Purely amazing.
3. Carmelo and LaLa Anthony
A true power couple. The six-time All-Star and media personality slash former MTV VJ have been together for ten years and married for three. How does La La deal with the stress that Carmelo’s job (and time on the road) puts on their relationship? “I’m just very secure in myself,” she told Essence. Way to be, lady.
2. Andre Drummond and Jennette McCurdy
The Detroit Pistons center was crushing hard. Andre Drummond took to Twitter and Instagram to court iCarly star Jennette McCurdy, whom he’d never met. Amazingly, it worked. Like a bizarro-world episode of Catfish where everyone is who they seem and no one is secretly morbidly obese, the 20-year-old Drummond and 21-year-old McCurdy got together in real life. You crazy Millenials, doing your crazy Millenial things.
1. Kevin Durant and Monica Wright
These two are so adorable that I can’t physically handle it. Kevin Durant, who is by any standard one of the the best players in the NBA today, is engaged to childhood friend Monica Wright, an accomplished athlete in her own wright (get it?!). In fact, she won the 2013 WNBA championship with the Minnesota Lynx, and her fiancé insists she’s better at basketball than he is. Plus, Monica shares her name with the female lead from Love & Basketball, a romance about two basketball-playing childhood friends who fall for each other. Like I said: can’t physically handle it.