A Look Back at the NBA’s Most Lovable Weirdos

A Look Back at the NBA’s Most Lovable Weirdos


Everyone loves a weirdo—especially if they happen to excel in one of our favorite pastimes. Despite the mainstream nature of professional sports in North America, all four major leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL) have rosters that feature players with strange habits and outright zany interests.

These personalities add a new dimension and, many times, help humanize all-star athletes to the general public. Let’s take a look at a sports-alternative example: poker. Since the online poker boom took off in the early 2000s, people around the world have started following poker competitions like the WPT and World Series of Poker.

Those who do are aware of how absolutely weird some top players are. In fact, some of these poker players have been so exceptional that they have made their way onto lists of the most eccentric personalities of all time. And while many poker fans might name Phill Hellmuth, AKA the Poker Brat, as their all-time favorite lovable weirdo, the weirdest player is probably Gus Hansen.

If you’re a sports fan, you’re probably already locked in on one pro sports league, specifically, which includes North America’s most extensive list of truly strange athletes… the NBA. Keep reading for some of the basketball league’s oddest, and most lovable, weirdos.


Champion Weirdo: KD

Not everyone is a fan of Kevin Durant’s style. He’s known for speaking off the cuff and possessing more than a few interesting opinions. Some think his strangeness is rooted in insecurity. Others simply know him as a basketball unicorn.

Some of his most memorable moments include publicly pulling Dwyane Wade from his ‘Top Ten’ list of best players (and, some speculated, friends), along with tempting rap legend The Based God into publicly cursing KD on Twitter for saying he didn’t like the album.

Many believe The Based God’s curse is part of the reason Durant failed to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a championship… especially considering KD took home his first Finals title shortly after Lil B publicly lifted the curse.


Daryl Dawkins

KD marks one of the NBA’s most controversial weirdos—even if plenty of people still find a reason to love him. However, few characters in the NBA have captured the hearts of fans like Daryl Dawkins. He entered the NBA as a gangly young rookie but left with plenty of adoration from fans and analysts. 

Described as effervescent and a manchild, and called by the nickname Chocolate Thunder, Dawkins is known for his hilarious banter and quick-witted comebacks—to referees, to rivals, to anyone. And then there’s the fact that he claimed to be from the planet Lovetron, where he practiced ‘interplanetary funkmanship’ in the offseason with his girlfriend. 

Sure, why not? But perhaps one of Dawkins’ most lovable habits was naming his next-level dunks. The most famous was the backboard-breaker, which also included an eight-word-long kenning invented by Dawkins. It ended with the words ‘Glass-Break-I-Am-Jam’.



Bill Walton

A decade before Dawkins descended from Lovetron in the 1980s, NBA fans were treated to the antics of Bill Walton. In Walton’s case, he wasn’t necessarily known for his over-the-top personality, like KD and Dawkins. Instead, he’s remembered for being a mellow hippie character… in a decade when mellow hippies weren’t associated with pro sports, (or even looked upon with interest from the general public.)

Walton was known for being a public Dead Head, which is a title given to hardcore fans of the soft rock group Grateful Dead. And Walton was as hardcore as those fans come. He took multiple breaks from the NBA in order to travel and see the band live—notching over 650 concerts during his heyday.

One of the biggest concerts he attended, and something that Walton was incredibly proud of, was the live show held in Egypt at the Great Pyramids of Giza. Walton was invited on-stage by the band to play the drums. Since then, he’s become one of college basketball’s most lovable, grounded, and strange presenters.

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