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NBA Players and Their Hobbies off the Court

The lives of famous athletes are quite interesting. As these stars are known for their competitive drive and exceptional skill, it's always fascinating to hear what they do in their free time. Being as successful as they are, these NBA players may have a lot of wealth and fame, but often lead very normal and down to earth lives outside of the sport. Here is a look into the other side of these basketball players as we explore their hobbies.

Robin Lopez

Lopez is a center for the sensational Milwaukee Bucks. He is known not only for his strong playstyle and staggering 7 foot height, but also for his ravenous appetite for comic books and nerd culture. His love for these comic books is something he has developed over his lifetime, and his collection is now in the thousands. He even has plans to create his own comic book series with his brother Brook Lopez, who is also an NBA player. Some people may consider this a childish hobby, but you can't knock his dedication or love for this classic form of entertainment.

Michael Jordan

Athletes and gaming seem to go hand in hand in some cases. There are many famous examples of players that find online casino games a good way to set their strategic mindset, something that is greatly beneficial on the courts. Among the NBA, Michael Jordan may be the ultimate representation of this factor. Jordan is famous for his love of casinos and gaming, and his passion continues to this day. When asked about his hobby, he has said it's an extension of his ambition and competitive drive that carried him to multiple NBA championships.

James Johnson

Oftentimes, sports analysts wonder how successful an athlete would be if they instead decided to pick up a different sport. Johnson proves that natural athletic ability can be applied in many different disciplines. He is known in the NBA for being an agile power forward with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

What is surprising to most NBA fans is that Johnson is actually a second-degree blackbelt in karate. Johnson comes from an exceptionally athletic family where his parents are both blackbelts, as well as all of his eight siblings to some degree. Not only has Johnson competed in kickboxing organizations, but also MMA. His first MMA fight was when he was just 18 years old, winning by knockout in 97 seconds. 

At this point, we hope it's clear that Johnson is a real top tier calibre fighter. For him, martial arts are not so much a hobby as another career. Overall, his record stands at 9-0 in MMA and 20-0 across his kickboxing matches. He has repeatedly stated that once his time in the NBA is completed, he has aspirations of fighting in MMA promotions like Bellator or the UFC.

Shaquille O'Neal

The big man himself has many hobbies that have defined his public persona. Many of these hobbies have turned into full careers for him around his legendary basketball career. O'Neal has always been a big fan of rap music, and in the early 1990s, he decided to give it a shot for himself. Over the years he casually released five full albums, but it was his first one, Shaq Diesel, that went certified platinum. 

O'Neal also has a healthy passion for video games, so naturally it makes him happy whenever he is featured in one. Over the years he has appeared in too many to count, but some recognizable titles are NBA Jam, UFC Undisputed 2010, Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, and his own fighting game, Shaq Fu. That's just the tip of the iceberg for this illustrious star, with other hobbies and business ventures including professional wrestling, law enforcement, martial arts, and of course his many acting roles. With a career as successful as his, hopefully he has some tips for the newer generation.

Karl Malone

It's often a humorous sight when you see these massive basketball players squeezing into the slim profile of a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Karl Malone decided that wasn't for him, and instead found his passion in big rigs and monster trucks. Growing up in rural Louisiana, Malone has the spirit of the south in his heart

His passion for these huge vehicles is well known in his hometown, where he owned a short lived trucking company just because he wanted to. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Malone used his trucks to help move debris and ship supplies to those in need. In 2002, Malone decided to get into the monster truck scene and sponsored his own car, appropriately named Power Forward for three years. As one of the most memorable and larger than life players ever to grace the NBA, it's only natural that his hobbies in his off-time should match.