As a generic white dude sports fan, I’m genetically obligated to get excited about the end of summer. The NFL season begins, college football kicks off, and high school football finally gets under way. My favorite sports blogs begin in-season coverage of football and fantasy football starts to really heat up. And blah blah blah stuff happens with baseball and hockey.

But as great as these past few months have been for anyone who enjoys yelling at supreme athletes, nothing puts some pep in my step like the start of the NBA. Let’s face it, as great as football, baseball, and hockey are, they’re not exactly sexy sports. Linemen with wobbly bellies oozing over spandex? First basemen with dead eyes and colonial woodsman beards, spewing brown sludge? [Hockey position] with…well who knows what hockey players even look like under all that padding and crusted blood?

But that NBA…now that’s a sexy sport. Tank tops and shorts? Check. Chiseled bods? Check. Sweaty dudes gritting and grinding up against each other? Oh yeah. Masks, hats, and helmets that obscure player’s faces? Yeah right!

So I could tell you about my favorite teams, preseason expectations, player analysis, and so forth, but really, what better way to celebrate the start of the NBA season than running through some of basketball’s sexiest stars?

Starting Five:

1) Kobe

kobeKobe is sexy, but that barely begins to describe Jellybean Jr. Beautiful and sleek, Kobe is the Porsche x Dolphin x Denzel ménage a trois lovechild you want, we love, and the NBA deserves. You’ve seen Kobe in interviews: it is impossible to deny that Kobe just has IT. He commands. Kobe is the Mona Lisa of the NBA Louvre – it doesn’t matter how it looks, people need to stand in line to see it. Never retire, Kobe!

2) Klay Thompson

Klay’s stock has been soaring recently, but you know the Golden State Warriors didn’t just grant Klay a monster extension because he’s a premier two-way talent on the basketball floor; Klay also is a two-way talent in the looks department – country humble aw-shucks boy next door “lets catch fireflies in a jar” one way, goatee-bedazzled Bar Mitzvah “why don’t you come upstairs for a drink” lothario the other. Watch out Steph, the baby face is cute and all but don’t be too surprised if Klay is the Warrior’s face (and bod) of the future.

3) Serge Ibaka

As you might know, Ibaka grew up in the Republic of the Congo. I don’t know a ton about the Republic of the Congo, but I know it’s in Africa and it seems reasonably clear that they do not have a very fundamental appreciation for Congolese sex pots. How did this guy even make it to a basketball court without a barrage of modeling agents raining money on him??? If (heaven forbid) Serge dropped out of the NBA tomorrow morning, he would have a modeling contract before lunch and be strutting down a runway before dinner.

4) Meyers Leonard

Oh what, did you think we were only dealing with All-Stars? Sexiness doesn’t stop at the starters. That being said, I can’t believe Meyers is having trouble getting in the game, he freakin’ looks like a high school prom king quarterback class president swim team captain who also happens to be a distant cousin of Hercules. Terry Stotts, if you’re reading this, maybe stop trying to run plays that capitalize on basketball talent and start letting Leonard just run around the court and coyly wink at the other team. Swooning opponents = easy buckets.

5) Marc Gasol

Full disclosure: I have a thing for handsome white dudes who throw caution to the wind and grow kinda-ugly beards (See: Rodgers, Aaron or Kershaw, Clayton). It’s like they’re saying, “Yeah I know I’d be sexier clean shaven, but I’m a hella rich professional athlete, are you really not gonna pop a boner just cuz of a little stubble?” Respect.

(On this note – I can’t get a read on Anthony Davis’ unibrow…is it a tight IDGAF move or a Harden “ooh look at my beard” marketing move…hard to say.)

Kevin Love would be the obvious choice here, but a California-boy who turns his back on the Warriors is a traitor and betrayal is never a sexy look.

Okay, there’s your starting five. I know what you’re thinking, “hey @OGMapz ya dork you have two shooting guards and three big men, that’s not a starting lineup for basketball!!” Well, actually you’re the dork; this list would be four point guards and a quarterback if the situation demanded it. The situation is sexiness and sexiness is those two shooting guards and three big men.

All-Sexy Second Team:

1) Marco Belinelli
Hell yes Bellineli, you handsome son of a bitch. I don’t know what’s more wet, Belinelli’s three-point stroke or everybody’s panties when Bellineli struts into the room.

2) Shane Battier
Technically retired, but I still can’t get the erotic tapestry that is Battier singing “I Want it That Way” in a tank alongside Greg Oden and Ken Jeong. Too hot to cut, I gotta give him a special retirement-exemption.

3) Kevin Garnett
Tall, dark, and handsome, and psychotically competitive. Every girl’s dreamboat.

4) Courtney Lee
Probably the most classically hot player in the NBA. He looks like Omarion or some R&B singer you’d get irrationally upset with your lady for being a little TOO into.

5) Kris Humphries
Look I’m not any happier about this than you, but there’s a reason Kim married him and it isn’t his basketball skills.

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