How many NBA players can you name? Even if you’re not a big fan of the game, you likely have heard of some of the biggest stars in the league thanks to their success, their side hustles (quite a few are podcasters now, chile) and perhaps, a little controversy. In some cases, you might even know them because of their wives.
For the record, while the league is made up of a great amount of Black superstars, not many have decided to tie the knot just yet (most players are in their 20s so there’s no rush), and of those who have, a lot of them (I say most, but don’t quote me…) are married to non-Black women. So it can be nice to see some of the brightest stars in the NBA find love with Black women, especially when they’ve stayed down with the same one since they were in high school and college.
In honor of the new NBA season starting today (Oct. 24), we pulled together a few of our favorite NBA players and the true MVPs in their lives — their beloved, beautiful wives.
This gorgeous pair tied the knot in 2022. Around that time the Philadelphia 76ers forward told PEOPLE what drew him to Jasmine. “I was like, ‘I like this person, she’s cool.’ But over time, I just knew and saw this calmness to her that like allowed me to understand like where she came from, who she is. I grew up very sheltered my whole life. So when I met her, we kind of kicked it and we had a good vibe to just our relationship. She just opened my eyes up to perspectives on understanding life and what people come from.”
Rudy, a free agent who last played albeit briefly, for the Golden State Warriors, has been married to longtime love Ecko Wray since 2013. The pair share two children.
This Denver Nuggets star has ben married to wife McKenzie since 2016. They share four children, including a baby girl named Kendall born in August. “It’s been a lot of up and downs thru our journey and no-one said it would be easy, but Together we created a foundation for our life and our family!” Kentavious wrote on Instagram in 2021 when celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. “I love my queen.”
Married since 201, the Pauls have two children and a solid bond. As the Golden State Warrior told ESSENCE on their wedding day about her, “Jada was with me when I was broke. Becoming parents made us closer. I truly love Jada; she has been there for the ups and the downs.”
It’s unclear when the Dallas Mavericks star wed his partner Marlene Wilkerson, but he’s certainly head over heels in love with her. The couple share two sons. “I love you and I am eternally grateful we get to spend our lives together,” he said for her birthday in 2022. “You have taught me so much about Balance, Love, Trust, Community and Forgiveness. 🥂’s to More memories and laughter with you.”
One of our favorite pairs, the Westbrooks were college sweethearts at UCLA and married in 2015. They have three children together. He said his first impression of her years ago was that she was quiet, but that was alluring to him. “You were surprisingly kind of quiet. You wasn’t talkative. That was attractive to me,” he told her on her podcast. “Anybody that talks a lot, and catches too much attention to themselves is not my style.” He added, “You playing sports was attractive to me, just because we can relate. I think that was it for me. You being quiet gave me a little mystery about you, so I could learn more about you.”
The Miami Heat star has reportedly been married to wife Ayahna since 2012. The two are high school sweethearts who share two sons, in addition to a love of basketball. She was a former basketball star at Saint Joseph’s University.
The Phoenix Suns hooper has been married to Sydel Curry-Lee (younger sister to Steph and Seth Curry), since 2018. The couple share a son and daughter together. She told ESSENCE that he made an impeccable first impression on her. “I knew from the date, from our first date. He was nobody that I had ever met,” she said. “He was just so different in a sense that I couldn’t read him. He was such a gentleman on our first date. Wouldn’t let me walk close to the street when we were walking together. He was just such so sweet. So from day one of us going on our date I knew I wanted to be with him.”
The Philadelphia 76er star and sneakerhead is married to longtime love Tracey, an engineer. The two have reportedly been married since 2010 and have three children together.
The King and his queen, the couple have been married since 2013 and share three children together. The whole gang are Beats by Dre’s first family brand ambassadors. The Lakers star has said that he wouldn’t be the man he is without his high school sweetheart. “[Savannah] was down when I was at my high school, no cameras, no lights. And she was there with me. You wouldn’t be talking to me right now if it weren’t for her,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Another 76ers star, Kelly Oubre wed partner Shylynn in 2022. He said of tying the knot with her to PEOPLE, “We wanted to take the next steps and give our love to God, for his seal of approval. We know that it’s a rarity in our generation for relationships to get that far, and we also made a pact to break a curse that has been in both of our families for lifetimes, we just were ready to be together forever and what better way to do that than to tie the knot.”
The new Phoenix Sun star wed Kamiah in 2020. They share three children together and amazing chemistry. The two met back in 2015. He joked that “she was attached to my hip ever since then” when the two answered questions about their relationship in Whistle’s Home Team series.
Meeting as kids, the Golden State Warriors legend wed his business savvy, foodie partner in 2011. They have gone on to have three children and plenty of fun together, which is shared on social media. “My woman. Never a day goes by I’m not thankful for your presence, your beauty, your spirit!” he rote on Instagram when they celebrated a decade of marriage. “Sexy as can be inside and out & continuing to show me how amazing our God is by the creation that you are.” He added, “Blessed me with the 3 of the dopest humans around. You are the 🔑 to everything that I do. This is a major milestone- but more a moment to get excited about the next chapters ahead. Lucky I’m (still) in love with my best friend.”
Another Golden State Warrior legend, Draymond Green wed longtime love Hazel Renee in a star-studded celebration of their love in 2022. He told us that year that she was the real MVP in his life. “She is 100 percent the backbone of our family and keeps us all in order and the kids on track,” he said. “She is the one who also helps foster our relationship when I am on the road.”
Another high school sweetheart couple turned into husband and wife, New York Knicks star Josh Hart wed Shannon Phillips in 2021 in Miami. The couple welcomed twin boys earlier this year, which he had to watch on Zoom during the Knicks’ recent playoff run.