To be a great basketball player, one has to be gifted with natural-born skills or possess an impeccable mentality to exceed limitations. But for some NBA stars, an actual person is responsible for their overall success in life. That person is none other than their mothers.
Over time, we’ve witnessed a host of beautiful mom-and-son relationships in the NBA, and we certainly can’t list all of them down. However, we’ve decided to hand-pick four NBA stars that are lethal and cunning inside the court but are actually momma’s boys outside.
Like any other talented athlete, Dwight Howard also got most of his basketball skills from his parents. Surprisingly, those who assume that “Superman” got it from his father are wrong. It was actually Dwight’s mom Sheryl, who was a former hooper.
Sheryl has been hands-on in teaching her son a thing or two about the game, especially the importance of playing tough basketball both mentally and physically. In the process, Dwight reckoned that he also became an emotional player because of his mom.
Kawhi Leonard’s biological father was shot and killed in Compton when he was 16, and he spent most of his manhood years with his mother, Kim. Fearing to lose his mother too, “The Claw” became strict with Kim’s health and would even tell her to “get on the treadmill and do cardio.”
As a mother, Kim knew exactly how Kawhi feels, and it made her love her son more.
“It was his way of telling me, You have to take care of yourself because you need to be here,” Kim told Sports Illustrated. “I started exercising.”
Shaquille O’Neal was raised by his mother Lucille and stepfather Phillip A. Harrison. His biological father, Joe Toney was jailed because of drug possession charges and did not attempt to reconnect with Shaq until later in the NBA Hall of Famer’s life.
This has resulted in Shaq and Lucille having a lasting and genuine bond. Over time, the mother-and-son developed a number of traditions between them, and Shaq even carried some of them in the NBA.
"I'll give him a wink and a smile, and he was playing his game,” Lucille said of Shaq. “But by the time he got to the NBA, we had a ritual. I would give him bubblegum, and then I would kiss him, and I say play your game. As a grown man."
Most modern-day NBA fans have definitely witnessed how loving and protective Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda is to him and vice versa. Over the years, we’ve seen Wanda courtside during her son’s games, cheering and even talking trash with the opposing team. And just like most of KD’s avid fans, Wanda is not letting anybody throw shade at her son at any given time.
Famed NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith learned it the hard way when he criticized Durant for being more known as the player who left the Golden State Warriors for Kyrie Irving than a player who won two championships.
“@stephenasmith you at it again with your limited-thinking-negative-narrative-baiting-comments; when will you show up better? More importantly, when will we grow tired of this foolishness?,” Wanda tweeted in response to Smith.