I think with the NBA more than any other sport I develop mancrushs yearly. Even if the player I fall for isn’t the best of the best in the league or will ever be a top five player, I always find myself completely in tune to what that player is doing on the court and in their personal lives. My most recent was Stephen Curry, and although I still have a bromance for the kid, he’s getting married, so I’m in search of my next crush. Blake Griffin? I like him, but his robotic ways with the media doesn’t do it for me. Sorry Blake, at the beginning of the year I was about to jump on board, but your off the court presence just doesn’t do it for me. It got me thinking back to all the fun crushes I’ve had over the years, from Arenas, to Wade (until he won his championship), to Amare, to CP3, to Curry crushing it at Davidson. Ok, my mancrush didn’t peak on Curry until he was drafted by the Warriors, but even before that there was a bromance brewing when he took Davidson deep in the tourney. This all got me thinking of where the bromances all started. The first time I can truly recall an infatuation with a player was Rickey Henderson, but he still wasn’t the all-time crush. With hoops it was all about my mancrush on Latrell Spreewell for a solid five years. (I mis-spelled Spreewell on purpose because my favorite saying when I was ten was Spree For Three, so I think I thought that was how you spelled his name at the time).
Latrell Spreewell, what can you say about a guy that passes up guaranteed contracts and finds himself broke? Nothing too much that hasn’t already been said, and my mancrush was a shadow of what it originally was by the time he was broke. Two years removed from Mitch Richmond’s departure to Sacramento the Warriors picked Spree with the 24th pick in the draft. Mullin and Hardaway were still on the team, but the sign was on the wall, they were about to go into a decade plus rebuilding process. Maybe the mancrush came along because that’s when I started listening to gangsta rap, and that was when it was at it’s best. Those guys were real thugs back then, you want to know how I know they are more hard core than the rappers around now? Because most of them are in jail right now, point, set, match. At the time, there was nobody more gangster than Spree in those cornrows on the court. Playing under Don Nelson, and being one of the few productive players, he played nearly 48 minutes a game. It was something that really attracted me to the guy. He would play all 48, and look like he could go another 48 just proving the guy was in phenomenal shape. He was the reason my favorite number is 15, which says a lot since you may or may not know how much I loved Rickey Henderson. I never thought he was in the wrong for choking coach Carlisimo. Honestly, wouldn’t you strangle the coach if he was telling you what to do with this crappy roster in 1997? Seemed fair to me, and I’ll stand behind it till I part with the earth. To this day, Spree is the last Warriors player to make the All-Star game. No Jamison, no Richardson, no Davis, no Arenas, no Hughes and probably no Ellis making the mid-season exhibition this year. We get no respect… So my question for the commenters is who was your first mancrush, and who, if anyone is yours at the moment?