Ranking the Best Superstar Introduction Routines in the NBA
Aside from playing incredibly consistent basketball on a game-to-game basis, the following NBA superstars have unique routines they do prior to each game.
Whether these routines come from superstition, habit, creative nature or simply by goofing around, NBA superstars make sure to do the following things before each and every game like clockwork.
Their individual routines must come naturally at this point, but the best part of their intros is the reaction it gets from fans, positive or negative.
If a pregame routine would make other players around the league perform as well as these superstars, they may consider adopting one.
6. Rajon Rondo's Tipoff Ritual
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has a ritual that doesn't commence until the actual game starts, but that doesn't make it any less of a routine.
When the Celtics win the opening tip, Rondo receives the basketball in a variety of nonchalant ways that are both silly and filled with a certain amount of swagger.
Other point guards around the league would likely get a scolding from their coach if they looked so "careless" with the ball, but as an MVP-caliber talent, Rondo has the freedom to do what he pleases.
Although Rondo's tipoff ritual makes him look like a streetball player trying to wow the fans, once the game gets going, he's all business.
5. Tim Duncan Hugging the Basketball
Photo by: James Nielsen/Getty Images
As an old-school fundamental basketball player, Tim Duncan rarely does anything on or off the court to draw attention to himself. His pregame ritual of hugging the basketball certainly doesn't scream "look at me!" but Duncan has been hugging the basketball prior to games for a long time.
Throughout his illustrious NBA career, Duncan has averaged 20.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. As a 36-year-old veteran so far this season, Duncan is averaging 18.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.
He's shown no signs of slowing down even as he gets older, and the San Antonio Spurs are yearly championship contenders as a result.
4. Dwyane Wade's Basket Pull-Ups
Due to a variety of injuries in recent years, Dwyane Wade hasn't been the same dynamic player he was earlier in his career, leading the Miami Heat to a championship trophy with Shaquille O'Neal by his side.
Even though Wade doesn't put up the massive numbers he used to, he's still one of the best shooting guards in the game today. The great supporting cast around him has taken on the bulk of the scoring load, but it's still a shame that Wade has had troubles staying healthy.
With that said, Wade's pregame ritual of grabbing the rim and doing three pull-ups (to match his jersey number) with his head through the basket is one of the most recognizable.
To be fair, Vince Carter was the first NBA player to create a pull-up routine before games. But hey, at least Wade is carrying the torch in that regard.
3. Kevin Garnett Headbutts Basket
Kevin Garnett is, without a doubt, one of the most intense players in the NBA. So it should come as no surprise that prior to each and every game, Garnett psychs himself up by headbutting the basket after he ties his shorts.
Some players retire before their sports powers decline, others call it quits because they lack the motivation necessary to get through a grueling 82-game schedule. Garnett, on the other hand, is a rare breed who simply lives to play basketball.
He may have a reputation for being a dirty player and one of the league's most aggressive trash-talkers (often for good reason), but very few NBA players have the same tenacity as KG.
2. LeBron James' Powder Toss
LeBron James' powder toss is arguably the most widely recognized pregame ritual in the entire NBA.
The pregame routine, which started in Cleveland with the Cavaliers and carried its way over to Miami, definitely has a more "look at me" vibe when compared with any of the other rituals on this list. However, when you're the best basketball player on the planet, it's easy to back up those actions out on the court with stellar play.
James is aiming to win his fourth MVP award this season while defending Miami's status as NBA champions.
1. Kevin Durant Hugs/Kisses His Mom
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LeBron James' powder toss is recognizable and gets the crowd riled up. Yes, Kevin Garnett headbutting the basket is both awesome and a bit nutty. But how about we give some love to the humble, yet extremely talented, Kevin Durant.
Durant can't exactly embrace his mom before every game because often times the team is on the road, but this pregame routine is one of the best in the NBA regardless.
KD hugging and kissing his mother prior to and after NBA games is a reminder that despite having heaps of immeasurable talent on the court, Durant is still humble and appreciative of what got him to where he is today.
Who wouldn't want to hug their mother for good luck before each game?