10 NBA Players with the Most Love for Their Communities

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIMarch 19, 2014

10 NBA Players with the Most Love for Their Communities

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    Professional athletes live in one of the most sought after limelights the world has to offer, and there is no better experience than to witness these larger-than-life figures take their time and money and give back to their communities.   

    While some superstars have their own charities, others simply work with community organizations through the league, teammates or the cities they're involved with. 

    Here are 10 NBA players who always show love for their communities. Enjoy! 

Russell Westbrook

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    Oklahoma City star guard Russell Westbrook has established himself as one of the most explosive players in the NBA today. 

    Westbrook plays the game with incredible fire and passion, however, monitoring the former UCLA Bruin off the floor shows how much Westbrook likes to give back and encourage the youth in his communities.

    When not working with the league's community organization NBA CaresWestbrook is busy with his own charity called Why Not? FoundationAround Christmas time this past December, Westbrook's foundation teamed up with Citizens Caring for Children to give back to Oklahoma's 10,000-plus children in foster care. 

    At this specific charity event, Westbrook's team gave away backpacks full of gifts like Jordan Brand shoes, clothing and books, among other things. 

Pau Gasol

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    J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

    Spain's most talented and successful basketball export is without a doubt Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol

    Pau inspires Spanish and European youth to make it to the NBA, and never misses a chance to give back to his communities—no matter where on the planet. 

    Gasol recently won a "Charity Challenge" held by the NBA where fans voted on their favorite player to win $10,000 for a charity of that player's choice. He won after picking up 38 percent of the votes, and gave the $10,000 to UNICEF to help build safe schools for children in Africa. 

    Pau is pictured above with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson and President Barack Obama at a charity event during Christmas time with the Lakers holiday toy drive.   

    After a typhoon devastated the Philippines (one of the NBA's biggest fans overseas), Pau pledged to donate $1,000 for every bucket he scored in a specific game. Pau's former coach Phil Jackson added a pretty hilarious tongue-in-cheek donation checklist for that night: "$50 per point, $50 per rebound and $1,000 per charge taken, mi compadre." 

Kevin Love

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    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    The NBA's most lethal double-double machine, Kevin Love is no stranger to giving back to the community. 

    Like many of the other superstars on this list, Love has been selected to his fair share of NBA All-Star Games. With that comes a bit of responsibility as NBA Cares teams up with those selected to the All-Star Game to give back to the community hosting the All-Star Game. 

    In addition to the All-Star Cares work, Love has contributed to charity events such as the NBA Draftees Special Olympic Clinic, holiday shopping for kids and KaBOOM—a community event that helps build playgrounds. 

Chris Paul

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    Chris Paul was drafted fourth overall to the New Orleans Hornets in 2005—the same year one of the most devastating natural disasters in United States history hit the very same city.

    Hurricane Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damage, and Hornets star guard Chris Paul was no stranger to the community in need.

    According to Look To The Stars, CP3 has five charities and seven causes he regularly contributes to.

    Paul has contributed to numerous NBA Cares events, like "Learn" with City Year where students get to interact with NBA stars while receiving high-tech learning tools. 

Shane Battier

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    Joe Murphy/Getty Images

    Shane Battier has numerous athletic achievements under his belt, like Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2001) and two-time NBA champion (2012-13), however, when not working to perfect his game, Battier spends a lot of his free time giving back to the community. 

    The former Duke standout hosted an event called Battiokea team gathering designed raise money for charity by having his teammates bond over karaoke singing

    Also, Battier started the Take Charge Foundation, which is aimed at giving promising students scholarships to higher education. The scholarships are worth four years and $20,000, and are given to students from the greater Detroit, Miami and Houston areas. 

Kevin Durant

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    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    Like fellow Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant is never shy when giving back to his community. 

    Durant "reached out to Nike" to see if they could help with tornado relief after the greater Oklahoma City area was devastated with a natural disaster, and got them to donate $1 million in products to disaster relief. 

    KD teamed up with Nike to release a signature shoe that would donate all profits to tornado victims. 

    On top of helping out the relief efforts after Moore, Okla. was devastated by a tornado, Durant donated $150,000 to three separate organizations in his hometown that were "pivotal" in his development as an NBA superstar. 

Derrick Rose

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    M. Spencer Green/Associated Press

    Derrick Rose is Chicago's homegrown hero, rising from the city's notorious South Side to being named the franchise's No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008. 

    Rose boasts one of the most lucrative endorsement deals in all of professional sports and never fails to give back to his community. 

    In fact, Rose extended one of the most humbling and heartfelt offerings in any sport when he offered to pay for the funeral service of a slain a six-month-old child in Chicago. 

Dwyane Wade

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Longtime Heat guard Dwyane Wade donates his fortunes to the community seemingly every chance he gets. 

    In November of 2012, Wade donated his game check from a Friday night matchup to relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy devastated New York. Five months later, Wade donated $75,000 and 20 iPads to By the Hand for Kids in Chicago. 

    From spending time in his own charities to fellow team organizations like Heat Summer Groove, Alonzo Mourning Charities or Kenny Smith's Katrina Relief, Dwyane Wade never fails to support the comminuty he is a part of. 

Steph Curry

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    During the NBA lockout, the Golden State Warriors held the charity event We Believe DUB Basketball at the nearby San Jose State University and star guard Stephen Curry was more than willing to contribute to the efforts.  

    Curry helped out this past All-Star weekend in New Orleans after being selected to his first NBA All-Star Game, and also started his own foundation during his rise into NBA stardom.

    The Stephen Curry Foundation contributes to the Nothing But Nets Foundation, which is the world's largest grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria.  

LeBron James

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    The NBA's top superstar LeBron James has truly grown into a solid role model for youth all over the world. 

    LeBron took the NBA by storm after living up to the overhype bestowed upon him when he was just a teenager—winning two NBA championships, three Olympic medals and four NBA MVP awards to date. 

    Off the hardwood, LeBron James has teamed up with numerous charities, community events and celebrities to motivate, inspire and raise money for truly selfless causes. 

    The LeBron James Family Foundation is segregated into various organizations like Wheels for Education, Akron I Promise, Boys and Girls Club and The LeBron Advisory Board—all targeting growth as a community. 


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