For most of us, just playing one proper game as part of the NBA would be enough to fulfill all of our hobby needs for a lifetime. In fact, for many of us just watching the games is enough of a hobby. For NBA players though, it’s work, which means they need to fill their spare time with increasingly more weird and wonderful things. We’re going to take a look at some of the most unique hobbies of NBA players and how they came to be involved in such pastimes.
Chris Paul, Bowler
It makes sense for a professional sportsman to take sports seriously outside of his career and that’s very much the case for Chris Paul. This NBA star has an enormous passion for bowling, so much so that he takes his whole family bowling regularly in his free time. It goes without saying that it’s a great way to spend time with the people he loves, but also he finds it great for relieving stress. On top of this, Chris also says that it trains a lot of skills that help him on the basketball court, such as concentration, aim, and general fitness. In 2012 Chris Paul took his hobby to a whole new level when he became the owner of the famous Los Angeles-based bowling team LAX. At this stage, some might argue that it’s become almost a whole new career in itself, but we think Chris would rather call it a passion project.
Michael Jordan, Poker Player
There are a surprising number of NBA players who enjoy a game of poker from time to time. In many ways it makes sense, poker is a competitive and calculated game, in a similar way to how basketball is. Whilst there are many that enjoy the game, there’s one star that’s so invested in his hobby that he’s taken it to a semi-professional level, Michael Jordan. It’s crazy to think that such a talented player, known for his Air Force collaboration and incredible skills on the court, would have so much time to invest in a hobby, but he certainly had a passion for poker. Michael Jordan became so proficient at the game that he became well known not just on the free poker tournaments circuit, but also in high buy-in events at the World Series of Poker.
Pau Gasol, Violinist
While so far our NBA stars have liked to keep it competitive with their hobbies, NBA star Pau Gasol prefers to take a more relaxed approach to his free time. This former NBA player has a passion for music that extends far beyond the usual. Pau has a love for classical music, saying that listening to it helps him to relax. Pau isn’t content only to listen to it though, he also plays the bass violin with the LA Opera. This hobby has helped to keep him sharp and focused in times of stress. Nowadays, Pau can actually be found with his violin more often than he can be on the basketball court, which goes to show that even if you have the best job in the world, sometimes you’ll find a hobby that you have just as much, if not more, passion for.