While America’s World Cup hopes may have faded (Tim Howard, you’re still the G.O.A.T though) the patriotic power hour will continue through the summer. With the 2014 FIBA world championships coming up in August, American fans will only have to wait a month before rooting on the red, white and blue in the hoops version of the international comp. Sure, beating Nigeria by roughly 123123421 points in Spain won’t have the same stress as the past four World Cup matches, but fans can take pleasure in watching the US cruise to gold. To hold you over ’till August, flip another burger on the grill, get another chilled beverage, and take a look at the Most Amurrican Players in the NBA.
For someone who loves America so much, he sure doesn’t care about defense. But while he may not protect the basket at all, Hawes has always been willing to defend his political beliefs. As one of the most vocal conservatives in the NBA, and he’s practically an activist. In the run up to the 2008 presidential election, Hawes created a Ann Coulter fans Facebook page and had a bumper sticker on his high school car that read, “God Bless George W. Bush.”
He lamented Sen. John McCain’s 2008 by stocking up on Barack Obama toilet paper and later spoke out forcefully against the Affordable Care Act. He’s also been pictured wearing the greatest shirt ever created. Seriously, just look. You know Hawes gets rowdy over the 4th.
Bonner’s shoe game is unbelievably American. For years Bonner was quite possibly the only person in the world to play competitive basketball in a pair of New Balance BB8026’s, which Bonner wore for years before switching to Adidas. These bad boys were made in America and Bonner stockpiled them for years to ensure that he never ran out, despite the fact that the shoe once exploded while he was playing defense in an NBA game.3 of 9
You hear about the American dream all the time, but Landry Fields may have executed the bro-iest possible American life path already at the age of 26.
After graduating from Stanford, Fields got drafted to the New York Knicks played alongside Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony under the league’s brightest lights. Then one night he let a brah crash on his couch and Fields became a reality show sidekick during the Linsanity era. He’s marrying a model and despite averaging just four points in 17 minutes for the Toronto Raptors over the last two seasons, have collected a cool $19 million by next year. In his spare time, he loves rock out to Lionel Richie.
4 of 9
Just look at this guy. If the grizzly chinstrap didn’t scream ‘MURICA already, the backstory behind his one-of-a-kind nickname that’s stuck with him for a half-decade now should surely convince you.
The “Jorts” moniker predates Josh Harrellson’s days as a Kentucky Wildcat. During a visit with the school before he enrolled, the prospect donned a pair of less-than-flattering jean shorts to a UK football game. “Everywhere I go people call me that,” Harrellson said in 2011. “I get a kick out of it. I don’t mind the nickname at all. I actually like it because I think it identifies me.”
The guys gets it. Josh Harrellson is Jorts, and Jorts is America.
You may not have known that Ray Allen, before the championships, thousands of three-pointers—even before he was Jesus—was once a military brat. Son of two military parents, Allen’s family bounced between at Oklahoma, South Carolina, England and Germany.
He graduated from Hillcrest High School in Oklahoma, and made a name for himself at UConn before being drafted fifth overall in 1996. He’s enjoyed hall-of-fame success over an 18-year career, and has surely done it with respect and admiration for his country’s veterans each step of the way.
The 4th must always be special for Bernard James. Prior to being drafted with the 33rd pick in the draft two years ago, James completed a six-year term in the United States Air Force, including tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Qatar. James didn’t start playing basketball until he was 14, but he’s made it to the NBA and stuck with Dallas as a role player.7 of 9
Athlete-soldier encounters aren’t extraordinarily rare, but LeBron James’ run-in with a group of helicopter pilots in an Oklahoma City airport is pretty awesome.
In June 2012, the Heat waiting for their plane to refuel, while a group of soldiers waiting on their flight recognized the NBA squad, flanked by team security. Miami’s security turned the troops away but then LeBron stepped in.
According to The Oklahoman:
Maybe LeBron could overhear the conversation, or perhaps he could just tell by their body language what was going on. Either way, he piped up.
“Hey, hey,” he said, “any of these military guys can take a picture with us.”
He turned to his teammates.
“You guys get up,” he told them.
He turned to the servicemen.
“Get your camera up,” he said.
He started to wave the servicemen over but noticed that some of the players weren’t yet on their feet.
“Hey, everybody get up,” he said. “Get in a circle here. Anybody that wants their picture taken with us, we’ll do it.”
Not that this was a superhuman display of courage, because this was pretty obviously the right thing to do. Still, LeBron standing up and taking a leadership role in the situation is commendable.9 of 9