The players of the NBA have enough financial and star power to drive any vehicle they desire.
According to NBA.com, the average height for a player (2007-2008) is 6’6” to 6’7”, so most players wouldn’t be comfortable in a small car like a Honda or Toyota. Many drive SUVs because the larger cabin size allows for greater comfort for their lengthy frames.
One of the cars LeBron James drives is a Cadillac Escalade, but this isn’t the standard vehicle model–he has instead opted for the green-friendly hybrid version. Yet, with an annual salary of $14,500,000, the ever-rising fuel prices are likely not much of a problem for James.
The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid boasts an electronically-variable four speed automatic transmission. This variable engine allows the car to run at the most efficient transmission speed, essentially increasing fuel economy. Yet this only works if one drives the car without a purpose, accelerating slowly and keeping a low speed.
The Escalade also boasts a variety of luxury appointments fit for an NBA star, such as a Bose 5.1 surround sound speaker system, heated seats and 4WD. The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid gives James an image of luxury and environmental conscientiousness in one shot.
But not every NBA player is worried about how their car affects their carbon footprint. Polish-born Marcin Gortat of the Phoenix Suns drives one of the fastest and noisiest cars in the NBA.
A mechanic in his hometown of Lódz before coming to America, Gortat has a great interest in cars that go zoom-zoom. His current ride is a brand-new shiny black BMW m5.
However, Gortat’s Beemer is not a standard one–he has made an incredible amount of modifications to ensure it’s a fast-driving thrilling experience. The engine boasts 800 horsepower which means “[it] could go over 200 or 225 mph” according to Gortat.
Where exactly he plans to drive that fast, one can only imagine! Gortat went on to state that “I can pull up next to a Ferrari or Lamborghini at a light, look over, and they might start laughing. But when it turns green, I’m gone, waiting at the next light when they get there, and I’m the one laughing then.” The speed and luxurious appointments of Gortat’s BMW give him a stylish and subtly sexy look, indicating his high status.
Gortat may have one of the fastest and most modified cars in the NBA, but Dwight Howard boasts one of the largest collections of cars in the NBA. One of his prized babies is the Knight XV, a car made by Conquest.
The flagship vehicle for the company, the Knight XV is a hand-crafted, armour-plated SUV. The production of this model was limited to 100, meaning Howard is one lucky son-of-a-gun to have gotten his hands on one.
The XV boasts some of the fanciest and most exclusive vehicle options on the market – everything from security cameras, turbo charger, a cigar humidor, and a black box, to a two-way P/A system with intercom. The multitude of advanced available options means Howard has one of the most customizable and elite vehicles of the NBA. The Knight XV even boasts night-vision cameras, mounted front and rear, with interior screens–just in case Howard encounters a nocturnal animal on the road.
On a final note, not every NBA player is interested in the flashy status of a pimped out ride– when Matt Bonner played for the Toronto Raptors, he used to take the TTC to the home games!
Maybe Dwight Howard should take a page out of Bonner’s book and save some money on fuel, and save the environment from overdosing on CO2.