The women behind the basketball players sometimes make all the difference. That’s why we’re honouring this year’s five coolest and most supportive wives and girlfriends in the NBA. Their taller halves couldn’t have done it without them—and maybe your relationship can grow stronger by their example.
The ultimate girl next door: Robyn Crowley
The lucky player: Chandler Parsons
Beer-guzzling, golf-playing and always cool with hanging out with the guys—sounds like your best friend, right? Chandler Parsons’ girlfriend is the tomboy sports fans wish they were dating. Shotgunning beers with her own man’s best friend always by her side, Robyn Crowly also seems fairly attentive of Parsons while remaining totally independent, creating an enviably balanced relationship dynamic.
The world’s most trusting woman: Masha Kirilenko
The lucky player: Andre Kirilenko
This season—like every season—Masha Kirilenko gave her husband Andre (of Brooklyn Nets fame) a free pass, or his yearly “allowance.” That’s right: she doesn’t mind if the power forward cheats on her and lets him explore his basest instincts should he desire. Best girlfriend ever, right? Well, not for the reason you’re thinking. Andre, smart man that he is, never takes her up on the offer. The level of trust Masha puts in her man makes her truly one in a million as far as we’re concerned, deserving of a mention on this list.
The one who speaks up: Vanessa Macias
The lucky player: Tim Duncan
It’s amazing when a guy’s girlfriend says what’s on her mind, and it’s a necessary part of a good relationship for her to stand up for what she believes in. Enter Vanessa Macias, who stood up for herself and the rest of San Antonio’s fairer sex in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. She wore a shirt emblazoned with the words “Barkley don’t know,” refuting NBA analyst Charles Barkleys’ claim that the city is a “gold mine for Weight Watchers” and that “there’s some big ol’ women down there.” The Fat Acceptance League demanded an apology from him, and let’s be honest—Macais proved him wrong in more ways than one.
The true superfan: Sam Garcia
The lucky player: George Hill
The home team captain: Gabrielle Union
The lucky player: Dwyane Wade
The best partner a man can have is one he can turn to in times of trouble—and if that man is a basketball player who just lost the NBA Finals, she has to be a very special woman indeed. When the Miami Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs this week, Dwyane Wade’s fiancee Gabrielle Union told Bravo TV that she wept. However, she collected herself and put on a strong front to help her player through the loss with humour and wit when he got home. On Watch What Happens Live, she called it the “special treatment.” Apparently, it did the trick. She’s a keeper.