What to get your favorite NBA player for Christmas

by Katie Heindl

NBA players are just like us — hoping and dreaming for the perfect gifts this holiday season. Here’s what your favorites are pining for.

Klay Thompson

A life-size, topiary chess set where each individual piece is also on wheels so that Thompson may shuffle them around on his own, or with a friend.

Nikola Jokić

Permission from the Denver Parks Department arborist department to go and chop a branch off a stately oak tree on Christmas Eve to burn as the badnjak in the Serbian holiday tradition. Why does he need permission if he’s such a bad boy, you’re probably wondering. Because bad boys care about conservation.

Kevin Durant

A night’s stay at the Plaza Hotel’s Eloise Suite.

LeBron James

Seriously? It has to be spelled out for you? He drops hints about it every single week on the exact same day. The trademark license for Taco Tuesday, signed and sealed by the USPTO, preferably on a heavyweight eggshell paper and inscribed in gold, how you get it to him his your prerogative but he would prefer it had delivered by Kia Silverbrook, the greatest inventor of the modern era with 3,847 patents filed and counting.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Either a little mailer to go out to the wider population of Milwaukee with the phonetic spelling of his last name or for the Bucks organization to fund a series of robocalls out where his last name is repeated slowly, again and again, like a friendly incantation so people learn to say it already. He’s been playing there for over six years now it’s the least they could do.

Joel Embiid

A slide whistle. Don’t you think he seems like the kind of person who’d get right into that? Blocks somebody into oblivion — slide whistle. Dashes the hopes of a team — slide whistle. Watches Ben Simmons clank another jumper — slide whistle.

Kyle Lowry

A back support brace for when he needs to place the entire Raptors roster atop his.

Kawhi Leonard

The same thing he wishes for every year, a reasonable sense of accomplishment.

The Lopez brothers

Though of wildly different tastes, the Lopezes share everything, making them simultaneously easy to knock off your list but challenging to shop for. Brook wants glass blowing lessons, Robin will smash each and every molten creation. Robin wouldn’t mind a trip to Scotland, Brook is deathly afraid of the Loch Ness Monster. What to do, what to do? The answer is, and always will be, matching monster trucks.

Russell Westbrook

It has been a dream of Westbrook’s to walk down the tunnel in a full spacesuit, pantomiming that he’s left earth’s orbit and is free from its diminutive restrictions of gravity. Now being so close to Houston’s Space Centre, it seems this simple holiday wish may finally come true.

Ja Morant

A team of trained and certified firefighters to stand guard under the opposing basket with one of those nets for saving people who have to leap out of tall buildings so that his precious, spring-loaded legs may be spared from harm.

P.J. Tucker

A homemade, pancake of the month calendar.

Jonas Valanciunas

For Domantas Sabonis to realize he’ll never be able to out-tan the self-bronzed god himself and to stop hitting the beds so hard. It’s one thing to pass a deep tan in December in Memphis, entirely another to pretend it’s natural in early winter Indianapolis. Respect yourself.

Kelly Oubre Jr.

An array of masks he can wear to escape the scourge of being too beautiful all the time. He was thinking something silicone and realistic, but in a pinch would settle for Scream and Ronald Reagan.

Serge Ibaka

For once, someone to ask how hungry he is. That or a hat with a brim finally as big as his own ambitions.

Kevin Love

Have you noticed at all that Love seems to have his mind in another place on the court? And I don’t just mean “anywhere but Cleveland”. Truth is, after getting a taste of that life this summer, Love wants to be a cowboy. The wide-open spaces, the little doggies getting along, the mainly bean diet, the hats, the belt buckles, the fringe — Love loved it all. Still, best to ease into a total lifestyle change so for now, a cupboard full of beans will do.

Donovan Mitchell

Considering his public-facing penchant for them, Mitchell is actually terrified of spiders! He would like a day trip to Utah’s Hogle Zoo to visit with the arachnid keeper and get this phobia under control.

Kyrie Irving

While first avoidant of NYC’s iconic bagels due to their spherical, globe-like resemblance, he would now like to try one.

Jimmy Butler

A show where he goes to a new retirement villa in southern Florida every week and whips folks trying to enjoy their golden years in peace into shape. It’s called Going For Golden, Mark Wahlberg is the producer, and Wahlburgers are what’s on the menu, exclusively.

Damian Lillard

A cool motorcycle.

James Harden

He may be sponsored by BODYARMOR but this Christmas, Harden wouldn’t mind a drip of the real stuff. Like chainmail, Roman lorica hamata, or a full set of plate armor, or samurai scale armor, he isn’t picky but it has to be completely historically accurate so best to get a scholar involved and a gift receipt.

Evan Fournier

Where to find a decent bowl of beef bourguignon in central Florida.

Buddy Hield

Just once in his life for someone to be faster than him. Humility is a gift.

Paul George

Audiobooks. He listens to them when he warms up. The longer and more arduous the better. Think, every volume of the encyclopedia or the My Struggle series by Karl Ove Knausgaard, pretty interchangeable.

Steph Curry

A big, novelty-sized card signed by every player in the league thanking him for bringing about an entirely new era of gameplay. The holidays are a time to be gracious, after all.

Anthony Davis

A gorgeous, 7-foot tall vase.

Kent Bazemore

He would like a custom decal for his kitchen window, which looks out on Mount Hood, of a tiny little flag that looks like it was planted atop the mountain’s summit and says “Mount Bazemore”. He climbs it every day in his mind. Also, funny right?

Malcolm Brogdon

A six-point set of buck antlers mounted on a handsome, polished walnut board to hang on his wall.

Alex Caruso

A time machine so he can go back to 1947 and the inaugural season of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, of which he was a crucial part.

Terry Rozier

A new nickname. “Scary Terry” worked in Boston, where success and fear go hand in hand, but now that he is in Charlotte he wouldn’t mind something a little more relaxed. Extraordinary Terry? Fiduciary Terry? Interdisciplinary Terry? You could maybe hire a poet or a copywriter, you could probably find one employed as the other in this economy.

Kemba Walker

The NBA has been spoofing these a bit already leading up to the holidays, which is where he got the idea, but a Rise of Skywalker poster where the Sky is removed and it’s Walker’s face, but on every character except Chewbacca.

Devin Booker

The only thing a permanently petulant, and permanently 16-year-old boy who has everything would or could want, the skin of the Suns Gorilla as a coat.

Andre Drummond

For Blake Griffin to no longer include him in his workshopping exercises. Drummond doesn’t have the stomach for roasts, comedic or large slabs of meat cooked over many hours. He doesn’t think the human body was meant to digest either.

Andrew Wiggins

An apology from Jimmy Butler. (Sorry Andrew, this is going to have the same result a kid wishing for a dog in a house full of people who are deeply allergic will).

Zion Williamson

In an attempt to keep Williamson’s holiday spirits up, his teammate Derrick Favors made him a little coupon book of “Derrick’s Favors” that Williamson can cash in whenever he likes. Some of Favors’ Favors include: “Smoothie King smoothie in Favor’s Favorite Flavor”, actually, the whole book is just Smoothie King coupons Favors cut out of local flyers. Most of them are expired.

Jayson Tatum

For Bill Simmons to stop sending him edible arrangements. He can’t get through that much cantaloupe in a week, week after week, no one can.

Steven Adams

Ever since Chris Paul gifted his teammates with custom-tailored suits, Adams has been finding the fits of his other clothes — the free ones he’s been given over the years — to be less than flattering. He would love for someone to custom tailor all of it. Custom-tailored t-shirt cannon t-shirts, custom-tailored flip flops, custom-tailored track pants, custom-tailored Rumble the Bison discarded jerseys because they wear the same size.

Seth Curry

World’s best brother award.

Jakob Poeltl

For “someone” (Patty Mills) to dress up like his beloved Krampus and chase him around until he’s screaming like his parents used to do back home in Austria.

Zach LaVine

He wouldn’t mind entering another Dunk Contest. It would be his third and he thinks that has a better ring to it. It’s not like he’s that busy with his day job. He just wants to be asked.

Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanović

Custom friendship necklaces that combine to make a basketball-shaped pendant, one side says,
BE
FRI
And the other says,
ST
ENDS

Trae Young

Vince Carter keeps looking at him like he wants to transfuse his blood, so maybe a subtle screen of some kind he can put up around himself in the locker room.

Vince Carter

A transfusion of Trae Young’s blood.

Miles Plumlee

New shocks for his unicycle.

Katie writes about the NBA and its culture, with bylines at The Athletic, Rolling Stone, Dime Magazine, Yahoo Sports, VICE and others. She has a weekly newsletter called Basketball Feelings which you'd probably enjoy.