Professional athletes awe their fans with their interesting quirks and rituals. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James used to toss talcum powder in the air prior to home games. Former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson liked to be slapped in the face before games. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper cuts up batting gloves after hitting home runs so they don’t get sold on eBay.
Though every pro athlete has some sort of quirk, let’s take a look at some of the craziest activities athletes engage in to get ready for games.
1. Russell Westbrook’s and Cameron Payne’s Pregame Dance
Oklahoma City Thunder guards Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne sure know how to dance. Before games, they perform a variety of moves, ranging from the “Dab” to overall get-hype-dancing. Westbrook and Payne have a lot of synergy in their dance routine. As Payne gets more experience, maybe the pair will carry that synergy onto the court.
2. Kevin Garnett Bangs His Head on the Basket Stanchion
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett is one of the most passionate players in the NBA. Though the 20-year veteran is near the end of his career, he still plays with intensity second to none. And Garnett displays his passion before every game by banging his head on the basket stanchion. (Hopefully not too hard.) Garnett is one of the best big men in the league, and his ritual reveals the heart and soul he plays with on the court every night.
3. Bryce Harper Cuts Up Batting Gloves
Bryce Harper is not a fan of his sports gear being sold on eBay. He dislikes it so much that he cuts up his batting gloves to prevent people from making money off them. After hitting a home run in the bottom of the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, Harper cut up another pair of gloves so they couldn’t be sold on the Internet.
4. Ray Lewis’s Pregame Dance
Former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis put on what was arguably the best pre-game show in the NFL. When the Baltimore Ravens legend came out of the team tunnel, he would shimmy from side to side. When he finished shimmying, he would lift up his leg and throw his shoulders back, unleashing a primal scream to get himself pumped for the game.
5. Kyrie Irving Postgame Handshakes
Intricate handshakes before and after games have swept the NBA, and the players love them. The handshakes range from the standard dap to multiple daps back and forth amid crazy arm movements. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has some of the most complex handshakes known to man. At the end of games, he does custom handshakes with his teammates on the bench. And just like his ball handling skills, Irving’s handshakes are quality.