The NBA playoffs are finally here, and the same old questions are starting to pop up. Will "Playoff LeBron" be able to carry his team to the Finals yet again? Is there another team in the East that even has a chance? Are the Toronto Raptors really for real? Can anyone actually beat the Warriors?
Of course, this year's NBA is a different league than last year's, with massive trades happening before the season and right up to the trade deadline. The Warriors aren't even in first place! Add in a slew of injuries to crucial stars on teams all across the country, and this year's playoffs are anything but set in stone.
Here at HotCars, though, we're less interested in who might hoist up a big, gold championship trophy in a couple months, and way more interested in the cars all these super wealthy athletes are driving. Keep in mind these are simultaneously some of the richest and some of the largest people on the entire planet! They can dunk from the free throw line and they can afford Bugattis, both feats that should make every child (and maybe some adults) jealous.
With the playoff field set, many pundits and commentators seem certain that one of the star-heavy teams out West is a lock to win it all, but let's take a look around the league and try to figure out whether teams in the Eastern Conference can keep up when it comes to their amazing cars.
20 DeMar DeRozan - Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan will face a strange test in Game 1 against the Wizards. His Raptors team has lost ten straight Game 1 contests, including six straight at home. DeRozan will lean on teammate Kyle Lowry and the NBA's best bench unit to try for a quick series against what should be an easy opponent.
Given the harsh winters up in Toronto, it looks like DeRozan needs something with a little more ground clearance than the exotic sports cars that most NBA players seem to own.
He drives the highest-spec Mercedes G63 AMG, a four wheel drive beast with a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 under the hood. Despite a curb weight of just over 7,000 pounds, Mercedes' premier SUV can charge to 60 miles per hour in just over 4 seconds.
19 LeBron James - Ferrari 458
Ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference, Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers will be squaring off with the fifth place Indiana Pacers on Sunday. James will be called on to carry a heavy burden, trying to make his eighth consecutive NBA Finals. The Cavs have struggled this season, but remain optimistic after a series of last minute roster changes that will help Playoff Lebron stage another deep run.
Like many NBA players, Lebron is a familiar face in TV ads for Korean auto manufacturer Kia, and while he does occasionally drive Kia's top end luxury sedan, the King has a rotating stable of cars in his garage, including this red Ferrari 458 that's been seen around Cleveland. Good thing the 458 comes in a hardtop convertible, as its unlikely the 6 foot 9 inch point-forward would be able to cram his frame into a tiny Italian coupe.
18 Dwyane Wade - McLaren MP4-12c
Lebron's former teammate Dwyane Wade was one of the players Cleveland dumped at the trade deadline this year. Wade was shipped back to his longtime team, the Miami Heat, in exchange for just a protected 2024 second-round draft pick, a testament to both the relationship he's built with James and the power James wields in Cleveland. The Heat are now in sixth place in the East and will face a young Philadelphia 76ers team in the first round.
Wade cruises South Beach in his McLaren MP4-12C, the first entirely McLaren produced car since their debut F1 back in the 1990s. With a lightweight carbon fiber chassis and a mid-mounted, twin-turbo V8, the MP4-12C is recognized as one of the premier sports cars on the market today, and costs around $230,000, depending on options packages.
17 John Wall - Ferrari 458
Washington Wizards point guard John Wall will be leading his team against the Toronto Raptors, having just snuck into the playoffs with the eighth slot in the Eastern conference after a 43-39 season. Wall is one of the fastest players in the NBA, and will use his quick change of pace to help his team as they face up against a powerful Raptors lineup.
Wall's foot speed is nothing compared to Ferrari's 458 Spider, though. The 458 model line debuted in 2009 with a mid-mounted, 4.5-liter V8 cranking out 562 horsepower.
Weighing in at only 3,450 pounds, the car can sprint from 0 to 60 in under three seconds, and has a top speed of 210 miles per hour. Hopefully Wall can get his adrenaline pumping on the drive to the arena, as his team faces a tough task in Round 1.
16 Giannis Antetokounmpo - BMW i8
Giannis Antetokounmpo drives a BMW i8 around Milwaukee. This is BMW's ultra-efficient, hybrid-powered sports coupe. With both the electric and the turbocharged gas power-plants pumping out power, the Greek Freak's i8 should be able to run 0-60 in under 4.5 seconds, all while keeping emissions to a minimum.
BMW touts the i8 and its little sibling, the i3, as the only cars built in an entirely solar powered factory, making them some of the greenest possible cars in the world.
The Bucks will head straight into the green against the Boston Celtics, a wounded team who just lost their star point guard, Kyrie Irving, for the remainder of the season. Even before the injury, no one wanted to face off against the Bucks, in large part thanks to Antetokounmpo's versatility and his impressive development which led to an MVP-caliber season this year.
15 Blake Griffin - Tesla Model S
Former Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin must have gotten the surprise of his life when he found out that he was being traded to the Detroit Pistons as part of a seven-player, multiple draft pick deal just before this year's All Star Game. Griffin has weathered a series of injuries, scandals, and coaches in LA, and after the loss of Chris Paul to the Rockets, the high-leaping Griffin seemed like the future face of the franchise.
It's unclear whether Griffin took his Tesla Model S with him to Detroit, a town richly steeped in the history of the internal combustion engine. Regardless, his Pistons just barely missed the playoff cut, winding up in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, so presumably Blake is back at home in LA enjoying the weather and plenty of charging stations.
14 JR Smith - Ferrari 458
Lebron James' teammate JR Smith is well-known for his car collection. In the past, Smith was known as a streaky shooter who could just as easily score 30 points as miss every shot in a game. However, the flashy sharpshooter found a new home in Cleveland, honed his defensive mindset, and now enjoys support from a loyal LeBron as one of the essential cogs in the Cavs' machine.
Like Lebron, Smith drives a Ferrari 458, but in white rather than red. Another highlight of his collection is a Bentley Continental convertible, also in white. Smith is known to enjoy the finest champagne and always sports flashy accessories, but his game has matured enough to make him an effective part of a Cleveland team hoping to extend their playoff success this postseason.
13 Jordan Clarkson - Porsche Panamera
JR Smith and Lebron James acquired a young new addition to the Cavs in a last minute trade with the Los Angeles Lakers this year. Jordan Clarkson will be making his first playoff appearance on Saturday after honing his all-around game during four seasons with the Lakers.
After signing a contract valued at $50 million in 2016, Clarkson entered the world of high end sports cars by picking up a Porsche Panamera in matte black.
Clarkson isn't huge but he's on the taller end for a guard, so hopefully the low four door Panamera gives him plenty of room to recline the driver's seat.
The young player's contributions will be essential for a weak Cleveland team if they hope to have a chance at taking back the crown they gave up last year to the Golden State Warriors.
12 George Hill - Custom Oldsmobile Cutlass
Amidst this impressive list of the biggest, fastest, most luxurious cars on the market today, George Hill's custom Oldsmobile Cutlass is a refreshing nod back to the days of American muscle cars. Hill is now the point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers after a three team deal involving the Sacramento Kings and his former team, the Utah Jazz.
This offseason will represent a welcome relief for Hill, who has lost to Lebron James (against both the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers) in the Eastern Conference playoffs many times during his five year tenure with the Indiana Pacers. Hill's Cutlass is totally customized, with a two tone paint job plus matching wheels and interior. Hopefully he and his car can provide a breath of fresh air to his almost-desperate team.
11 Dwight Howard - Knight XV
Dwight Howard and his Charlotte Hornets won't be in contention for this year's championship trophy, having finished the season in tenth place in the Eastern Conference. Still, the always entertaining big man drives one of the more unique vehicles in the NBA, a limited-edition Knight XV manufactured by a company that is appropriately named Conquest Vehicles.
The XV (which stands for Extreme Vehicles) is a line of 100 hand-built SUVs that feature military grade armor specifications, optional FLIR night vision cameras mounted front and rear, oxygen survival kits built in, plus a high-end luxury interior with seating for six. With a curb weight of 13,000 pounds, the huge truck is more like a battering ram, which makes it appropriate for one of the NBA's biggest and strongest players.
Let's move on to the West!
10 Stephen Curry - Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG
Out West, it seems like NBA's finest should drive convertibles through the sunshine every day, but Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has opted for a Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG, instead. The precursor to DeMar DeRozan's G63, the G55 is powered by a supercharged V8 that cranks out 500 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Curry's Warriors find themselves in an unfamiliar spot, ranked a lowly second in the West after an underwhelming 58-24 season.
Like Playoff Lebron, the Warriors will need to up their game considerably, especially given that Curry and a couple of critical backup players won't be available in the first round matchup against a depleted but dangerous San Antonio Spurs team. Most fans expect the Warriors to cruise through the first couple of rounds before facing a true test, most likely in the form of the Houston Rockets.
9 Kevin Durant - Ferrari California
Much of the Warriors' confidence, despite the loss of Curry, comes from the fact that they've got Kevin Durant to lead the team in the interim. Last year's Finals MVP is one of the best scorers the game has ever seen, but earned the award also thanks to having demonstrated that he can play solid defense against a much bulkier Lebron James when he needs to.
Now in his second playoffs with the Warriors, Durant should be well enough acquainted with his team and coaches to help extend the season until Curry's return. The former OKS Thunder star appropriately drives a Ferrari California out in the Bay Area, Ferrari's first front-mounted V8 vehicle. With a curb weight of over 4,000 pounds, the California is more of a tourer than a nimble sports car, but nonetheless can sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds.
8 Damian Lillard - Bentley Bentayga
In third place in the Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers hope to continue a successful season with a deep playoff run. Led by Damian Lillard and his co-stars CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers will take on a young New Orleans Pelicans team featuring an explosive - if inconsistent - offense and one of the most talented big men to ever play the game, point-center Anthony Davis.
Lillard drives a luxurious Bentley Bentayga SUV that shares many mechanical underpinnings with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
Available with an enormous twin-turbocharged, 5.95-liter W12 engine that produces 600 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque, the Bentayga is advertised as the world's fastest SUV thanks to a top speed of 187 miles per hour. It is also the world's most expensive SUV at well over $200,000.
7 Carmelo Anthony - Custom Jeep Wrangler
Carmelo Anthony will return to the Western Conference playoffs this postseason for the first time since leaving Denver to join the New York Knicks in 2011. The fourth-ranked Oklahoma City Thunder will face a fifth-ranked Utah Jazz in one of the most evenly matched first round competitions.
Both teams finished with a 48-34 record (as did the New Orleans Pelicans) but the Thunder claimed the season series with three wins to Utah's one.
Anthony is well known for his affinity toward Jeep Wranglers, and his customized four door off-roader should go over well in OKC. With a matte red paint job, custom wheels, and huge knobby tires, no one will mistake him for teammate Russell Westbrook, whose fashion choices as well as his automotive predilections lean in a wholly different direction.
6 Russell Westbrook - Lamborghini Aventador
Westbrook is the leader of the OKC Thunder despite the addition of superstars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this season. Last year, playing as almost the entire Thunder team, Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the entire season, earning the sixth slot in the West before being knocked out by James Harden's Houston Rockets.
Westbrook can always be counted on to arrive at games and press conferences in his distinctive outfits, and his choice in cars is no different. There's zero chance anyone else in OKC drives a spiderweb design wrapped Lamborghini Aventador, whose enormous V12 might be louder than OKC's infamous arena.
The Aventador's top speed is 217 miles per hour, so maybe Russ should choose to just drive to Salt Lake City rather than fly since it might be faster.
5 James Harden - Custom Rolls Royce Wraith, Bentley Bentayga
The Houston Rockets sit atop the entire league at the beginning of this postseason. The quick-trigger team is led by James Harden and his beard, plus the new addition of point guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers.
With a greatly improved defense and after another year of record-setting offense, the Rockets look truly poised to take on the Golden State Warriors this time around.
Harden himself drives many cars, but the two pictured here are his custom two-tone Rolls Royce Wraith and an all-white Bentley Bentayga SUV. The new edition Wraith is named after Rolls' 1938 offering, though it has slightly more horsepower thanks to a twin-turbo V12 producing 623 horsepower. The huge coupe needs all the power it can get thanks to a curb weight well over 5,000 pounds, but it still seems small next to the Bentayga.
4 Andre Iguodala - Chevrolet Corvette
Andre Iguodala is a former NBA Finals MVP, a two-time world champion with the Golden State Warriors, and an all-around NBA journeyman who played at his best during the Finals after coming off the bench for most of the season.
His understated confidence and ability to sacrifice his own role for the team's success make him a fan favorite in Oakland, as well as a player his teammates can depend on.
So it makes sense that rather than picking up an insanely high-priced sports car, Iguodala opted instead for an updated American classic, the Chevrolet Rolls Royce. Still, he couldn't go too subtle, anyone who has watched Iguodala know that he plays with an edge on the court, and his red Corvette reveals a little bit of the spirit on the road, as well.
3 Derrick Rose - Rolls Royce Wraith
At the age of 22 years and 6 months, Derrick Rose became the youngest MVP in both team and NBA history. Playing for a franchise that claims Michael Jordan among their alumni, the Chicago Bulls, Rose looked poised for a stellar career.
Everything came to a halt with a series of knee injuries that has left the point guard bouncing from team to team over the past few years. Rose was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves late this season, reuniting with his former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, as well as former Bulls teammates Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler.
Given his early success, Rose doesn't have to worry about money, and his car collection is definitely impressive - he's got a Rolls Royce Wraith but also one of the most high powered, expensive cars ever made, the 1,200 horsepower, 250 miles per hour Bugatti Veyron.
2 Andrew Wiggins - Ferrari 458
Rose joins a Timberwolves team that has added a group of stable veterans to a young and talented roster, which includes 23 year old swingman Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins will have a lot to prove in this postseason, after helping lift his team to their best season since 2003-04, the last time the T-Wolves made it to the playoffs.
Wiggins definitely doesn't have to prove his taste in cars, though. His current ride, like many of his fellow NBA players, is a Ferrari 458, but in a custom matte black with yellow accented wheels and brake calipers. The Timberwolves will face a tough first round opponent in the Houston Rockets, though, so Wiggins may have plenty of time to enjoy his Italian thoroughbred much sooner than he'd hope.
1 Dirk Nowitzki - Mini Cooper
After a disappointing season, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks won't be playing in this year's postseason, but it's impossible to compile a list of NBA players and their cars without including this future Hall of Famer.
The seven foot tall German famously drives a Mini Cooper, a fact which is simply mind-boggling. Nowitzki changed the way NBA centers play, with his elegant footwork, fadeaway jump shot, and signature shaggy blonde hair.
The tiny Mini Cooper must feel pretty full with Nowitzki inside, and hopefully its little supercharged engine can put enough power to the ground to help him navigate the trucks and SUVs that populate Texas. Nowitzki is 39 years old, but says he hopes to keep playing and would be willing to come off the bench in years to come in order to lengthen his career.
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