Pawsitively Purrrfect Pets And Their Superstar Athlete Owners
Why does Carmelo Anthony have a camel? Did Russell Westbrook’s dog help spawn the nickname ‘Broadie”? For athletes, people who live under a microscope and are heavily scrutinized 24/7, a pet can be the difference between loving life or hating it. Introducing the best, cutest, and weirdest pets in sports, and no, you probably won’t guess what exotic pet Colin Kaepernick calls “Sammy.”
Russell Westbrook and Broadie
Russell Westbrook is a man who clearly values loyalty. Just ask Kevin Durant. So when Durrant ditched him to go ring chasing with Golden State, Westbrook turned to his true number one fan and supporter, his dog Broadie. Not an aggressive or hyper-athletic breed that one might imagine Westbrook to have, this small, fluffy pup seems to be the perfect complement to the MVP point guard.
On National Dog Day, Westbrook went public with his love of Broadie in a cute Snapchat video where the two of them danced to a classic Ja Rule tune. If Ja Rule doesn’t scream true love, what does?
Fearing the Broadie takes on a whole new meaning.
Carmelo and his Camel
When Carmelo Anthony drives to the lane, it’s done with the grace and authority of a camel trotting on the desert dunes. Let’s face it, the one-time elite scorer has lost a step, and his energy levels and effort have never been anything to brag about. Fittingly, Carmelo decided to get a pet that would match his personality to a T.
But Melo threw a curveball and shocked everyone when he purchased a pet camel instead of a sloth, which clearly is his spirit animal. We may never see Carmelo win a title, but when he does ride off into the sunset, his view atop his pet camel will be something to cherish for years to come.
Aaron Rodgers and Chance
Fraud alert! Aaron Rodgers loves the spotlight, and when the State Farm commercial was plastered on televisions across America showing Rodgers and what appeared to be his pet dog growing at Clay Matthews, fans fell in love. The problem is, the dog in that commercial, Rigsbee, wasn’t actually his! That’s right, all of those smiles between Rigsbee and Rodgers were fake! They were for the camera, not the heart.
But, to his credit, Rodgers does own two dogs that he adopted with his ex-girlfriend Olivia Munn. He and the actress adopted Chance, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who, like most millennial pets, has his own Instagram. Now if only Rodgers can bring another title to Green Bay, he and, more specifically, coach Mike McCarthy will be out of the dog house.
Klay Thompson and Rocco
Over the course of his impressive NBA career, Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson has made a few splashes in the headlines for things not pertaining to his on-court abilities, like that time he signed a toaster or when he went on a tour of China. However, Klay really melts hearts with his English bulldog, Rocco. Compared to the agile and precise shooter that Thompson is, an English bulldog is the exact opposite. They’re sloppy, bulky, and downright goofy. And it appears that is exactly what Klay loves.
When Thompson needs an escape from the high-pressure life an NBA superstar lives, he takes Rocco to the local dog park for a nice, relaxing game of fetch. Rumor has it, each throw he makes is a sight to be seen.
Ezekiel Elliott and Ace
Science says people often choose dogs that are like themselves, and apparently Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott took that scientific finding to heart. Except his dog doesn’t wear a crop top, because his dog is smart. What his dog does wear is a nice, big smile, just like his dad.
Elliott, a big animal lover and proponent of adopting dogs from shelters, frequently posts pictures of his Rottweiler, Ace, and the similarities are striking. Puffy cheeks? Check. Sharp, crisp hairline? Yep. Let’s face it, if dog breeds had football positions, a rottweiler would either be a linebacker or running back.
Colin Kaepernick and Sammy
Slow meet fast. Fast meet slow. Ying meet yang. Colin Kaepernick and his pet tortoise are the perfect pair. The once-elite fleet-footed quarterback, who has since fallen out of the league’s favor due to his sideline protest, has a pet African spurred tortoise named Sammy. With the ability to live to over 150 years and grow to be over 200 pounds, these cute pets are anything but easy.
Kap got Sammy when he was a child and has watched the tortoise grow year after year. And although Sammy has a propensity to move slowly, he’s known to have a burst of speed that can break through his enclosure. Fortunately, his dad has the speed to track him down.
Ben Simmons and His Savannah Cats
Ben Simmons is a superstar in the making; he’s also a really rich dude. Making just over $6 million in salary before taking into account any endorsements, Simmons is financially stable to say the least. How he spends his money, however, is questionable at best.
One of the biggest red flags in the young Australian’s career was purchasing two Savannah cats that cost him $10,000. And all that money couldn’t buy the point guard any peace of mind. The cats, a distant relative of wild African cats, are hard to manage and act on instinct more than anything else. They clawed him, hid from him, and made being a cat dad nearly unbearable.
In the end, raising these semi-wild cats proved to be too much for the emerging star, and, sadly, he gave them away.
Russell Wilson and the Great Danes
Family man or Super Bowl winning quarterback? Both. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks does it all, including taking time out of his busy schedule to love his two massive Great Danes Prince and Naomi. Would you just look at these three? So much style, and so many somber-looking faces. Smile, Russ! You’re on camera!
Although Wilson threw one of the most egregious interceptions in NFL history in the Super Bowl, his dogs still love him the same, unlike many Seattle fans who (probably) started burning his jersey following the game.
One doesn’t have to scroll too far on his Instagram to find the two massive pups getting a shout-out from No. 3.
Tim Tebow and Bronco
Hate him or love him all you want, but hating Tim Tebow’s Rhodesian Ridgeback Bronco is blasphemous. Through Tebow’s ever-changing, up-and-down journey from first-round pick in the NFL to Minor League baseball player, one thing has remained consistent and constant: his love and appreciation for his loyal steed.
And, because Tebow won’t have any kids until after marriage (he’s a devout Christian), the quarterback endearingly refers to Bronco on social media as his son. So as Tebow embarks on his pro baseball journey, we, the fans, can rest easy knowing he has a loyal companion to back him up every day.
JaVale McGee and Raja
Oddest player in the NBA- go! Yes, correct. JaVale McGee, the two-time champion center for the Golden State Warriors. His rat tale is legendary. His bonehead plays are second-to-none, and he could fill up a quote book with funny material. If he were to have a dog, he’d probably have a slobbering hound with the big floppy ears. But he’s JaVale McGee, and he marches to the beat of his own drum.
Introducing Raja, JaVale’s hairless cat. Looking like a cross between a French bulldog and a koala bear, Raja is one part strange, one part cute, and all part McGee; and because the little guy is hairless, he needs a coat to keep him warm. Thankfully, JaVale keeps a closet full of cat clothes that Raja appears seems comfortable wearing. Just check out his Instagram for proof.
Kyrie and Drew
Uncle Drew to some, Daddy Drew to others. Deft ball handler and NBA Champion Kyrie Irving is a quirky dude. Yes, he believes the earth is flat and the moon landing was staged. Those beliefs, despite common logic and this thing called science, could be up for debate- at least with Irving. What’s not up for debate is how much Kyrie loves his precious dog Drew.
A German shepherd, Drew seems like the perfect companion for the controversial Irving. He can’t argue with his flawed logic, loves being on the receiving end of Irving’s gorgeous passes, and doesn’t understand how gravity works. Two peas in a pod, a pot for every lid. Whatever the saying, there’s no denying how perfect Irving and his pup are together.
Tyson and the Three Tigers
A tiger and a ferocious boxer who likes to bite people. What could go wrong? Is this a recipe for disaster or a match made in heaven? Depends who you ask. Depends on how hungry the tiger is. There are a lot of factors that determine how Tyson and his Tiger got along, but for him it was perfect.
For boxer Mike Tyson, owning three Tigers seemed like a great idea. That was before he calculated how much feeding them was going to cost. Needing copious amounts of raw meat multiple times per day was something he didn’t take into account, and the insane amount he had to spend on them proved to be too much.
Eventually, Tyson and the tigers parted ways, thankfully on good terms.
David Price and Astro
Yeah, David Price is awful in the playoffs. Yeah, he gets injured too much and even had to miss games because of a blister that formed on his hand from excessive video game playing. But off the mound, the right-hander is a dad to one of the cutest dogs on this list, Astro the French bulldog.
Price got Astro in 2009 after being called up to the Majors, and the pooch has accompanied his dad throughout his volatile MLB career with stops in Tampa, Detroit and Boston. With over 5,000 Twitter followers, Astro is kind of a big deal and, without question, remains Price’s No. 1 supporter, even when one of baseball’s highest-paid pitchers has a rough outing.
Mikki Moore and the Snakes
The average snake lifespan, depending on the species, is 15 to 30 years. NBA journeyman Mikki Moore lasted in the NBA for 13 seasons. Is it a coincidence that the slithering seven-foot center who averaged only 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for his career has a pet snake? Probably not.
Owner of five snakes, including two Burmese pythons and a nine-foot Colombian red tail boa constrictor, Moore doesn’t seem fazed by living with some of the world’s most terrifying creatures. But, he conceded in an interview with the New York Times, he will not own a poisonous snake. He’ll leave those for the zoos.
Where did he acquire his comfort around snakes? Growing up on a farm in South Carolina where the creatures are as common as humidity and biscuits.
Kevin Pierre-Louis, Carly and Cash
Cat daddy alert! Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis has his spirits aligned with the felines. While a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Pierre-Louis adopted two smitten kittens Carly and Cash. But don’t worry, Pierre-Louis wasn’t a predatory bird, like a Seahawk. He was a gentle giant, actually.
Although it does look kind of funny seeing an NFL linebacker posing with a kitten that weighs about as much as a football, props to him for bringing cats into the mix. Variety is the spice of life, and with dogs running the show, it was time for cats to shake things up a bit.
Gus Kensworthy and the Sochi Dogs
Olympic skier and silver medalist Gus Kensworthy is a hero in more ways than one. Actually, he’s an icon for many groups of people. On a skiing level, Kensworthy helped represent America on the biggest stage and did so in impressive fashion. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Kenworthy stole the show and won the silver. But on a personal level, the freestyle skier’s impact is massive.
After the Olympic Games ended, Kensworthy decided to take back more than a silver medal. He adopted two mutts, Jake and Mishka, as a way to help the suffering dogs of Sochi.
One year later, the skier publicly came out as gay and has been one of the most outspoken athletes trying to eliminate the totally unwarranted stigma surrounding homosexuality in sports.
Following the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kensworthy helped rescue numerous pups who were on death row in South Korean dog farms. In parts of Asia, dog is a common cuisine.
Darnell Dockett and Nino
A menacing defensive end and three-time Pro Bowler, Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals wreaked havoc on the quarterback during his prime. The 6-foot 4-inch 290-pound end needed an appropriate sidekick, one with thick skin and a burst of speed. Enter the gator.
Dockett’s most famous pet is his alligator Nino, but the now-retired end has a slew of exotic pets, including a tiger. Dockett also made headlines when he attempted to purchase a monkey for $30,000.
If you’re thinking about breaking into someone’s house — not that we’re endorsing this whatsoever — Dockett’s place should be No. 1 on the list of houses to avoid. Tiger, gator, pitbull, and defensive end. Good luck getting away from that family.
Chad Johnson and Pupilo
Being an NFL receiver means you need great hands. It’s a non-negotiable part of the job. And you know what animals have the best hands? Monkeys. So outrageous personality and former NFL receiver Chad Johnson/Ochocinco — your call here how you’d like to remember the former Bengal great– thought getting a pet lemur would be a perfect way to honor his skills.
Johnson has other exotic pets too, but nothing is more precious than this trash-talking receiver clutching his new favorite pet. In a Twitter post, Johnson boasted that he has a Bengal tiger named Julio and a new Lemur named Pupilo.
Hopefully the two exotic pets don’t interact too much or else Johnson’s sure-handed monkey may be like his career: done.
Mike Tyson and His Many Pigeons
If you thought Mike Tyson was going to get away with just one featured pet, you’d be tho (so) wrong. Tigers are cool, but pigeons are Tyson’s true passion. Yes, pigeons, the bird no one wants to encounter on their city walks. The bird that annoys you as you try to enjoy your sandwich on a park bench.
Growing up poor in New York City and a social outcast, the pigeons are what Tyson turned to for friendship and solace. He found comfort in their flight. He took a liking to their simple ways and their loyal disposition, and the birds have been with the boxer through thick and thin, from rags to riches and back to poverty.
Gilbert Arenas and Three Shark Tanks
Pulling a gun on your teammate was not a smart move, Gilbert. Installing three massive shark tanks in your mansion wasn’t either (although it must have been pretty cool coming home to an exotic collection of sharks just waiting to recreate a scene out of Sharknado). Turns out Agent-Zero made a lot of questionable moves throughout his career.
After Arenas found himself out of a job, the lavish lifestyle he once lived seemed to be drifting further and further out of reach. The sharks that kept him company in his house cost around $5,000 per month to feed and an additional $1,000 for a keeper to maintain them.
Jose Canseco and Pet Goats
Is he the GOAT? Certainly not. Jose Canseco is a steroid abusing clown who, in his prime, clobbered home runs with ease. But then again, with juiced-up forearms and biceps, hitting for power becomes infinitely easier. Although Canseco didn’t seem to mind being a juice-head, his reputation certainly suffered.
However, Canseco did hit a roid-free homer when he and his girlfriend adopted two pet goats, both girls. After adopting the yelling pets, Canseco was pulled over for a driving violation, and when the cop saw two diapered goats in the trunk, all the cop could do was laugh.
Once again, Canseco is the laughing stock of baseball.
Louis Delmas and Mojo
What’s with the gators? They aren’t too cuddly in bed, can kill you in a moments notice, and are probably quite expensive to maintain. But for Louis Delmas, a former second-round pick of the Detroit Lions, none of that mattered. The only thing that did matter was posing for cool photos and getting as many likes on social media.
The hard-hitting safety from Haiti was given a gator egg during his rookie season as a present from teammate Ernie Sims, and after a few days under a heat lamp, Mojo the alligator emerged.
When Mojo grew to be over six-feet long and began devouring rats at an alarming rate, Delmas was forced to give up the gator.
Ernie Sims and the Zoo
If you read the prior slide, you’d know that Ernie Sims was the man behind Louis Delmas’ pet alligator. Sims, a former linebacker, had a special place in his heart for two highly disparate things: big hits and exotic pets.
While playing in Detroit, Sims turned his house into a private zoo. Some exotic animals in Sims’ collection included alligators, lizards, snakes, sharks, tarantulas and birds. Sims reportedly spent around $1,000 per week on food for the pets.
When Sims left Detroit, he gave away his collection to the pet store he purchased them from. Is it a coincidence that Simms only played for teams named after animals (except for the Cowboys)?
Mike Miller and Sonny
Two-time NBA champion and former first-round pick of the Orlando Magic, Mike Miller was a sharp shooter and integral part of the Miami Heat winning two titles during the Big Three era. What he wasn’t so good at was containing his pet monkey Sonny.
During Miller’s rookie year in Orlando, he purchased a pet monkey. The problem was, Sonny, a Java Macaque, was keen on escaping, even when he was locked in a room. One of the fonder memories Miller has of his exotic pet was when Sonny escaped his house and rode his Great Dane around the neighborhood.
Needless to say, his neighbors were less than enthused with Miller’s choice of pets. When Miller had children, he elected to give Sonny, a very possessive money, to a sanctuary.
Gary Player and His Farm
South Africa’s Gary Player had one of the greatest golfing careers ever. A winner of nine major championships, few have done more on the course than Gary, and even fewer have a better collection of horses and dogs. When Player isn’t traveling around the globe golfing or appearing at charitable events, he’s residing on his farm in South Africa, a farm that allows him to relax and recharge.
In addition to the zen he finds there, the farm has raised numerous horses who have competed in racing on an international level. Besides the horses, Player has a few pups who are able to roam freely on his massive, sprawling estate.
Lindsey Vonn and Her Three Rescue Dogs
With over 38,000 followers on Instagram, Lindsey Vonn’s dogs are a big hit in the social media universe. After suffering from a devastating crash and the associated injuries, Vonn was forced to withdraw from the 2014 Winter Olympics. The three-time Olympic medalist went into depression and looked towards a dog to help get her out of the funk.
Months before the start of the Sochi Olympics, Vonn adopted Leo, a dog with knee injuries just like herself, and the two became inseparable rehab buddies. But, of course, Leo needed a companion, so Vonn adopted Bear. However, Leo and Bear are too big to travel across the globe with Vonn, and the skier became lonely while traveling. To combat the loneliness, Vonn adopted Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel- arguably the most famous of her three dogs.
For Vonn, there’s a dog for every need or knee.
Russ Smith and Mr. Quakers
NCAA champion and former point guard in the NBA, Russ Smith never found his stride in the pros. After being a highly sought-after recruit out of high school, Smith attended Louisville where he shined. At the next level, Smith never managed to claw his way to stardom and had a minimal role. But, he does have a furry friend who has clawed his way into Smith’s life.
Smith has an all-white cat named Mr. Quakers. Mr. Quakers, obviously, has his own Instagram account and seems to be a big fan of his dad. Now for the real question. Does Mr. Quakers adhere to a diet strictly of Quaker Oats, or does he mix it up a bit?
Matt Wieters and Jalapeno
He’s a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, and, most importantly, he’s leading the charge to make cats cool again. He is Matt Wieters, catcher for the Washington Nationals. Yes, you read that right. Weiters is making cats cool. Taking them out of the dog’s shadow.
Wieters has the spiciest cat in all of Major League Baseball, Jalapeno. Jalapeno was the only non-dog pet to be featured in the Nationals pet calendar. Rather than question Wieters for having a feline, let’s commend him for standing up for diversity, for being the sole National to bring a cat to the photo shoot. You don’t want to bark up the wrong tree with this guy.
Visanthe Shiancoe and His Ferrets
A cross between a rat and a mouse, the ferret is one of the nastiest pets that somehow garners so much fanfare from middle schoolers nationwide. They’re fluffy, they’re cute, and they’re easy to manage! False, false, and false. They smell bad and are annoying.
Visanthe Shiancoe, a former NFL tight end who was actually born in England, doesn’t seem to mind the negative associations of owning a ferret. Out of all the animals he could cherish, he went ferret. And to his credit, he seems enthralled with his elongated rat-like friends.
We’ll call false start, he’ll call touchdown. What do you think?
Ross Ohlendorft and the Longhorns
No bull, no joke. Former MLB pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, a Princeton graduate, was a journeyman on the diamond but a fixture on his family farm down in Texas. Ross learned the art of farming from his family, and the skill turned out to be pretty practical. A baseball career will eventually end, but farming never dies.
On the family ranch near Austin, Texas, Ross and his father are in charge of 250 longhorns, and with a Princeton degree, managing the cattle shouldn’t be too tall of a task. Talk about grabbing your second career by the horns. Talk about hitting a home run in retirement.