NBA Media Day is a time honored tradition. What you often don't get to see, though, are the unmodified proofs.
Ah, the arrival of autumn. A time for changing leaves, cooler weather, and, of course, the start of another NBA season. As teams prepare to open training camp, the time-honored tradition of NBA Media Day has returned as well, and it seems some of the league's biggest personalities were captured by photographers in, shall we say, less than ideal conditions? Typically, these totally-absolutely-unaltered-totally-real proofs would never see the light of day, but that's why we here at The Cauldron get paid the big bucks. #Sources.
Let's take a look at the 10 best leaked media images, shall we?
10. Andre Miller, Minnesota Timberwolves
They say "age before beauty," so it's no surprise that the league's eldest statesman—we believe Miller turns 78 years old next March—made the list. In truth, he's got both: Age and beauty. The Miller Era, what a time to be alive. And stay alive. Forever.
9. Kris Humphries, Washington Wizards
I mean, you almost have to feel bad for the guy. To think, had he not blown it, he would have been the sole heir to Kim Kardashian's vast collection of selfies. Now he's but a shadow of himself, clinging to a cardboard cutout of what once was.
8. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
When the Mavs swung and missed on DeAndre Jordan, it probably closed the door on the German's championship aspirations. Since then, Nowitzki has been crossing items off the ole bucket list, and with good reason, too. Dallas is going to be mediocre this season. Geronimo!
7. Chris Kaman, Portland Trail Blazers
Kaman is the guy everybody loves to root for, mostly because he represents what we'd look like if we ever tried to lace 'em up against more-NBA-looking NBA players. It's nice to know he spends his off-seasons doing things that he looks like he should be doing.
6. Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
Just when you thought Howard couldn't possibly be more disliked, now he's going to have 2.2 billion Christians rooting against him, too.
5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Living tissue over metal endoskeleton. How else to explain Rose's tendency to say things that are devoid of any self-awareness? And that rumored "eye socket surgery?" Yeah, right—it conveniently just happens to take an extended period of time for T-101s to grow new skin.
4. J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers
Lots of coaches' heads have been on the verge of exploding when trying to coach Smith, but it looks like Cavs coach David Blatt already finds himself in a precarious situation with the unpredictable Earl before the season has even started. Good luck, Coach!
3. Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
The media has been abuzz since Hayward showed up at Jazz camp on Tuesday looking like he's been training with J.J. Watt all summer. An amazing transformation.
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Will he stay or will he go? That will be the recurring storyline all season when it comes to superstar forward Kevin Durant, who will be a free agent at season's end. And how Westbrook and Durant coexist (or don't) is likely to play a major role in Durant's decision. We've got a bad feeling about this.
1. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Last season, it was widely reported that King James and Kevin Love were not on the same page and were not besties. Then, Love decided to grab all of the monies in Cleveland, permanently casting his lot with the best player in the world ... until Love is traded by mid-season. Look, the cliques are already forming.
Honorable Mention: George Hill, Indiana Pacers
SURPRISE! This image is completely untouched. Just Hill in all his glorious Simon Phoenix-loving glory. Bravo, Sir. Bravo.
Artwork in this piece was provided by @benstonium.