The giant panda may be an endangered species, but the bamboo-loving bears can't hide from athletes. SI.com proudly presents our favorite athlete and panda moments, starting with this gem from Shaq.
2 of 15China Daily/Reuters
Now that he's retired, Yao can pursue his real dream job: panda masseuse.
3 of 15@carmeloanthony
As Carmelo Anthony shows, nothing gives you more street cred than a panda in your lap.
4 of 15@KDTrey5
It's hard to tell who is more surprised in this picture.
5 of 15Ian Walton/Getty Images
Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington
The happy couple were sad to hear the panda would not be coming home with them.
6 of 15Jiang Hongjing/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com
Even though he lost to Carlos Moya in the men's singles final in Sichuan, this panda was more than happy to give some face time to the fans.
7 of 15Color China Photo/AP
Swedish Women's Soccer Team
The Swedish women's soccer team heard it was good luck to touch a panda before their appearance in the 2007 Women's World Cup in Shanghai. Apparently they heard wrong, as the team went on to lose in group play.
8 of 15Xinhua/ZUMApress.com
French pentathlete Amelie Caze celebrates her gold medal at the modern pentathlon world championships with a panda smooch.
9 of 15Color China Photo/AP
U.S. Women's Soccer Team
Just another day at the office for this panda as he poses with the U.S. women's soccer team prior to the 2007 Women's World Cup.
10 of 15Ng Han Guan/AP
Even this stuffed panda couldn't avoid Rafael Nadal's signature bite after the finals of the men's China Open tennis tournament.
11 of 15Patrick Seeger/EPA
Netherlands Men's Soccer Team
Outside of his natural habitat, this panda appears quite human.
12 of 15Tony Medina/Icon SMI
Pablo 'Kung Fu Panda' Sandoval
Giants third baseman Pablo 'Kung Fu Panda' Sandoval wears his nickname proudly prior to a game in August 2011.
13 of 15ADRIAN BRADSHAW/ EPA
Russian tennis star Maria Kirilenko was shocked to learn after the fact that this panda was not actually real.
14 of 15Lenny Ignelzi/AP
At the old Qualcomm Stadium this panda and lion always had a front-row seat. Unfortunately, neither made the move to the new PETCO Park in 2004. How ironic.
15 of 15CSPA/DPPI/Icon SMI
Since Shaq couldn't bring the real panda back to the States with him, he bought a panda hat.
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