This week is “Underdog Week” at SB Nation, but as you can tell by the 16 banners the Los Angeles Lakers have raised to the Staples Center rafters, this is not exactly a team whose history is filled with underdog stories (unless you stretch a bit).
But you know what this team is filled with? Literal dogs, and I don’t just mean Alex Caruso and Avery Bradley playing defense. No, we mean actual literal dogs, as in man’s best friend. And after doing so cursory research on Google and various social media platforms, we think we’ve compiled a fairly comprehensive of the good boys of the Lakers. This order is not a ranking, either, we should note. All of these dogs get a 14/10 from us.
Now, on to the list.
When LeBron joined the Lakers, his family got a french bulldog puppy named Indigo-Sky. They have posted plenty of photos of the adorable dog since then, but Indigo-Sky is perhaps most famous for the time James’ wife, Savannah, posted a video (jokingly) offering to give the dog away on Instagram:
What LeBron James’ wife is doing with her kids as LBJ watches from the bench as his Lakers get routed vs. the Warriors.— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 5, 2019
The King has a surprise waiting for him at home. pic.twitter.com/UK358QEmZG
Look, we’ve all been there with a puppy. NBA families, they’re just like us!
Indigo-Sky was also featured on a recent Instagram Live that LeBron did with fans:
Seems like a very good dog (who hopefully has stopped pooping in the house).
Davis has a Rottweiler names Zeus, and the photos of them going through dog training together are adorable:
Now that is a happy-looking dog. Hopefully Zeus is adjusting well to life in L.A. (and thankfully can’t read that his best friend misspelled his name in that second Instagram hashtag).
And this isn’t a dog, but Davis at one point had a pet marmoset and a handler to carry it around for him:
Sadly, this little guy is unlikely to be showing up in any Lakers postgame locker rooms anytime soon, as it is now living with one of Davis’ former teammates’ aunts (yes, really).
It’s not a stretch to say that Danny Green and his two Pomeranian Huskies, Gizmo and Nuke, could literally be stock photo models:
Like we don’t want to be dramatic but we would die for this dog. Look at the second photo!
According to a podcast Green did last February, these two very good boys did not exactly love the cold in Toronto — even if they apparently did enjoy eating the snow, which we now absolutely need video of — so it also might not be a stretch to say that these two dogs may have ultimately led Green to Los Angeles (a city he talks about the merits of living in, while playing for the Raptors, on that same podcast).
And in addition to Gizmo and Nuke, Green has also been spotted helping out at animal shelters in the past, so we think we can all agree that he seems like the biggest Dog Guy on the team:
We were happy to have professional basketball player Danny Green (@DGreen_14) visit our North shelter yesterday to announce the start of our new Second Chance Dogs promotion! Starting today, our Second Chance dogs Prince, Polka and Dot are $50 plus taxes and licence. pic.twitter.com/NaWp2whz7O— TO Animal Services (@TOAnimalService) April 1, 2019
Kuz is the newest addition to the ranks of Lakers with dogs, as he recently adopted a Husky puppy named Snoh after the NBA season shut down. She is, as all puppies are, precious:
.@kylekuzma introduces Snoh to @RealAClifton, talks about utilizing this time to raise her, and the fun he's been having on TikTok. This and more on our : update tomorrow at 2 PM.— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) April 9, 2020
Full interview: https://t.co/s6glMGXqn1 pic.twitter.com/FfhaFrjIOQ
In addition to being a great runner with nearly endless energy — as Kuzma outlines in the above video — Snoh is also a natural star that fits right into Kuzma’s infinite Instagram posts:
So we are not really certain just how many dogs Dwight Howard has, and when considering this is a man who also apparently owns at least 25 snakes and reportedly has a $70,000 fish and snake tank, perhaps that’s not surprising. But he did post a photo of him with what appears to be two Pitbulls on Twitter in 2017:
More recently, Howard spoke about his dog Diablo, who — in a very Dwight Howard anecdote — spent most of a call with reporters barking, and who he uses to judge the character of new people he meets:
Dwight named his 2-yr-old Malinois "Diablo." During yesterday's call, he kept chiding him for barking.— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) May 16, 2020
"If you see him and he gets mad, he will scare the devil out of you. That’s how I know if somebody is good people or bad people, because I’ve got Diablo, he’ll let me know."
The story of JaVale McGee’s dogs is, like the man himself, complicated. In 2014 on his mom’s reality show — yes, that’s a real thing — it was revealed that JaVale was keeping his two dogs (apparently Great Danes) in an almost obscenely nice dog hotel. But they’re big dogs, and they look happy, so I’m gonna say this was a worthwhile expense:
It is not super clear if he still has those dogs, but he has also posted multiple times about his daughter and this dog (possibly a Maltese):
She so pure! All energy and love! pic.twitter.com/NgcYSS1SYy— Javale McGee (@JaValeMcGee) August 27, 2019
JaVale also has (had?) a hairless sphynx cat who he buys massages for and says is “pretty lit for a cat,” which based on the cat’s Instagram, seems to be pretty accurate!
One of the Lakers’ latest additions, Markieff Morris, has a bulldog named King. When he went missing in 2014, Morris put up posters and launched a hashtag campaign to find him:
Thankfully, this story has a happy ending, as someone found Morris’ dog and returned it to him, leading to the fantastic Reddit headline “My friend’s mom found a lost dog in their neighborhood. Turns out it belonged to Markieff Morris” and this even better photo:
As one Reddit user pointed out, it’s a real shame this dog’s name isn’t “Barkieff Morris,” but alas, he’s still a very good and curious boy that likes exploring Phoenix neighborhoods.
While she may not play for the Lakers, Jeanie Buss has to be included here, as she might be one of the biggest dog lovers in not just Los Angeles, but the entire United States. Her Shih Tzu, Delores, is a mainstay on Buss’ Instagram, constantly dressed in cute little Lakers gear:
View this post on Instagram
It was so nice to return to the beach! Except Delores thought it would be fun to run away from me. I think her inspiration was the Coppertone baby logo!! Or maybe she read my copy of #RunawayBunny Either way I was going to grab my baby bunny and enjoy the sunshine. Hold on to your baby bunnies because they love to run #Malibu #Sunshine #BeachLife
Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok
This only kind of counts, because while I have no idea if Antetokounmpo or Cacok actually own dogs (probably unlikely given that G League players usually live in residential hotels provided by the team), so this only kind of counts, but we do have amazing video of them and their South Bay Lakers teammates playing with rescue dogs for a promotion, and who doesn’t want to watch that?
This was everything we could find, but if we missed any, hit us up in the comments for an update, or let us know on Twitter at either @hmfaigen or @MiaAgraviador, and we hope you enjoyed this very literal take on an underdog story as much as we enjoyed putting it together.