The five kinds of ballers you see on Instagram

To a certain degree, you know what to expect from an athlete’s Instagram: game photos, new sneakers, throwback posts about their college or high school team. But look closely and you’ll see several distinct sub-types emerge.

Which one’s most like your favorite player?

The fashionista

Slowly drifting away. ????

A post shared by Thirdy (@3rd_e) on

You follow them to peep the latest street wear, to figure out how to style an outfit around the latest sneakers, to drool over their designer suits. If they’re a millennial, their feed is curated and VSCO-ed to hell. Russell Westbrook gets a pass for a messy feed—he posts actual magazine spreads, which is a next-level baller move in itself.

-This is just the start- #fashionweek #nyfw #whynot #fashionking @tomford A post shared by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

There’s a bit of fantasy in the choice to follow them—certain prints will only look good on guys of a certain height, and the average person won’t be wearing photographer vests as a fashion statement—but it’s the equivalent of women following VS Angels on Instagram. It’s called vicarious living, thank you very much.

The guy who posts 99% endorsements

Thanks for my supplements. Thanks for my shoes. Thanks for my pimple-clearing treatment. It can be frustrating to follow a guy like this (stop trying to sell me whey protein, dammit!) but just when we’re about to unfollow, they’ll post a quality team photo or a funny snap from their latest vacation and we forgive them all over again.

The gwapo and they know it

Let’s be real, here. Athletes have a leg up when it comes to looking good. Even without a face like Chris Banchero’s, the abs help a lot, and “gumu-gwapo kapag magaling” is an actual thing. So it’s no surprise that some athletes be thirst-trapping all over their Instagram stories.

Their feed is mostly gym selfies of different varieties: flexing in the mirror, lifting up their shirt to show their abs in the mirror, couple photos where he flexes and his girlfriend does a booty pop, selfies strategically cropped to include his pecs. Oh, and he is shirtless 90% of the time.

The Semerad Twins are the ultimate examples of this type, but their accounts are private, so please accept this photo of Jeron Teng knowing his best angle at the beach.

Views ????

A post shared by Jeron Teng (@jeronalvinteng) on

The loverboy

#WhenInCamiguin ???????? A post shared by Rey Benedict Chan Nambatac (@reynambatac) on

There seems to be a template for collegiate players and the way they flaunt their relationships. Matching sneakers, monthsary photos captioned with “iloveyousomuch babe”—no spaces because they’re just that close.

At some point, they may post their new tattoo of their SO’s name or face (!!!), at which point you will double-tap and silently hope they never break up because laser tattoo removal hurts like a mother. If their relationship survives the transition into the pros, they may evolve into…

The family guy

Damn, his kids are cute. Once upon a time, this guy might have flooded our timelines with photos of his girlfriend. Now, it’s cute photos of toddlers and sonogram screenshots. When the kids grow up a bit, they’ll transition to home videos of teaching the little ones to ball.

Baby BOY it is….. ???????? #Family #Love #GottaThinkofAName #GoodThingsComeIn3s

A post shared by Jimmy Alapag (@jalapag3) on

Oh how sweet it is to be loved! ???????????? A post shared by Doug Kramer (@dougkramer) on

These players are a feel-good follow if there ever was one. No regrets!

The goofball

No drama, no filters. Ball is life, so social media isn’t something they take too seriously. They’re just having fun, and so are we.

Thank you LA see you soon manila ????????✈️

A post shared by robert lee bolick (@babesbolick) on

Photo from Thirdy Ravena’s Instagram

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