Kevin Durant, Monica Wright Engagement & The Top 5 Pro Basketball Couples

After the Minnesota Lynx took on the Phoenix Mercury Sunday night, Monica Wright claimed that she is now Kevin Durant‘s fiancé. If her assertion is true, the combination of the two professional basketball players forms a perfect symbiosis of on-court talent that could mean a future superstar if they ever decide to start a family.

The conjoining of an elite NBA basketball player and a WNBA star might mean future professional basketball progeny if a family happens. But the merging of WNBA and NBA stars in coupledom is rare, despite the similarities in lifestyle—not to mention, height. The recent news that Kevin Durant is engaged to Minnesota Lynx player Monica Wright, got us thinking about other WNBA-NBA relationships.

Since unions like Monica and Kevin are so rare, we thought we’d provide four other NBA and WNBA relationships, or in the case of one couple, simply a college relationship that started when both played for their famous alma mater. With a dearth of WNBA and NBA couples, we had to include them.

Here are four more basketball couples, ones that could produce a star we might be talking about 20 years from now.

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5. Curtis Borchardt and Susan King-Borchardt
These two, like our next pair, met in college while at Stanford together in 2000. During Susan’s freshman season, she tore her ACL and met another Stanford basketball player while recuperating. Curtis was convalescing from a stress fracture in his right foot. The two dinged up Stanford Cardinals began seeing each other thereafter and married in August of 2003, which USA Today covered.

After graduating, Curtis became a member of the Utah Jazz after being drafted by the Orlando Magic, and Susan returned to Stanford to finish her senior season as the Cardinals’ starting point guard. After Susan graduated, she was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA, but only appeared in three games before being waived. Curtis lasted three seasons with the Jazz before being traded to the Boston Celtics as part of one of the largest trades in NBA history featuring 13 players and 5 teams in August of 2005. He only played in preseason games for the Celtics before being waived and heading to Europe to continue his professional basketball career.

These two might not be household names, but Curtis is a seven-footer and Susan had solid handle as a point guard, so their children, which includes a 4-year-old son, Finley, and two near 2-years-old twins, son Avery and daughter Flory, all have a chance to be special.

4. Russell Westbrook and Nina Earl
This is somewhat cheating since Nina Earl never went on to play in the WNBA (except for three games, neither did Susan Borchardt), but these two did meet while both were playing basketball for the UCLA Bruins. Suiting up for the Bruins in the Pac-10 is no laughing matter, so despite Earl’s lack of a professional career, her relationship with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s All-Star point guard has to count.

While dating, Russell Westbrook was drafted by the then-Seattle Supersonics with the 4th pick in the 2008 Draft. They moved to Oklahoma City 6 days later. Currently, Earl’s still at work on her Masters Degree in Psychology, but that shouldn’t disqualify her for our list of basketball couples. If you check out her UCLA bio, she’s like a smaller Westbrook: tons of athleticism, and she can get up-and-down the court with the best of them. Sounds a lot like her beau.

3. Tina Thompson and Damon Jones
Tina Thompson was the WNBA’s inaugural top pick by the Houston Coments in the 1997 WNBA draft, and she helped lead the Comets to the first four WNBA titles from 1997-2000. In 2010, she passed Lisa Leslie as the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer. The next year Thompson was voted by fans as one of the WNBA’s top 15 players during its 15-year anniversary. Thompson is still playing in the WNBA with the Seattle Storm, but announced last month this will be her final WNBA season. She’s the only player to have appeared in every WNBA season since it’s founding.

In May of 2005, she gave birth to a son, Dyllan, with NBA point guard, Damon Jones. Thompson is the son’s primary caregiver as the two are no longer together, but the combination of Jones’ shooting (he led the NBA in True Shooting percentage during the 2004/05 season) and Thompson’s overall brilliance and athletic genes (she was back on the court two months after giving birth to Dyllan) makes for a promising future basketball star, and one of the more heralded basketball couples in memory.

2. Candace Parker and Shelden Williams
Candace Parker is the first WNBA player to win the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year award AND the MVP in the same season with the Los Angeles Sparks. Not only that, but she’s married to former Duke standout and NBA player, Shelden Williams. Before the number one couple on our list got engaged, these two were definitely the most famous WNBA – NBA union on record, and for good reason.

Parker is one of the best front court players in WNBA history, and helped her Tennessee Volunteers win back-to-back NCAA championships while also winning back-to-back NCAA Tournament MVP awards in 2007 and 2008. Parker elected to declare for the WNBA draft rather than play her senior season in Tennessee, and that’s when she won the ROY and MVP during the 2008 season.

Parker also teamed with Lisa Leslie to help the USA Women’s Basketball team win the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics. So in one calendar year, Parker won an NCAA championship and the Most Outstanding Player MVP award of the tournament, was named the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year and their MVP and won a gold medal at the summer Olympics. Quite the year, and that’s just one-half of this basketball couple.

Williams played for Duke University from 2002-2006, and held the all-time Duke record for rebounds and blocks for his career as well as the single-season record for blocked shots. He was a John Wooden and Associated Press All-American during his senior season at Duke in 2006. After being selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 5th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Williams undertook a journeyman’s career spanning seven different teams until his final year with the New Jersey Nets in 2011/12. In August last year, Williams signed with French League champions, Élan Chalon.

Williams and Parker married in November of 2008 and have a daughter, Lailaa Nicole Williams, who they welcomed into the world in November of 2009. You can bet Lailaa has a bright basketball future if she follows in her parents’ large footsteps.

1. Kevin Durant and Monica Wright
Kevin Durant‘s accolades are well-known at this point: Player of the Year at Texas during his lone college season, four-time all-star with the Oklahoma City Thunder —formerly the Seattle Supersonics, where he was Rookie of the Year in the 2007/08 season)—four-time All-NBA First Team selection, three-time MVP runner-up (thanks LeBron), and three-time NBA scoring champion. Many smart analysts consider Durant the the best basketball player in the world not named LeBron James. But who is his new fiancé Monica Wright?

Wright is in her third year with the WNBA after starring at Virginia in college where she overtook Dawn Staley as the school’s all-time leading scorer while averaging 19.1 points per game over her college career. She was a three-time Associated Press All-American as well, and was the second pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft. Since being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx, she’s averaged 9.7 points per game to go with 3.5 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game as a 5’10” guard/forward for the Lynx. In 2011, she helped the Lynx capture the 2011 WNBA title, so she’s got that on Durant, who lost to the Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals.

We can only guess what sort of basketball demigod these two would create if they started a family together, but right now they’re the most talented professional basketball couple in the world.

What do you think?

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