Raja Bell

Dammit, he's worked as a fashion model! Our own girlfriend would drop us in a millisecond for one night alone with him. We keep telling her there's no chance; he's happily married with a new baby, to which she recites the old joke about NBA athletes: "What's the hardest thing about being on the road so much as a professional player? Um, telling your wife you'll miss her."

Bell's amazing! He's got a reputation as one of the biggest badasses in the league. He's a tough defensive player who wasn't afraid to throw Kobe Bryant to the floor, even though it led to a suspension. Some call him psychotic! And yet there's not a blemish on that pretty face, not a chip in that Pepsodent grille. Maybe it's because nobody's actually punched Bell in that handsome kisser — yet — even though every single player he's guarded sure wanted to. Many have had to be restrained by teammates.

On a squad filled with guys who could win the good sportsmanship award every year — and who're mostly pug-ugly (Shawn Marion resembles a space alien, Steve Nash looks a little inbred, Boris Diaw's like a lanky leprechaun) — Bell stands out. Bill Laimbeer of the old Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" is the last player we remember who's this consistently mean. Laimbeer was bigger and tougher (he had six inches and 60 pounds on Raja), but we get the impression that Bell's angry at all times on the court. Look at that eat-shit-and-die grimace he's always wearing! If he wasn't so damn good-looking, he'd scare us to death.


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