Karl Malone and John Stockton

Glaser was commissioned to create a painting based on a poem written by the poet Chris Martin. "I pictured Malone and his old partner John Stockton in this weird dream state," Glaser says. "They never won a ring together and I just pictured that John Stockton was frozen in time . . . And Carl Malone is camping out next to him."

Jeremy Lin

Glaser was asked to illustrate a short story in which Reggie Miller and Jeremy Lin get into fatal car crash. At the end, Lin has a kind of apotheosis and ascends to heaven. "I liked picturing these guys in NBA pajamas floating upward," Glaser says.

Miami Heat Sleepover

"I had this image of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh sleeping over at Dwyane Wade’s house," Glaser says. "I wondered what a young Wade might have had on his bedroom walls." (The answer: posters of the Fresh Prince.) Glaser was also interested in the hierarchy of the players. In the painting, James gets dibs on the top bunk, the bottom bunk goes to Wade and, sadly, Bosh is relegated to a sleeping bag on the floor.

Miami Heat Sleepover

Russell Westbrook

Miami Heat Sleepover

Steve Nash

Miami Heat Sleepover

Muggsy Bogues

Miami Heat Sleepover

LeBron James

Miami Heat Sleepover

LeBron James

Miami Heat Sleepover

LeBron James

Miami Heat Sleepover

LeBron James

Miami Heat Sleepover

LeBron James

Miami Heat Sleepover

LeBron James

Co.Create

A LeBron Sleepover And Other NBA Stars As You've Never Seen Them

Jeremy Lin in Knicks-themed footy pajamas? Yes, please.

When artist Rachel Glaser was 14, she became fascinated with the NBA, especially Dennis Rodman. "I was dying my hair during that time," she says. "So I’d draw pictures of Rodman in pencil and then color in his hair with colored pencil."

Years later, that fascination would coalesce into a strange and wonderful collection—portraits of NBA players from Muggsy Bogues to Carmelo Anthony, created in MS (and real) Paint.

Rachel Glaser

She was well into adulthood when a friend asked Glaser to paint a portrait of Charles Barkley. After this, commissions began to roll in, often from poets and writers who shared an affinity for basketball. Glaser’s favorite teams are the Bulls, the Grizzlies, and the Thunder. When she has to paint a player she doesn’t like, Glaser ends up feeling something of a psychological connection with them. "All my friends are Celtic fans but I’m not so huge on the Celtics. But after painting Rondo, Allen, and Paul Pierce, I do feel closer to them," she says.

This Saturday, in honor of the NBA playoffs, Glaser will be showing much of her collection, Triple Overtime, at Primetime art space in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. See and read more about the portraits in the slide show above.

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1 Comments

  • Kevin R Foote

    @propjen:twitter thanks for sharing this. It's great to get something creatively inspiring from the NBA finals.  Rachel's work is a great take on the authenic, human side of there superstars.  Perhaps this is why they connect with people more so than the typical glam photo or super-human sports art.