Well, hello there, Kenneth Faried:
That, right there, is the Denver Nuggets big man striking a pose that puts the "power" in power forward on the cover of the 2013 edition of ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue," which dropped Tuesday morning.
Faried's one of eight athletes to appear on covers of this year's attention-getting issue, joining 77-year-old golfer Gary Player, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, U.S. women's national soccer team forward Sydney Leroux, beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, Motocross racer Tarah Geiger and NHRA Funny Car driver Courtney Force. He's the fourth NBA player to grace the front flap of a "Body Issue," joining past cover boys Dwight Howard (2009), Amar'e Stoudemire (2010), Blake Griffin (2011) and Tyson Chandler (2012).
Faried's not the only NBA player featured in this year's edition, though. For the first time in the five-year history of the "Body Issue," multiple male pro ballplayers participated, with Washington Wizards point guard John Wall showing off his business tattoos (and plenty more) in the spirit of artistic endeavor. Hit the jump for Wall's in-mag appearance, plus more from the pair's revealing interviews.
Probably not as therapeutic as a post-workout ice bath, but probably not quite as painful, either. Once the bubbles are set up, at least.
It's kind of amazing to think about, but even a 6-foot-4-inch, 22-year-old elite athlete like Wall — who heard some carping about his physique while working his way back from knee surgery last year — would change things about his body and appearance if he could, as the former No. 1 overall pick told ESPN The Magazine's Morty Ain:
I'd want bigger arms. I'm strong, but my arms are skinny; they're never going to get big and bulky like a football player. I've gained a lot of weight — I went into college 165, left at 185, and now I'm 210 — but my arms haven't kept up. But I'm cool with them. As long as I'm getting stronger and preventing injury and able to take hits and finish through contact, they don't need to be big.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Faried sees room for improvement, too, although his concern's more practical than aesthetic: "I want my thighs to be a little thicker so I can move people instead of just having to jump over them all the time." He told Ain that he viewed his decision to pose as something of an extension of the same-sex marriage advocacy work for which he received some attention earlier this year:
I'm comfortable in my own skin, and I love my body. I feel that this is the year for people to feel free to express themselves. This is the year Jason Collins came out and said 'I'm an NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.' I'm the first NBA player member to join Athlete Ally, so I wanted to show I'm happy with who I am and support people who are gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual and so on.
Seems like as cool a reason as any to show everyone you're super diesel.
A couple more shots of the ballers-turned-models: