Chris Paul undresses for 2019 ESPN Body Issue which annually features an NBA star

OKC Thunder: Chris Paul (L) and Jada Paul (R) at the Wright Legacy Foundation skate night (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Chris Paul (L) and Jada Paul (R) at the Wright Legacy Foundation skate night (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

New OKC Thunder point guard Chris Paul adds to his growing list of accolades as he represents the NBA in the 2019 ESPN Body Issue.

Chris Paul has lots of distinction in the NBA which separate him from his peers. However, this year he’ll add to the list off the court. That’s because the newly minted OKC Thunder point guard is the only member of the NBA in the 2019 ESPN Body Issue.

In fact, only one other active basketball player is on the list and that’s Liz Cambage of the WNBA. Pelicans assistant coach (and former player) Nancy Lieberman also makes the list.

Although Americans dominate the 21 member list there is representation from Iceland, Canada, Australia, and Brazil as well. The split of males to females is 13 to eight for males however five of those males come from the Eagles Offensive Line.

As Arash Markazi points out this isn’t the first time Chris Paul has made a special magazine list; he adorned the pages of Sports Illustrated’s 2012 Swimsuit Issue.

The other athletes featured in the 2019 ESPN Body Issue are:

  • Scout Bassett – Para Athlete (American)
  • Liz Cambage – Center, Las Vegas Aces, WNBA (Australian)
  • Katrin Davidsdottir – CrossFit Athlete (Iceland)
  • Myles Garrett – Defensive End, Cleveland Browns, NFL (American)
  • James Hinchcliffe – Indy Race car driver (Canadian)
  • Alex Honnold – Rock Climber (American)
  • Evander Kane – Left Winger, San Jose Sharks, NHL (Canadian)
  • Brooks Koepka – Professional Golfer, PGA (American)
  • Nancy Lieberman – Assistant Coach, NBA, New Orleans Pelicans (American)
  • Amanda Nunes –  Mixed Martial Artist (Brazilian)
  • Kelley O’Hara – Wingback/Midfielder, Utah Royals FC, NSL (American)
  • Katelyn Michelle Ohashi – Former Artistic Gymnast  (American)
  • Laura “Lakey” Peterson – Professional Surfer  (American)
  • Michael Thomas Jr. – Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints, NFL (American)
  • Christian Stephen Yelich – Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB (American)
  • Eagles Offensive Line – NFL
    • Brandon Brooks Guard (American)
    • Lane Johnson – Offensive Tackle, (American)
    • Jason Kelce – Center (American)
    • Isaac Seumalo – Center (American)
    • Halapoulivaati Vaitai – Offensive Tackle (American)

ESPN launched the Body Issue in 2009 and since then every issue has featured at least one NBA player (a couple of times two) and in all but the inaugural edition, a WNBA player also appeared.


Center Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the NBA player tapped to be on the list. The Body Issue often features couples and in a first ESPN featured a female couple with point guard Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm with her partner Megan Rapinoe of the Seatle Reign FC. Also featured from the WNBA forward Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm. (link)


Point Guard Isiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics (at the time) and WNBA power forward Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks. (link)


Shooting guard Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and guard/forward Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky were the NBA and WNBA representatives on the list in 2016. (link)


In a rarity, the 2015 issue had two NBA players: DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers and power forward Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers as well as WNBA center Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury. (link)


Former OKC Thunder big man Serge Ibaka appeared in this issue while still with OKC and WNBA player guard/forward Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream made the 2014 edition. (link)

More from Thunderous Intentions


The NBA was represented by point guard John Wall of the Washington Wizards and forward Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets. The WNBA was featured via forward Swin Cash of the Chicago Sky. (link)


NBA center Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks and WNBA forward Candace Parker of the LA Sparks were the basketball representatives of 2011. (link)


NBA power forward Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers, and WNBA center Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky made the cut in 2011. (link)


Forward/center, Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks and guard/forward, Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury. (link)


At the time Dwight Howard was still playing center for the Orlando Magic and his career both on and off the court was blooming. This was the only issue no WNBA stars made the cut. (link)

With Paul making the cut this year that’s two OKC Thunder players 11 years. Surprisingly, former OKC Thunder superstars like Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant didn’t end up in one of the 11 issues. Which Thunder star do you think will end up in a future issue?

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The 2019 Body Issue will be available for purchase on September 6 while ESPN will pre-launch stories and articles on September 4 online. Images from each issue from 2018 through 2009 are linked above.