Most basketball fans know Willie Cauley-Stein as an NBA center, and with good reason: that’s his day job. Since he was drafted in 2015, Cauley-Stein has become a fixture in the league, spending four seasons with the Sacramento Kings, one with the Golden State Warriors, and the past two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. But for the entirety of Cauley-Stein’s career, he’s been devoting time to another passion off the court: art.
Growing up in Kansas, Cauley-Stein was in elementary school when he took his first art lesson. What began with pastels and paper has transformed into spray paint and canvas as the NBA player’s art has evolved over the course of his career.
Cualey-Stein’s art is reflective of moments in his personal life, professional career, and passions. Pieces include Renaissance-inspired paintings, Naurato references, and superheroes.
Some of his more unique artworks include a concept Stein calls ‘Addicted to Sauce’. Depicting designer brands as addicting drugs, Stein said the piece was a personal one, “I had gone down a hole of buying a lot of name brand-clothing,” he told ESPN, “That’s how I came up with all that.”
The NBA center’s artistic endeavors are not limited just to canvas, he’s previously worked on customizing luxury apparel. While playing in Sacramento, Cauley-Stein collaborated with local artist Treble T to customize a pair of Gucci slides. Watch the two design the unique pair below.