Carmelo Anthony: Even as a kid, there’s the Carmelo we all know and love. That smug look, that secure smile, that seems to know he’s the best player for miles.
Dirk Nowitzki: We don’t feel it’s fair for us to riff on Dirk here. The 1980s were a weird time, and I’m sure you can remember that stuff like that neon yellow sweatshirt were probably the height of fashion.
Derrick Rose: The future MVP is looking mighty happy at Christmas here. A far stretch from the game face we usually see on him. Guess he just doesn’t want the world to see that side of him.
Dwyane Wade: First of all, top marks for the baller sweater. I mean, that is some spectacular patterning going on. D Wade still got that grin on, and he’s still got those Steve Buscemi eyes we all know and love.
Jason Kidd: Kind of unfair, as some of the older fans will remember J Kidd actually had hair when he first entered the league. Those freckles though – damn man.
Jeremy Lin: Like you couldn’t guess this one. Though it looks like Lin’s all grown up, adding some muscle and meanness he still looks almost exactly the same.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The former Lew Alcindor looks morose here in this high school picture. He’d get more comfortable with himself when he got all grown up and joined the NBA. Not that he had too much more to grow.
Kevin Durant: Baby Durantula! Serious, even back then Kevin Durant had those long, lanky limbs we know him for. You can’t teach length.
Kevin Garnett: Kevin Garnett was a terrifying child. Like, some leader of the playground gangs stuff. We’re too scared to even ask Kid Garnett what he would do to a snitch.
Kobe Bryant: Dominate school photo day. No but seriously, Baby Mamba looks a lot happier here. Yet to have to shoulder the weight of expectation and the entire Laker franchise, the guy looks way happier with life, and himself in general here.
Larry Bird: Larry Legend looks pretty much the same as he always has, dorky haircut, big nose, and self satisfied smirk. The only difference? That dorky hair has yet to grow into the full 80s quiff we remember best.
Magic Johnson: There’s Magic, alright. Even as a preteen, he’s got that big grin on his face, that makes you into a fan instantly. Some people might say Showtime happened at the Forum, but look at that smile. Magic could make Showtime happen anywhere.
Michael Jordan: As opposed to LeBron, you could see MJ used to have hair. A lot of it. You can sort of see the beginnings of His Airness here though, from that smirk, to the look in his eyes, to the big ol’ ears.
Pau Gasol: So Pau was a blonde as a kid. Who knew? A happy looking kid holding an ice cream cone, we can’t see any evidence of the shaggy beast the kid would one day become.
Paul Pierce: The Truth looks more or less the same in his kid pic, if you ask us. He’s got that same lazy grin he’s always had.
Rudy Gay: Rudy’s not exactly done a lot to hide this pic of himself. In fact, it’s his Twitter profile pic. It’s like they say, never forget who you are, or where you come from. And Rudy seems to be a stunned looking kid staring into a camera.
Shaq: Baby Diesel looks alarming like how he looked in his first year in Orlando, from the crooked grin, to the notch in his fade, to the fact he was probably like a foot and a half taller than every other kid out there.
Wilt Chamberlain: Guess which one of these kids is Wilt. Just guess. If you guessed the kid who’s legit a foot and a half bigger than everyone else, yeah, you’re right.
Yao Ming: As awkwardly posed as this family photo is, our Chinese readers will be able to attest that every single Chinese parent does pictures like this, for some bizarre reason. You can definitely tell it’s Yao though. Look at that head shape.