Before They Were Ballers

We love nothing more than checking out embarrassing pictures of friends when they were kids. One of the toughest guys at the Y, this mean mother who plays power forward – his mom once showed us pictures of him as a baby in footie pyjamas and a knit cap with his own name sequined on the front.  Amazing stuff.
We may not have anything that fantastic, but we’ve got some pictures of NBA stars and legends from the past, that really just shows how much, and how little some people can change over the years.
Chris Bosh: Somehow, Chris Bosh manages to look even more like a dinosaur as a kid. It’s kind of amazing and terrifying all at once.  We don’t know if we should pinch his cheeks or shove him in the raptor pen.

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.

Dwight Howard: Little D12 looks like someone just told him one day he’s going to have to share the ball with Kobe. Somewhere along the way though, he grew into the lovable goofball who blew up two franchises in two years. 

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.

LeBron James: It’s good to know that LeBron has always been rocking that high hairline. Even when he was in grade school, he was probably taking flack over losing his hair. Baby LeBron looks more or less the same as he always has, but can we discuss why he’s holding a unicorn on school picture day? We’re not hating, we’re just not sure why.

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.

Vince Carter:  Bandsanity!  Half Man, Half Tuba!  There’s way too much stuff going on in the picture on the left for us to take in. Vince Carter played tuba? In band? And he wore glasses? Did he also have braces? Was he allowed to take his headgear off for this picture? Just… wow.

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.


Guest at 30 Dec 2013

Vince played baritone. That's not a damn tuba.

TY at 17 Jun 2014

hair 2 day gone 2 morrow.

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