NBA players are some of the most famous athletes on the planet, with fans all over the world. Because of this, it must come as a big surprise when they’re mistaken for one another, or even for entirely different people. Each case of mistaken identity is amusing in its own right, but here are the five most awkward mix-ups of this season.
LeBron James gets mistaken for Derrick Rose
With only a few days left until postseason, this awkward encounter has recently made headlines for being particularly cringe-worthy. Twitter user @mouqeet_ lost his head when he saw his sister posing in a photo with Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. Except the Bulls were far, far away, all the way in North Carolina the night before. This was none other than LeBron James, one of the most famous basketball players—scratch that, athletes—of all time. Common mistake. More hilarious were commenters’ attempts to argue that the player is, in fact, Kyrie Irving.
Reports of Quinton Ross’ death were greatly exaggerated
Back in March, thousands of fans were heartbroken to hear that retired NBA player Quinton Ross met his untimely demise, and was found dead in a trash bag after apparently being murdered. Major players in sports news all expressed their condolences—that is, until media caught on that the baller still lived in Texas. The murdered man, while still a tragic loss, was not who the New York Post initially thought he was, which should have been an easy confirmation given the real Ross’ six-foot-six frame.
J.J. Abrams calls Mo Williams
Abrams is one of the most prolific writers in Hollywood. He’s penned Lost and Super 8, not to mention some of the newer Star Wars films to hit theatres. As a denizen of Tinseltown, surely he knows the importance of knowing who’s who? Maybe not. Just as the season kicked off, poor Abrams called children’s authour Mo Willems, a writer with whose work he was taken. According to the New York Times, he managed to complete an awkward, fanboy-esque speech to the guy at the other end of the call before being met with silence and one-word answers. Turns out, he had called a very confused Mo Williams of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Blake Griffin and Kris Humphries are both… white
Blake Griffin and Kris Humphries have more in common than playing basketball. In September, they told ESPN.com that they’re often mistaken for other players—namely, each other. We know there aren’t too many white guys in the NBA, and the two do share a similar height and build, but mixing up two players from opposite coasts based on one lowest common denominator is sad. Humphries told Griffin that he was mistaken for the Clippers power forward at the gym. Turns out, Griffin said he gets the same treatment from clueless fans all the time. As Humphries pointed out, it gets a little more awkward if they ignore the erring fans—what if it hurts the others’ reputation?
Girl mistakes tall man for Dwight Howard
Mistaking an NBA player for another baller in the league is one thing, but mixing up some random dude with Dwight Howard? That’s priceless. One unsuspecting fan and her sisters posed with an imposter pretending to be Howard and tagged the player via a Twitter post to thank him for being “really nice, cool, HUMBLE.” Despite ardent opposition from other fans, @_glossylipsss15 refused to admit defeat,even though the only qualities the man shared with the Rockets centre were his race and height. Eventually, Howard himself jumped in to break the news to her on Instagram: “That’s not me sweetie dude lied to y’all.”