Here at TheSportsDrop, we like to keep it light. You can’t always dissect the best NFL teams of each decade, or parse differences between college quarterbacks of yesteryear.
What we’ve got for you today is a thought experiment come to fruition. Have you ever wondered what it would be like take a historical figure and drop them in present life? I like to think about taking Vince Lombardi and dropping him into the locker room of the present-day Oakland Raiders. How would he have handled Antonio Brown?
Well, graphic artist, Tyson Beck took this concept and applied it to NBA culture. He took famous NBA stars from older generations and gave them modern hairstyles. It’s quite startling to see MJ with the hair of A$AP Rocky, or Yao Ming with the hairdo of LaMelo Ball. Well, just take a look for your self.
Mamba mentality with a side of Big Baller Brand? Not likely. There is no way a focused, driven, ultra-competitive guy like Kobe Bryant would be caught dead with a situation like this on his head.
Even when Kobe was young and rocked the tight afro, it was very neatly trimmed, even and naturally colored. After that, he went buzz cut and won a ton of titles. How many titles does the Ball family have?
Allen Iverson was a hairstyle icon in the 2000s when he rocked ever-changing patterns of cornrows. There’s no doubt that if he was still in the league today, he’d be out there setting trends with his look. This look suits AI.
Speaking of which, where has AI been? What has that guy been up to?
Throughout the years of T-Mac’s career, he kept his hair cut sort. He rocked the classic look for 16 NBA seasons. So, while this look may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s nice to imagine McGrady with a radically different hairstyle.
It’s our opinion that Tracy McGrady was horribly underrepresented on All-NBA First Teams in his career. It would be a further shame if he wasn’t given admission into the NBA Hall of Fame. T-Mac was great, and probably never should have left Orlando.
On this one, we appreciate the high-quality photoshop effort but Kevin Garnett is way too fierce a competitor to lineup with this squiggly mess on his head.
With respect to whoever rocks this look in real life, Kevin Garnett wouldn’t be caught dead with a bunch of worms on his head like in this.
Ray Allen’s babyface and welcoming demeanor make this look appear whimsical on him. It makes him seem like that goofy friend you have that you can always count on to go with you on a late-night trip for ice cream, or something wholesome like that.
What you can’t tell from this look is that despite the playful look, Ray Allen was a cold-blood assassin when it came to shooting 3’s. Miami Heat fans will never forget him for his corner three that helped win them the NBA title in 2013.
Ok, now this is a good look. “The Big Fundamental” looks good with this modern yet safe look. For a player that made his name for excelling at the basics, this look suits him.
In fact, Tim Duncan has recently made hair news sporting a new “do” as he starts his new life as a San Antonio Spurs assistant coach. If you haven’t seen it, Google it. Duncan is living his best life in retirement.
The Big Aristotle, The Big Baryshnikov, The Big Shaqtus, and The Big Frosted Tips? It’s been so long since Shaquille O’Neal has even had hair that it’s difficult to remember what he looked like when he had hair.
To be fair, in the picture Shaq looks thrilled with his new look. It’s too bad it’s too late for Shaq to pull this off. That hair is not growing back.
White men with dreadlocks is never a good look. That’s why Dirk Nowitzki looks like a backup for the band Limp Bizkit in this photo — something no one should ever aspire to resemble.
Nowitzki was known for long blonde locks earlier in his career, but this look is just plain bad and is something a sensible German like Dirk would never go for.
His hair is nearly as high as his feet got off the ground that time he jumped over that poor French center in the 2000 Sidney Olympics.
We don’t have a problem with this look so we’d just like to remind you that it’s been almost 20 years since VINCE CARTER JUMPED OVER A MAN WHO IS 7’2” TALL. By the way, Carter is still playing in the league. This guy is a legend.
This is certainly not the “Cultural Revolution” Chairman Mao was referring to when he penned his “Little Red Book”. In this case, I think we can all rage against the creeping tentacles of capitalism.
Can anyone take Yao Ming seriously looking like this? More like “Great Hair Wall of China.” It’s not a good look for a teenager, and it certainly isn’t a good look for a 7 foot 6-inch adult.
This was never going to work, and it didn’t make a difference what hairstyle you put on him. Michael Jordan wasn’t known as “His Airness of Hairness.” He rocked that chrome dome. He made it cool to be bald.
Also, there are millions of us men out here going bald each year. We can’t do anything about it, and it’s not our fault. Please let us have a bald legend. We aren’t asking for much.
In real life, LeBron James should probably work on yet another homage to Michael Jordan by shaving his head. We all see those overhead shots, LeBron, amd you aren’t fooling anyone.
However, in the mind of Tyson Beck, LeBron is crushing it with a curly high top. Of course, that headband is still covering the receding hairline. It makes you wonder if King James commissioned this work from Beck.
We’d like to think that his wife, Gabrielle Union, would talk some sense into Dwayne Wade before he went down this road. However, now that he’s retired maybe he’ll let his proverbial hair down as Tim Duncan has.
Come to think of it, this might not be a bad look for a guy that spends more than an average amount of time on banana boats. You do you, D-Wade, you do you.
This Reggie Miller look is proof that fashion is cyclical. If you go to the Miller family home and look through Reggie’s photo albums you are all but guaranteed to find a picture of Miller with this same look from middle school or high school.
This is a great time to remind everyone that as good as Reggie Miller was, his sister Cheryl was probably a better basketball player. She was so good coming out of USC that she was drafted by a men’s professional league.
This look gets a shoulder shrug emoji from us. It seems to suit his look and personality. The question we all have is how do you get the locks to stand up straight like that? Mousse, gel, hairspray, what is it?
However it’s done, it is impressive. Not nearly as impressive though as the haul Danny Ainge got for trading the aging Pierce plus Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. That move set the Celtics up for their latest run at a title and nearly killed a franchise in Brooklyn.
Some time ago Larry Bird or one of his ancestors must have wronged Tyson Beck or one of his ancestors. That’s the only explanation for why he would have set up Larry Legend to look like a redneck version of an extra on the FX show Vikings.
The Hick from French Lick deserves better than this. The classic Ryan Gosling look is in now, why’d you have to do him like this?
The most versatile player of all time sports one of the most versatile of haircuts. This looks like the classic high and tight that just kept growing. What’s not to like about that?
Besides, everything that Magic Johnson touches turns to gold. He’s one of our countries favorite sportsman. Now if he can just get his Laker’s turned around.
Yikes. Now, this is a look that would be perfect on Allen Iverson. Somehow looking at old pictures of Dr. J without his trademark afro just looks wrong. With the afro, he was all smooth confidence.
Look at him in this picture. Julius Erving looks like a junior high student about to ask the pretty girl for a dance, albeit with a mustache. Bring back the fro, don’t mess with a classic.
There’s nothing good about this picture. Pau Gasol should hire a lawyer to have it taken down. Either that or get that lawyer to get him a part in the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
Where does Pau rank in terms of greatest European players in NBA history? For us, we think he’s easily top 5. Not quite at Dirk’s level, but better than Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
The pompadour is an interesting look for Jason Kidd. He seems to us to be a little too gritty for this look, however, maybe he’s trying a rebrand here as he sits and waits to take over the Lakers job.
This is the perfect look for a guy living in Los Angeles with too much money and a bigger paycheck awaiting him when LeBron loses patience with Frank Vogel. It all makes sense now: artist Tyson Beck was telling the future.
Ok, we were on board with this look until we saw the stripe coming around from the side of the head. What’s the point of that? Is that like the kids who get the stripes shaved in their sideburns because they think it will make them run faster?
Speaking of Baron Davis, never forget that he was the one that got people excited about the Warriors before Steph and Klay showed up. In 2007 he led the Warriors to their first playoff birth since 1994.
Off the court, do whatever you want with your hair. But this is an impossible look for someone playing basketball. Could you imagine driving to the hoop with those beads shaking all around smacking you in the face?
Imagine receiving a pass at the top of the key, spotting up for a jumper and having a plastic bead hit you in the eye. It would be like have an extra defender on the floor. Every shot you take would be like looking through vertical blinds. Impractical.
We are here for this look. In fact, if Hollywood is looking to produce a Spanish-language version of Grease, look no further than this version of Manu Ginobili as Danny Zuko.
In this version, however, Ginobili would be singing the hit “Hopelessly Devoted to You” to longtime coach Gregg Popovich. Now, who would play Rizzo?
It’s possible if that Brian Scalabrine would have received more credit as a player if he would have had a stylish haircut like this. Instead, he was known as a role-playing, fundamentals guy.
Everyone at the court knows that if you show up with some style, whether that be in your physical appearance or your clothes, you are a player to take seriously. This Scalabrine here could have been an All-Star.
Like Sir Charles himself would say, “That’s turrible.” Guess who gets 0 MVP votes in 1993? This version of Charles Barkley, that’s who. The least they could have done is make whatever it is up there the same color.
Imagine the ribbing he’d get on the set of TNT’s NBA shows if he showed up looking like this. Shaq would finally have some room to talk about someone else’s hair.
This photo is just downright creepy, so we are moving past it.
Payton, of course, is best known for his time with the now relocated Seattle Supersonics. What a shame. Seattle deserves to have the Sonics back in their city. Almost as shameful as that thing that adorns the top of Payton’s head.
Sam Cassell looks like a knock-off Coolio in this picture, which is not fair to Cassell or Coolio.
Cassell has the unique distinction of bookended NBA titles, winning in Houston his first two seasons in the league and then again in 2008 with the Celtics in his penultimate season. What a career.
“Mount Mutombo” should be doing the finger wag to this nitro-skunk look. But hey, maybe he’s trying to get a role with Pau in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
Did you know that in his post-NBA career, Dikembe Mutombo has worked in his native Congo to improve health conditions, and even opened up a hospital? What a good guy.
There’s a reason no one else has copied Dennis Schroder’s look. It’s not great. However, it’s not that wild and doesn’t look that ridiculous. Jamal pulls it off pretty well here but may be getting a call from Schroder’s lawyers about image rights.
Did you know Jamal Crawford and Lou Williams are the only three players to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award three times? It makes you wonder why some players are so good off the bench, but can’t get it done as starters.
Mike Bibby is not wearing the cornrows, the cornrows are wearing him. What happened to the hair above his ears? No room for more rows there? It just doesn’t make sense.
Mike Bibby had his own viral moment a few months ago when an image of him surfaced looking massive. The guy has clearly spent most of his retirement in the weight room pumping iron.