Before they became world renowned NBA superstars, every single NBA player was either a college or high school student. They went to middle school like anybody else, and even to kindergarten. We know it is tough to believe that at some point a guy like Greg Oden was a kid. He kind of looks like what would happen if some mad scientist tried to make a super strong, and big, Benjamin Button. But as every project has its flaws, this one would probably have bad legs. But that is not the point. The point we are trying to make is that all of these guys, even the seven footers, were kids at some point. And what is the one thing that every single person on this earth has in common in relation to their childhood and younger years?
Every single one of us has an embarrassing picture that we would pay a lot of money for the world not to see. Bear in mind that some pictures are not as much as embarrassing as others, but they are still funny enough to be part of this list. Be it the guys from America, the guys from overseas, or whoever else, they all have a picture in their past that will make you laugh out loud. And we are here to show you some of the best, and funniest, pictures we could find. So sit back, relax and ready yourself because here are 15 awkward photos of NBA players in their youth that will make you laugh out loud.
15 Vince Carter
Over the years we have found out that Vince Carter is not a guy you should play with. First of all, he can literally dunk over the tallest centers on earth as he proved in the Olympics once, but Carter also made sure that the world knew that he has as much heart for the game of basketball as anyone else. And that, my friends, is what makes this picture so funny.
Obviously, young Vince is having a hard time smiling at the camera. Still, if you look deep into his eyes, you can almost see that all he wants to do right now is to shove that camera away, get a basketball and dunk over his little friend on a baby hoop. Seriously, Vince was probably already a basketball savage back then.
14 Steph Curry
Who would have thought at the time that the best player in this picture was the little kid? The fun part in this one is knowing that while Dell Curry was a great shooter and the Kings were not such a bad team while he was there, none of his teammates would ever get close to the feet of that little baby-faced killer sitting on his lap. Actually, it makes a lot of sense now that Steph Curry is called the baby-faced killer, because his face has literally not changed since then. Look at that. Even the hair is the same.
Now, we need to ask you guys a question. Do you think that Dell knew back then how good his son would become? Who knows? Perhaps baby Curry was already making it rain three-pointers on the backyard, and no one even knew.
13 Steve Nash
Yes, by the looks of it Steve Nash used to rock a mullet. That is not all that surprising considering that he rocked the long hair for most of his career. And back when he was in college or high school, the mullet was still probably an acceptable, if not an encouraged look. Nevertheless, looking at this from the eyes of somebody alive today, this picture is just hilarious. A young kid from Canada, Nash apparently went through every stage of person can experience in terms of hairstyles. It might escape people’s attention, but this guy rocked more hairstyles than players like Dennis Rodman (we are not considering hair colors), and soccer players who are very famous for their exquisite haircuts. And yeah, it is okay to compare Nash to a soccer player since he was a pretty good one, and probably still is.
12 Andre Iguodala
Andre Iguodala has always been a good NBA player. From the fun-to-watch start of his career playing alongside Allen Iverson in Philadelphia to his brief span with the Denver Nuggets, all the way to when he was the NBA Finals MVP with the Golden State Warriors in 2015. Iguodala is one of those guys who is always improving on the offensive end but has always been one of the most reliable guys in the league on the defensive end of the floor. Defense or offense, one thing is for certain though, this baby picture of him is nothing if not hilarious.
What do you think this kid did to prompt this face to the camera? Did he just poop his pants? Or did the photographer poop his pants? We guess we will never know the truth, but somebody pooped their pants.
11 James Harden
Fear the beard. Every basketball fan in the world knows what fearing the beard means at this point. Nevertheless, despite how long it seems that James Harden has rocked his trademark beard, apparently, the beard wasn’t always there. Don’t get us wrong. We are not claiming that Harden was born with the beard he has today and just kept grooming it to maintain the style. But we have gotten so used to seeing him with the beard that it seems almost sacrilegious to imagine that at some point this guy had a clean face. But hey, we shouldn’t feel too bad about our reaction, since James doesn’t look too happy about not having a beard either.
So here’s another question, if there was no beard back then, what did the high school kids fear when they saw this guy lining up a three pointer?
10 Yao Ming
Out of all the guys on this list, there is just two that we find impossibly hard to believe were young at some point. One of them is Yao Ming. It might be the fact that we have only really seen Yao Ming in his 7’6” frame, but this giant was a child at some point. We don’t know how young exactly he was when this picture was taken, but he was already tall enough to sit on the Great Wall of China and not look too small.
Nevertheless, every time we look at it again, it impresses us that we are not by the least surprised about his yellow pants or the red jacket, but that we are simply astounded by the fact that this kid became Yao Ming. Who can tell how tall these kids are going to get from when they’re young? This is just crazy to imagine.
9 Kendrick Perkins
We don’t know which is more amazing, that Kendrick Perkins was a child some day or that he actually smiled at some point in his life. We have seen Perkins play in the NBA for more than a decade, so just try to think back and remember if you have ever seen him smile. It probably only happened during the 2007-08 season when he won his only NBA championship with the Boston Celtics. But still, it is unbelievable to look at the picture of this little kid and have to process the fact that he would grow up to become a 6’10” 270-pound man who seems like he eats nothing but lemons for breakfast so that he can keep the mean face going through the rest of the day.
8 Tracy McGrady
Entertaining is a good word to describe Tracy McGrady. For the people who had the pleasure of watching this guy play in his prime, few other players were as complete and entertaining in the game of basketball. Just think about it, way before the Clippers added Blake Griffin to their roster and decided to call LA “Lob City,” Canadian fans already knew very well what a lob city was, and it was located in Toronto. We mean that, before Chris Paul, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan teamed up, Vince Carter and McGrady had been doing their thing for a while.
Nevertheless, something that became kind of a trademark for T-MAC were his sleepy eyes. Something that this picture leads us to believe, this guy always had. Maybe he was already flying high back then, but only he would know the truth.
7 Kevin Love
Just look at that handsome devil. Which 80s TV show do you guys think Kevin Love would’ve been a good fit for? That could very well be the picture he sent with his resume if he was ever auditioning for a show like Friends. But then again, if this picture was taken while Love was still in high school, it was before he had gotten a chance to spend any time in L.A. For those who don’t know, this guy went to high school in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Still, could you imagine if we had met Kevin Love as an actor and not a basketball player? We would bet that that would’ve been a waste for the NBA. So thank God this kid was a five-star recruit in high school.
6 Joakim Noah
This is a picture that by itself has the potential to be considered funnier than the rest of our list entirely. Joakim Noah is far from being the best looking guy in the NBA, so it was bound to happen that a picture of him during his youth would be hilarious, to say the least, but we never imagined it would be something like this.
It is hard to pinpoint the picture’s date exactly, but it seems like he was in high school when this picture was taken. Seriously, we couldn’t tell. It could’ve been from when he was in college or middle school. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that this is hilarious and that, for better or for worse, this guy has not changed a lot since then.
5 Jeremy Lin
You don’t know what Linsanity really means until you take a good look at this picture. Yes, this is Jeremy Lin back in his glory days. Over the past few years, we have seen Lin pull off some of the craziest hairstyles in the NBA. Still, none of them get even close to this haircut he had when he was a kid. We don’t know if it’s the braces, or maybe the ears, perhaps it’s even that the photo was just black and white, but somehow that hair just looks wrong.
It kind of looks like what happens when you cut pieces of chicken in thin lines and then just place them side-by-side on top of a salad and they look like they’re glued together somehow. Maybe it’s the hair gel, or maybe someone just licked his head. But this picture is just Linsane.
4 Dwight Howard
What are you doing Dwight? It seems like young Dwight Howard wanted to be a shot putter before he suddenly grew to the monstrous size he is today. But maybe he didn’t want to be a shot putter. Just look at this kid’s face. It seems like young Dwight does want to throw that heavy ball, but it doesn’t seem like he is looking for distance, it looks like his target might be the person holding the camera. He is clearly not happy about any of this, and not even the medal on his chest appears to have been enough to lighten his mood. The one suggestion we would have would be for that photographer to pack up his stuff and run away before young Dwight decides to dunk that thing on his head.
3 Draymond Green
LOL. How much do you think Draymond Green would pay to have this picture removed from the Internet? Perhaps he wouldn’t pay at all, considering how much this guy loves to give fuel to the people who hate him. Still, if there is one thing perhaps 90 percent of NBA players and fans today would like to do, it is to punch Draymond Green in the face. And a picture like this might even save Draymond from the pain. Because, after you look at this, you feel way less inclined to throw a right hook at this guy, and more prone to just laugh at his face. Nothing wrong with using braces, but somehow when they are combined with a goofy Draymond Green smile, the result is one of the funniest pictures on the Internet ever.
2 Andrew Bogut
If we were to be completely sincere about this, we would have to admit to you that we had no intention or even imagined that Andrew Bogut would feature on this list. Despite being a seven-footer, Bogut always gave out the vibe that he probably looked like a regular guy through most of his life. Then, during our research for this article, we came across this picture of Bogut as a kid. This is priceless; from the size of his forehead to the big teeth smile, to the ears that seem to have always been that size, to the perfection that is the middle split on his hair. Would you ever believe if somebody went back 20 years in time, showed you this picture and said that this kid from Melbourne, Australia, would go on to become a number one pick? You would probably laugh, which is what we’re doing right now.
1 Blake Griffin
Perfection doesn’t even begin to describe this image. At 28 years old, Blake Griffin is a five-time All-Star and arguably one of the best big men in the NBA today. But one thing that has always been peculiar about Griffin are his looks. Blake rocks that classic short, curly hair any NBA fan can respect. But he also has one of those faces from which people are led to believe that if he didn’t become a professional basketball player he could have probably been a professional hot dog eater; which brings us to the picture of Griffin in his youth.
First, it is tough to imagine that there was a time when this guy couldn’t palm a basketball and dunk it, but put that together with the silly smile, the puffy cheeks, and the baggy jeans, and we have a picture that is worthy of the number one spot on this list.