What the NBA All-Star Starters Looked Like in High School
There will be a lot of young players represented in the starting lineups for Sunday's All-Star Game, but with the rash of college one-and-done players in the league, most of them have been around for quite a long time.
As they have aged, we've watched these players alter their style on and off the court.
These guys were all skinny, lanky prodigies when running around the halls of their high schools, looking awkward but still walking tall.
So, in an attempt to remind us of how much these guys have changed over the years, let's take a look at what each All-Star starter looked like back in their glory days.
It wasn't that long ago that Rajon Rondo was a spindly little kid playing ball at Oak Hill Academy, just like nearly every other player in the NBA.
Rondo has remained a rather spindly person, but he's got an impressive wiry strength that he's really grown into over the years.
He's not an incredibly old player, as he's only been in the NBA since 2006, so he does look quite a bit like he did back in 2004.
Dwyane Wade is one of these guys who looks the most different now compared to his high school days.
Perhaps it's the fact that he's rarely seen with so little hair or no scruff across his face, but he looks like such a baby-faced, young dude.
Wade looks like he was a strong teenager back in the '90s, so other than his build, he looks completely different.
First of all, finding a picture of LeBron James without a headband on is almost impossible these days, so he's going to look incredibly weird because of that alone.
This is a picture of LeBron in his junior year, but if it was a senior year picture, he would probably be wearing that band, which makes him look a lot more like he does today.
It's hard to remember LeBron as such a skinny little dude, especially compared to what he is today.
Oh, and then there's all that hair.
As weird as it seems, Carmelo Anthony actually looks more in shape in high school than he does with the Knicks today.
Of course, present-day Carmelo has a bulky strength that I'm sure couldn't compare to skinnier, slightly cut Carmelo, but it is an interesting dynamic to take a look at.
One of my favorite things to do with Anthony is to look at how his hairstyle has changed over the years.
Many of you probably remember him as either the cornrowed Carmelo or the closely cropped Carmelo we have today. However, I'd say puffed-out, pseudo-fro Carmelo is my favorite incarnation as far as hair is concerned.
Kevin Garnett looked like he was one cool cat in high school, which pretty much sums up how he is today.
He had all the fly gear that a senior playing ball in Chicago in 1995 would need.
Garnett is the oldest of the bunch of All-Star starters, but he still looks a lot like the high school version of himself all those years ago.
He might be a bit more wrinkled and a little less spry, but he's still the big, strong dude he was back in the day.
Is it just me or does Chris Paul look like he's about 5'3" in this picture?
Paul's Scout.com profile listed him at 6'0", but if he was an inch over 5'10", I would be stunned.
It doesn't seem like he's changed all that much since high school, although he has hidden the baby-faced look with some scruff over the past few years.
Looking at this picture, I'm concerned there's a fountain of youth in one of three places.
Either Kobe Bryant got into it back when he was attending Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, it's hiding somewhere deep in the bowels of the Staples Center and nobody with the Lakers ever told the Clippers, or it's wherever he went in Germany a couple of years back.
Kobe Bryant has barely added a wrinkle, and every bit of him looks about the same—even though this picture was taken nearly 17 years ago.
It's easy to forget how skinny Kevin Durant was just a few years back. Wait a second, no it's not. Kevin Durant is still as skinny as a rail.
Even still, looking at Durant in this picture of him back at Montrose Christian High School in Maryland, it's easy to see why he was such a sought-after prospect. Just look at those long arms.
Standing 6'9" with a freakish 7'5" wingspan and skills like a shooting guard, you could just tell big things were on the horizon.
Blake Griffin was drafted in 2009, so this picture was just a few years back in 2007. He doesn't look like he's changed much.
Sure, he's got a bit more facial hair now and seems to have a more mature-looking face, but he looked every bit the insanely strong person then that he is now.
It'll be interesting to see how Griffin's body holds up over the course of the next half-decade, but if he looks the same in five years as he looked five years ago, then you better believe that he's having an amazing career.
Dwight Howard may have made the most shocking transformation of the bunch, although it's not that shocking when you realize the guy standing next to him is Joakim Noah.
Both players went from their tall, awkward, string-bean phase to being two of the best centers in the NBA. Comparing them from then to now provides quite obvious differences.
You can tell Howard is a very muscular young man in this picture, but he's nowhere near as developed as he is presently.
High school Howard had yet to grow the enormous shoulders he's got today, and the result makes him look a bit like the guy from Beetlejuice with a shrunken head.