25 Pics of Past and Present Superstars Together

Amber LeeSports Lists Lead WriterMarch 13, 2014

25 Pics of Past and Present Superstars Together

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    Evan Agostini/Associated Press

    There’s a very interesting dichotomy in sports. 

    On one hand, it’s very much a "What have you done for me lately?" world, in which there are far more celebrated entrances than exits. On the other hand, as soon as we push athletes out the door, it seems we immediately become nostalgic for them. 

    People tend to romanticize the past, sometimes remembering it a bit better than it was. Whether or not a given time or era is actually better than another is, of course, debatable. But the value superstar athletes of the past add to the present is not. 

    Seeing the past and present come together—whether in a friendly embrace or painfully awkward handshake—is almost always a sight worth seeing. Here are 25 photo of past and present superstars together. 

25. Terry Bradshaw and Matt Ryan

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    AP Photo/John Bazemore

    Date: January 2013

    Event: 49ers vs. Falcons

    Hall of Fame Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who now works as a broadcaster for FOX Sports, speaking to Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, looking unusually animated, ahead of the NFC Championship. 

24. Nolan Ryan and Mariano Rivera

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    AP Photo/Brandon Wade

    Date: July 2013

    Event: Yankees vs. Rangers 

    Future Hall of Fame Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera greets current Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who was then the Rangers CEO, on the field in Arlington prior to a game.  

23. Joe Namath and Tim Tebow

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    AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

    Date: February 2012

    Event: NFL Honors Show

    Hall of Fame Jets quarterback Joe Namath chats with Tim Tebow at the NFL Honors show ahead of Super Bowl XLVI. One month later, the Broncos would trade Tebow to the Jets. 

22. Bobby Orr and Current Bruins

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    AP Photo/Elise Amendola

    Date: October 2011

    Event: Flyers vs. Bruins

    Beloved Boston great Bobby Orr meets and greets current Bruins players ahead of their season opener against Philadelphia. 

21. John McEnroe and Rory McIlroy

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    AP Photo/Toby Melville

    Date: June 2011

    Event: Wimbledon 

    Former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe chats up an amused Rory McIlroy. The Irish golfer had just become a certified sensation, having recently won the U.S. Open by an epic eight shots. Andy Murray is seen in the background. 

20. Deion Sanders and Maurice Jones-Drew

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    AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

    Date: December 2013

    Event: Texans vs. Jaguars

    After an abysmal start to the season, the Jaguars came on strong in the second half of the year, including a Thursday night win over the Texans in early December. Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew was interviewed by the NFL Network crew, including Deion Sanders, following the game. 

19. Archie Manning and Johnny Manziel

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    AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

    Date: May 2013

    Event: Manning Award Ceremony 

    From one SEC quarterback great to another, Ole Miss legend Archie Manning presents the Manning Award, which honors the nation’s top college quarterback, to Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. 

18. Shaquille O’Neal and Ben McLemore

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    AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

    Date: February 2014

    Event: NBA All Star Saturday 

    NBA great Shaquille O’Neal sits, on what can only be described as a throne, as the Kings' Ben McLemore sails overhead during the All Star skills competition. 

17. Reggie Jackson and Jacoby Ellsbury

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    AP Photo/Kathy Willens

    Date: March 2014

    Event: Spring Training 

    Yankees great Reggie Jackson, a special adviser to the team, talks with Jacoby Ellsbury, who was acquired via free agency over the offseason, prior to an exhibition game in Tampa, FL.

16. Michael Irvin and Andrew Luck

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    AP Photo/Wade Payne

    Date: November 2013

    Event: Colts vs. Titans

    Hall of Fame Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, now a member of the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football broadcasting crew, reaches out to Colts quarterback Andrew Luck after a win last fall. 

15. Wayne Gretzky and Dustin Johnson

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    AP Photo/Eric Risberg

    Date: February 2014

    Event: AT&T Pebble Peach Pro-Am

    NHL legend Wayne Gretzky is greeted by his professional partner, Dustin Johnson, on the 18th green. Of course, it wasn’t the first time these two had met. Johnson is actually engaged to Gretzky’s eldest daughter, Paulina. 

14. Andre Agassi and Andy Murray

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    AP Photo/Aaron Favila

    Date: January 2013

    Event: Australian Open 

    American tennis legend Andre Agassi does his best to congratulate (or console) Scotland’s Andy Murray, holding his second-place platter thing after losing in the final to Novak Djokovic. Murray looks less than thrilled to be there. 

13. Jerry Rice and Colin Kaepernick

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    AP Photo/Tony Avelar

    Date: December 2013

    Event: Rams vs. 49ers 

    Hall of Fame 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice talks with current Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick prior to a late-season divisional matchup against the Rams. 

12. Patrick Ewing and Dwight Howard

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    AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

    Date: May 2009

    Event: Magic vs. Cavaliers 

    Hall of Fame great Patrick Ewing, who used to work as an assistant coach in Orlando, talks to former Magic big man Dwight Howard ahead of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Ewing is now a coach with the Bobcats and Howard plays for the Rockets. 

11. Mike Ditka and Ricky Williams

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    AP Photo/Judi Bottoni

    Date: April 1999

    Event: Post-Draft Press Conference 

    Former Saints coach and Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka poses with running back Ricky Williams after Williams was drafted by New Orleans. Ditka, inexplicably decked out in a dreadlocks wig, (also) inexplicably traded away all of the team’s picks that year—not to mention their first and third picks in 2000—to secure Williams.

10. Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps

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    AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

    Date: November 2007

    Event: Golden Goggle Awards 

    Olympic swimming greats Mark Spitz, Michael Phelps and Matt Biondi pose for a photo together outside the USA Swimming Foundation’s Golden Goggle Awards, held in Beverly Hills. 

9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Brittney Griner

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    AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

    Date: May 2013

    Event: Practice Session, US Airways Center 

    Hall of Fame NBA living legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar compares hand sizes with Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, who was drafted No. 1 overall out of Baylor in 2013. 

8. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

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    AJ Mast/Invision/AP

    Date: February 2013

    Event: NFL Honors Show

    Former Packers teammates Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers share a very awkward-looking handshake on stage at the second annual NFL Honors show ahead of Super Bowl XLVII.  

7. Cecil Fielder and Prince Fielder

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    AP Photo/Morry Gash

    Date: June 2002

    Event: Brewers vs. Astros 

    Future All-Star Prince Fielder, who was selected by the Brewers in the first round of the 2002 MLB Draft, talks with another famed power hitter ahead of a game against the Astros, his father Cecil Fielder. 

6. Joe Montana and Peyton Manning

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    AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

    Date: February 2012

    Event: Celebrity Beach Bowl 

    Niners Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana participates in the Celebrity Beach Bowl ahead of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Nearby is Peyton Manning, then with the Colts, who missed that entire season recovering from neck surgery. 

5. Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby

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    AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

    Date: July 2010

    Event: Winter Classic Press Conference 

    Former Penguins great Mario Lemieux and current Pens great Sidney Crosby are photographed together at a press conference announcing that the 2011 NHL Winter Classic game would be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. 

4. Carl Yastrzemski and David Ortiz

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    AP Photo/Steven Senne

    Date: September 2013

    Event: Blue Jays vs. Red Sox 

    Two beloved Red Sox embrace on the field at Fenway Park. Hall of Fame great Carl Yastrzemski looks ridiculously (and adorably) happy to be on the receiving end of a bear hug from current Boston slugger David Ortiz. 

3. Deion Sanders and J.J. Watt

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    AP Photo/Marco Garcia

    Date: January 2014

    Event: NFL Pro Bowl Draft 

    Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders shares an adorable moment on stage with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt after Sanders drafted him to compete on his team in Honolulu.

2. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods

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    AP Photo/Tony Dejak

    Date: June 2012

    Event: Memorial Golf Tournament 

    Golf greats, past and present, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are all smiles on the course after Woods won the Memorial Golf Tournament. The event takes place at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH, which was designed and founded by Nicklaus. 

1. Julius Erving and LeBron James

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    AP Photo/Stuart Ramson

    Date: April 2004

    Event: NBA Rookie of the Year Award Presentation 

    Hall of Fame great Julius “Dr. J.” Erving, at the NBA Store in New York, presents the NBA Rookie of the Year Award to the Cavaliers' LeBron James. 

Bonus: Julius Erving and Allen Iverson

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    AP Photo/George Widman

    Date: November 2005

    Event: 76ers vs. Bucks 

    Though Allen Iverson recently had his number retired by the 76ers, it’s still hard for most basketball fans to believe it’s been four years since he last played in the NBA. Here he is hugging another Sixers great, Julius Erving, before the season opener in 2005. 

    Since Iverson is now officially retired, this photo of him and Dr. J may not fit the title of the slideshow, but I liked it too much to exclude it. My apologies to all you rule sticklers out there who find that offensive.