25 Pictures of Athletes You Won't Believe Are the Same Person

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2013

25 Pictures of Athletes You Won't Believe Are the Same Person

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    We all have photos of ourselves from our younger days that we definitely regret.

    In fact, just yesterday one of our good family friends posted a pic of us that looked like we shopped at the same store as the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," while rocking a full on butt cut.

    And, just because our favorite athletes are admired by so many, doesn't mean they're immune to such embarrassment.

    Need proof?

    Just take a look at these snapshots of athletes that don't resemble themselves these days.

Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    It may not have been discovered how good this little guy's arm was until later in his little league career because, with a Cy Young award and one of the largest contracts ever handed out to a pitcher, he's definitely a pretty good hurler.

Larry Bird, NBA Hall of Famer

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    You can probably tell this guy resembles the same Bird that terrified opponents while on the hardwood, but admit it, you wouldn't be surprised to hear this was actually an original member of the Rolling Stones either.

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

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    We're not so sure about the turtleneck and the Bill Cosby-like sweater, but Wade did grow up in Chicago, so maybe it was just really cold on picture day?

    And though we knock his style then, he still makes some questionable sartorial decisions now.

John Stockton, NBA Hall of Famer

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    If we didn't know any better, we would definitely think Stockton was an extra on the '70s disco movie Saturday Night Fever.

    We're also pretty convince he's wearing his trademark short shorts to match this outfit.

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

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    The hands young Stephen Curry used to snag ground balls are the same ones that stroke the rock so well on the hardwood.

    We're not sure about you, but if we didn't know better, we would have thought this was a young A-Rod.

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    We're not sure what Love's doing in the picture, but if he's practicing his shooting stroke, it sure did work!

    A double-double machine when healthy, the power forward was the unlikely champion at last year's three-point contest during All-Star weekend.

Shaquille O'Neal, Former NBA Player

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    Shaq may not have appeared to look like one of the most dominant forces in NBA history here, but once he ate his vegetables and got inked up, he became quite the intimidating athlete, ending his career in the top 15 in scoring and rebounds in league history.

Barry Bonds, Former MLB Player

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    Before all the (alleged) steroid use, Bonds looked like he wanted to pursue a career as a Jackson 5 member, not one who'd bash more homers than anyone in Major League history—albeit it's with an asterisk.

Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Nash's love for soccer is well documented, and his brother, Martin, actually appeared in 30 games for the Canadian national team.

    Who knows if Steve's vision and agility on the court translated well to the pitch, but we're guessing he'd be a pretty damn good midfielder.

David Beckham, Soccer Legend

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    He may still have had that mane, but Becks looked anything but the guy we see now with all the tats and metro-looking digs.

    Regardless of his look, he proved to still be a pretty good interview.

Michael Phelps, Former Olympic Swimmer

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    It looks like Phelps was walking a very fine line between becoming the greatest Olympian in history—at least according to medals—and trying to fit in with the boy band gang.

    He may be saying "Bye, Bye, Bye" to competing in another Olympics, but he could have easily been doing it with a bunch of other dudes with those frosted tips he had going on.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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    Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to the 2012 No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, Andrew Luck.

    When scouts raved about him having intangible football skills, we thought they were talking about throwing a ball, not kicking it!

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

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    Though he looks like he'd fit in perfectly on the tennis court, this German chose the basketball court instead—and has proven it was the right call with a likely Hall of Fame career.

    Even when he was undecided on the sport he'd play, he knew he wanted those long, blonde locks.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Not even that neon-colored shirt or the classic Olan Mills pose could deny this future Steelers QB from winning multiple Super Bowls.

    Wonder if his friends called him "Big Ben" back then too?

C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees

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    We're not sure if the former Cy Young award winner is celebrating something or just trying to dance along to the YMCA, but Sabathia definitely doesn't resemble the three-billed pitcher who takes the mound for the Yanks these days.

Ryan Lochte, Olympic Swimmer

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    Family pictures can definitely be a little awkward, can't they?

    The Olympic medalist proved that to be true when this picture surfaced of him wearing a khaki sportscoat and buttoned-up oxford, which is a far cry from what he's rocking these days.


Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

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    Does this look like a picture of a guy who owns one of the greatest dating resumes in the history of pro athletes?

    No, not to us, at least.

    Jeter may not have looked like Sinatra then, but he's surpassed Ol' Blue Eyes as the King of New York.

Eli Manning, New York Giants

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    This two-time Super Bowl MVP may have earned his reputation taking snaps from under center, but Eli at least looked the part of a solid ballplayer on the diamond before learning to toss around the pigskin.

Dennis Rodman, NBA Hall of Famer

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    When you take away all the tats, see him with a normal hair color and is wearing something other than a dress, you can tell that "The Worm" looked nothing like he does now!

Lance Armstrong, Former Cyclist

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    Even back then Armstrong looked like he was up to something, didn't he?

    As we all know, the former cyclist admitted to doping throughout his career last week on Oprah, stripping him of any legitimacy of a legendary athlete.

    Maybe if he had stuck to football he would have had better luck?

Rory McIlroy, PGA Tour

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    Hell, Rory's still only 23 years old, so this picture was taken sometime in the early '90s.

    If you look closely, you can probably tell that it's the two-time Major champion, but he actually looks more like a ventriloquist puppet to us!

Clay Matthews III, Green Bay Packers

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    Though we all secretly hoped Matthews really did look like a young Thor as a kid, most of us were unfortunately duped thanks to his twitter response to the pic.

    Needless to say, we can live with the entire two-toned outfit—including backpack—for one of the NFL's leading sack men.

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

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    With zero visible tats and looking as if he doesn't have a pound of muscle on him, Melo looks more like a choirboy than a sweet-scoring hoopster who would one day be the face of the Knicks.

Tiger Woods, PGA Tour

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    Boy, this picture of a young Tiger definitely screams sex scandal to us, how about you?

    With those glasses and shaggy hair, he looks like any typical middle school nerd.

    We'll give him props on one thing, with a shirt that says "Tiger," he understood how to market himself even at a young age.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

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    Who knew that this little pudgy kid would grow up to landed hotties like Bridget Moynahan and supermodel Gisele Bündchen?

    These days, Tom Brady would use that bat to keep girls off of him, not for hitting baseballs.


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