Over the course of years, we’ve seen a lot of talented players take the league for assault with their signature moves and style of play, being role models for younger talents that also want to become NBA stars when they grow up.
So, even if things have changed a lot in the history of the Association and the game’s not played nearly the same way it used to be played back in the day, some moves and style of play are still quite up to date with the way the sport of basketball is played nowadays.
And, us being long time basketball fans, it’s pretty normal to make comparisons between some of the old school players and the stars we have nowadays, sometimes being even better than their predecessors despite not always being that successful. So today, we’ll take a look at 11 players that play very similar to some of the former NBA glories.
11. Clyde Drexler – Andrew Wiggins
Of course, Wiggin’s NBA journey is just getting started, and he’s far away from the expected ceiling all scouts saw in them when he was drafted 1st overall a couple of years ago as a defensive standout with great offensive potential.
As explosive, athletic and high jumping players, both were actually pretty similar, constantly looking to attack the rim and drive defenders all the way to the baseline and make the most of their strength and leaping ability.
10. Tracy McGrady – Paul George
Both T-Mac and George are very strong players and finishers, thriving with their athleticism and explosiveness in both ends of the court as extremely talented two-way players, although McGrady was a much more reliable jump shooter.
Still, as an incredibly talented guard/forwards, both all-stars were extremely clutch players on both ends of the floor, leading their teams despite lack of playoff success, and they’re even quite similar physically speaking.
9. Chris Paul – Isiah Thomas
Both point guards are extremely gifted passers and competitive players, constantly leading their teams in both ends of the floor with their speed, their craftiness and their willingness to finish through contact and try to make that extra play.
Sadly, Paul hasn’t been able to achieve the success Thomas had and win the NBA Championship, but they’re both pretty undersized point guards that could flat out ball despite being smaller than most of their competitors.
Of course, Rauf was not as talented or dominant as Curry is entering his prime, but his ability to pull up from pretty much anywhere in the court make us really think of them as very similar players, both crafty undersized point guards with similar range and handles.
Both players are great at creating their own shot and shooting over screens with their incredibly quick release and outstanding mechanics, making them very similar players with not as nearly the same success.
Ginobili has been a huge inspiration for most lefty shooting guards since taking the league for assault as the ultimate guy off the bench for the San Antonio Spurs due to his vast offensive repertoire, especially his signature move the euro step.
And a guy that’s definitely emulated his moves has been James Harden, who also mastered the art of the euro step as well as the ability to pull up from three and finish through contact, although Manu’s defense has always been way better than Harden’s.
6. Draymond Green (minus jump shot) – Dennis Rodman
Green has often been compared with Charles Barkley, although we believe it would be a much more accurate comparison if we look at him next to Dennis Rodman, both elite defenders that would take a bullet for their team.
Both players rather do what’s best for the team instead of looking to score, and both have the same competitive spirit and a big mouth that more often than not gets them into trouble. Of course, Green’s offensive game and jump shot are way more developed than Rodman’s was, and his lockdown defense was superior than Green’s in the paint.
5. Steve Nash – John Stockton
Nash was definitely the best pure point guard in the league during his prime, but his game had a lot of resemblances with the best pure point guard in the history of the game as well, as both were non-athletic players that could run the floor in a heartbeat and set teammates up in arguably the most incredible ways you’ll ever see.
As outstanding passers and very smart players, both ran their team’s offense in pretty much similar ways and even though Nash’s offensive repertoire was more versatile than Stockton’s they were both very consistent scorers.
Iverson was never a pure passer and had that score first mentality that also characterizes Kyrie Irving, a reported point guard that plays way more like an undersized shooting guard. They were both very good passers, but they would definitely be known through time for their explosiveness and offensive skills.
Both Iverson and Irving mastered the art of the crossover and can put points from pretty much everywhere on the court, showing two of the greatest ball-handling abilities in the history of the game, being able to score against the best defenders in the association.
And last but not least, we get the Pippen vs Leonard matchup, as both incredible defenders on the wing that had the ability to play lockdown defense against every single player in the world while also having the ability to score over 25 points on a nightly basis.
Still, Leonard’s offense is more developed as the go-to guy on Pop’s offense, while Pippen was more of a second scorer behind Michael Jordan, but their standout defensive skills really make us think of similar players.
Both LeBron and Magic were the ultimate leaders of their respective teams as incredibly talented ball handlers and passers that could play all 5 spots on the court and play lockdown defense against all 5 players too.
They’re not very consistent or reliable jump shooters, but they could find thousands of different ways to score or help their team in every single aspect, either making their teammates better while running the offense or taking matters into their own hands.
From the very first day, Bryant started shining in the Association, people compared the shooting guard with the greatest player in the history of the game, as Bryant had mastered every single signature move from Jordan watching him play while he was growing.
Neither of them was an outstanding three-point shooter, but their way arguably the best offensive players in the league during their prime with very similar movements and the same diehard competitive attitude in both ends of the floor with a must-win mentality.