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NBA players’ pop star alter egos: Kobe is Kanye (and more)

Nov 15, 2012, 12:47 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant Kanye West

Spin Magazine decided to have a little fun with the NBA, and it is worth checking out because while the idea is simple it took a place like Spin to make it work:

Take NBA players and match them up with their pop music alter egos.

Some of these make a lot of sense, like for example Kobe Bryant is Kanye West (remember, Kobe was in studio with Kanye).

It would be cheeky enough to suggest that the NBA player with whom Kanye has the most in common is Kris Humphries, but only the Black Mamba has shared ‘Ye’s complicated relationship with fighting to dominate, then attempting to share, the spotlight with his elders, peers, and lesser teammates. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was Kanye dropping 81 on the Raptors.

I also kind of like Kevin Durant is Frank Ocean:

Shy, subdued, sublimely talented, and not without their share of kaleidoscopic quirks, Durant and Ocean also represent unlimited potential: thankfully, we don’t yet know how great they can be.

But as you go through these, there are always things that are tougher to fit together, some stretches. For example…

LeBron James is Jack White?

The most physically dominant force the game has ever known (sorry, Shaq), he often makes you forget that he’s playing against grown professionals. It’s his body that links him to perhaps the only other guy who knows what it is to bring such physicality and versatility to an art form. No one can punish a guitar or shriek melodically or transform his collaborators like Jack White does, nor can they produce and engineer and market like he does either, roles that (on the floor and off) LeBron knows better than any other player of his generation.

There are others worth reading up on, go check out the entire slideshow. Dwight Howard is Nicki Minaj made me laugh, and I love the idea of Dirk Nowitzki as Radiohead. They’ve got 40 of them, go check them out.

  1. skids003 - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Yep, Kobe and Kanye. Two turds.

    • cltjump - Nov 15, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      Why the thumbs down? They’re both two of the best at what they do but they’re still collosal jerk-offs.

  2. ebrownwareagle - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Soooo are you saying KD is Gay? Just inquiring!

  3. lamborginipercy12 - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    The first thing that came to my mind was Kanye/ LeBron. Constantly whining and trying to be more than they really are as public “icons”. However if anyone can think of a player who gained his fame by slightly tweaking other people’s work and claiming it as their own, then that is your true Kanye (anyone with a well tuned ear will notice the classic R&B songs that Kanye “sampled” in the beats that made him famous).

    • findthetruth90 - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      wow you are pathetic

      • lamborginipercy12 - Nov 15, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        I’ll tell you what’s pathetic. I was a 13 yr old whit boy in the suburbs when I realized every song on college dropout was a marvin or al greene rip off and you still think kanye is a genius. But I bet you like fishsticks too.

    • lbroberts123 - Nov 16, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      Really? So kanye is the only artist to ever sample another artists song? A lot of artists use clips and sections of other songs, but because it’s Kanye all of a sudden is a terrible thing to do?

      • lamborginipercy12 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        No it just means he isn’t talented enough to come up with something original (the only original sounding segments of his music come from Bon Iver, aka not original). And nowhere near justifying his ego.

  4. dunkindan - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    my girl a superstar off her home movie.

    ray j>reggie bush
    >miles austin>kris hump>kanye

  5. tonydelk - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Can Nate Robinson’s pop star alter ego be Gary Coleman?

  6. reupjosh - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    I would have pegged Dwayne Wade and Kanyé as being a better fit… With the fashion faux pas, whining and all…

  7. uscthom78 - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Since he is singing in movies, I think Kobe would be mike Tyson.

  8. broncobeta - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    How do you not mention that they said Chris Bosh was Taylor Swift?

  9. lakerluver - Nov 15, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    How bout Kobe and Jimi Hendrix? The greatest and the greatest!! Have at it, you trolls!!

  10. eugenesaxe - Nov 15, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Kobe isn’t that stupid, nor does he have to beg for attention.

  11. asublimeday - Nov 15, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Michael Jordan is vastly superior to Kobe in every physical way, in his abilities, and in accolades and major statistics

    I’m not obtuse, there are players who should be mentioned in the GOAT conversation with Jordan, but Kobe isn’t even the greatest at his position.

    Thanks for playing.

  12. ryanmaxfield27 - Nov 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Kobe is kayne over rated making too much money and an a**hole. Neither has true talent. They are products of the media, ppl are brain washed. How do you shoot 5 for 26 in game 7 of the finals and get MVP? What a joke. There is 20-30 players in the nba that would be better than him if they shot that much. Team sport.

  13. pellypell - Nov 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Help me out here, who’s Nickleback? Think lots of points/hit records, but nobody will admit to liking him/them.

    • scalfor3 - Nov 16, 2012 at 2:29 AM

      Gilbert Arenas? Vince Carter?

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