Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Hawks’ Paul Millsap may require offseason shoulder surgery

    May 26, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Three Getty Images

    Injury issues continue to pile up as Atlanta is on the verge of elimination.

  2. Storms in Houston forced Dwight Howard to remain at arena with fans until 2:30AM after Game 4 win over Warriors

    May 26, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Dwight Howard AP

    Severe flooding in the area had fans — and at least one player — stranded.

  3. Stephen Curry went through concussion protocol twice before returning to court

    May 26, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpti2yjjimja4ywnhyza4zdnjzti5mja0nzy1mjqzm2e2 AP

    Curry reported no symptoms after the game or on Tuesday, which means expect the regular Curry back for Game 5 Wednesday night.

  4. Report: Kyle Korver to have surgery on his ankle

    May 26, 2015, 6:17 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards - Game Six Getty Images

    There is no timeline but this could impact training camp and the start of next season.

  5. Jason Terry says he will play next season, his 17th in NBA

    May 26, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT

    Jason Terry AP

    If he’s used in the aging shooter role on the court and veteran locker room presence off it, bringing him back for another season for a few million makes sense.

  6. PBT Extra: Will Dwight Howard’s foul on Bogut be upgraded to a Flagrant 2? Should it?

    May 26, 2015, 3:59 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Four Getty Images

    Would the league really upgrade a foul and bench a star player in an elimination game?

  7. PBT Extra: Horford/Dellavedova incident ups tension in Hawks/Cavaliers Game 4

    May 26, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

    Not that it will be enough to get the Hawks a win.

  8. Report: Nets to shop Joe Johnson, Jarrett Jack in effort to get under luxury tax line

    May 26, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

    The Nets just do not have good rebuilding options going forward.

  9. Zach LaVine alley-oop dunking a football. Because he can. (VIDEO)

    May 26, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

    Minnesota’s Zach LaVine has spent the early part of his offseason working on increasing his vertical… wait, what?

  10. Nazr Mohammed plans to play another season

    May 26, 2015, 11:34 AM EDT

    Philadelphia 76ers V Chicago Bulls Getty Images

    Mohammed, 37, already one of NBA’s oldest players

Featured video

Will Klay Thompson get a little help on James Harden?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Irving (6399)
  2. S. Curry (6211)
  3. K. Love (5460)
  4. L. James (4510)
  5. D. Howard (4473)
  1. D. Carroll (4192)
  2. K. Korver (3819)
  3. K. Bryant (3532)
  4. K. Durant (3345)
  5. A. Horford (3319)