Saturday , Mar , 12 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

The NBA lookalike list

By Paul Benedict

This Monday I got the opportunity to play a little ball back in the hometown on a gorgeous ‘spring-is-coming’ day. I was with 3 of my buddies when we showed up at the courts to find 7 high schoolers heaving up 2-foot bricks, tripping over their shoelaces, and just looking like total doofuses. To make matters worse, of the 2 full courts only one halfcourt was playable due to the melting snow, so we were stuck trying to figure out whether we should tell the chumps to beat it, or just play along with them and suffer through the 23-foot fadeaway jumpers and Koren Robinson-esque dropped passes. And then Joel Pryzbilla showed up and solved all of our problems because we could just run 4-on-4 with a team sitting out. Wait– Joel Pryzbilla?! That’s right– Joel Pryzbilla…if he was 9 inches shorter, 50 lbs lighter, and about 10 years younger. Anthony wasn’t there, but he would have died if he saw the kid. We’ve always loved finding people that look exactly like somebody else and then dubbing them with a nickname, like the kid we played with a couple months ago who within five minutes we had responding to, “Pavel Podkolzine” (I’m not even kidding, you should have seen this dude). Anyways, this Joel Pryzbilla cat got me thinking– what NBA players and personalities have lookalikes out there? You’re about to find out…

The NBA lookalike list

I know, I know– I’ve already proclaimed that Jason Biggs looks like Kirk Hinrich, but just take a gander for yourself.

It’s actually funny if you think about it– Biggs could never pass for an athlete, but in all seriousness, do you think chicks actually throw themselves all over Kirk Hinrich when he tells them he’s the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls?


Bear with me here, I’m starting off slow and saving the best for last. Here we have Tom Everett Scott of “An American Wearwolf in Paris” and “That Thing You Do” .

And here we have Luke Jackson, formerly an Oregon Duck, now done for the year after season-ending back surgery in what has been a frustating rookie season for the lottery pick.


The much ballyhooed former high school prodigy Sebastian Telfair–who could possibly look as young as him without being a pre-teen?

How about 3-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey? Is the resemblance here not uncanny?! I caught wind of this one awhile ago and there is simply no denying how similar these two phenoms look.


Telfair’s teammate in Portland Darius Miles, also a former high school dynamo, has recently been under scrutiny for his immature behavior.

So apparently the similarities between Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress, also known for being a problem child, run deeper than just their seemingly identical looks.


No, Kobe Bryant doesn’t exactly have a clone out there. But it does appear that Ricky Davis might…

…and his name is Andre 3000 of Outkast, seen here in his feature-film debut, “Be Cool”, released to harrowing reviews last week. Of course we have to keep in mind that Tricky Ricky has about 10 inches on ‘Dre.


Another musical superstar, you might already know that Pharrell Williams has a lookalike that landed in Hollywood last summer.

These pictures don’t do the similarities justice, but these guys rock the same ice on their ears, have the same ‘do, and both sport those half-closed eyes.


M.E.T.H.O.D. MAN! The main man of Wu Tang who will sew your buttcheeks together and keep feedin’ you, and feedin’ you, and feedin’ you…

Kenyon Martin is a nasty dude himself, but I think he’d settle for a flagrant foul if he wanted to torture you. Seriously though, isn’t K-Mart the NBA equivalent to Method Man? A talented, emphatic, sometimes reckless guy who’s much better as part of a team than on his own. And you could argue that they both even sold out, too…


Jaime Foxx has now entered mega-stardom territory after winning an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in “Ray”. And though his look may not strike a resemblance at first sight…

…there is simply no denying that Foxx and Steve Francis bear a very close resemblance in these two pictures. Same hair, similar eyes, but it’s really the ‘stache that links the two.


Try not to pay attention to Yao Ming in the back who’s either upset about a foul call, or in some serious pain after sitting on a fusili McGrady. Instead focus on the short, middle-aged bald man on the left, Jeff Van Gundy.

Actor David Paymer (“Carpool”, “Get Shorty”) actually played a basketball coach in “The 6th Man” with Marlon Wayans and Dwyane Wayne (Kadeem Hardison actually, but he’ll be Dwyane Wayne for life), and interestingly enough, the movie came out in 1997– the same time Van Gundy was strolling the sidelines at MSG as coach of the Knicks. Coincidence?


And then we have Jeff’s brother, Stan Van Gundy. I’m not sure what the hell he’s doing with his hands, but it looks like it might be something that…

…porn legend Ron Jeremy has done to a chick in one of his thousands of movies. I wonder if anyone has approached Stan Van and said, “you know, you look just like “The Hedgehog”, Ron Jeremy. Short, stouty, cheesy moustache, and you seem to sweat a lot.” Perhaps this is why Alonzo Mourning isn’t getting off the bench in Miami.


Lawrence Frank -short, dorky, but a very intelligent coach.

Ken Jennings -short, dorky, but a very intelligent Jeopardy player.


Okay, so he’s a college coach, but I couldn’t possibly leave out Maryland coach Gary Williams and his lookalike…

…Dennis Hopper, who brings the same intensity, craziness, and savvy to the screen as Williams brings to the sidelines.


Wild Boy Steve-O!

This one might be a bit of a stretch, but Steve-O and Mike Miller both share that kind of goofy look that makes it difficult to take either seriously.


Mike Bibby is one of my personal favorites– a guy known for his grittiness, gamesmanship, and ability to lead his peers…

…much like Kermit the Frog, who has carried “The Muppets” on his shoulders for years now. Now perhaps Bibby might not have green skin, but I’m sure he gets chased by tons of piggies and the voice, oh the voice!


Ah, I saved the two best for last. One of my favorites– Manu Ginobili? Who in the world could possibly look like Manu?!

It’s Bronson Pinchot aka “Balki Bartokomous” from TGIF’s classic show “Perfect Strangers”! The nose is unquestionably the most notable similarity, but doesn’t Manu’s personality at least slightly resemble that of ‘ole Balki’s? And even if it really doesn’t, let’s at least pretend from now on because it will make Ginobili that much more fun to root for.


Yikes. I think we can all agree that it would be unfortunate if any human being looked like anything even close to Sam Cassell.

So maybe that’s how I ended up discovering that Gollum of “Lord of the Rings” has a Sam Cassell thing going on. I’m not really sure which one I should feel more sorry for…