Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

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Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Dee4Three on Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:45 am

Hi all,

A question was posed on Facebook, I found the responses rather interesting so I figured I would post them here. I took roughly the top 200 responses. I also excluded anybody with under 3 votes:

Michael Jordan: 36
Kobe Bryant: 18
Allen Iverson: 18

Steph Curry: 15
LeBron James: 14
Kyrie Irving: 11
Vince Carter: 8
Tracy McGrady: 8
Derrick Rose: 8
Jason Williams: 6
Carmelo Anthony: 5
Dennis Rodman: 5
Russell Westbrook: 5
Larry Bird: 4
Julius Erving: 4
James Harden: 4
Shaq: 4
Magic Johnson: 3
Steve Nash: 3
Kevin Durant: 3
Paul Pierce: 3
Scottie Pippen: 3


Top 3 went to Jordan, Kobe and Iverson. The source is a pretty neutral one, it's the "I love basketball" page on Facebook.

My question is: Who inspired you to play basketball? If not play, who inspired you to get into NBA basketball?

If both of those questions don't apply, you could state which team got you into the NBA.



For me: I grew up watching the Celtics, so that is probably the team that got me into it. Dee Brown was my favorite player growing up, but I was most impressed with Jordan, Iverson and Drexler as players. I watched Iverson when he was with Georgetown, he became one of my favorite players. He still is to this day. I loved how shifty he was on the court, and how hard he played. I always wanted to mimic his style of play when actually playing. So I guess my vote would be Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Dee Brown, and the Boston Celtics.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Andrew on Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:11 am

Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. It was the 90s, they were on top, and so they got the most exposure here in Australia.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby koberulz on Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:09 am

My introduction to the NBA was NBA Courtside 2002 on GameCube, so Kobe and the Lakers as they were the default team and he was on the cover - I had zero knowledge of the NBA at that point so no reason to pick any other team. I got the console and game right around the time of the 2004 Finals, and my mom knew which team I was using and started updating me on their real-life results. We got cable for the start of the 2004/05 season.

I started playing (competitively) in 1998 or so, though, and had attended Australian NBL games as early as 1996. In terms of just shooting around in the backyard I probably got my start in 1995 - I remember one of my first balls was a promotional item through Red Rooster for Magic Johnson's tour against the Boomers.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Jeffx on Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:38 am

Dee4Three wrote:My question is: Who inspired you to play basketball? If not play, who inspired you to get into NBA basketball?


For me, it wasn't just one person, it was the Knicks championship team from 1969-70. That's when I started following the game. Their style of play electrified the whole city. All the dudes wanted to be like Clyde.

And having lived in Uniondale, Long Island, I was very much into the ABA. Dad would take us to the Nassau Coliseum to watch the then-New York Nets and some cat named Julius Winfield Erving II.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby dare on Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:19 am

It's different for me I started to play basketball because of an anime I watched when I was a kid, there was a player there who was a good shooter who lacks stamina. Since I have asthma I idolized that fictional character and that started me looking for a great shooter in the NBA, I found out Ray Allen come playoffs time he was against Allen Iverson and I followed those two ever since.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:25 am

Jeffx wrote:And having lived in Uniondale, Long Island, I was very much into the ABA. Dad would take us to the Nassau Coliseum to watch the then-New York Nets and some cat named Julius Winfield Erving II.


To think he could've been a Knick when the ABA folded. How different history might have been!
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby [Q] on Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:54 pm

I started playing at age 7 but my dad watched the Lakers when I was a baby. I didn't start watching the NBA until about 7 or 8 when my uncle was watching Pacers and Knicks in the playoffs. Then I got nba live 95 and it was over lol. I guess I did play a lot of Reggie Miller in Live 95 at first but it did expand out to Grant Hill, Gary Payton, Penny Hardaway, and Shaq when he moved to the Lakers
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Sauru on Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:44 pm

cant say any player inspired me to play, i was playing before i knew the nba was a thing. i grew up with a bunch of uncles who would play at night and me wanting to be like them got interested. my sole goal was to be better than they were. turns out this was an easy goal as they would always get drunk before playing and generally sucked so i passed them by 10


when i got into the nba it was of course larry bird. anyone else and i may have been disowned by my father. i have always been a fan of many players though and would say that i have drawn inspiration from a wide variety of players over the years
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Kevin on Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:49 pm

Kobe, no doubt. His game just felt so smooth and so calculated that it made me love it. I remember watching him in a game vs the nets or the celtics on tv when I was a kid and I instantly got hooked with basketball after that. Became a full-on Kobe fan when I heard of his insane work ethic and how much time he spent just grinding in the gym and watching tapes, shit motivated me for some reason too. There's no way I'd love basketball the same way I do now if not for Kobe.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Dee4Three on Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:48 am

Andrew wrote:Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. It was the 90s, they were on top, and so they got the most exposure here in Australia.


That's kind of the way it works now (even with enhanced social media technology) with James, Curry, and Durant. The Cavaliers and Warriors are the most popular teams, most talked about teams, which also translates to James/Curry/Durant all being in the top 10 most popular athletes in the world (Social media following specifically).

You and I are the same age, so we started watching basketball around the same time. For me, I never missed a Celtics games (I live an hour outside of Boston so every game was televised), and I caught most of the nationally televised games. Some of my favorite games to watch was the Knicks vs Bulls games, whether it be in the playoffs or regular season. They would really go at it.


koberulz wrote:My introduction to the NBA was NBA Courtside 2002 on GameCube, so Kobe and the Lakers as they were the default team and he was on the cover - I had zero knowledge of the NBA at that point so no reason to pick any other team. I got the console and game right around the time of the 2004 Finals, and my mom knew which team I was using and started updating me on their real-life results. We got cable for the start of the 2004/05 season.

I started playing (competitively) in 1998 or so, though, and had attended Australian NBL games as early as 1996. In terms of just shooting around in the backyard I probably got my start in 1995 - I remember one of my first balls was a promotional item through Red Rooster for Magic Johnson's tour against the Boomers.


It's funny, but video games played a major part in my early introduction, as well as collecting basketball cards. Jordan vs Bird, Double Dribble, TECMO Super NBA Basketball, NBA Showdown, NBA Jam and NBA Jam TE, etc. Those games and more, as well as basketball cards helped me know more of the players and about the players. I used to have the NBA Hoops book cards, which were amazing. They used to give a lot of information about the players, I had the whole set. Those cards were based off of the 89-90 season I believe.

Playing wise, I always played from memory, but I was taken out of school in 3rd grade and sent back in 9th grade, so I only started playing basketball (organized) for the team in High School, and just played in league after that.


Jeffx wrote:For me, it wasn't just one person, it was the Knicks championship team from 1969-70. That's when I started following the game. Their style of play electrified the whole city. All the dudes wanted to be like Clyde.

And having lived in Uniondale, Long Island, I was very much into the ABA. Dad would take us to the Nassau Coliseum to watch the then-New York Nets and some cat named Julius Winfield Erving II.


Yeah that's why I included "Team" in the first post, because for some people it was a team that got them into the NBA. That must have been awesome watching those 70's Knicks teams, but also being old enough to witness the ABA/NBA merger. Not a lot of people talk about how favored that 76-77 76ers team was over the Trailblazers, and how the Trailblazers completed a big upset. That 76ers team with World B, Erving, McGinnis, and Dawkins were stacked. I still wonder what would have happened if Walton had not been battling injuries, some people say he could have been the best center to ever play the game.


dare wrote:It's different for me I started to play basketball because of an anime I watched when I was a kid, there was a player there who was a good shooter who lacks stamina. Since I have asthma I idolized that fictional character and that started me looking for a great shooter in the NBA, I found out Ray Allen come playoffs time he was against Allen Iverson and I followed those two ever since.


That seems to be the way it works a lot of the time, people find players they can relate to and latch on. For example, Curry was and has been amazing, and is an easy first ballot HOF'er, but one of the reasons his rise to popularity is how easy it was/is for the population to identify with him. A 6'3", 190 pound guy, who you could picture just being a normal guy walking down the street, that had an immense amount of talent and just flat out dominated the NBA for a couple seasons.

Guessing you are speaking of that amazing series between the Bucks/76ers in the ECF of 2002. What a series.... that Bucks team doesn't get talked about enough. They played the right way.


Q wrote:I started playing at age 7 but my dad watched the Lakers when I was a baby. I didn't start watching the NBA until about 7 or 8 when my uncle was watching Pacers and Knicks in the playoffs. Then I got nba live 95 and it was over lol. I guess I did play a lot of Reggie Miller in Live 95 at first but it did expand out to Grant Hill, Gary Payton, Penny Hardaway, and Shaq when he moved to the Lakers


Unbelievable how back at that time we didn't even think about the graphics really, or about the simple gameplay, we just played and enjoyed ourselves. I actually had NBA Live 96 before NBA Live 95 (Same game for the most part), and absolutely loved it. The first game where I was truly blown away by the graphics (And started to care...) was NBA Fastbreak 98 for Playstation. Couldn't believe how "Lifelike" the players were. Obviously it doesn't hold up as well today, but for it's time it was quite nice. Jordan was "Roster Player #98".


Sauru wrote:cant say any player inspired me to play, i was playing before i knew the nba was a thing. i grew up with a bunch of uncles who would play at night and me wanting to be like them got interested. my sole goal was to be better than they were. turns out this was an easy goal as they would always get drunk before playing and generally sucked so i passed them by 10


when i got into the nba it was of course larry bird. anyone else and i may have been disowned by my father. i have always been a fan of many players though and would say that i have drawn inspiration from a wide variety of players over the years



I was old enough to remember watching Bird in the LATE 80's and early 90's before he called it quits. When I really started watching almost every game was in 91-92 when it was Dee Brown, Rick Fox, Kevin Gamble, and injured Bird, Reggie Lewis, etc. I loved that team. Watching them through the 90s, even through the struggles, was amazing. I've said before, that 96-97 season where they went 15-67 is one of my favorites. They lost so many close games, the effort was not questionable. They fought hard with what they had, it was fun watching them claw and fight for every win. It's a shame Radja didn't stay in the NBA longer.


Kevin wrote:Kobe, no doubt. His game just felt so smooth and so calculated that it made me love it. I remember watching him in a game vs the nets or the celtics on tv when I was a kid and I instantly got hooked with basketball after that. Became a full-on Kobe fan when I heard of his insane work ethic and how much time he spent just grinding in the gym and watching tapes, shit motivated me for some reason too. There's no way I'd love basketball the same way I do now if not for Kobe.


Smooth and calculated is why I loved Iverson even when he was in college, and throughout his career. Kobe's work ethic is not questionable, I read stories told by his HS coach, talking about how in high school he would hear a ball bouncing in the gym at like 5 or 6AM or something, and it was Kobe working on his game, and he said he would do that all the time. He also had a 666 workout (yes, 666) that included 6 hours a day, for 6 weeks, and I forget what the other 6 represented, but yeah, his work ethic was amazing.

How can you not be motivated by that? basketball fan or not.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Jeffx on Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:49 am

Dee4Three wrote:Yeah that's why I included "Team" in the first post, because for some people it was a team that got them into the NBA. That must have been awesome watching those 70's Knicks teams, but also being old enough to witness the ABA/NBA merger. Not a lot of people talk about how favored that 76-77 76ers team was over the Trailblazers, and how the Trailblazers completed a big upset. That 76ers team with World B, Erving, McGinnis, and Dawkins were stacked. I still wonder what would have happened if Walton had not been battling injuries, some people say he could have been the best center to ever play the game.


If not for injuries, Bill Walton would have been in my top ten GOAT. He played the center position as well as anyone. He did everything well, and was the best passing big man I ever saw. He'd be fourth behind Wilt, Russell & Kareem as the league's greatest centers. IMO, he's the second greatest college baller after Kareem. Go watch his playoff run in the 1977 championship season. Amazing. And Walton will tell you, having an enforcer like Maurice Lucas (RIP) helped him a lot (like Oakley with Ewing).

And yes, I consider myself blessed to have seen so many pro, college & playground basketball legends (and legends from other sports). Shit, I've gone from Wilt to Anthony Davis.....wow....
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby debiler on Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:22 pm

Growing up in Germany, it was a bit different for me. After the 92 olympics, everybody wanted to play basketball. Then in 93, when Germany won the Eurobasket championship against astronomical odds, the hype was stellar. It seemed like basketball was bigger than football (that's soccer for most of you guys), for one summer at least. When the NBA season started in fall, the league got great exposure through the media in germany. They would show a couple of recorded games per week and there was a weekly show about the goings on in the best league of the world. It was magical. Aged 13, I had just begun playing football for my local club. I had learned that sport was atcually pretty fun. Me and my friends were transfixed in front of the TV whenever a game was on. And that was when I first saw Muggsy. Back then, there was this preconception that Basketball was a sport for giants. A short guy like me (5'10) had no place in it. But then, along came this total midget. It was fascinating. It might seem like a total cliche, but that's how I learned that it's the size of your heart, your effort and guts that count the most on the court. I learned that when you get into your opponent's face on defense and body up hard, they'll respect you, no matter your size. And that's how I still play today, at the age of 38, with both knees shot, a bad back and cheap shoes. I'll defend guys who are taller, heavier and better than me and half my age. Thanks to Muggsy.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Dee4Three on Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:30 am

debiler wrote:Growing up in Germany, it was a bit different for me. After the 92 olympics, everybody wanted to play basketball. Then in 93, when Germany won the Eurobasket championship against astronomical odds, the hype was stellar. It seemed like basketball was bigger than football (that's soccer for most of you guys), for one summer at least. When the NBA season started in fall, the league got great exposure through the media in germany. They would show a couple of recorded games per week and there was a weekly show about the goings on in the best league of the world. It was magical. Aged 13, I had just begun playing football for my local club. I had learned that sport was atcually pretty fun. Me and my friends were transfixed in front of the TV whenever a game was on. And that was when I first saw Muggsy. Back then, there was this preconception that Basketball was a sport for giants. A short guy like me (5'10) had no place in it. But then, along came this total midget. It was fascinating. It might seem like a total cliche, but that's how I learned that it's the size of your heart, your effort and guts that count the most on the court. I learned that when you get into your opponent's face on defense and body up hard, they'll respect you, no matter your size. And that's how I still play today, at the age of 38, with both knees shot, a bad back and cheap shoes. I'll defend guys who are taller, heavier and better than me and half my age. Thanks to Muggsy.


Really cool story! Again, it's the whole "I can relate to that guy" mindset, which was talked about above. You could relate to Muggsy.

Totally could translate to how you play on the court, afterall, I'd say most of us growing up pretended we were NBA players while shooting around in the driveway or at the local court. Copying moves, etc.

Of course for me, around 92/93, it was the Dream Team, and Larry Birds impending retirement that took center stage.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby air gordon on Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:21 am

similar to sauru. have 2 older brothers and grew up next to a park so it was go to the playground and/or play basketball.

jordan getting drafted by the bulls may have helped but bball was nowhere near as popular as it was then and chicago was a football town.
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Re: Which NBA player inspired you to play basketball?

Postby Dee4Three on Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:09 am

air gordon wrote:similar to sauru. have 2 older brothers and grew up next to a park so it was go to the playground and/or play basketball.

jordan getting drafted by the bulls may have helped but bball was nowhere near as popular as it was then and chicago was a football town.


Same here with the two older brothers, but all three of us are close in age. A ton of one on one games were played.
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