7. Harold Miner
The hype train ran off the rails for this shooting guard, once baptized as Baby Jordan. Sure, he rocked number 23 in college and won two NBA Slam Dunk Contests— just like MJ — but this mini-me’s game was childish in comparison. His professional career flamed out after just four seasons in the league.
6. Lil Bow Wow
This pubescent MC posterized David Robinson and dribble-faked Allen Iverson into another dimension in the pre-Hypebeast hoops flick Like Mike thanks to a pair of electrified Nike beaters that once belonged to Jumpman himself. (We prefer deadstock retros but to each his own.) Damn right, it’s gotta be the shoes.
5. Reggie Williams
After taking Georgetown (aka “Reggie and the Miracles”) deep into the NCAA tournament as a senior in ’87, this six-foot-seven-inch wing failed to convert that magic into NBA dominance. With his prime years playing for stinkers like the Nuggets and the hapless Clippers, Williams couldn’t quite carry a franchise like His Airness.
4. Jerry Stackhouse
Being a bald, country-ass Black hooper from North Carolina accounts for, like, 92% of the Michael Jordan comparison criteria. But like Air Jordan, Stack had nary a bit of back down in ’em.
3. Grant Hill
Never mind his fluid skill and supreme ability to fill up a stat sheet. This injury-plagued Hall of Famer — picked third in the NBA draft just like Jordan, one decade later — is a sneaker god. Who else could’ve got Fila kicks poppin’ in the ’90s?
2. Vince Carter
The fellow Tar Heel legend and recent retiree (long live Vinsanity) matched MJ’s stature, hops, fallaway jumper, and killer instinct. Despite being the only NBA baller to play for 22 seasons, though, Air Canada sadly never got to hoist a Larry O’Brien trophy of his own.
1. Kobe Bryant
A surprise to absolutely no one. They shared a brain for the game, intense competitive drive, and obsessive work ethic. At times, Bryant was Jordan’s spitting image on the court. Kobe fell one short of Mike’s six championship rings, but the late Lakers icon has another thing in common with his friend and mentor: an indelible legacy and roundball royalty status.