Athlete Prom Photos That Prove We All Had an Awkward Phase

Prom is a completely different experience if you're one of your school's best athletes. Most likely. I'm not sure. I wasn't a star athlete. But I assume it's very different. I assume everyone thinks you're cool and you're nearly guaranteed to have a great night and not go home crying about how big of a loser you are. But, these celebrity prom photos prove that even star athletes had an awkward phase, and maybe their prom wasn't so different from yours.

Sure, if you've seen one prom photo you've seen them all. But that statement might be proven false by these hilarious celeb prom pics. Luckily most of these people make enough money now to hire people to buy clothes for them and dress them.

  • The Prom King
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    LeBron Raymone James Sr. (born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His accomplishments include three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals. James has appeared in fifteen NBA All-Star Games and been named NBA All-Star MVP three times. He won the 2008 NBA scoring title, is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader, and is fourth in all-time career points scored. He has been voted onto the All-NBA First Team twelve times and the All-Defensive First Team five times. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.James played basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he was heavily touted by the national media as a future NBA superstar. A prep-to-pro, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 as the first overall draft pick. Named the 2003–04 NBA Rookie of the Year, he soon established himself as one of the league's premier players; he won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2009 and 2010. After failing to win a championship with Cleveland, James left in 2010 to sign as a free agent with the Miami Heat. This move was announced in an ESPN special titled The Decision, and is one of the most controversial free agent decisions in American sports history. James won his first two NBA championships while playing for the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013; in both of these years, he also earned league MVP and Finals MVP. After his fourth season with the Heat in 2014, James opted out of his contract to re-sign with the Cavaliers. In 2016, he led the Cavaliers to victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, delivering the franchise's first championship and ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. His teams appeared in the NBA Finals in eight consecutive seasons (from 2011 to 2018). In 2018, James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers. Off the court, James has accumulated additional wealth and fame from numerous endorsement contracts. His public life has been the subject of much scrutiny, and he has been ranked as one of America's most influential and popular athletes. He has been featured in books, documentaries, and television commercials. He has also hosted the ESPY Awards and Saturday Night Live, and appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck.
  • Magic Johnson's Magical Prom Night
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that traveled around the world playing exhibition games. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team". He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. His public announcement of his HIV-positive status in 1991 helped dispel the stereotype, still widely held at the time, that HIV was a "gay disease" that heterosexuals need not worry about; his bravery in making this announcement was widely commended. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America's most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson also is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.
  • Black Mamba & Brandi Go to Prom
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    Kobe Bean Bryant (August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and was the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008. His four All-Star MVP Awards are tied with Bob Pettit for the most in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team. In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball. Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and three others, died on January 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash outside of Calabasas, California, at the age of 41.
  • Derek Sanderson Jeter ( JEE-tər; born June 26, 1974) is an American former professional baseball shortstop, businessman, and baseball executive. He has been the chief executive officer (CEO) and part owner of the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball (MLB) since September 2017. As a shortstop, Jeter spent his entire 20-year MLB playing career with the New York Yankees. A five-time World Series champion, Jeter is regarded as one of the primary contributors to the Yankees' success of the late 1990s and early 2000s for his hitting, baserunning, fielding, and leadership. He is the Yankees' all-time career leader in hits (3,465), doubles (544), games played (2,747), stolen bases (358), times on base (4,716), plate appearances (12,602) and at bats (11,195). His accolades include 14 All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. Jeter was the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits and finished his career ranked sixth in MLB history in career hits and first among shortstops. In 2017, the Yankees retired his uniform number 2. The Yankees drafted Jeter out of high school in 1992, and he debuted in the major leagues at age 21 in 1995. The following year, he became the Yankees' starting shortstop, won the Rookie of the Year Award, and helped push the team to win the 1996 World Series. Jeter continued to play during the team's championship seasons of 1998–2000; he finished third in voting for the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 1998, recorded multiple career-high numbers in 1999, and won both the All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP Awards in 2000. He consistently placed among the AL leaders in hits and runs scored for most of his career, and served as the Yankees' team captain from 2003 until his retirement in 2014. Throughout his career, Jeter contributed reliably to the Yankees' franchise successes. He holds many postseason records, and has a .321 batting average in the World Series. Jeter has earned the nicknames "Captain Clutch" and "Mr. November" due to his outstanding play in the postseason. Jeter was one of the most heavily marketed athletes of his generation and is involved in numerous product endorsements. As a celebrity, his personal life and relationships with other celebrities has drawn the attention of the media.
  • Tom Brady's Deflated Ego on Prom Night
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is a former American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for the University of Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, and went on to become the team's starting quarterback in his second season after an injury to QB Drew Bledsoe. Due to his late selection, Brady is considered the biggest "steal" in the history of the NFL Draft. Brady has played in ten Super Bowls, winning seven of them, the most of any player in NFL history. Brady has won five Super Bowl MVP awards (Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI, and LV), the most ever by a player, as well as three league MVP awards (2007, 2010, 2017); he is the oldest player to have received either award. Brady has also been selected to 14 Pro Bowls, which ties the NFL record for most selections. He is considered to be the greatest quarterback of all time.
  • His Airness At the Prom
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball player and the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. His biography on the official NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." He was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.Jordan played three seasons for coach Dean Smith with the North Carolina Tar Heels. As a freshman, he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982. Jordan joined the Bulls in 1984 as the third overall draft pick. He quickly emerged as a league star and entertained crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames Air Jordan and His Airness. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat". Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season, and started a new career in Minor League Baseball, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time in January 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Washington Wizards. Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game). In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press' list of athletes of the century. Jordan is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 2009 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as part of the group induction of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"). He became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015. Jordan is also known for his product endorsements. He fueled the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1984 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred as himself in the 1996 film Space Jam. In 2006, he became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets), and bought a controlling interest in 2010. In 2014, Jordan became the first billionaire player in NBA history. He is the third-richest African-American, behind Robert F. Smith and Oprah Winfrey.