This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m sharing some screenshots of players in NBA Live 10 that are still active as of 2021, in their current teams’ jerseys.
Since NBA Live 10 has been my retro jam as of late, and I’ve already engaged in the fun exercise of taking some screenshots of 2010 players in their rookie season retro jerseys, this week I’m going in the other direction. Working on current roster updates for NBA 2K11 has emphasised how many players from around 2010 are no longer in the league, and combing through the rosters of NBA Live 10 yields further examples. With only 50 slots for created players, there’s no way that you could make a detailed current roster update for NBA Live 10 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
While NBA Live 10 will turn twelve years old in a few months, players these days tend to enjoy longer careers. Many players who were quite young in NBA Live 10 are still active today, and not all of them are over the hill! Almost all of them are now playing for different teams, but a couple of them are wearing familiar uniforms, albeit newer designs. To that end, I thought it’d be fun to make a few edits to the NBA Live 10 rosters, placing players who are still active as of 2021 on their new teams. Let’s take a look back…way back…
As of 2021, there are 44 active players who were included in the rosters way back in NBA Live 10. Several other players in NBA Live 10 were still active as of 2019 or 2020, meaning they stuck around for at least another decade. I’m only going to focus on the players that are still active as of the current season though, to keep this list both manageable and relevant. Obviously, the jerseys and faces are outdated now, but I’m sure that you get the gist of the exercise. In some cases, I’ve used an alternate or retro jersey for greater resemblance to a current uniform. Since we do have a few active players that are still on the same team as in NBA Live 10, let’s begin with them!
Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry
It’s amazing to think that in the default rosters of NBA Live 10, Stephen Curry was rated 67 Overall and coming off the bench for the Golden State Warriors. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but it’s a humble beginning on the virtual hardwood for a player that is now widely regarded as the best shooter of all-time, and a future Hall of Famer. Curry is still playing for the Warriors, and while I’ve seen some fans suggest that he should look to move on to chase more rings, I see him remaining in the Bay Area. Their jerseys have changed and he’s no longer the baby-faced assassin that’s pictured above, but I expect Curry will remain with the team he debuted with in NBA Live 10.
Miami Heat: Udonis Haslem, Andre Iguodala, Goran Dragic, Trevor Ariza
The Miami Heat’s jerseys haven’t changed too much since 2010, but they have added Andre Iguodala. Iggy was a 76er in NBA Live 10, and has also played for the Nuggets and Warriors, the latter of whom he won three championships with, picking up Finals MVP honours in 2015. Trevor Ariza has also joined them this year. And then, there’s Udonis Haslem. A mainstay in Miami and the only player to play for the team in each of their NBA Finals appearances, he’s now the league’s oldest player. As for Goran Dragic, he became an All-Star; sadly, he had a generic face back in NBA Live 10.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao, Kevin Love
Did you notice that Anderson Varejao had a stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers this year? After leaving the NBA back in 2017 to play in his native Brazil, Varejao made a rather surprising return to the Cavs late in the 2021 season, with the team using a hardship exception to sign him to two 10-day contracts in May. As he was playing for Cleveland in 2010, that’s where he can be found in NBA Live 10. Kevin Love, on the other hand, was still with the Minnesota Timberwolves back then. Love of course has previously teamed with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the Cavaliers, leading to a championship in 2016. He’s now the last player from that trio still left in Cleveland.
Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant, James Harden, Blake Griffin, Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan
Not only do the Brooklyn Nets have five players that were active in NBA Live 10, but the players in question can field a viable starting lineup. Kevin Durant was a rising star back then, and now leads Brooklyn as a two-time champion. James Harden was his teammate in Oklahoma City, coming off the bench as a promising rookie; a lot has changed there! Blake Griffin, the top pick in 2009, missed the 2010 season due to surgery, but still became one of the league’s top dunkers. DeAndre Jordan grew as a member of the Lob City Clippers, and Jeff Green has had a solid career. Here they are on the Nets in NBA Live 10, wearing retros similar to ones they’re sporting in 2021.
Philadelphia 76ers: Dwight Howard, Anthony Tolliver, George Hill, Danny Green
Dwight Howard was the cover player of NBA Live 10, and though he’s been rather nomadic as his career has progressed, he’s still one of the active players as of 2021. He’s also a champion, coming off his second stint with the Lakers. Danny Green was also part of that team, and although his face in NBA Live 10 was generic, he’s carved out a solid career as a 3&D player. George Hill and Anthony Tolliver round out the group of active players from NBA Live 10 that are now playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2021, which leaves the team just one player short of a complete lineup. All four of these players have had long journeys between 2010 and now to become 76ers.
San Antonio Spurs: Patty Mills, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay
Patty Mills and DeMar DeRozan were both rookies when NBA Live 10 was released, so it’s not surprising that both players are still active. Neither began their career in San Antonio, as DeRozan was a lottery pick for the Toronto Raptors, while Mills was a second round selection by the Portland Trail Blazers. Since then, Mills – who had a downright awful generic face at launch with pale skin and grey hair – has been one of the longest-tenured Spurs, while DeRozan came to San Antonio in the Kawhi Leonard trade. Rudy Gay’s Grizzlies tenure ran through NBA Live 10 and lasted until 2013, and he also played for the Raptors and Kings before heading to the Spurs in 2017.
Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James, Jared Dudley, Marc Gasol
LeBron James has gone on a fantastic journey since NBA Live 10, to use the name of a game mode in the prior gen version of NBA 2K14. By taking his talents to South Beach, back to Cleveland, and now to Los Angeles, he’s won four championships and set many records over the past twelve years. Jared Dudley, a Sun back in 2010, joined LeBron in LA for his most recent championship. Marc Gasol also now plays for the team that originally drafted him. It’s interesting that we used screenshots from NBA Live 10 to predict LeBron’s free agency in the summer of 2010, and here I am again, using it to represent the latest stop in his storied career. The more things change…
Los Angeles Clippers: Rajon Rondo, Nicolas Batum
Rondo was named an All-Star for the first time in 2010, and also made his second Finals appearance with the Celtics that year, losing to the Lakers. He’s since won a championship with the Lakers, being a part of the 2020 squad with LeBron. Like former teammate Dwight Howard, he’s also been nomadic, playing for five other teams before landing back in LA with the Clippers. Nicolas Batum, a fellow young gun when NBA Live 10 came out, joins him as another seasoned veteran on the Clippers after several years in Portland and Charlotte. I don’t know about anyone else, but it makes me feel old to think about how both players are now in their early 30s.
New York Knicks: Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson
So much has happened since Derrick Rose was the young star of the Chicago Bulls in NBA Live 10, with Taj Gibson coming off the bench. They were part of a resurgence that saw the team make their first Conference Finals since 1998, only for a seemingly bright future to go down the drain following Rose’s first knee injury in 2012. He was eventually traded to New York, while Gibson was sent to Minnesota. Rose has since reunited with Gibson and head coach Tom Thibodeau twice, first in Minnesota and then again this year when Rose began his second stint in the Big Apple. Representing their current stints in NBA Live 10 only serves to remind me what could have been.
Detroit Pistons: Wayne Ellington
Let’s take a break from some noteworthy names to recognise a role player that was a rookie in NBA Live 10, and is still active today: Wayne Ellington. In a league where the average career lasts four seasons and a lot of solid but replaceable players can’t find a roster spot after a few years, Ellington deserves a lot of credit for lasting twelve seasons in the NBA. He’s been a double digit scorer a few times since leaving the Timberwolves, where you’ll find him in the default rosters of NBA Live 10. Now in his second stint with the Pistons, he’s been a reliable scorer for them. Of all the 2009 Draftees who are still active, only Danny Green and Patty Mills were picked lower.
Denver Nuggets: Paul Millsap, JaVale McGee
An up-and-coming player back in 2010, you’ll find Paul Millsap backing up Carlos Boozer on the Utah Jazz in NBA Live 10’s rosters. Boozer’s move to the Bulls that offseason allowed Millsap to flourish, but it wasn’t until he went to Atlanta that he became an All-Star. He’s on the downside of his career in Denver, though he’s still contributing. JaVale McGee began his career in Washington, and despite being Shaq’s favourite target on “Shaqtin’ a Fool” for years, he’s now a three-time champion. He’s on the Wizards in NBA Live 10, but is now in Denver where he played from 2012-2014. I remember that stint quite well, thanks to my NBA 2K13 MyCAREER.
Atlanta Hawks: Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams
It’s easy to forget just how long Lou Williams has been in the league. He went from a seldom-used reserve playing with Allen Iverson in Philadelphia (as seen in NBA Live 06) to a three-time winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award. Along the way he’s been a teammate of Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul, and is now in his second stint with the Atlanta Hawks. Danilo Gallinari also joins him in Atlanta, though back in NBA Live 10, he was a New York Knick. To that point, he’s probably best remembered as being a part of the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York, but it allowed Gallo to spend six solid years in Denver. Despite being veterans, both are still quite young.
Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Brook Lopez
Both point guards with one All-Star appearance apiece, Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague are now teammates in Milwaukee. Both were rookies in NBA Live 10, though only Holiday – taken two picks before Teague – has a proper face. At the time, Holiday was in Philadelphia, while Teague played for Atlanta. Both players made their lone All-Star appearance while playing for their original teams, though Holiday has spent most of his career with New Orleans while Teague has bounced around a little more. Brook Lopez is also a Buck now after spending the first nine years of his career with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, with a one year run with the Lakers coming in between.
Washington Wizards: Russell Westbrook, Robin Lopez
Brook’s twin brother Robin Lopez has had much shorter tenures with the teams that he’s played for, beginning with the Phoenix Suns in 2010. He’s even spent a year with his sibling in Milwaukee. As one of the players in NBA Live 10 still active as of 2021 however, he’s now in Washington. Teammate Russell Westbrook has had quite the career since NBA Live 10 was released, a game in which he was a second year player with Oklahoma City. It seemed he’d be Mr. Thunder after the departure of Kevin Durant, but he’s since played for the Rockets and Wizards. He’s also just finished his fourth season averaging a triple-double. I don’t think anyone saw that coming in 2010!
Utah Jazz: Mike Conley, Ersan Ilyasova
Mike Conley was a third year player with the Memphis Grizzlies in NBA Live 10, and ended up spending the next decade with the team, where he was a part of their “Grit and Grind” era. As the team was broken up, he was traded to the Utah Jazz, where he’s continued to be solid at the point as he approaches his mid 30s. Ersan Ilyasova is the same age, and has had an interesting NBA career. He was drafted by the Bucks in 2005, didn’t debut until 2006, played the next two years in Spain, and returned to the Bucks in 2009. After playing for the 76ers (twice), Pistons, Magic, Thunder, and Hawks, he played two more years in Milwaukee before going to Utah.
Chicago Bulls: Thaddeus Young
Several players that were on the Chicago Bulls in NBA Live 10 have remained active through most of the past decade, and indeed this list contains a few former Bulls. The team also still has one player that was active in NBA Live 10 – Thaddeus Young – though he played for the Philadelphia 76ers at the time. Appropriately enough, Young entered the league at 19, which means he’s now a spry 32 year old veteran in his 14th season. Although he’s never been an All-Star, Young has been a starter for most of his career, and hasn’t averaged less than ten points per game since his rookie year. I have to admit that since I took a break from roster updates, I hadn’t noticed that until now.
Dallas Mavericks: J.J. Redick
If you said that you didn’t realise J.J. Redick was in his 15th season, I wouldn’t blame you. It’s easy to forget that by the time NBA Live 10 was released, he was already in his fourth season with the Orlando Magic. The three-point revolution has obviously agreed with the sharpshooting Redick, who also spent four years as a key player on the Lob City Clippers. His playing time has dwindled this season, so you’d also be forgiven for losing track of where he’s been. He began the 2021 season with the Pelicans, but was traded by New Orleans to the Dallas Mavericks back in March. Of all the Mavs players, he’s the only one that was active at the time of NBA Live 10.
Portland Trail Blazers: Carmelo Anthony
It’s funny to think that a lot of fans believed Carmelo Anthony was done just a couple of years ago. To be fair, he failed to latch on anywhere after a subpar stint in Houston, and his year in Oklahoma City had also been underwhelming. Even in his final year in New York, in which he was an All-Star, he wasn’t quite the player he’d been with the Nuggets when he was a 25 year old in NBA Live 10. His tenure with the Blazers has been a career revival, and he’s adjusted to a role coming off the bench. There’s a lot of history that isn’t covered by immediately placing him in Portland in NBA Live 10, but in any event, that’s where he is as one of the last 44 active players from that game.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Al Horford
Here’s another one to file under “this makes me feel old”! I was actually in attendance when Al Horford was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2007, as part of the community event for NBA Live 08. Horford went on to spend most of his career with the Hawks, making four of his five All-Star appearances while in Atlanta. In fact, his first All-Star nod came in the 2010 season, which is obviously represented by NBA Live 10. After nine years in Atlanta, he signed with Boston. After nine years in Atlanta he signed with Boston, spending two years with the Celtics, one with the 76ers, and is now in Oklahoma City. He sat out most of 2021 to free up time for his younger teammates, but he’s still one of the active players from NBA Live 10.
Houston Rockets: Eric Gordon
Thanks to his five seasons in New Orleans and the last five in Houston, Eric Gordon’s early tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers feels like a distant memory. It can be seen in NBA Live 10 though, where he was a second year player with the Clippers. He’s still quite young, so like many other players on this list, it’s not altogether surprising that he’s still active twelve years after the release of NBA Live 10. I do sometimes forget that he’s been around that long though, probably because those Clippers years saw him playing in relative obscurity. The last two seasons haven’t been his healthiest, though he did drop a career high 50 points against the Jazz on January 27th, 2020.
Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul
At long last, we’re at the end of the list of players from NBA Live 10 that are still active as of the 2021 season. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I’m finishing up with Chris Paul because frankly, there was a case for him being MVP this year. Everywhere he’s gone, CP3 has provided steady leadership; his teams have qualified for the Playoffs in 12 of his 16 seasons. It’s odd to look back and think that by NBA Live 10, his time in New Orleans was almost over. After he went to the Clippers, they became relevant for the first time…well, ever! Following good years with the Rockets and Thunder, CP3 helped guide the Suns to the league’s second best record in 2021.
Phew! That’s all 44 players from NBA Live 10 that are still active as of the current season. As I noted, there are a couple of other noteworthy players from NBA Live 10 such as Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, and Jamal Crawford, who were active up until 2020. We’ve seen some long careers, but obviously there’s been a lot of turnover as well. At this point in my NBA fandom, I’d say that I’ve seen at least two, possibly three generations of players come and go (depending on how you divide them up). Sometimes, it’s not until you look back at a previous video game – and not always one as old as NBA Live 10 is now – that you realise how times have changed.