Even though comparing basketball and soccer is a difficult dynamic, we can draw some similarities between some of the biggest names in each discipline. In the NBA, we will find personalities similar to those seen in European football and vice-versa.
Naturally, with both basketball and soccer being global sports, sports fans tend to compare the best players in one sport with their counterparts in the other.
In this list, we will mention five current NBA superstars and their equivalents in European soccer. The comparison will not be as detailed as it would have been with players in the same sport, but the abilities, potential, personalities and success of both players in their respective sport will find a mention.
Without further ado, let us get started.
#5 Zion Williamson - NBA / Erling Haaland - soccer
Zion Williamson and Erling Braut Haaland are two young, left-handed/left-footed and physically imposing players who have shown the world that they have the potential to become legends in their respective sport in the years to come.
Though Zion Williamson only played 24 NBA games in his rookie year, his impact was huge from the moment he entered an NBA court.
In his debut season, once Williamson got into NBA basketball rhythm, he let the world know that he was not afraid of the stage. He scored 22 points against the San Antonio Spurs in his NBA debut on 22 January 2020 and made eight of his 11 shots. Williamson had a ferocious 17-point fourth quarter and hit each of his four shots from three in that game.
Haaland, on the other hand, made his name by making a tremendous debut in the biggest of stages. In his first UEFA Champions League match, back in September 2019, the Norwegian scored a hat-trick against KRC Genk in a 6-2 win for Salzburg.
After getting transferred to Borussia Dortmund in the same season, he scored another debut hat-trick (this time from the bench) in his first Bundesliga game.
Williamson and Haaland are two probable future superstars who have indeed started their careers at the highest level in stunning fashion.
#4 Klay Thompson - NBA / Kevin De Bruyne - soccer
Without the injury that kept him out from the entire 2019-20 NBA season, Thompson would have been one of the Golden State Warriors' main weapons, as is usually the case.
Though Thompson might not be the best player in his team, he is an essential piece in Steve Kerr's system, and the team will need him to be at his best level if they are going to compete for the NBA title next season.
Style and polished technique are the two things we might think of when talking about these two world-class athletes.
Like Thompson (for the Warriors), Kevin De Bruyne is one of Manchester City's key players. Even though the Belgian might not be the best in his team or the club's biggest name (Sergio Aguero probably has that distinction), he is nevertheless a crucial cog in Pep Guardiola's structure.