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When athletes and Halloween collide: Ranking the top 10 costumes

Profile Picture: Ashley Anderson

October 29th, 2020

From classic Disney princesses to creepy horror villains and other famous celebrities, some sports stars go all out when it comes to dressing up for Halloween.  

In honor of the upcoming holiday, let’s look back on 10 Halloween costumes of pro athletes past and present, and rank them according to overall effort, appearance, and creativity.

10. Tom Brady as the Cowardly Lion

Since he met his wife, Gisele, quarterback Tom Brady has upped his Halloween game. Last year, he went for a timeless Stormtrooper outfit, while in 2017, he and Gisele matched in an avocado and toast ensemble.

You may remember Brady and Gisele cozying up as the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy back in 2013, but it was Brady’s first attempt at the Wizard of Oz character that makes our list of athletes’ Halloween costumes.

Try getting that image out of your head.

9. Michael Jordan’s last-minute grandma costume

In 1992, Michael Jordan let magazine SI Kids dress him up for Halloween to showcase some pretty ridiculous DIY costume ideas.

Jordan put in minimal effort as a grandma in a Bulls jersey, but he seemingly got into the spirit once he donned those hippie sunglasses and ‘80s rock star hair.

8. Shaun White as Ariel

Olympic gold medalist Shaun White isn’t afraid to let his hair down on Halloween. Rocking his natural, curly red mane, he channeled Disney princess Ariel from the Little Mermaid in 2012.

On past Halloweens, the Flying Tomato has also parodied famous redheads, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Wendy, of food chain fame.

7. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union as Milli Vanilli

Kids today probably don’t know who Milli Vanilli is, but retired basketball star Dwyane Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, gave us all a lesson in music history and clever couples costumes in 2017.

6. Jimmy Graham and Nate Weir as Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve

Can you spot the difference in these photos? In 2019, Bears tight end Jimmy Graham — then a member of the Packers — did his best Aaron Judge impression, while Packers trainer Nate Weir wore an Astros jersey to emulate Jose Altuve.

The resemblance is uncanny. Also, props to Graham on getting Judge’s arm sleeve just right and to Weir for going the extra mile to match Altuve’s glove.

5. Steph Curry as Billy the Puppet from Saw

NBA players get a lot of attention for what they wear to games, and Steph Curry was no exception in 2017. Before a matchup with the Pistons, Curry wheeled up to Oracle Arena on a red tricycle, while he wore a Billy the Puppet mask, black tuxedo, red bow tie, and blasted the theme music from the horror movie Saw. 

4. Tie: LeBron James as Edward Scissorhands and Prince

It doesn’t get much better than LeBron James' imitation of Edward — or "LeDward" — Scissorhands — from last Halloween. Everything from the wild wig to the makeup, straitjacket-style jumpsuit, and finger blades exude full-on costume commitment.

His Prince tribute at a 2015 Cavs Halloween party is equally impressive. Not only did LeBron embody the Purple One, but he spent much of the night singing karaoke to Prince’s greatest hits.

3. Paul George as the Night King

Game of Thrones fans surely appreciate the labor that went into Paul George’s Night King get-up. If only Game of Thrones had put as much effort into Season 8…

2. Tony Hawk as Larry David

This costume is pretty, pretty, pretty good. From a distance, you might actually think Seinfeld creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David is about to drop in on a halfpipe. Instead, it’s iconic skateboarder Tony Hawk in prosthetic makeup.

1. Bill Belichick as a pirate

The pirate costume is a bit unoriginal, but the fact Bill Belichick is wearing one makes it so much better. In the video below, you not only receive a cameo from Randy Moss persuading Belichick to attend a Halloween get-together, but you get some amazing one-liners from Bill.

"Can I come dressed as the devil?" and "candy and costumes, how can you beat that?" are delivered with such brilliant sarcasm, but the best moment of all is when Belichick arrives in an elaborate buccaneer costume (awkward future Brady connection) and is seen skating joyously around a roller rink.


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