See Eerie Similaries Between Derek Jeter & Kobe Bryant

Last night was the final time Derek Jeter will play shortstop for the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium. He ended the game with a game-winning hit in the ninth, naturally, which is why so many stars give him “Re2pect.” We don’t really watch baseball, but a certain graphic comparing the Yankee’s captain and Lakers captain Kobe Bryant caught our attention. The similarities between the two players — both of whom made their debuts in 1996 — seem to be something more than just coincidence.

From reddit’s excellent r/NBA community, by way of Twitter, comes this insane graphic showing how close their playing careers have been:

The fact that both athletes have appeared in seven championships, and won five of them, with Kobe capturing two Finals MVPs (in 2009 and 2010) to Jeter’s lone World Series MVP (in 2000) can be chalked up to serendipity.

But both players sharing a .614 all-time playoff winning percentage? That’s just freakin’ bizarre. We read a lot of detective noire* and there’s a maxim: there is no such thing as a coincidence. Things fit together for a reason, so there’s usually something behind what many describe as fate or an accident.

Jeter is retiring after his 20th season this year, and Kobe signed a new contract for two more seasons this past season, which will mean he’ll be due for a new deal in 2016. If he decides to call it quits at that time, he’ll end with a 20-season career just like Jeter. If there’s any clue when Kobe might say he’s done, this is a pretty big one.

Two of the game’s greats share quite a bit, but thankfully we’re not unraveling a mystery.

*We’re currently breezing through John D. MacDonald’s series of Travis McGee novels, but we strongly suggest Walter Mosley’s series about Easy Rawlins, which might be the finest in the detective canon (apologies to Dashielle Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Robert B. Parker, Ross Macdonald, and the other greats).

How do you explain these career parallels?

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