A Cut Below: The NBA’s 10 Worst Haircuts of All Time

NBA

(originally posted on Mandatory.com)

The NBA has always been a unique beacon of style and culture overlapping a wide spectrum of complex (and sometimes eccentric) individualism. NBA players are known for their trendsetting style and personalities, at times demonstrating the perils of having too much money and no ideas on what to do with it. Which has, of course, lead several athletes into a tornado of bad hairstyling decisions, either on purpose or purely out of a lack of caring. We’ve rounded up the 10 worst hairstyle fails in NBA history, in no particular order because they all deserve to be crowned worst of the worst. Enjoy!

1/10

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

The only thing more rock star than his edgy hairstyle was the insane amount of ink that “The Birdman” of the NBA donned during his tenure in the league. Anderson was truly the NBA’s version of Mötley Crüe, tatted from head to toe and ready to rock at any moment.

2/10

Robin Lopez

Robin Lopez

If you’ve ever seen The Simpsons, then you probably knew where we were going with this one. Robin Lopez is the 7-foot equivalent of a cartoon character who terrorizes backboards instead of insane clowns.

3/10

Steve Nash

Steve Nash

Even two league MVP trophies and eight all-star selections can’t hide the fact that he had a serial killer haircut for most of his Hall of Fame career. Sorry Steve, but it’s true.

4/10

Larry Bird

Larry Bird

Larry “Legend” was arguably the greatest shooter in the history of the NBA (until Steph Curry), but what really set him apart from all other players was his luxurious golden locks. The mullet-iest of all mullets, he’s a Hall of Famer in both hoops and ’70s and ’80s dad style.

5/10

Kurt Rambis

Kurt Rambis

The black-rimmed, Revenge Of The Nerds glasses only add to the mystique of the goofiest white guy to ever set foot on an NBA floor, Kurt Rambis. His game mimicked his style: wild and crazy, with just enough annoyance to get your blood pumping.

6/10

Bill Walton

Bill Walton

Bill Walton was the only NBA player in history that looked like an extra from Teen Wolf. He’s real-life proof that Sasquatch is not only real, but he can rebound and start a fast break like a maniac.

7/10

Vladimir Radmanović

Vladimir Radmanović

Vlad went with the “just came back from spring break in Jamaica” look, leading to his eventual trade from Seattle. Did the haircut cause the trade? There’s no evidence to prove that it didn’t.

8/10

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

To his credit, he was the pioneer of man-bunning in the NBA, though we’re not sure if that’s a good thing.

9/10

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman

“The Worm” had an abundance of questionable hairstyles to coincide with his insane taste in clothes, friends, and wedding dresses. There will never be another quite like Dennis Rodman.

10/10

Michael Beasley

Michael Beasley

Beasley was an incredible talent coming out Kansas State. Expectations were sky high and so was he for much of his career. As his game roller-coasted up and down, so did his hair styles…and employment.

Russell Westbrook Is Underrated

I think it’s time.

It’s time we set aside our differences and bring this nation together, no more divide and conquer, no more pointless name-calling. We all need to agree that Russell Westbrook is the most dynamic player we’ve seen in recent NBA history.

Don’t get me wrong, Lebron is the second best overall player EVER, and is a physical specimen with the unrealistic career longevity of 1,000-year-old king tortoise.

NBA’s Worst: Tristan Thompson – The Kevin Federline Of The NBA

But, Westbrook is the most untenable in-game matchup problem in the league and has been that way since he set foot on the court – opposing coaches and players have ZERO chance to keep him in check.

Proof: Westbrook has averaged a triple-double for three straight seasons.

Let that sit in for a moment….go ahead, I’ll wait.

He’s the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for an entire season, and Brodie (Russ) has now reached the dubious honor three seasons in a row. Only four seasons in NBA HISTORY have ended with a player averaging a triple-double, count ’em up, rack ’em up – Russ has three out of those four to himself.

RANDOM STATS: Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Royals), during the 1961–62 season, averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game. Over the last three seasons, Russ has averaged 26.6 ppg, 10.5 apg, and 10.6 rpg on 43% from the field.

The eight-time All-Star hit another major individual career achievement on April 2nd, becoming just the second player in NBA history to have at least 20 points, 20 rebounds and 20 assists in a single game. Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player to have a 20-20-20 game.

Chamberlain was a 7-footer in an era where 7-footers barely existed in all of humanity – he was literally (not literally) the first 7-foot player to be able to run, jump and chew gum at the same time. Wilt was the equivalent of the kid who hit his growth spurt before anyone else had hair in their special places. You know, that kid who was 6’1″ at age 12, with a deep voice and pimply-faced cheeks – while everyone else was 5’1″ and sounded like a flute.

Westbrook’s fiery demeanor and no bull-shit attitude is something that’s lacking in today’s NBA, we should be celebrating his game and appreciating every moment before it’s too late. We’ll never see a player like him again.

JR Smith with the worst JR Smith moment ever

Warriors NBA Finals team MVP – JR Smith

Somewhere Chris Webber is weeping tears of joy, because for a short time JR Smith has relinquished him from the throne of basketball-whoops moments in the brightest of spotlight-moments.

The battle between JR Smith, Nick Young and Javale McGee for the NBA’s #1 “can’t get-right” performer of the year was solidified last night in the Golden State Warriors’ overtime victory over the Cleveland Lebrons, 124-114.

After pulling down an offensive rebound off a free-throw, JR Smith couldn’t be bothered with trivial details like how much time was left on the clock, or what the score was or even what city he was in at the moment. Literally everyone in the building and watching on TV knew that the game was tied at 107-107 with four seconds left, but when he rebounded the missed free-throw, Smith opted to dribble out the clock rather than take a shot or make a pass or perhaps even accidentally do something right. You know how sometimes you can miss a shot so bad that you actually bank it in? Well, JR couldn’t even muster that kind of game ending heroics.

Once Smith reached half-court with the ball, all he had left was Lebron’s “wtf are you doing” face and the twitter universe drooling at the opportunity to take Smith down a peg or two-hundred.

Which way to Houston?

This would be sad if it wasn’t somewhat expected at this point. JR’s been on the Hennessey-hoop-game for quite a while and with JR Smith, Henny-thing is POSSIBLE!

Game 1 for the Cavs was the most important game of the series, which sounds ridiculous considering it was game 1. But when you’re playing the Warriors in Oracle Arena and you can somehow squeak out a win early in the series, you HAVE to take advantage of that opportunity. Lebron played what will probably be his best overall game of the series (NBA Finals Career) with 51-8-8, you can’t ask him to do that every single game, even if he may be the only man on the planet that could actually do it in the NBA Finals.

This was the Cavs’ game to steal in Golden State, but instead Cleveland fans and Lebron are left with a bitter taste in their mouth similar to a bad sunflower seed paired with a tall glass of expiration date-past-due milk.

At least JR Smith hasn’t done anything like this before, so no one could’ve seen it coming…..errrr wait:

“Honestly, I thought we were down two when I shot the ball,’’ Smith said then. “I started hearing Tyson [Chandler] say, ‘Noooo, don’t take the shot.’ Just a good shot, bad timing. I realized right after. Bad basketball IQ by me.”

–Jr Smith

 

 

NBA first round exit interviews

It’s peanut butter jelly time.

When a team exits the first round of the playoffs, for some less-than smiley players on the losing squad, the final post-game interview of the season can be a bit daunting. Typically younger players with more to lose keep a tight lip, potentially spit out the athlete-rhetoric responses we have grown used to about “the future” or “keep working hard” or my personal favorite, “it is what it is”.

“Did IIIIIIIIIII do thattttt?!?!”

But every once in a great while, a player who’s a little longer in the tooth and full in the belly, may spew out some interesting nuggets of truth and /or general tone-def selfishness.

Cool armpit tattoo bro.

Take John Wall for example, when disposed about his team’s future:

“It’s just figuring out what pieces we can add to our team,” Wall said. “What guys can stay and what guys can go. That make us, that really want to be here. That really want to win and really want to take that next step.

“I don’t put the pressure on everybody else. I put the pressure on myself because I am that franchise guy. I am the guy that has to be the leader of the team, that has to get everybody better, make everybody better on my team,” Wall said. “At the same time, if I’m doing my part, the other 14 guys on my team have to do their part at getting better every year. Just being true to the team. Our problem at a lot times is guys don’t understand their role and respect their role.”

After the post-game interviews cooled, he elaborated more by throwing players under the bus:

“It’s pretty obvious. I don’t need to point it out. I think the way the league is going, you need athletic bigs, you need scoring off the bench, you need all of those types of things,” Wall said. “We don’t really have an athletic big.”

later adding….

“I don’t know. It’s up to them to make the decision. Like I said, whoever comes back, whoever stays, what it is, we deal with it because those are our teammates,” Wall said. “Those guys do the best they can. They have the ability to help us out as much as possible. We know what it is, what the situations are. That’s up to the front office to decide. If they want to make any changes or keep guys. At the same time, you kind of know what guys want to be here from what people have said in the past or what they haven’t said.”

Sooooooo that’s one way to do it, I guess.

Carmelo Anthony, who in the last 6 months, fell off of a cliff the size of the friggin Grand Canyon averaged an awkward 16.2 ppg and 5.8 rpb this season (both career lows) only to follow-up the downward spiral in the playoffs by slopping out 11.2 ppg and 5.6 rpg. The stat line in the playoffs for Melo read more like a third year role player who might get traded in the off-season than that of a scoring champ, gold medalist and league scoring title-belt owner.

So when the OKC Westbrooks were put out of their misery by the Utah Yazz flutes, an obviously frustrated Melo took to the microphone, and when asked about next season, Melo replied:

“I’m not sacrificing no bench role. That’s out of the question. As far as sacrificing—I don’t even like to talk about finances and the economics of the game of basketball. When that time comes, that time will come. If and when we have to sit down and talk about what’s the future, and ideas and situations, then, that time will come. I honestly don’t even feel comfortable sitting here talking about money and basketball.”

Kudos for Melo NOT speaking money publicly, he’s smart to ignore that part of it. Melo si owed $28 million next year if OKC takes his option and brings him back. But there’s zero chance Melo will be a starter, he’s hit his wall athletically and there’s no chance he can be anything but a spot up shooter with Westbrook’s gazelle offense. This season he produced a dismal 50.3 True Shooting percentage, and an even shittier 48.3 percentage after the All Star break. He’s been an inefficient scorer and a poor defender for at least the last four seasons and forever respectively.

 

The NBA playoffs are here- rejoice unto him

Key dates: 2018 NBA playoffs

April 14: First round begins | Tickets on Vivid Seats

April 30-May 1: Conference semis begin (possible move-up to April 28-29)

May 15-16: Conference finals begin (possible move-up to May 13-14)

May 31: NBA Finals begin

(1) Toronto Raptors vs. (8) Washington Wizards


(2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Milwaukee Bucks


(3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Miami Heat


(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Indiana Pacers

(1) Houston Rockets vs. (8) Minnesota Timberwolves


(2) Golden State Warriors vs. (7) San Antonio Spurs


(3) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (6) New Orleans Pelicans


(4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (5) Utah Jazz

You’ve all been asking – what’s really going on with Korean basketball?

Determination masked as mouth-breathing

Recently many of you may have been pondering, as I often do, what’s going on in the world of professional Korean basketball?

Resting in the shadows of the 2018 Olympics, nuclear weapons and politics – we have the current state of hoops going through a bit of a renaissance in South Korea.

As reported by Deadspin:

The KBL instituted a rule last month to limit the height of foreign players to two meters, and to only have a maximum of two foreign players per team, according to the Korea Times.

The rule was reportedly put in place to encourage teams to recruit more locally. And in the true over-40 rec league sense of rule making – to find players who aren’t merely a tall drink of water holding a basketball above their head while “the littles” attempt to swing at the just-out-of-reach ball like they’re swatting at flies. If this sounds like a scene from Space Jam, well…..it kinda is:

He’s so little!

David Simon, a 35-year-old Anyang KGC center, has been playing overseas for more than a decade now, but this new rule means he’ll have to find a team in another country. He’s now too tall for the Korean Basketball League. At 6-foot-8 or 202 centimeters, Simon doesn’t cut it, the limit is now 200 cm per player.

Although height definitely helps on the hardwood, it doesn’t necessarily translate to skill—but it has for Simon, who led the league this season in scoring (26.1 points per game) and blocks (2.2). So, essentially the league just gave it’s best player the boot.

David Simon (not The Wire)

This isn’t the first time the Korean pro league has made some headlines of late, recently coach Yoo Jae-hak of the Korean Basketball League was livid during a timeout, even though his team was winning by 13 points, and one specific player caught his ire.

Jae-hak was so inexplicably furious that he had a staff member give tape for Ham Ji-hoon to place over his mouth. Now, I don’t speak Korean, so I’m not sure what was said, but the tape probably meant Jae-hak wanted that player to shut up.

And let’s not forget the greatest basketball themed mannequin challenge ever perpetrated on a basketball court (I apologize for the social commentary in this video):

 

 

 

 

Yes, And-1 Is Still Around And Hot Sauce Is Still Breakin Ankles

The hoops crime scene was outlined with white chalk, a pair of untied Jordan’s and a back-side sweat print on the wood floor in Atlanta at Phillips Arena on Monday night.  The victim was identified as Joey “Falls Hard” Jenkins (may or may not be his actual name).

The sniper?  AND1 Mixtape star Philip “Hot Sauce” Champion.

Looks like the halftime show is more exciting than any actual Atlanta Hawks game this season:

NBA All-Star Voting Is Dumb

The NBA announced the 10 “starters” for the NBA All-Star pick-up game that is set to be performed at the Staples Center midway through the N.E.R.D. concert, and just following the Fergie/Bare Naked Ladies National Anthems next month.  Yes, you read that correctly, Bare…Naked…Ladies are still around apparently.

The voting is a trifecta of confusion and stupidity based on 3 voting groups consisting of fans, players and media members.  The media members cast votes for 7 frontcourt players and 5 backcourt players which are then ranked accordingly.  While this seeems like a decent system worthy of even the GOP’s approval, the fans are allowed to vote as many times as they want online and there was even recently a “double voting” night on the NBA website which made every vote count as two.  What?!?!?!

Lastly, the players themselves cast votes, which leads to 125 guys who got at least one vote from a fellow player.  That’s an average of a little more than 8 per team — not just to be an All-Star, but a starter.  Here’s a list of every player that received 1 vote:

  • East Frontcourt: Cedi Osman, Domantas Sabonis, John Henson, Jabari Parker, Jarrett Allen, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doug McDermott, Frank Kaminsky, Bismack Biyombo, Trevor Booker, Dwayne Bacon, Ike Anigbogu, Denzel Valentine, James Michael McAdoo, TJ Leaf, Semi Ojeleye, Taurean Prince, Amir Johnson, Lance Thomas, Marvin Williams, Anthony Tolliver, Tyler Cavanaugh, Johnny O’Bryant III, Eric Moreland
  • East Guards: Derrick Rose, JR Smith, Frank Ntilikina, Zach LaVine, Dennis Schroeder, Courtney Lee, Terry Rozier, Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson, Mario Hezonja, Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway, Cameron Payne, Sean Kilpatrick, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Derrick Jones Jr., Derrick Walton Jr.
  • West Frontcourt: David West, Julius Randle, Rudy Gobert, Kosta Koufos, Nemanja Bjelica, Paul Millsap, Willie Cauley-Stein, Josh Jackson, Omer Asik, Dragan Bender, Matt Costello, Damian Jones, Ivica Zubac, Trey Lyles, Gorgui Dieng, Darius Miller, Dwight Powell, Justin Jackson, Nerlens Noel, James Ennis III, Dakari Johnson, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson, JaKarr Sampson, Jack Cooley, Tyler Lydon, Brandan Wright
  • West Guards: Jordan Clarkson, Danny Green, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Seth Curry, De’Aaron Fox, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Gerald Green, Tyus Jones, Will Barton, Brandon Paul, Wes Matthews, George Hill, Briante Weber, Pat Connaughton, Daniel Hamilton, Emmanuel Mudiay, Aaron Brooks, Sindarius Thornwell, Wayne Selden

For now let’s focus on how dumb fan-voting is.  Here’s all you need to know, Lonzo Ball received 607,961 fan votes, which beat out Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Jimmy Butler, Devin Booker, Tony Parker, Lou Williams, CJ McCollum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyle Kuzma, Blake Griffin, Brandon Ingram….I mean the list is long and distinguished, unlike Lonzo’s stat-lines this season.

Here’s another cherry on top of the madness, Gordon Hayward received more than 79,000 votes from fans (16th among East frontcourt players).  Hayward has played less than six minutes this season because of a vomit-inducing injury on opening night.

Sure it feels weird to whine about voting for what is billed as a “fun” celebratory basketball weekend for the NBA, but players’ career stats and salaries are partially affected by all-star voting.  The number of all-star appearances are valuable, feather-in-your-hat, negotiating tools in contract discussions as well as HOF induction parameters at the end of a player’s career.  So while it may seem like a meaningless award to be named to an all-star team for casual NBA fans, it’s much more meaningful to players.

Damian Lillard is a two-time all-star, that averages 23 ppg during his six year career in the NBA.  He’s consistently considered widely as a top-five guard in the western conference and by some hoop-heads, a top-five guard in the entire league.  He’s the 4th highest voted guard in the west by the players this season, but 8th overall in the west by fans and received ZERO votes by media members.  How is this possible?  Simply put: Lillard plays in Portland in a tough western conference, and the pacific northwest is a forgotten wasteland to media members and fans alike unless the city is named Seattle or whatever Narnia those vampire emo-kids are from.

Furthering my point, Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers has 250,000 more fan votes than Lillard (insert stat-lines that will infuriate):

Damian Lillard 2017-18: 25 ppg 4.8 rpg 6.5 apg

42.8 FG% 34.9 FG3% 91.9 FT%

PER 22.8

Lonzo Ball 2017-18: 10.2 ppg 7.1 rpg 7.1 apg

35.6 FG% 30.3 FG3% 48 FT%

PER 12.1 

In addition to fans being degenerate, drunken, mental dwarfs….the players’ vote isn’t much more efficient when you consider: Tyler Zeller, who is 10th on the Nets in minutes per game at 17.6, received four votes from the players.  So did Jahlil Okafor, who barely played for the 76ers before getting traded to the Nets.  He’s played 138 minutes TOTAL this season.  Knicks bench-mooks Michael Beasley and Kyle O’Quinn also received four votes.  Enes Kanter finished tied for ninth among frontcourt players in the East with 17 votes, ahead of players like Khris Middleton, Dwight Howard and Hassan Whiteside.  The Knicks’ 2nd best player all season, Tim Hardaway Jr., only received two votes, the same was Wily Hernangomez but one more than Doug McDermott and Lance Thomas.

So what’s the answer?

First of all, expand team sizes to 14 per side with 2 alternates.  Who cares about playing time, this isn’t the YMCA rec league.

Secondly, voting for those 16 total players in both conferences should come from a) NBA Coach’s vote, b) Media Members vote, and c) NBA Players’ vote.

Lastly, let the stupid fans have their fun by selecting the starters from those rosters selected by the coaches, media members and players.  Fans votes should have ZERO affect on a player’s career stats or future contract-bargaining chips when it comes to all-star appearances.

Why is this whole thing so dumb?  I used to love the NBA All-Star Weekend, what happened?!?!