Out of Bounds: The NBA Hair Awards

out of bounds with jason riley

This is a relatively, well, boring part of the NBA season for the Lakers. All the hype of the Kobe, Shaq reunion during All-Star weekend is fading. Our match ups with the East elite – Boston, Cleveland, Orlando – have come and gone. Barring a freak accident involving both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the road to the NBA Finals will travel through Staples Center.

If playing in the NBA were like any normal office job, this is about the time when twenty minute coffee breaks start turning into three hour off-site strategy sessions. When “ish” is added to the end of all work-related times and deadlines. When Facebook statuses are suddenly clever and updated several times a day. When vacation time is burned through like Sodom and Gomorrah. Simply put, outside of the race for home court in the NBA Finals, not a whole lot is going on and everyone knows it.

Lulls in the season like this lead to absurd conversations like the one I had in New Mexico with a couple of friends this weekend. During halftime of the Boston, Detroit game my friend Dan says, “When did Detroit sign Fabio?” That comment kicked off an estrogen laced discussion about the worst hair in the NBA. While the Pistons were busy slapping the Celtics in Boston, we compiled a list of guys who have worse hair than Sasha Vujacic (In no particular order).

Walter Herrmann (Pistons).
Walter is a tanning package short of gracing the next mediocre romance novel at your local Wal-Mart. Based entirely on his appearance, I would assume that he watches Lifetime religiously, eats a lot of salad and only drinks soy lattes with extra foam at Starbucks. Of course, if he wanted to fight me, I would instantly disappear into a cave.

The Gasol Brothers (Lakers, Grizzlies).
Is there a Spanish word for shampoo? Oh, its champú, that’s a tough one. Why doesn’t the Gasol family know about this? When I saw the new Axe commercial for Girl Approved Hair Shampoo, I immediately thought of Pau Gasol. Can somebody drop a bottle of this off in his locker with a note explaining how to use it? That would be great.

Mike Miller (Timberwolves).
I’m pretty sure Mike was going for the surfer look; and then completely forgot about it for the next five years. If there’s one NBA player who could make a seamless crossover to the WNBA, it’s him. I mean, why not? He plays for the T-Puffs and at-least in the WNBA he could mix and match headbands with his teammates.

Robin Lopez (Suns).
You think the Lopez family wanted girls? Apparently, the parents were un-deterred by the sex of their children, named their male twins Robin and Brooke, and by all indications, raised Robin as a girl despite the fact that he was probably 6’6″ in grade school. I wonder how many Lopez’ Christmases were kicked off by Robin excitedly opening up his new curling iron? I’d set the Vegas over/under at 15.

Anderson Varejao (Cavaliers).
I can only assume that Anderson’s father came to his son some time during high school and said, “Every time you shamelessly flop on the court, you can shamelessly add one new curl to your hair.” A decade or so later, and his head has become a nice vacation resort for lice everywhere.

Louis Amundson (Suns).
There is no way that Samson from the Bible didn’t look exactly like this. If Amundson would have lived back in those days, that man-tail flopping around on top of his head might have actually been considered cool. As for now, it looks like he was teleported in time from a Pearl Jam concert in 1995.

I vote for the NBA to make this an annual award handed out during halftime of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. It should be named after Scot Pollard and get exclusive sponsorship from Revlon. Each recipient should receive a $500 Gift Card to ULTA and a years’ supply of hair products from Redken. How could this award not completely eradicate bad hair from the NBA? Every suspect player would immediately hire stylists to make sure they were never listed as a nominee. We’d see guys showing up to team flights with hair caps on, blonde highlights and travel size containers of hair gel. This would totally boost the economy and create jobs. Plus, it would give Jeff Van Gundy something to actually talk about.

Now that’s a stimulus package I could get behind. As for now, the idea at-least helps pass the time before the playoffs start.

I don’t know about you, but they can’t get here fast enough.

Jason Riley is a columnist for the Lakers Nation. In addition to this column, he writes on an array of topics that you can check out by visiting J-Ri.com. You can email him by clicking here, or look him up on Facebook.

Jason Riley is the executive director of LakerNation.com. He also pens a regular opinion column, Out of Bounds, and is the co-host of Voice of the Nation: Fastbreak. He currently splits his time in Los Angeles, CA and Carlsbad, CA.
  • will

    What about birdman from nuggets

  • patthegreat

    steve nash?

  • Andrew Rafner

    don’t let brickley see this…

    i loved it.

  • Jason Riley

    Birdman & Nash could definitely make the list. Think their hair is worse than Sasha though?

    Ha-ha, thanks Rafner!

  • http://www.thelakersnation.com Ricky Dieffenbacher

    what about LO’s hair? Andres Nocioni? Sasha’s?

  • domz

    i would love to see drew gooden’s side burns and goatee!

  • Smush Walton

    Don’t forget Joakim Noah.
    He looks like another NBA Mop Top.