Last month I paid $100 for the opportunity to watch NBA games live on the computer for the rest of the regular season. I got the less expensive "Choice" membership, so I don't get to watch every game, just games where the seven teams I chose play. At first I thought it would be cool if it worked like itunes, where only the seven teams I picked got paid, but then one of my teams is the L.A. Clippers and I would be ashamed if I gave any money to Donald Sterling. Anyway, watching 10-15 games a week (they let you watch the old ones whenever you want) has given me a lot of time to consider the various physical choices that players make these days. Tattoos are pretty hard to see in the rush of the game, and surprisingly poorly documented on the internet (can anyone tell me what the backwards text on Wilson Chandler's left shoulder reads?). But you get a lot of time to consider facial hair and grooming. I've started to shape my loyalties to these choices, which I understand is entirely inappropriate. Having yelled at the computer about this for the past several weeks I'm ready to reveal my rankings for the 2010-11 season:
Worst Eyebrows in the NBA
3. Jarrett Jack
I think my dislike of Jarrett Jack stems from his time on the Blazers when I lived in Portland. I could grow to like his eyebrows if he considered changing his mustache.
2. Carlos Boozer
I was totally ready to start backing the Bulls this year until they got Boozer from Utah. Now I hate Derrick Rose because of him.
1. Tony Parker
Just the worst. It doesn't help that he uses his eyebrows so expressively, as he does here in dialogue with a ref. The rumors about him coming to the Knicks last summer gave me nightmares!
Best Beards in the NBA
3. Dorell Wright
Viewed head on, there's not much special about this one. But from the side? Magic! The transition to his fade is really smart, and the sharpest I've seen. Baron Davis ran this for awhile but his headband covered it, making a brilliant decision pointless.
2. James Hardin
The Thunder are pretty much the easiest team in the NBA to like. Throughout high school, Seattle was my #1 team, I wore a green Sonics hat to school every day that probably clashed with all of my clothes. When they relocated to Oklahoma City, I vowed to hate them forever. Watching them play these days, even when I pick at that scab by watching videos of Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton lament that there's no longer a stadium to hang their jerseys in, I can't help but love them. Russell Westbrook gets most of the credit, but Harden's pioneer beard gets the rest of it. Extra credit for always having a tight haircut. Contrast!
1. Ronny Turiaf
Objectively, a great beard, but gets the most points for being such an excellent expression of Turiaf's personality. Unquestionably the best celebrator in the league, and a very funny weirdo. I have to say this screengrab doesn't really do it much justice, but you should check out the video it came from, he really lets you see every angle.