As we hit this critical juncture of the season, it’s time to really take stock of the assets at our disposal. We are how we feel; and we all too often feel how we look. Sometimes the right attention to grooming can be just the edge we need. So it needs to be asked (especially on the heels of yesterday's 'Pink Shoes' discussion) – which Blazer has the best ‘Hair Game’?
Before you shout ‘RoLo’ and click to another fluff piece, let’s consider that we’re not just looking for the ‘MVC’ (Most Valuable Coiff), but that hair in this case INCLUDES facial hair game.
To do this otherwise would be like considering offense without defense. We’re looking for the best two-way follicles here.
It’s up to you to cut through the layers of what really makes a player’s hair valuable – is it manageability and style? Can it be trained? How is its conditioning? Is it sturdy enough to laugh at a game’s worth of 90-foot-long windsprints? Will it wilt in the big moments? Can it stand up to the scrutiny of the national media and millions of viewers come playoff time? These answers could be surprisingly telling.
Of something, at least. Most likely just our personal biases when it comes to hair. But who knows, we have accepted that a groundhog can be a meteorologist, animals handicap the Super Bowl, and politicians make laws, so why can’t we look to hair as a weathervane of sorts?
So let’s get down to it – here’s a rundown of each roster member’s hair game - in no particular order.
(Disclaimer: I am not a hairstylist, and do not have any formal training in the hair arts.)
He’s rocked some chin music the whole year through, and lately has favored a full beard with some extra length where his goatee used to stand by itself. His mop on top demands to be the Center of attention, and is best described as -- well, incomparable. Except to a certain loveable Simpsons villain.
Kaman has really solidified the bench’s hair game, as his current mountain man beard is oh-so Portland. And while he’s thinning on top, he alternately goes streamlined with a shaved head or lets it go for a while, showing he’s not overly self-conscious about the male-pattern asserting itself with age. He may deserve bonus points, as he has been identified in the top percentile of body hair in the league – and it’s either fair or he does everyone the favor of manscaping his body carpet. That might be worth double bonus points.
Dame keeps his hair like his image – tight. His ‘faux hawk’ reinforces the stylized individual that he is. Apart from a brief moment in December when he uncharacteristically let his ‘stache get a bit too scraggly (we've all been there), he’s played his upper lip close, along with varying lengths of goatee.
Always keeping his lid tight, LMA usually opts for a uniform length on top, or a slight fade. This year he has often gone to a close-cropped and well-looked-after beard. Definitely an all-star worthy 1-2.
While Nic has struggled on the court for much of the year, his grooming has not. He keeps it simple, effortless, and classic, keeping his hair and beard generally the same length for a balanced attack, with some close shaves of both thrown in occasionally to keep things fresh. Basically looks like he just walked out of the pages of European GQ, any given year ever.
Aflalo’s high hairline could factor in his decision to keeping his dome stubble-short – and it does look kinda smoother than going with the Bic look. He has publically stated that his goatee cannot take the place of Wesley Matthews’ goatee (I think that’s what he said), but its merits remain evident.
Don’t expect Wes to ‘let himself go’ while he has to sit around for a while. Wes is no stranger to the barber’s chair, and he will return.
Blake’s approach is very similar to Batum’s: low maintenance, consistent, a haircut you could set your watch to. Occasionally mixes in some face stubble, which gives a slight uptick to his ‘tough guy’ look.
Although he has spent a lot of time on the bench this year for various reasons, a strong argument can be made that his hair skills are starter-worthy. At the very least he should be in consideration for Most Improved Hair, as his look has transformed a lot during his time with the club. His current modern look combines a quiff-ish top, the omni-popular beard, and a double-edged fade between the two. Fashion Forward.
Meyers has shortened up the Bieberesque quiff he was sporting earlier this year, now featuring a look that appears to have him spend less time in front of the mirror, a move likely welcomed by most male fans. The moustache he sprouted during Movember was kind of comically awesome, and he should maybe think about bringing it back during non-‘stache-oriented months, since it definitely fits in with Portland hipster aesthetics. Basically he can look however he wants if he keeps shooting at his current rates.
C.J. keeps things pretty understated but you may note in this recent interview that in addition to having a tight fade on his wig, he is rocking a moustache fade, and possibly even a goatee fade (?). If confirmed, that would be a quiet revolution, right there.
D-Wright has recently revisited his long history of funky hairstyles, going for a fuller version of the faux hawk, with a big contrast between his shaved temples and his natural mane elsewhere. It’s a real veteran move, as it adds an extra inch or two just in time for the stretch run. He also shaved his season-long beard, which he often let run on the natural side, now downsizing to a ‘stache for the moment. Again, he could just be gearing up for a run at a playoff beard.
‘Cool Breeze’ has shown maturity in more ways than one this year, as his reliance on a beard this season is a surprising upgrade from his rookie goatee.
Having just recently been acquired and without a lot of time spent in the Blazers Practice Facility’s barber shop, Gee is still a bit of a hair ‘unknown’. He appears to have debuted with a swingman fade and thick (but well-manicured) Abe Lincoln beard combo, which is a pretty strong power move.