NBA Players, Notable Haircuts and Their Barbershops

Sean Hojnacki@@TheRealHojnackiFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2013

Iman Shumpert
Iman ShumpertJamie McDonald/Getty Images

As Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks has clearly demonstrated with his flattop this season, hair is one of the few elements of style that a player can display on the court. 

So that's what makes a player's barber so important.

And, of course, the barbershop is an important social venue for a variety of reasons.

Unlike most players who prefer to keep their favorite haunts a secret, LeBron James gave fans a glimpse inside his visit to a local barber in a recent Samsung commercial.

Then again, it's not all basketball talk at barbershops. As Paul Mooney said in his review of the movie Barbershop on an episode of Chappelle's Show: "You know that's just a front. They sell drugs at the barbershops" (per IMDB).

While his cynical assessment is obviously not (entirely) true, it's still an amusing claim.

But what other NBA stars have given us a look inside their barbershops besides LeBron?

The crew from consisting of former players Dennis Scott and Brent Barry as well as commentator Sekou Smith headed to Goodfellas in Smyrna, GA to talk basketball. It has to be said that the barbers' assessments of Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose were pretty accurate.

Former NBAer Terrell Brandon spent most of his 11-year career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Now he owns and operates a barbershop in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, creatively named "Terrell Brandon's Barber Shop."

There's only one problem. As he admitted to Wendell Maxey of, "I've never cut hair a day in my life." Well that's just a minor detail.

Of course, the king of the barbershop has to be retired 13-year veteran Anthony Mason. He consistently had different messages emblazoned in his haircuts, such as this picture from the Sports Illustrated vault of Mason claiming to be a "Point God" (via Andy Gray on Twitter):

Mason has had some imitators—like Daniel Gibson (here), Andray Blatche (here) and Metta World Peace (aka, Ron Artest)—but there are no equals.

Mason was even immortalized in the Beastie Boys song "B-Boys Makin' With The Freak Freak." As they rapped, "I got my hair cut correct like Anthony Mason, then I ride the I.R.T. right up to Penn Station."

Many NBA players around New York have stopped by Astor Place Hairstylists, including such luminaries as John Starks (as well as other celebs like Isiah Thomas, Jerry Rice and Bill Clinton).

But having good hair is not a guarantee of a roster spot. The Brooklyn Nets recently squandered a chance to have two of the league's foremost afros when they waived Josh Childress.

Pairing him in the backcourt with MarShon Brooks ('fro here) could have created a hairy situation for defenses. 

But alas, the golden era of basketball hairstyles seems to have passed us by. It's been all downhill since Julius Erving (aka, Dr. J) and Bill Walton (aka, Chewbacca) retired.

Thankfully, Iman Shumpert has brought back the flattop from Kid 'n' Play.

But barbers around America need to stop talking so much basketball and step up their hairstyling game. If Terrell Brandon ever learns to cut hair, we could be in store for something special.