Not Fade Away: Top 10 High Top Fades in NBA History
Teams in the NBA are big on wearing throwback uniforms, but one player has opted for some throwback hair. Brandon Jennings has revived the high top fade, unveiling his new 'do earlier this month against the Nets.
In the mid-eighties, the high top fade was introduced through hip-hop culture. Big Daddy Kane, Eric B. & Rakim, Third Bass, De La Soul, the "urban flattop" was popping up everywhere.
The late eighties and early nineties saw a boom of the hairstyle popularized by the likes of Kid 'n Play, and Will Smith aka the Fresh Prince.
Many variations of the high top fade started to emerge with names like the "Gumby" and the "Reagan" accented by shapes, "parts" and "steps" for added flair.
The popularity of the high top fade played a major role in killing off the jheri curl. The style later gave way to dreads, cornrows, and the simple fade in the late-nineties.
The look infiltrated the sports world thanks to athletes such as Gary Sheffield in baseball and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard.
Nowhere, however, was the cut more popular than in the NBA.
Let's have a look at the best high top fades the NBA has offered up throughout the past.
Brandon Jennings garnered some attention in this year's draft for opting to forgo college and play a yer in Europe. Many questioned Jennings' lack of playing time while in Italy, causing him to drop to the tenth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The Milwaukee Bucks knew they had made the right choice when "Young Buck" dropped 55 points in a game against the Warriors in his first month.
Jennings has since cooled off a bit, but his new high top fade is the hottest hairstyle in the league. No stranger to the cut, Jennings rocked the fade back in high school.
Here's to hoping the fade makes a resurgence, at least in the NBA.
Taking the high top fade to another level, excuse the pun, was just part of Kenny "Sky" Walker's game. He was also a spectacular dunker.
Walker won the 1989 Slam Dunk Contest with his Baseline Rock-the-Baby dunk, beating out Clyde Drexler and Spud Webb.
Though Kenny Walker was never the best player to wear a Knicks uni, his super high top fade lives on.
I have added highlights of the 1989 Slam Dunk Contest, enjoy.
Though Patrick Ewing's fade was not as amazing as teammate Kenny Walker's, his Hall of Fame career definitely stacks up against the best.
The center from Jamaica has one of the most prolific careers in modern basketball, winning just about everything except for an NBA championship ring.
Standing 7' tall, Ewing easily added two to three inches to his height with his high top fade to make him one of the most feared players in NBA history.
It's nice to see Ewing still rocks his flat top fade, even in candy bar commercials.
The longtime sidekick of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, is probably the most underrated basketball player of all-time.
With six championship rings and a selection to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of All-Time list, Scottie has still gotten his praise.
Though nobody wore the #33 Bulls jersey like they wore the infinitely popular #23 of Jordan, Pippin had the hair that MJ wished he had.
Below is a rare sight, Michael Jordan vs. Scottie Pippen. It just seems wrong.
Robert Horry carved out a name for himself through clutch play in the playoffs and NBA Finals. "Big Shot Bob" has seven championship rings with three different teams.
Overshadowed by Horry's clutch shooting was his stylin' hair early in his career. In his first few years with the Houston Rockets, Horry had a high top fade straight out of "A Different World".
Here's a taste of his sweet shot.
Sam Perkins had two nicknames that described the style he exuded on the court, "Sleepy Sam" and "Big Smooth". With monikers like that, a high top fade is about the only hairstyle one could wear in his early years.
Perkins later grew his hair into an afro that slowly evolved into the massive head of dreads that he maintains to this day.
His rally speech is obviously the main reason that Barrack Obama was elected President of the United States of America.
Charles Smith turned his stellar college run at Pitt into a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics. Later that year, Smith was selected third overall in the NBA Draft.
Charles Smith fell victim to the cursed LA Clippers franchise and never developed his talent into stardom. His fade, on the other hand, was a star in its own right.
Here's some of the '88 Olympics, USA vs. China.
J.R. Reid was part of the 1988 Bronze medal winning USA Olympic basketball team.
His mindblowing ability in high school earned him the first ever Gatorade National Basketball Player of the Year.
His outstanding college play earned him a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the fifth pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.
His dismal professional play earned him only enough play to be swapped around the league until he was cut by the Cavs in 2001.
His fresh high top fade earned him a spot here on this list.
Kendall Gill played for seven different teams (including the Charlotte Hornets twice) over his 15 year NBA career. Gill was a well rounded player with a knack for grabbing steals.
After Gill retired, he took up professional boxing. As a cruiserweight, Gill has won all three of his matches and is ranked No.449 in the world.
Gill has moved on from his quaff-like fade to a lower key fade. He can still be seen on Comcast as an analyst for the Chicago Bulls.
Mark Macon flipped his collegiate career at Temple, alongside teammates Aaron McKie and Eddie Jones, into the eighth selection in the 1991 NBA Draft.
Unfortunately for him, the high top fade lasted longer than his six year NBA career.
Following the crack arrest of Binghampton point guard Tiki Mayben, Macon was hired as head coach of the BU basketball team.
Here is the high point in Macon's NBA career.