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Ho, Ho, Ho: The NBA's Best Beards

Pat DeColaCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho: The NBA's Best Beards

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    Vince Bucci/Getty Images

    'Tis the season to put down the razor and let the five o'clock shadow turn into a three-month shadow.

    And from the days of Bill Walton to Vlade Divac, the NBA has always had a unique history with the beard.

    This season, a new generation of superstars are taking the facial locks to another level.

    So, in the spirit of the season (we are excluding all of the fans that are currently showing up to games dressed as Santa...only real stuff counts), let's spend some time analyzing the best beards in the NBA.

    Now, not all of these beards are as long and bushy as the one Santa Claus sports. Nor are any of them white, despite the stress induced on Baron Davis by the heckling he gets from Clippers owner Donald Sterling. But they're all legendary in their own right.

    Without further ado, the best beards in basketball.

    (Also, it should be noted that facial hair was officially the third thing I asked Santa for in my letter to the North Pole behind World peace and socks)

No. 5: Utah Point Guard Deron Williams

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    There’s something about Deron Williams’ beard that just elicits the message, “Yeah, I was the coolest kid in the class in high school. Now I’m a top point guard in the NBA. Back off.”

    And in 20 years, when they decide to remake the Emmitt Smith "Just For Men" commercial, I fully expect Williams to be sitting in the rocking chair and repeating the classic line, "Oh, it's bad."

    It’s so well-groomed and awesome and perfect, aaaaand it’s time for me to stop talking about it.

No. 4: Los Angeles Lakers Forward/Center Pau Gasol

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    “The Llama Beard."

    Some may just think Pau Gasol’s grizzly stubble is just part of being an easy-going European that shaves once every other week, but don’t let that fool you. This man intends on doing all he can to fool us into believing that he’ll be motion captured for the next “The Emperor’s New Groove” sequel.

    And if you study it closely enough, it's almost as if this beard was a hybrid creation of half-Vlade beard, half-Walton beard that was created in a secret lab nearly Area 51.  Hopefully we didn't spoil the plot of "Splice 2."

    Unfortunately, the siesta o’clock shadow also gives Gasol super powers, as he’s having the best season of his career.

No. 3: New York Knicks Forward Ronny Turiaf

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    What is there to say about Ronny Turiaf’s beard?

    Well, the actual 'strandage' of the beard is nothing short of impressive.

    He’s nearly successful in pulling off the beard-to-cornrow flawless transition which, according to my research, has never been exhibited to such a high degree.

    Unfortunately, the beard isn’t as intimidating to driving opponents, as nearly every picture I looked at he was getting poster-ized.

No. 2: Oklahoma City Thunder Guard James Harden

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Have you seen this thing?

    It's like he glued a Brillo pad to his face and then grew a beard over that.

    In fact, Harden's beard is so thick that the reason for his cautious play in his sophomore season can probably be explained by the fact that he may have a small bird's nest burrowed in there that he doesn't want to wake with too much excitement.

    In only his second season, Harden is already sporting a beard that is Hall of Fame worthy.

No. 1: Los Angeles Clipper Guard Baron Davis

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The current OG of the NBA beard, Davis was perhaps the inspiration for the excellence growing on Harden's mug.

    Looking back at his baby-faced draft-day photo, he definitely made the right decision to go Au Natural.

    But Baron's beard took a turn for the awesome a few years ago when he seemed to get swept up in the Kimbo Slice storm like the rest of America and dressed up as the former MMA star for Halloween and just kept the costume.

    Or at least I assume that’s what happened.

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