Unique hair styles are a way for professional athletes to stick out from their peers. From the luscious locks of Steve Nash to the mohawk of Andrei Kirilenko, there are dozens of different styles in today's sports world.
But there is one hairdo that has been a staple of pro athletes for decades. It's a look that has been in style since the 1970s and has shown no signs of slowing down. Yes, I am talking about the Afro.
Let's honor those that have spent hours with a Afro pick while finding popcorn in the jungle they call hair.
Here are the best Afros in sports.
Ross takes team spirit to a whole new level after dying his 'fro orange and black to show his love for the Bengals.
Is this guy the anti-Carson Palmer?
Somebody that is actually proud to be a Bengal is rare, so give Ross a lot of credit.
The 7'1" Gilmore was a certified giant with this humongous 'fro.
"The A-train" was an 11-time All-Star, the ABA Rookie of the Year, ABA MVP and he is still the NBA career leader for field-goal percentage.
He is also on the all-Afro ABA squad.
This was the Afro of the 1970s in New York. Not even the biggest Yankees hat could hold down this beauty of a 'fro.
"The Big O" hit 200 career home runs and finished with more career walks (610) than strikeouts (546).
One of the greatest modern-day baseball Afros has to go to "D'MeatHook."
Young played for four teams over his 12-year career that featured little team success. The two-time All Star had a solid career—but he will always be remembered for his out-of-control hairstyle that refused to be kept down by a baseball hat.
Childress is a throwback in today's NBA.
His classic-style Afro is rarely seen in 2011, but Childress has been rocking it since his college days at Stanford. Even a stint in Greece didn't stop him from representing the 'fro overseas.
Now he is back in the NBA and reminding young fans what a traditional 'fro should look like.
A.I. will forever be known for his cornrows, but he flipped the script in this legendary Slam Magazine cover in '98.
Iverson showed the world what would happen if he ever unleashed the 'fro.
I think he should have played a few games with it. The 6'0" tall Iverson could use the extra couple of inches.
Freeman has resurrected a NFL franchise and a hair style as well. Freeman led the Bucs to their best record in years in only his second year in the NFL.
He also rocks a wild 'fro that is a bit curly, but still awesome. We don't get to see it very often since he is always wearing a helmet—but don't sleep on the Afro that is growing by the minute.
The Beasley 'fro era didn't last long. Well, it lasted about as long as his tenure with the Heat, but you gotta give credit to the work Beasley did on his melon.
It looks well picked in this pic as it bounces with his every move.
If this picture was in black-and-white, Beasley could easily pass for a 1970's ABA player.
Blanks has the dubious distinction of being one of the only baseball players that will be rocking a 'fro in the 2011 season.
It's shame the Afro is on the endangered species list. Looking at a smashed-up 'fro under a baseball cap has a certain appeal to it.
Noah has had huge hair dating back to his days as a Florida Gator. He has a variety of styles that vary from the traditional 'fro to some mutant curly-cue look that would make most heterosexual men laugh at him.
But whatever style Noah decides on any particular day, he keeps it fresh and that's all you can ask for from the hair of an athlete.
Most of the time Moochie would have his enormous hair braided up, but on special occasions he would bust out one of the greatest 'fros the NBA has ever seen.
The Afro alone added 4-to-5 inches to his height.
Moochie may have not been the best player, but his hair will forever cement his legacy in the NBA.
This Sideshow Bob lookalike broke out onto the scene with the Colombian World Cup team in the 1994 World Cup.
Watching his poofy hair bounce up and down as he jogged up the field makes having such a ridiculous haircut worth it.
Get this guy a pick!
Moss may have only sported the 'fro for a short time, but boy was it a great ride.
It was huge and bouncy at times—well picked to perfection in other situations.
The many sides of the Moss 'fro make it one of the top NFL Afros the league has ever seen.
Straight hair homie.
"Big Ben" receives the lifetime achievement award for longest time rocking a 'fro. He used to be a braid guy—but he has fully embraced the Afro in recent years.
The 6'8" wannabe center looks a lot closer to 7'0" when the hair is unleashed.
His 'fro is always well picked and fluffy on top as he blocks your weak attempt at a jump shot.
If any current NBA player has Afro advice...this is the guy you call.
The Godfather of the 'fro, "Dr. J" is the man you think about when it comes to professional athletes sporting an Afro.
He was the perfect athlete to rock the hairstyle. He defied gravity with his acrobatic assault of dunks. As he would soar gracefully through the air, his hair would be bouncing in the slo-mo replay.
He always maintained a perfectly-groomed look and he is the poster boy for how a 70s Afro should be.
Hats off to Dr. J. He should never cover up what's on top of that dome.