When an NBA player is good, fans will celebrate him; when an NBA player has a unique look, fans will often find similarly unique forms of celebration. During his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, famously bearded-and-mohawked guard James Harden found himself the subject of several such salutes, with his signature look inspiring game attire, desserts, building design and even permanent skin art.
Now, as you're probably aware, Harden is a member of the Houston Rockets. (Well, "member" understates the already mammoth contributions to one of the best — maybe even the best? — backcourts in the game and one of the NBA's biggest early season surprises, but you get what I mean.) And after a dazzling beginning to his Houston career, one Rockets fan was incredibly eager to continue the grand tradition of Harden-themed insanity.
Before the Rockets' Saturday night matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers — the team's home debut after opening 2-0 away from the Toyota Center — James Harden became a haircut. Behold:
'I hate to see you go, but I also hate to watch you leave.' (Photo via 00_rocketgirl on Instagram)
The fan depicted in this photo, shared via Instagram and Twitter on Saturday evening, is apparently a member of the Red Rowdies, a vocal and vibrant group of Rockets backers who dress up, act up, scream, stomp, chant and generally attempt to both support their squad and jar the opposition. Considering the fan would probably be facing the court to watch the action, though, this seems much more likely to shake up other Red Rowdies, so it might be a bit sub-prudent from a competitive perspective. Still, it speaks to a level of dedication that is pretty awe-inspiring. (Or maybe shock-inspiring. Fear-inspiring? Rubbing-the-back-of-your-head-inspiring.)
Unfortunately, this fan's sterling devotion to his team and its new lefty leader didn't push the Rockets to a win on Saturday night, as Harden experienced his first struggles of the season (he needed 24 shots to score his team-leading 24 points and turned the ball over five times) and Houston fell to Portland in overtime, 95-85. Based on the bylaws of fan adherence to superstition, I think that means that he's got to shave his head clean and get rid of the Harden face to prevent a losing streak. It'd be sad for us, but I'm sure his mom would appreciate it.
Also, in the interest of providing guidance to BDL's readers in a trying time, the brief return of Dan Devine's Inarguable Power Rankings, which identify which items in a group of things are most powerful. In this episode: Dan Devine's Inarguable NBA-Related Shaved-Head Power Rankings.
8. This adidas-inflected Brookyn Nets logo.
7. This Harden head, because my stars, those terrifying teeth.
6. Brook Lopez's preseason 'fro shearing by kids at the Boys & Girls Club, because while that was adorable, we could've used more Fropez in Brooklyn this year, kids.
5. Kevin Love's Larry Fitzgerald-helmed total cue-balling to raise awareness of/money for breast-cancer-combatting charities.
4. The two portraits of Michael Jordan shaved into this gentleman's head.
3. The too brief, too cold, too amazing Memphis Grizzlies haircut that Tony Allen sported, which, we mustn't forget, included glitter.
2. The Matt Bonner portrait that got a young Texas redhead suspended from school, a disciplining to which he responded by getting another Bonner haircut as soon as school ended, because THESE COLORS DON'T RUN (also, remember to vote Tuesday).
1. Electricity, without which the clippers wouldn't work, the designs wouldn't be brought to life and we wouldn't be able to enjoy and share all this beautiful insanity.
If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to do so in the comments below. Please remember, however, that as always, the list is the list.
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