Earlier this season, when Utah Jazz wingman Gordon Hayward took an inbounds pass from Joe Ingles and buried a game-winning buzzer-beater against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the electricity charging through EnergySolutions Arena was enough to make the average man’s hair stand on end.
Except, as we’ve learned this season, Hayward is no average man, so as the crowd went wild around him, his lettuce remained perfectly still — until his teammates battled for the right to mess with his tress.
Few things in the NBA are perfect, and Hayward’s hairstyle is one of them. There is Bill Russell’s record in Game 7’s, Michael Jordan’s fadeaway, Magic Johnson’s television show and Hayward’s luxurious locks.
Yet, while this bald-headed scribe can only dream of having Hayward’s hairstyle, the shaggy-headed Ingles dared describe his teammate’s do like so: “It’s terrible, isn’t it? It’s terrible.” And the Australian didn’t stop there. Here’s the whole heretical rant on Utah’s “DJ and PK in the Morning” radio show.
"OK, so I’m going to give you a little insight on his haircut and how long and silly it is. In this last trip, we were rooming right next to each other. Our rooms are basically joined. We had an adjoining door, which we opened a couple of times to talk to each other, but yesterday he went to sleep for a little pregame nap. I got up, and it was half an hour before we had to leave and I went to the bathroom. And as I was passing through the little corridor to get to my bathroom, I could hear all this noise in his room. I thought, ‘I hope he’s all right.’ He’s been away from his wife for a while. I hope he’s not sad and he’s not feeling upset or whatever. And I put my ear kind of next to the door to hear what it was, and it was the hairdryer going.
"So, I’ve never seen a man use a hairdryer before, and I knocked on the door to try and see a man use a hairdryer. So, he was in there. I don’t know what he was doing. I did see the day before that he had like seven different hair products and a little comb. And, obviously, now with the hairdryer, it’s pretty obvious how much he likes his hair. And I think if you watch him during the game, it doesn’t move. I don’t know how it’s possible, but it actually doesn’t move."
What did Ingles expect? Much like the man’s midrange jumper, Hayward’s hair requires a stroke mastered over many years. As the Aussie himself admits, “Gordon will probably spend the whole seven days (of All-Star break) working on his haircut to make sure it looks good for when we come back.” Damn straight.
And next time Ingles thinks about messing with perfection, he should remember he plays in a state nicknamed after a hairdo. On second thought, since Hawyard has emerged as a franchise player for the Jazz, Utah should consider changing its moniker from the Beehive State to the Swaggy G State.
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