July 27, 2011
Do you remember Dwayne Schintzius? If not, you should. After being drafted in 1990, Schintzius spent eight seasons as a backup big man for several NBA teams. He was a journeyman, but he was also a character, remembered best for a certain arrogance and one of the greatest hairstyles in league history.
Former University of Florida basketball center Dwayne Schintzius, of Brandon High, was the NBA draft's 24th overall pick in 1990. He liked the San Antonio Spurs and anticipated a long career there. But Spurs general manager Bob Bass didn't care for Schintzius' "lobster'' hairstyle.
"He told me to cut it,'' Schintzius said. "So I got it cut and sent him the shavings in an envelope. I'm not sure he appreciated that. And then, away I went.''
Some people may think that a young player like Schintzius was at the time should have done what management told him and shut his mouth. After all, he hadn't proven anything in the league. Then again, maybe a person should be able to wear his hair however he pleases, especially when it's as majestic as Schintzius' mullet. Would you have asked Oscar Gamble to cut his afro? Only if you were anti-fun.
Schintzius was not a particularly successful NBA player -- he dropped in the draft due to concerns about his attitude and didn't turn out to be very talented, either. But he made the league more interesting, and for that we should be thankful. Asking him to cut his hair was like requesting he sacrifice part of his personality. There's a fine line between discipline and unnecessary harshness.
Plus, if a GM feels the need to trade a guy, he shouldn't make him cut hair that probably took him 20 years to perfect. That's like telling Tim Duncan(notes) he can't take bank shots from the post anymore.