After all the lockout drama and compressed preseason with rushed training camps, it’s finally at the point where the next time the Thunder tips off, it’s for real. But there are still developments from the prolonged offseason that need more discussion. Not Russell Westbrook’s extension or James Harden’s development or any of those trivial things — they’ve been well-covered. I’m talking about the important stuff, like what people’s hair or facial hair looks like, changes in physical appearance and things like that.
Kendrick Perkins’ weight loss and Kevin Durant’s tattoos have already garnered a bit of attention. But there are still some matters that have slipped through the cracks of media coverage. Two preseason games’ worth of television coverage has put some of these issues into the forefront, and it’s time to discuss them.
Cole Aldrich still hasn’t fixed his tooth, and his haircut choice is highly questionable.
It’s just time to get that tooth fixed. For one thing, the last thing Oklahoma needs in the fight against stereotypes is some giant dude with missing teeth parading around the country like some sideshow with a shirt that says “Oklahoma City” on his chest. But really, it’s more about just having to stare at that gaping hole in his mouth for closeups on the big screen at the arena or in HD at home. It’s like it’s staring at me and I can’t break eye contact
And the hairstyle, if you want to call it that, needs to go. Look, Aldrich is a big, gangly dude with a body frame and physique that means he’s best described as “a big lug.” It just brings to mind a certain image, and Aldrich fit the bill fine with the very short, buzz cut-type thing he’s being going with since we got to know him at Kansas. And you know, because he has had a tooth missing for much of that time. But the half lame-o fauxhawk lopsided thing on the front of his dome is horrible. Just cut it off.
Kevin Durant needs glasses?!
So you’re telling me he’s been tearing up the NBA with relatively poor vision? What does that mean he’s going to do with corrected vision?
Supposedly Durant is going to go with goggles or contacts, and the choice has obviously been contacts (or neither, possibly) through two preseason game. But I kind of think the goggles could be a good look every now and then if he wants to mix things up. And I’m not talking about those Amar’e Stoudemire, “These are actually more like sporty sunglasses because I’m too cool for goggles” goggles. I’m talking old school,Horace Grant goggles.
If the whole “NBA nerd” thing is really catching on, this could be huge. Imagine if KD decided to sport the goggles one night and went for 45 with some spectacular shots along the way.
Nick Collison has inherited the homeless dude role from Nenad Krstic.
Aldrich is pretty close himself, but Mrs. Patrick James, a longtime admirer of Collison, was aghast at his appearance in the preseason games. And I have to say, I think I agree. He had a haggard look about him, aided by a scraggledy beard and unkempt hair.
Krstic used to be the guy on the Thunder roster who sometimes resembled the tallest guy at the soup kitchen, but if it’s anyone now, it’s Collison. Maybe it’s just part of some new edginess that he displayed in his tussle with Lamar Odom on Tuesday, who knows. But really, he just looks like a guy in need of a shave and a haircut.
The fans need more of an executive look from Collison. He’s the Thunder’s elder statesman, after all.
Daequan Cook also has part of a beard.
I say part of a beard because it just kind of seems a lot fuzzier in some places than others. Just kind of odd — a beard that looks good when trimmed neatly, but not grown out Harden-style. (And my is Harden’s beard-looking fierce, it must be noted.)
Really, I think Cook’s unfortunate 1-11 performance on 3-pointers on Tuesday says it all. The beard has to go, at least in its current form.
Eric Maynor added to his tattoo collection.
People with opinions about NBA tattoos tend to fall in four camps: They either like them, dislike them, make a point to say they have no opinion or make a point to say you’re a haughty meanie if you do have an opinion but don’t like them. Commentary abounded regarding Durant’s new tattoos, but Maynor’s flew under the radar a bit.
Maynor definitely looks pretty fierce with the tattoos. He was the most tattoo-heavy player in the Thunder rotation until Perkins showed up, and now he has even more ink. Nothing wrong with that. Jerry Rice used to always say you don’t play good if you don’t look good, so if Maynor wants tattoos as part of his luck, it shall be done. Let him continue being one of the best backup point guards in the league.
Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson are stepping on some toes, fashion-wise.
In the surest sign yet that there’s controversy between Durant and Westbrook, Westbrook pulled a jack move on KD’s signature style when he wore a backpack to the nuclear winter news conference. It was as clear a signal to Durant that Westbrook plans on supplanting him as the Thunder’s true star, beginning with taking his style. No doubt there’s a simmering feud there. The general closeness of the team, constructive conversations on the court, back pats and hand slaps, friendly Twitter banter, smiles and genuine friendship they show? Just a ruse, obviously.
And speaking of fashion jack moves, Jackson clearly fired a warning shot in Harden’s direction that he’s gunning for the third option role when he brazenly wore a bow tie to his introductory news conference. Obviously, he studied Harden’s rise as a pivotal rotation player, jack-of-all-trades kind of guy and decided he’d start by trying to steal Oklahoma City’s bow tie title Harden claimed as his own on his draft night.
One can only hope these signs of friction don’t consume the whole team.
Lazar Hayward is boring. For now, anyway.
He wears a headband, but otherwise he seems pretty vanilla, at least as far as we know. I think most people who tell you they knew much about him, even if they watch the NBA pretty closely, would be fibbing a little. He played a few quality minutes a game for a bad team and he seemed to work hard. That’s it.
If you start to type his name into Google, nothing interesting comes up in the auto-results. Just the usual: Twitter, girlfriend, contract, NBA, Marquette, and on and on. There don’t seem to be any interesting back stories or skeletons in his closet. Basically he’s just some dude who appears to be a quality end-of-bench player in the making who is probably a good locker room fit, or else Sam Presti wouldn’t have traded for him.
So Hayward needs something to happen, or to do something, that gives him his Thunder identity. He needs to be a wild cheerleader on the bench, or the guy who comes in and plays with his hair on fire because he only gets 15 minutes a month, or team prankster or just something. Maybe all of the above is what the team needs.