Originally, this post was slated to be a Synergy-rich analysis of how to optimally space Paul Pierce in a Raymond Felton-Brandon Bass high pick-and-roll. Because that’s our offense now. At least until that magical elixir Jason Powell bought off the back of that wagon in the Old West starts taking effect and JJ and Chris return.
But there still seem to be some kinks in NBA.com’s fancy new stats page. When I try to filter some of the more advanced metrics on Alan Anderson, for example, I keep getting an error message reading “Why? No seriously, what purpose does this knowledge serve? Go learn Spanish or something.” Something must be wrong with how I’m doing my queries.
So here’s something with a different flavor, some lighter fare to distract you from thinking about the crushing inevitability of sinking to a four-seed while the Houston Rockets take our rightful place in the Western Conference standings...again.
It’s trite and somewhat played out to say this, but one of the reasons why watching the NBA on television is so compelling lay in the simple fact that you get to see the players’ faces so clearly. Unlike the other three major professional sports, there’s no helmets, caps or masks to conceal the expressions of NBA stars. So you get to absorb in HD-clarity the blend of panic and determination that spread across Lebron’s face as he chased down that Iguodala bloc, or the frustration boiling on Curry’s brow during his mouthpiece meltdown, or the purest relief of Dirk after he beat Miami. Or, in more personally painful moments...
It’s a simple byproduct of the fact that playing basketball won’t damage your brain—one of the million some-odd reasons the NBA is so much better than the NFL (although to be fair, the more I watch the NBA on TNT, the more I’m convinced Shaq has CTE). And it humanizes players in a way that uniquely suits the NBA’s personality-centric marketing approach. You forget Blake is actually a 6’10 monster you really have nothing in common with when you see him hugging Chris at the end of Game 7 against the Spurs.
But occasionally, there’s a downside to seeing the faces of NBA players with such unobstructed clarity. There’s a handful of players that...well...maybe it’s better to show, and not tell.
Popeye Jones may not be in the league anymore. But there’s still a lot of NBA players with weird heads. Like, really weird heads.
As Clipper fans, I like to think we’re kind of experts in this field. We’ve been treated to multiple years of Sam Cassell and Chris Kaman, both of which had weirdly shaped heads (although Kaman was more of a hair issue than anything else). Shaun Livingston also has a weird-looking head, which is why we’re all still confused why he doesn’t bring back the Afro.
To be clear, we’re not talking about general unattractiveness. We’re just talking about heads that kind of look weird. It could be the hair, it could be the shape, it could be the ears, it could be a combination of things. And for the record, all of these players have beautiful wives or girlfriends, make tons of money, and could easily beat me up.
Without further ado...
There was a period there in Memphis when the games were particularly hard to watch, and not just because that team plays basketball like those pickup games at the Y when all the 40-year-olds start elbowing any millenial in arm’s reach. For a brief, glorious stint, the Grizzlies had both Kosta and Nick Calathes on the roster, making for a weird-head/combover duo the likes of which we haven’t seen in the NBA since...I guess that year Rick Barry wore a wig?
Some angles flatter Kosta, some don’t. This angle from 2K is not one of the good ones.
This is kind of cheating. Anybody that big is gonna have a weird head. If there’s any selection on this list worth arguing, it’s probably this one. I really just wanted an excuse to share this picture.
Kyle Anderson may have the most underrated nickname in all of sports. It would have been a perfect nickname for Paul Pierce (yes, younger Paul Pierce) considering his molasses-themed midrange game (slow and sweet).
That nickname, combined with how pointy his head is, makes Kyle Anderson stand out from nearly every other Spurs role player that kills you in the course of a game. But mostly it’s his head.
I love everything about Mo Speights. Including Mini-Speights.
This picture doesn’t do Allen Crabbe justice. He looks way weirder on TV.
A lot of it is the hair. I was a fan of his at CAL, before the mohawk. His head was still a little weird looking, but nowhere near as weird-looking as now. Witness.
I’m sure I missed some obvious selections here. So focus on those...not the fact that we’ve lost to Brooklyn, the Mavs and the Lakers.