As of this very moment there are five days until the NBA season begins. To be more precise, there are 124 and a half hours. To be even more precise, there are 7476 minutes until we get to see LeBron tip the season off shooting daggers in Kyrie’s direction as if he’s bumped into an ex at the mall who has happily found a new significant other. And to be even more precise, there are 7584 minutes, give or take 10, until LeBron tweets a pseudo-cryptic rap lyric throwing shade at either a current or former teammate. Will he use J.Cole? Or go the more aggressive route with Meek Mill? Who knows! God the NBA is so exciting, and I cannot wait for it to be back.
We will start our NBA countdown celebrating the most exciting thing related to basketball coming out of New York: Jeremy Lin’s hair. Outside of Michael Beasley interviews, Jeremy Lin’s intricate and ever-changing hairdos provide the perfect solace for New York based basketball fans to distract themselves from what is actually happening on the hardcourt.
As there are five days until a meaningful NBA game is played we are going to celebrate Jeremy Lin’s five best haircuts during his time in the NBA. I need to preface this by stating that I am in no way bullying Lin, I am not Kenyon Martin. It is truly impressive that Jeremy Lin’s hair has ended up having a more memorable career than Greg Oden, a former first overall pick in the draft! I’ve had the same haircut for 22 years and counting so I can honestly say that I’m writing this list out of respect. I’ve never had the balls to part my hair the other way, let alone do a blow up ala Jimmy Neutron. So without further ado..
Honorable Mention – Innocent Jeremy Lin
Twenty years from now when Lin’s name pops up in conversation basketball fans will immediately remember the Linsanity era that descended upon New York in 2012. As such, despite it being his least adventurous haircut, innocent Jeremy Lin will be the lasting image of his legacy. Innocent Lin was similar to a young, successful Disney star not yet privy to the world of recreational drugs and sex tapes. He was a picture of pure happiness, untainted by the weathering of media scrutiny and the journeyman carousel.
Number 5. Dreadlocks Jeremy Lin
As the most recent hairdo, Dreadlocks Jeremy Lin is not my favourite look. However, the subsequent controversy and roasting of Kenyon Martin that occurred in light of this haircut sneaks Dreadlocks Lin into the 5 spot. Lin’s Michelle Obama inspired ‘when they go low we go high’ response to Martin’s comments was cool enough on its own merit, but to add the subtle dig about Martin’s own Chinese tattoos sealed the verbal joust. Lin’s immediate dispatch of Martin is the quickest we’ve seen since Drake shot out that quadruple-sided diss track album in response to Meek Mill. As the old adage goes: you come at the Lin, you best not miss.
4. Save $25 by Cutting Your Own Hair (CYOH) Jeremy Lin
When I looked back at my baby pictures, I tried my damndest to hide any evidence of my bowl-cut toddler days. Even in the pictures it is clear that four year old me knew this look wasn’t flattering. The hilarity of a 27 year old millionaire deciding to bring back the bowl cut movement meant that CYOH Jeremy Lin had to crack the list. CYOH Lin would have potentially taken top spot, if not for him chickening out and wearing the headband to often hide the cut. Only LeBron has used a headband in a more deceptive manner. The whole allure of the bowl cut is to let people know “I truly do not care”, unfortunately CYOH Lin was not yet ready to enter this territory. Which leads us to number 3…..
3. Super Saiyan Jeremy Lin
Super Saiyan Jeremy Lin is also peak I Don’t Give a Fuck Jeremy Lin, which is the best Jeremy Lin. Rumor has it that this cut emerged after Steve Clifford, Lin’s coach at the time, wanted Lin to play more as a shooting guard alongside Kemba Walker but expressed concerns with his height. According to Dragonball Wiki “a Super Saiyan’s power level shoots up by fifty times its normal amount”; during Lin’s one year at Charlotte he had his best playoff performances, rehabilitated his career after tough stints in Houston and LA, and secured a lucrative contract in the offseason. Coincidence? I think not. Just ask Jerryd Bayless, who felt the full force of Super Saiyan Lin.
2. Double Man Bun Jeremy Lin
I have never been a fan of the man bun. I thought it was a pretentious look coined by soccer players who craved attention. I thought the man bun would fall to a similar fate as the frosted tips fad in the ’90s and the jheri curl look in the ’80s. A man bun on its own is unmemorable, but two man bun? Double the bun, double the fun (which is also what Charles Barkley yells at large San Antonio women while eating churros).
It turned my world upside down. Another piece of magic, bringing a classier and more casual take on Super Saiyan Lin.
1. Cornrows Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin’s basketball story came full circle last offseason when he returned to New York, signing with the Brooklyn Nets. More importantly, his grand hair plan also completed its finishing touches with the birth of Cornrows Jeremy Lin.
When I was 12, my buddy Paolo showed me the infamous “2 Girls 1 Cup” shock video. I’m not willing to go into details of what I saw that fateful night, but I can unequivocally state that it was the most disgusting thing I’d ever witnessed. Every other video that passed through school from my slightly disturbed group of friends paled in comparison. I was numb. I’d become immune to anything else as the bar had been set so high.
Jeremy Lin’s hair has followed this same trajectory. With each crazy haircut, the shock value diminished ever so slightly. It took years of dedication, creativity, and hair gel, but Lin’s haircuts finally threw us through the looking glass and into the bizarro world in which his style was now the norm. I suddenly felt insecure about my conservative combover. And I was jealous. I’m not sure if I am crazy or not, but his cornrows actually look cool right? Right?!