Today the United States takes on Argentina in Men’s Basketball. I’ll be attempting to watch from a choppy, spastic, online feed in which the only picture that comes in clearly is the one showing how much world-class athletes love to drink Coca-Cola before, after, and during their Olympic competition. (*Author’s note: Dehydration? Deschmydration!)
It’s the semifinal matchup, with the winner advancing to play either Spain or Russia for the Gold Medal. Sure the US has already won convincingly in the first matchup with their South American foes, defeating the Argentines 126-97 in the final game of group play. But, for a hoop-head like myself, and as someone who ingests Olympic sporting events like a competitive eater does a Nathan’s Hot Dog on the 4th of July I couldn’t be more excited to see this matchup.
The U.S. also played Argentina in an exhibition match before the Olympics and won by a slimmer margin, 86-80. When these teams hit the court today, whether you’re watching at home or on a computer window that has to repeatedly get minimized when anyone in charge walks past, here’s a breakdown of the most important part of this matchup: the hair of the guys playing in the game. I know. I know. That sounds pretty stupid, right? It is. Read on.
While watching an Argentina team that features 4 decent-really good NBA Players (*Author’s note: with Manu Ginobili being on his way to the Hall of Fame someday) go up against a team that is the most loaded since the Dream Team in ’92 is certainly appealing, everyone knows the quality of basketball should be high. But what I’m really intrigued by is the quality, quantity, and qui-what-the-hell-is-that-itude. Here’s what we’re working with.
- James Harden’s Beard:
Harden’s beard has gotten about as much publicity as his blossoming game. I’ve said before that it looks like Rick Ross had an illicit affair with a lumberjack and they named their secret love-child James.
If James Harden’s beard was a recipe it would read something like this:
1 cup Baron Davis
1/4 cup of chopped Karl Marx
2 tablespoons Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard
3 Teaspoons of Teen Wolf
Mix into a giant bowl, place into an oven at why-the-hell-doesn’t-he-just-see-a-barber degrees and give an uncanny, weirdly hard game to describe and you’ve got James Harden.
- Anthony Davis’ Unibrow:
While Davis’ unibrow has been beaten to death. He likes it. I hate it. I’ve made that clear in about 5 other posts that somehow touch on that ungainly piece of roadkill spilling across his face like a hairy oil spill that is inching closer together at the center of his eyebrows. I’m waiting for him to hold a joint press conference with the CEO of McDonald’s and announce that this whole time the unibrow has been an elaborate marketing ploy to subconsciously get people to think of the “Golden Arches” every time Davis raises his eyebrows. I’ll stop there. You get the point.
- Luis’ Locks:
Luis Scola plays for the Houston Rockets in the NBA. And he’s a pretty good player. But every time I watch him on the basketball court my eyes are sucked to his head; gravitationally yanked like I’ve wandered too close to a South American blackhole.
When he has his beard and hair going like he does in the above picture? I’m thinking that when people tell him he’s got a pretty sweet “J” they aren’t referring to his jumper, but are actually saying that he has a pretty sweet “Jesus-lookalike-contest-opportunity.”
My best theory about why Scola rocks his hair like that is that he is actually the lesser known fourth Hanson brother, who was kidnapped while the band was touring in South America. Realizing quickly that he kept screwing up the indecipherable lyrics to “Mmmbop” they refused the ransom and left him for dead. Years later, after hitting puberty like a mofo and catching a massive growth spurt, he has emerged as Luis Scola, professional basketball player. Again, just a theory.
In his mirror at home, Scola looks like an exotic, dashing Argentine with long, luscious locks. On the court he looks like a 6’9″ Russell Brand.
- Manu Ginobili’s Male-Pattern Yarmulke:
Manu Ginobili is destined for two clubs in the future. The Hall of Fame. And Hair Club for Men. While I’d happily trade the second club’s stigma to be a member of the first club, I still feel that Manu’s hair, or lack thereof, deserves mentioning.
Where has Manu’s hair gone? He used to rock a ‘do similar to his countryman, Scola, but the nomadic tribe of the Scalp-Back people appear to have migrated onward. Perhaps chasing the elusive Argentinian buffalo across the wild plains of the highlands. Perhaps they chose to leave the arrid, Ginobilian Backheads and migrate to the lush jungles of the Scolangelan Rift Valley.
The basketball on the court today will undoubtedly be stellar. The hair on the floor will operate in stark contrast to the amazing skills on display. Try to keep your eye on the ball. Literally. I bet you can’t for the whole time.