Watching Drew Gooden run around the court with what looks like a bird's nest on his face brings to mind some of the great NBA beards of years past. Kareem, Earl Monroe, Connie Hawkins, Mark Eaton, Clyde Frazier. Those were great beards. Now, a non-comprehensive list of five bearded wonders currently playing in the NBA for your viewing pleasure.
It's obvious he's been working on that thing for some time, and it might be able to stand a little trim, but what's the fun in that? Not enough guys have beards in the league anymore, and Gooden is helping pick up the slack for all the baby-faced pretty boys out there.
Verdict: It may be bushy, but it gets a thumbs up. It's almost like an afro on his face. One question, though: If an opponent's fingers accidentally get stuck in there and pull him down, is it a foul?
He may be 28, but you'd think he was a 35-year-old veteran from that 70's throwback on his face. That beard wants to wear "The City" throwbacks every game and check out Sly Stone down at The Fillmore on off days.
Verdict: With the kneepads and thick physique, the Baron of Davis has a fine beard that youngsters and grandpas everywhere can aspire to.
Gasol was merely a decent player before deciding to drop the razor a few years ago. Now he's one of the better big men on the league and has an FIBA gold medal and FIBA MVP to show for it. He's trimmed up since, so it isn't quite as mangy, but the look remains.
Verdict: He trimmed it up, and thus gets minus points. Still, the Grizzlies had a "Beard Night" in his honor, that has to count for something.
Supposedly Stevenson and Gooden have a contest going to see who can grow the biggest beard. Gooden is definitely winning. Still, Stevenson's is nice and is getting even more face time with Gilbert Arenas out with an injury. He might need some Rogaine or Chia formula if he wants to catch up with Gooden.
Verdict: If we knew he wasn't in a contest with Gooden, it would get more plus points. But he's getting killed in that contest, so he doesn't get as many bonus points from us.
His beard may not look very impressive today, but just wait 30 minutes. The joke used to go around that he shaved during halftime and re-grew it before the post-game interview, and that surely hasn't changed with age. He probably grows more beard in one day than most players do in a month.
Verdict: Peja gets the lifetime achievement award and is the envy of all those teenage boys who are trying to milk that half a mustache into being real facial hair. We salute you Peja. Now go shave.
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd