Last Wednesday, Allen Iverson announced his retirement from the NBA, making official what had been unofficial for three whole years. Most people, of course, will miss Iverson’s killer crossover, his clutch shooting, and his insane determination to win. And that’s fine. But me? I’m going to miss his sweet hair.
Sure, technically the NBA is losing an all-time great. But really, Iverson stopped being Iverson when he turned 33 years old. What the NBA is losing is an iconic set of locks.
So where does Iverson rank on the list of all-time great NBA hairdos? Well, today we’re going to answer that question. Take a look at the list and tell us if we forgot anybody. But, you know, be nice about it. If we left somebody off the list, we didn’t mean it as a personal affront to you. Cool? Then let’s get started.
Knicks guard Iman Shumpert isn't the first Knicks player to sport a classic high top. You'll have to keep reading to see the guy who made the look famous, though.
30. The Iman Shumpert High Top
Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings channeled Gumby with this haircut. I doubt he was that flexible, though.
29. The Brandon Jennings Gumby Fade
Morrison may have been an all-time NBA draft bust, but he did not disappoint when it came to hair. The dude had one of the most distinctive looks in NBA history.
28. The Adam Morrison Trailer Hippy
Louis Amundson has found himself on the roster of four different teams in 2013 alone. Maybe they just don't like his Jennifer Aniston haircut circa 1997?
27. The Louis Amundson 'Jennifer Aniston'
There have been a number of truly great Afros in NBA history. However, only a few are worthy of being singled out, and one of them belonged to the great Artis Gilmore. I mean, just look at that thing. It was glorious.
26. The Artis Gilmore Afro
Is that a spider on this Wizard's head? No, it's the rare dreadfro.
25. The Martell Webster Dreadfro
When Heat forward Michael Beasley sports a fro, it looks like a fluffy cloud. Breathtaking, isn't it?
24. The Michael Beasley Fluffy Fro
In fairness, Robin Lopez had to do something to distinguish himself from his twin brother, Brook Lopez.
23. The Robin Lopez 'Silent Bob'
Is that the lead singer of Nickelback? No, it's just former NBA player Walter Hermann.
22. The Walter Hermann 'Chad Kroeger'
Some people might have compared this do sported by Vladimir Radmanovic in 2005 to early 2000s Venus and Serena Williams. I went old-school and compared him to Bo Derek. Ask your dad. He'll get the reference.
21. The Vladimir Radmonovic 'Bo Derek'
People sometimes forget that, before he made a career for himself making cameos on Parks and Recreation, Detlef Schrempf actually was a professional basketball player with a pretty sweet flat top.
20. The Detlef Schrempf Flat Top
Poor Daniel Gibson is still a free agent a week into the 2013-14 NBA season, but at least the former Cavs guard can take solace in the fact that this hairdo earned him the No. 19 spot on our list.
19. The Daniel Gibson Star Etching
Chris Kaman has had a number of memorable looks over the years, but in terms of pure greasiness, this one takes the cake.
18. The Chris Kaman Albino Angel of Death
Scott Pollard new he was destined to be a mostly nameless bench player, so he decided to make a name for himself by sporting one crazy hairdo after the next. The best of them? Obviously, in my book it's the double ponytail he sported in 2006.
17. The Scott Pollard Double Ponytail
Retired NBA player Anthony Mason may not have been a superstar, but you can't say he wasn't a team player. (Also, in fairness, he did make one All-Star team, and he was the Sixth Man of the Year in '95.)
16. The Anthony Mason Team Spirit Etching
Dear Drew: you're supposed to grow soul patched on your chin. FYI, that's on the other side of your head.
15. The Drew Gooden Reverse Soul Patch
From his insane back tattoo inspired by a video game to his always-interesting hairdos, Brooklyn Nets forward Andre Kirilenko is always keeping things interesting.
14. The Andrei Kirilenko Feather Bowl
The artist formerly known as Ron Artest is obviously a big Sisqo fan. I bet he knows all the words to "Thong Song" by heart.
13. The Metta World Peace 'Sisqo'
Seriously, even if you didn't know his last name was Varejao, you could tell this dude was from Brazil just from his hair.
12. The Anderson Varejao Permfro
Yep, the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year is quite a character.
11. The J.R. Smith Tiara
Shumpert's high top is nice, but Walker came first and he had those sweet racing stripes on the side. Thus, he takes the higher spot on our list.
10. The Kenny Walker Super High Top
Seriously, this is what I think of every time I see Joakim Noah.
9. The Joakim Noah Samurai Bun
There have been plenty of Mohawks in the history of the NBA, but no one does it better than Chris "Birdman" Andersen.
8. The Chris Andersen Mohawk
This is what happens when a basketball player doesn't play basketball. He experiments with his hair.
7. The Andrew Bynum FroBowl
Finally, at No. 6, we arrive at Allen Iverson. You youngsters probably don't see what the big deal is here, since a good 30% of NBA players today have corn rows. But when Iverson first hit the scene the look was radical and, to some people, a little intimidating.
6. The Allen Iverson Corn Rows
While playing with the Portland Trailblazers in the latter half of the 70s, you half-expected to see him light up a doobie while taking a breather on the bench.
5. The Bill Walton Dirty Hippy
The Worm sported a number of wacky hairstyles over the years, but this cheetah print look was by far my favorite.
4. The Dennis Rodman Cheetah
After that whole "choking incident" with the Knicks, Latrell Sprewell tried to counter his "bad boy" image by wearing pigtails with the Timberwolves.
3. The Latrell Sprewell Pigtails
Okay, so I'm bending the rules a bit here by including this glorious Afro worn by Julius Erving when he was with the Nets in the ABA—not the NBA. By the time the guy joined the NBA with the Sixers in (appropriately enough) 1976, he had toned the look down a bit. Still, how could we not recognize this beauty?
2. The Doctor J Afro
For my money, the greatest hairdo in the history of the NBA belonged to the great Dwane Schintzius. The former zero-time all-star may have left this earth too soon, but his flat top mullet will live on in our hearts forever.